Explain Why I Was Mis-Sold PPI

What is PPI?

PPI means “payment protection insurance.” It is a type of insurance that is sold to consumers that hold credit cards or have loans. The aim of the insurance to provide payment coverage in case the borrower is unable to pay a credit card or loan bill due to job loss, illness, injury or accident.

Unfortunately, instances of mis sold PPI have been a prevalent problem across the United Kingdom. Not every PPI policy falls under this category, but many people have fallen victim and lost thousands through the scheme.

Why was I mis sold PPI?

The biggest issue concerning mis sold PPI was that salespeople were pressured by employers to sell the insurance to consumers. These salespeople posed as advisers and sold the insurance under false pretenses.

People who attempted to file claims under their PPI coverage found that the insurance did not actually cover payments as promised. There were exclusions written in the fine print of the policies that essentially made them completely useless to consumers. This meant that consumers were paying money every month for coverage that did not do what it was intended to do.

What can claiming back mis sold PPI do for me?

Claiming back mis sold PPI can help you recover money that was spent on the insurance policy. Many people have been successfully able to recover over £3,000 by claiming back mis sold PPI. The exact amount that a person can recover is based on the amount that was charged and paid monthly for PPI.

The easiest way to discover how much you are owed is to calculate your expected monthly loan payment based on the loan amount, interest rate and term. Anything paid over this monthly amount was likely going towards PPI and can be claimed back. For a management advice we would suggest contacting www.ppiclaimback.co.uk for correct and exact advice.

The Project Management Method Curse Or Blessing ?

Project management is an area of expertise that has undergone some significant development in the last decade.  A business project can have a far-reaching effect on the business and result in either tremendous improvement in the businesses ability to function in the marketplace or a significant setback to that business entity.

The idea of a formalized project management approach has been around for quite some time.  So it was not uncommon for any manager to find themselves learning the discipline of a structured project management system.  That project methodology takes any given business or IT project through the same standardized steps from conception through implementation.  Those steps would include.

*    Project definition
*    Needs analysis and requirements definition.
*    Cost benefit analysis.
*    Project scope.
*    Project schedule and budget.
*    Detailed specifications
*    Development
*    Testing
*    Training
*    Deployment

By utilizing a standardized process of doing all projects the same way, using the same reporting methods and tools, there is an economy of skills in that the project leaders and team members become adept at navigating these steps.  Further, by using the same systems and criteria, a scale of evaluation as to the effectiveness of the system is developed so the ability of project teams to do well over time improves.

It was natural that this standardized method would become codified and finally developed into a well-developed system that could that molds all projects to a single standard.  By developing an industry wide method that requires strict training and adherence to the same terms, tool sets and definitions of success, the “intuitive” nature of judging project effectiveness is reduced.  And so “the Project Management Method” was developed whereby project managers can undergo strenuous and exacting training in a standardized method that would be enforced via certification across the whole of the business community.

Whether or not the PMM represents a curse or a blessing to the business world depends to a large extent on individual applications of the method and measurements and observations on whether the method itself introduces efficiency to the process of project management or just another layer of bureaucracy.

There are some strong positives to utilizing a methodology that is standardized at an industry level.  Those project managers who have gone through the certification process can be depended on to implement that system the same way in each business setting.  As such, the process of finding qualified project managers becomes simplified because the certification process alone communicates to the business that it can expect the PMM system to be implemented correctly.

By putting into place an external method of certification and measurement of excellence, the project manager career begins to take a high level of professionalism similar to in the legal and medical fields.  So the PMM movement represents a maturing of the IT and project management disciplines as they move toward greater levels of accountability and control.

The dangers come in implementation of the PMM methodology on a project by project basis.  In order for a PMM certified manager to live by his credentials, all projects must conform to a standard mold.  The unique nature of each project may not easily fit into the PMM process of systematization.

In addition, the PMM system is heavily dependent on a large amount of meetings to document that the project is adhering to standards and a methodical documentation process from which there is little room for variation or accommodation.  The PMM is a complex methodology so the tool sets that must be used to track the process can be expensive and difficult to use.

The outcome is that the introduction of the PMM system can cause the actual business objectives of the project to take on a secondary priority to the high standards of PMM itself.  Project leaders working under the requirements of the PMM can become more accountable to the methodology itself and lose sight of what is good for the business or what is efficient in terms of getting the project completed.

There is very little room for creativity or individual judgment within the confines of the PMM and that is problematic because the nature of business problems have historically depended on the judgment and creative problem solving skills of middle management.  By dominating the project process with the needs of the PMM methodology, excessive cost is introduced as well as cumbersome requirements that do not benefit the business or the project itself.

A Hidden Gold Mine In Every Sales Business

In many companies, most of the company seems to operate by a completely different set of rules and communicate in a different language than those the IT or computer services sector of the sales business in knightsbridge.  This division is somewhat artificial and partially maintained by the IT people themselves because of a certain culture technical people have about their specialized knowledge and application areas.  But at heart, those strange people down in IT have the same goals as every other business person which is to succeed both personally and corporately in shared projects.

But those of us on the business side of the corporate landscape depend on the computer folks to let us know how things are going with that highly valuable asset that we have in our IT systems, hardware and software.  Most medium to large businesses run very high capacity computers or multitudes of computers connected through a network and those systems must perform at top capacity each day to accomplish the goals of the business.

The upgrade and maintenance budgets for the computers that run your sales business no doubt represents a fairly sizable percentage of the corporate budget each year.  But because those systems are what make you competitive in the marketplace, that investment is worth the money to assure that the mission critical jobs those powerful systems do get done on time each week and month.

When a computer begins to show signs of straining under the load of work, we are giving it, that can be a cause of significant concern for a business.  If your business paradigm dictates that the load of traffic or system resources could be pushed to beyond what the computers can do with their existing computing power, that weakness in the IT infrastructure represents a significant risk to the company should the system become overloaded when there is a large body of work to be done by these machines.

What not every business sales person knows is that there may be a hidden goldmine of computing capacity already resident in your IT resources that simply is not being tapped to its fullest.  You know that it isn’t uncommon for your IT professionals to report that your systems are at 80-90% capacity and must be upgraded to handle the next big increase in business.

That hidden goldmine is a discipline that has actually been around for quite sometime but is infrequently tapped in the modern business world.  That discipline is called “capacity planning”.  By implementing a capacity planning office and monitoring function, you can put the tools and the talent in place to precisely measure scientifically if your computer systems are at capacity of if there is just a need for system tuning or realignment of computing schedules to get more out of the systems you already own.

Recently a large oil company in the Midwest noted that many of its mission critical functions were being delayed in processing, seemingly because the computer systems were overloaded and in dire need of an expensive and time consuming upgrade.  Capacity planning measurements were taken and the system was diagnosed to determine what the real problem was and it was found that job priorities of new functions were not tuned to the load of the system at critical time frames.  The adjustments were made by talented systems administrators and the IT infrastructure continued to perform at top-notch capacity and the delays were eliminated with no additional hardware or upgrades needed.

By utilizing capacity planning software tools and enabling your IT team to take advantage of this highly scientific computer measurement and prediction method, the business can get the most out of its computer resources and use its knightsbridge corporate resources to further the business objectives of the company.  And that benefits everyone.

Making Money From The Inside Out IN Knightsbridge

It is a well-understood axiom of the business world that there are two ways to improve the bottom line of the business.  Stated simply, those two ways are to make money or to cut costs.  Now no business can cost cut their way to profitability.  But by the same token, waste and excessive internal costs for any business can eat away any profits that business is enjoying.  So to get ahead in a competitive business environment, both methods must be employed.

When a business turns its eye to cost cutting, there is a stated or unstated business objective that the business owners will discover significant bleeding of revenues that are going on within the systems of doing business.  So if those systems can be improved to eliminate that waste, the business would literally make money from the inside out because the overhead of the business would drop so dramatically.

The usual progress of such a cost saving campaign by a business is to find “the low hanging fruit” first.  By that we mean that in order to satisfy the demands of management, middle management will identify superficial savings in hopes of satisfying the requirement.  Hence switching from disposable cups to mugs or cutting back on break room amenities often go on the chopping block first.

Sadly, while there may be some superficial savings to be found in such places, the significant introduction of efficiencies for any business lie at a deeper level and take a more in-depth process of locating problems with how things get done internally.  The methodology of finding these “money pits” within a business is often called “Process Improvement.”  The concept of process improvement is to diagram a particular business process from inception to completion and document the stages it goes through, the handing over of authority for the process and to pin point places where inefficient methods are causing excessive cost in executing that process en route to the final stage of process completion.

Routinely, the areas of business structure that most often identified as being candidates for a process improvement examination are…

*    Excessive overhead between departments.  Departments within a business are notorious for taking on the atmosphere of a fiefdom and becoming resistant if not suspicious of other departments in the same company.  When that happens, department managers will introduce paperwork and unnecessary processing to cause “work” to move to his or her department from another or for completed jobs to continue along their path.  This excessive overhead can be costly at the department level and bog down the business as a unit enough to actually reduce the profitability of the organization.

*    Communication problems.  A business process moves through the organization as each department or entity adds value to the process through to the completion of the job.  However if communications between departments or people along the process chain are flawed, a process can grind to a halt and wait for hours if not days before the missed communication is discovered and the work is put into the cycle to be completed.  This slow down or break down in communications can be a tremendous drain on the company.  To correct the problem, modern tools of communication should be reviewed so each significant person along the chain is quickly made aware of work that needs to be done and can signal to the next agent that their step is complete and that the process is moving to the next stage.

*    An inefficient IT infrastructure. Out of date computer programs that are not integrated with each other cause needless work to be done to take data from one system and moving it into the next computer program only to be entered again at the next stop along the chain.  Standardization and integration of data and systems will introduce huge efficiencies to the process.

By streamlining the process of moving a business requirement from inception to conclusion, we can remove much of the inefficiency and waste that has become inherent to that process.  We can introduce up to date integration designs both at the IT and process level to quickly move the process from one department to the next upon completion.   The outcome is a streamlined organisation that is no longer “bleeding money” due to inefficiencies and as such is making money “from the inside out”.

Looking For Cheese In Business Sales

Every now and then a business book comes along that revolutionaries how the business world views an area of focus.  One such book had the amusing title “Who Moved my Cheese” by Spencer Johnson.  This short book that is illustrated like a children’s story has some profound ideas in it that will radically change how any business approaches the marketplace in business sales.  It is a book that has had his biggest impact in helping employees who have been displaced view their job change.  But the ideas that are made simple in “Who Moved my Cheese” can impact virtually every area of business dealings.

The book communicates its message through a story of a mouse who finds that the place where he can find his cheese is no longer reliable.  The mouse’s friend continues to go to that same place to find more cheese only to continue to get hungrier and hungrier.  But the hero of the story finds the new location of his cheese.  When he finds his new source of cheese, he not only is astounded by the bounty but that even after telling his friend of the new source of cheese, that friend continues to insist that his cheese will be there where it always had been before and that in fact, the hero of our story is mistaken about the new location of cheese.

This, obviously, is not a tale about cheese location.  It is a parable of how to handle change.  The core value being taught by “Who Moved my Cheese” is that we cannot always look to the same resource for our supply.  Markets dry up, businesses go through slumps and have to lay good people off and revenue streams change.

But one thing is for sure.  There is always a new reservoir of funding somewhere in some market.  And the wise business can foresee a change in the marketplace well in advance and make the changes they need to make so that they go where the money is, or move with the cheese to find the new source of rich funding and tap into it.

It is more than just a parable about looking for a new job.  But it sheds light on the plight of the unemployed.  So often someone who loses their job gets stuck in a mental cycle of waiting for their old job to hire them back or looking for an identical job in a very similar industry.  However, if that industry is under economic pressure or if the business paradigm for that industry has changed dramatically, there may no longer be rich sources of funding and employment availability there that was once so reliable.  In short, the cheese has moved.

This lesson has rich wisdom in business beyond the employment scenario.  The businesses who have learned to be adaptable in a changing marketplace  in knightsbridge and have made the changes to follow the changes to the new source of “cheese” are the businesses that survive decade after decade.  The grocery industry has seen that kind of change.  Many grocery chains went belly up waiting for the cheese to come back to the old paradigm.  But others saw the invasion of the big discount stores such as Wal-Mart and found ways to combat that change, to find new niches in the industry where an untapped market need existed or to compete in the new business paradigm.  Other industries where such dramatic changes have forced businesses to find out who moved their cheese are the record industry and the book sales business environment that have been so heavily impacted by internet sales.

But those businesses have survived.  And if they can be aggressive and adapt and change with the markets, it’s a good example for all of us as we continue to look for the new source of “cheese”.

Small Business Sales Building 7 Tips To Reconcile Dreams With Reality

One of the themes that run through my teleclass, Believe! How to Work With Your Beliefs to Grow a Prosperous and Meaningful Business, is the tension between the creative power of thought and resource-depleting habits of wishful thinking. I offer the following 7 Reality Checks to help you reconcile your dreams with reality so that you can build your dream into a thriving business.

1. In spite of your best intentions you will make mistakes. To the best of your ability, which may sometimes be slim, welcome these occasions as an opportunity to let go of perfectionism. Pause to review your offer to your clients. Are you positioning yourself as a know-it-all or as a responsive partner and learner? Are you putting yourself on a pedestal? Reflect on the distinctions among honesty, reliability, and perfection. Meditate on the difference between apology and accountability. Muse on the difference between significance and integrity.

2. Things go “wrong.” I put “wrong” in quotes because stumbling blocks teach me things I need to know in order to serve and thrive. Hey, I’d rather learn without failing too, but however the lesson happens, there you are. Every time you look with humility and trust for your personal lesson, you are helping to create the possible dream. (Note: Sometimes the lesson is simply to let go of your idea of what should have happened. Lessons are not code for “There’s something wrong with you.”)

3. Not everyone wants or needs what you have. That’s good news because odds are that you can’t respond to every one anyway. Cultivate the courage, integrity, and clarity to listen deeply to prospective clients and decline to work with those whom you are not ideally suited to serve. Ask questions, especially scary ones (Can you afford this? Do you have any reservations? What will it take for this to be a good investment for you?). Ask first; sell later. Actually, when you do this, the selling takes care of itself. That’s the premise behind coach Kendall SummerHawk’s tape series, What to Say When You Hate to Sell.

4. Humbly welcome opportunities to profit. I did not have Kendall’s tapes in mind when I wrote the item above, but they are a perfect fit, so I was happy to include the link to her work (in the article version placed on my site.). Will I profit if you buy them? Yes,

5. Customers have bad days, too. Some times they’re going to take it out on you. That doesn’t mean you have to slink home licking your wounds, nor does it you get to strike back. It certainly doesn’t mean you have to accept abuse. When you feel unfairly used, take a few deep breaths, notice what you wish were different, and remember that we’re all human. Maybe it’s time to do some boundary maintenance. Are you pretending that you need to please everyone or that everyone needs to like you in order for you to thrive? Look to yourself, not because you are to blame, but because you are the only one whose behavior you can manage. (Customers are always right where they are.)

6. Sometimes whole systems go wrong or you find out too late that a new project was not quite ready for prime time. (Just ask me.) At times like this you get to practice being available and responsive to customer needs while also taking care of yourself. Sometimes you won’t (yet) know how to solve or resolve the problem and you may resent the time you’re using to reassure clients instead of getting things on track. BREATHE. Learn to say, “I don’t know and I do care and I will get back to you as soon as I can.” Practice saying it with dignity, conviction, and patience. Take some time to wonder what you would need to believe in order for all of this to feel right and true.

7. Owning a business can be isolating. Many entrepreneurs are natural soloists. That doesn’t mean we don’t need or want support, though we may be the last to realize it. Spend some time wondering why other people might want you to thrive. Let your imagination run free as you speculate on what kinds of collaboration could work for you. Turn your complaints about networking into dreams of your ideal support system. What would your business look and feel like if you knew you did not have to have it all together because there was lots of help at hand?

The secrets to creating the possible dream are all related to accepting what is, which includes accepting the support that is everywhere around you and accepting your own desire to build a business that adds real value in the world and allows you to thrive. Some days it will be easier than others to believe that reality and your dream can co-exist. But if you persist with humility, passion, and trust, your dream will teach you how it wants to be made real. I know because my own dream teaches me every day.