Marks 5 top tips to build a successful business
1: Always have integrity and honesty and act for the Customers best interest
2: Have curiosity – ask ‘why?’
3: Look to take opportunities wherever possible as they will invariably be positive (and often surprising)
4: Build relationships constantly, and don’t ever underestimate anybody’s value – you likely don’t know who they used to be, who they will go on to be, or who they know
5: Persevere. This takes commitment and persistence. But persevere.
Featuring Mark Tomlinson from WPA Healthcare Practice
NAME: Mark Tomlinson Cert CII
BUSINESS NAME: WPA Healthcare Practice
CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org or 07771 886189
1 - HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN YOUR CURRENT BUSINESS?
I started working with WPA as a Healthcare Partner (Account Manager) in September 2010, having finished 27 years in Banking (TSB and Lloyds TSB). I have been a Senior Partner for the last four years, reflecting my levels of knowledge and experience, and now help to run the South West Region for WPA, including mentoring six other Healthcare Partners.
2 - WHAT WAS GREAT ABOUT LAST YEAR FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
Same as what is great every year – seeing Members whose lives are immeasurably better because they have access to the Private Health Sector in the UK as well as the NHS. Health Insurance provides Control and Choice and I can therefore enable Members to take responsibility for their healthcare for themselves and their family. The thanks and testimonials are always the best bit.
3 - WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THE COMING YEAR? –
1) I have grown the Member base that I look after to around 2200 Members over the last ten years, and given that we lose around 10% per year (mostly through unavoidable reasons such as Group Leavers etc.) my first aim is to help enough new Members into WPA to maintain my portfolio.
2) Ensure that I contact every Policyholder or Scheme Coordinator in the month or so before their WPA anniversary to ensure they know their benefits and how to review.
3) Complete another year without any complaints into WPA H/O about me or the service I provide (10 out of 10 years so far)
4 - WHAT IS THE BEST THING YOU HAVE DONE IN YOUR BUSINESS THAT YOU CONTINUE TO DO?
Networking – As a Not For Profit Provident Association WPA don’t advertise so building positive relationships with individuals and companies is essential (and I enjoy – hence my CAP Membership)
5 - WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ATTRIBUTE FOR A BUSINESS TO HAVE? –
Integrity and Honesty. 100%.
6 - WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST ACHIEVMENT TO DATE?
I was WPA’s ‘Healthcare Partner Of The Year’ for 2018 – out of c.80 HPs nationally.
This is partly Peer Nominated/Voted (to get the Regional award) and then H/O decide which of the 4 Regional HPs most deserves the National award (principally for Member Support)
7 - WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO LEARN THAT WOULD HELP YOUR BUSINESS?
Still improving in lots of areas, but I guess fuller use of LinkedIn could be extremely helpful
8 - WHAT MISTAKES HAVE YOU MADE, OTHERS COULD LEARN FROM?
Lots – especially in my first three/four years (nothing too significant thankfully). And hopefully others do through my Mentoring of Healthcare Partner colleagues in the SouthWest especially those in their first two years.
9 - WHAT KIND OF BUSINESS CONTACT WOULD HELP YOUR BUSINESS?
I am very open-minded about business contacts – and generally like to build relationships with as many contacts as possible. It isn’t just about helping my business though, it’s just as much about helping others. I very much believe in ‘Pay It Forward’ and that’s always served me well.
10 - CAN YOU RECOMMEND ANY MOTIVATIONAL BOOKS THAT HAVE HELPED YOU?
Controversial Opinion – I tend to not read Motivational Books (although I did like aspects of Stephen Covey’s ‘7 Habits Of Highly Effective People’ when I was in Banking)
11 - WHAT WOULD BE YOUR NO1 WISH IF YOU HAD A GENIE? –
#bekind became a reality for all rather than a Social Media soundbite
12 - WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BEST CAP BUSINESS CLUBS EXPERIENCE TO DATE? –
I was in CAP Business Club ‘real world’ for several years – joining in the first few weeks and only finishing when the two and a half hour weekly round trip became impractical due to my work pressures – so it was brilliant to be invited to rejoin the Online Wednesday Club when it launched Summer 2020. Terrific to be back! (and thanks to Paul for leading such great business clubs).
Mark was highly responsive. He didn’t try to ‘sell’ to us. We were very impressed and his supportive approach strongly influenced our decision to choose WPA
Excellent service from our WPA contact, Mark Tomlinson. Always takes time to listen and understand. The head office support team have been incredible too. My husband had to have major back surgery, a spinal fusion. The whole process was covered for us, including private follow up physio with a fantastic hospital that had a team of experts. Without our WPA medical care, He was looking at a potential two year wait for the procedure, by which time he would have had life changing consequences. The flexibility in going private meant we could plan everything, around what was ultimately best for his outcome and also our family, and running our business. Thank you WPA
Having used WPA to set up a healthcare policy for me and my family, I began recommending them to my clients. I just pick up the phone to Mark, who is quick, efficient and professional.
We were looking for a healthcare package which our team could make real use of. Mark restored our faith in healthcare providers - his experience, commitment and the fact he truly cares about his customers convinced us WPA was the right choice. Mark's advice ensured we made the most of the flexibility of the WPA Health Cashplan allowing us to offer each member of our team (+ their families) over £1000 of benefits for a fraction of the cost. Win-win-win all round!
Mark has advised me on the health care products of WPA in a non-pressured way and took his time to ensure all my questions and concerns were answered. Nothing was too much hassle for Mark and after I agreed to buy the plan the post-sale service was very fast and efficient. I would have no hesitation in recommending Mark's services to anybody.