Would you be willing to listen to advice dropping from the lips of a guy that regularly makes the Forbes billionaire list and holds the esteemed position of 4th wealthiest citizen in the United Kingdom?
If your answer is yes…read on!
Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson is best known for his Virgin Group of companies including Virgin Megastores (Virgin Records) and Virgin Atlantic Airways. His estimated net worth is $4.2 billion.
Branson built his extensive empire using five core principles.
If you don’t enjoy it, don’t do it. You must love what you do. Branson loves his work – the challenges of entering new markets, creating new products and extending the Virgin brand energizes him. You must have a similar passion to fuel your business.
Be innovative: This is a must if you want to build a business that really succeeds. Branson innovates when he enters a new market. For example, his Virgin airlines is pioneering the large, luxury focused air transportation – the Airbus A380 a revolutionary, state of the art aircraft is his latest example of this effort.
Your employees are your best asset. Happy employees make for happy customers. This is probably the most important aspect of successful business building. Employees that are motivated and customer – focused drive the bottom-line. Branson believes that the correct order of priority for a CEO is employees first, customers next and then shareholders.Employees are the face of your company and they must embody your branding message and care for your customers. Branson regularly shows his appreciation for employees through perks such as an employees only Virgin card that offers significant discounts to them at all of Virgin’s properties.
Lead by listening: Get feedback from your staff and customers on a regular basis. Branson spends about 60% of his time on the road meeting with employees and customers of his companies. So he is continually on the road, visiting Virgin businesses, talking with employees and customers. Mr. Branson is known for his note-taking during meetings with his employees and customers. He believes that learning their needs is the critical element in his role as chairman and writing those things down creates an action list for immediate response.
Be visible: Market the company and its offers by putting yourself or a senior person in front of the cameras. Mr. Branson has long considered himself to be an introvert yet he embraces the act of being the face of the Virgin empire. He believes that people like to deal with people not faceless corporations. By being at the forefront Branson is able to infuse the company with his personality and put forth the image that Virgin is a cool organization to both do business with and work for.
These five principles seem somewhat simplistic when compared to the more complex ideas touted by today’s popular business gurus, yet these principles are proven as they’ve enabled Branson to build an incredibly successful business that was conceived in the 1960’s.
Mr. Branson has provided a blueprint for business success – think about how you can make it work in your business. The following tips will help you do that -
1. You have one life to live. Use it up doing things that make you feel enthusiastic about getting up every morning, because you’ll give the best of yourself and have the greatest success.
2. You’re not a blade of grass, indistinguishable from every other blade of grass in the lawn. You are a thinking, creative being with unique qualities. Your uniqueness is what adds spice to the world, so let it out. What makes you show up in a crowd is what will put you on the map.
3. Happy employees are the greatest marketing team on earth, because they offer the best customer care. Customers develop loyalty to your brand based on the relationships they develop with the employees representing your company. Even if the product screws up, they will still buy from you because of the excellent service they receive.
4. Keeping your finger on the pulse of everything to do with your business is smart, really smart. Do surveys by the hundreds. The results will give you the precise data you need to tweak your products and services to serves the needs of your market.
5. Promote, promote, promote. They won’t buy from you if they don’t know you exist. Put as much time into this as everything else combined. Make your company as familiar to your market as sunshine in Florida.
Mr. Branson has provided fledgling business owners with some basic principles for success – if applied properly, they’ll help you create a successful business – maybe even something as big or even bigger than Virgin.
What do you think about the 5 rules? Let me know in the comments.