Business Insider.com 17 Sept 12 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
Who is Richard Branson? Well, he started his first business – a Student Newspaper – at 16, and at 20 Virgin Records, and he hasn’t looked back since. He’s the only entrepreneur to have successful companies in 8 different industries — and he did it all without a degree in business. “Had I pursued my education long enough to learn all the conventional “do’s & don’ts” of starting a business, I often wonder how different my life & career might have been. Who knows if or when I would have started? We’ve compiled some of the best tips from his latest book.
1. Don’t do it if you don’t Enjoy it. Running a business takes a lot of blood, sweat, & tears (+ caffeine). But at the end of the day, you should be building something you will be proud of. “When I started Virgin Records – from a basement in west London – there was no great plan or strategy. I didn’t set out to build a business empire. For me, building a business is all about doing something you enjoy, can be proud of, bring talented people together & create something that’s going to make a real difference to other people’s lives.”
2. Be Visible. Branson received some timeless advice when building Virgin Airlines from Sir Freddie Laker, a British airline Tycoon. “Make sure you appear on the front page, and not the back pages,” said Laker. “You are going to have to get out there and sell yourself. Make a fool of yourself, whatever it takes. Otherwise, you won’t survive”. Branson always makes a point of traveling often and meeting as many people as he can. This, he says, is how he came by some of the best suggestions and ideas for his business.
3. Choose your Name wisely. The unique name & brand that Virgin employs, is one of the things that has made the company a success. Branson makes sure that the name ‘Virgin’ represents added value, improved service, & a fresh approach. Branson says that he is asked all the time about the origin of the Virgin name, back when Virgin was just starting. “One night, I was chatting with a group of sixteen-year-old girls over a few drinks about a name for his record business,” he says. “A bunch of ideas were bounced around, then, as we were all new to business, someone suggested Virgin. It smacked of new & fresh and at the time the word was still slightly risqué, so, thinking it would be an attention-grabber, we went with it.”
4. You can’t run a Business w/out taking Risks. Branson thinks of one of his favorite sayings when advising about taking business risks: “‘The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all!’” Every business involves risks. Be prepared to get knocked down, says Branson, but success rarely comes from playing it safe. You may fail, but Branson also dares to point out that “there’s no such thing as a total failure.”
[ 5. The 1st Impression, 6. Perfection is un-attainable, 7. The Customer is always right, 8. Define your Brand, 9. Explore un-charted Territory, 10. Beware of “Us vs. Them”, in Premium Content ]