This is a guest post by William Shelby.
When it comes to super successful business men and women of the modern era, there are few names that hold quite the same status and sway as Richard Branson. His is the story of a man who succeeded against the odds and against expectations and who managed to absolutely dominate in a whole range of industries and fields while maintaining a great sense of style and personality throughout it all.
There are countless lessons you can learn from a guy like that, and all of us in business could afford to be a bit more like him. Here then we will look at some of the top lessons that we should learn from his tale.
Anyone Can Do It
The first moral of Richard Branson’s story is simple – don’t assume you can’t succeed. Branson is famous for having dropped out of education with little in the way of qualifications, and yet he definitively proved that you don’t necessarily need to be highly academic to make your millions. As long as you have vision and the right attitude, there’s no reason you can’t be just as successful.
Build An Invincible and Resilient Business Model
There is no business model quite like the Virgin one. When you think about it, Virgin is a company that does everything and nothing. While you can easily say that Microsoft makes software and Nike makes sports wear, Virgin seems to do pretty much everything and the only thing tying it all together is the brand.
Branson likens this to the Roman Empire and suggests that it’s a structure that can’t be beaten. No single catastrophe or broken market is going to take down Virgin because cutting off one ‘head’ will only see two more grow to take its place. It’s this kind of powerful design that can ensure a business stands the test of time and can thrive in any scenario.
Delivery is Crucial
In his book ‘Business Stripped Bare’, Richard discusses the importance of delivery in offering a well-rounded product. He explains that delivery doesn’t just mean sending parcels, but basically means the way in which you provide the service or product. This is one of the best chances you have to distinguish yourself, and one of the best ways you can give your customers that extra bit of satisfaction that will ensure they are pleased with the overall experience. Go the extra mile in your presentation and delivery, and your customers will reward you with their loyalty.
Give Your Business Personality
As a general rule Virgin has a good reputation among the general public and is thought of as being ‘youthful’, ‘fun’ and ‘hip’. There are countless examples of how Virgin accomplishes this – from the initially controversial name itself, to their advertising which is always sexy and self-aware.
Better yet though is the way they handle a myriad of situations. Take the example of when people were stealing the salt and pepper pots in flights for instance. The company could have reacted by making them out of cardboard or just using sachets instead to save money, but rather they decided to just print ‘stolen from Virgin’ on the bottom. This was a fun way to say that they didn’t really mind people taking them, but also served as a great way for them to promote their brand.
The fact that Richard Branson himself is so active in the media and present in so much of his advertising is in itself a good business move too. Virgin has personality because Virgin is Richard Branson. And people like Rich!
Reach for the Stars
While Branson has achieved much in the world of business, perhaps the most incredible thing he’s doing is to take on the stars. Privatising space flight is such an incredibly ambitious project, and it’s one that will have huge benefits for the world in the long run while ensuring that Branson’s name is remembered in the history books. He is quite literally reaching for the stars.
The point is that businesses shouldn’t just be about making money, but should be about changing the world. If you approach your business goals with that attitude then you really can’t fail and you will really fulfil your potential.
Author Bio: William Shelby is a successful entrepreneur and writer. He has published many books related to business and technology. He is also the owner of a leading business blog. He says even though he is not a huge fan of Richard Branson, he still admires his business acumen and success. He thinks investing in hydraulic railroad tools is a great idea.
- Sir Richard Branson image courtesy of D@LY3D via photopin cc
- Richard Branson with cards image courtesy of VirginMoney via Flickr
- Richard Branson with large cards image courtesy of VirginMoney via Flickr
- Richard Branson book image courtesy of LifeSupercharger (John Liu) via Flickr
- space shuttle image courtesy of San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives (SDASM Archives) via Flickr
- night sky image courtesy of makelessnoise (Brian) via Flickr