Richard Branson: Advice For Entrepreneurs

Richard Branson: Advice For Entrepreneurs
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Since Branson founded Virgin in 1970, the company has grown from a small record outlet to a global powerhouse. Can the brand continue its success without him?

Question: What is your advice for entrepreneurs? Richard Branson:  I think the most important thing about running a company is to remember all the time what a company is.  A company is simply a group of people. And as a leader of people you have to be a great listener and you have to be a great motivator.  You have to be very good at praising and looking for the best in people.  People are no different from flowers.  If you water flowers they flourish, if you praise people they flourish. And that is a critical attribute of a leader. Question: What has been the most difficult part about running Virgin?Richard Branson:  There is a very thin dividing line between success and failure.  Most people who set off in business without financial backing they fail at some times in their lives. I’ve only just stayed at the right side of that dividing line.  For instance, just after…  You know we had a record company.  I was fed up flying on other people’s airlines.  I felt that the experience of flying on other people’s airlines was an unpleasant one and I decided to set up an airline.  Well our bank went into a complete panic attack and when I came back from doing the inaugural flight of Virgin Atlantic’s very, very first flight from London to New York I came back to find the bank manager sitting on my doorstep and informing me that they were going to close Virgin down on the Monday and this was the Friday and that I had two days to effectively pay them off the monies that they’d loaned us and I remember pushing the bank manager out of my house, telling him he wasn’t welcome, which is a dangerous thing to do to your bank manager and then spending the weekend ringing around the world to all of the distributors of our music asking if they could give us a temporary loan to get us through the following week, which they were good enough to do and by the end of the week we had changed banks and we actually managed to find a bank that was willing to lend us 30 times the overdraft facility that our bank had lent us and we managed to survive. And I think the moral of that story is actually don’t think of your bank as somebody that you’re beholden to.  I mean don’t…  You know people just don’t move from one bank to another.  Sometimes you need to be willing to step up and move your banks in the same way that you should step up and move your doctor on occasions and anyway, I learned from that lesson. Question: Can Virgin continue to be successful without you?Richard Branson: Virgin does work very well without me.  I mean I use myself to build the brand, to build the sort of three or four hundred companies around the world, but I also learned the art of delegation.  I have a fantastic team of people who run the Virgin companies, give them a lot of freedom to run the companies as if they were their own companies.  I give them the freedom to make mistakes and the Virgin brand is now maybe one of the top 20 brands in the world, well respected. And when my balloon bursts Virgin will continue to flourish. And maybe I add the icing on the cake on occasions, maybe they’ll have to spend a bit more money on marketing, but fortunately Virgin is in a state where it can live on healthily without me. Recorded September 22, 2010 Interviewed by Victoria Brown

25 thoughts on “Richard Branson: Advice For Entrepreneurs

  • January 24, 2017 at 6:34 am

    A company is a group of people? Last time I checked a company is an entity itself. The person or group of people who started a company skip off into the sunset if the company can’t pay it’s debts any more, because the company owes the money and not the person or group of people. If someone dies as a result of bad company policy, the company is fined and the directors get no criminal record, because the company committed the crime.

  • February 14, 2017 at 7:16 am

    i think when virgin mobile launched in INDIA,the idea that people get paid 4 incoming calls was awesome.

  • February 14, 2017 at 11:34 am

    Interesting stories, from a big man. Good job Virgin, Richard and his team. 😉

  • March 6, 2017 at 11:30 pm

    No job for someone with a massive brain with turbo charged processing power, and genius level abilities, the cognitive dissonance of taking orders from an inferior person may cause mental health issues. So you start companies.

    Employees are not healthy and are poorly paid at any organization, they function as mercenaries in fact, moving around at the whim of an employer like a soldier. Try to avoid that and own the means of production. Because the robots don’t talk all day, they don’t talk at all or sleep or complain, spouting madness because their cheeseburger is under cooked or something about healthcare or rights, like the average prole worker slave.

  • March 12, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    Lots of great advice! As a previous owner of a failed business he’s right! there are struggles and there are losses! and sometimes great success!

  • April 2, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    send me what u can send

  • April 5, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    Did Sir Richard Branson say: ” people are no different from fly’s…”
    ? Or did he say something else and I heard wrong ?

  • April 24, 2017 at 11:52 am

    Mmmm…….you are cute, but are you as cute as me? Would you like to invest in me?

  • April 28, 2017 at 3:56 am

    I’ve noticed that a lot of Entrepreneurs whom make it big build teams because they know no man or woman is an island. It’s almost impossible for solopreneurs to compete with full teams. This one person attempting to wear all of the hats aren’t able to give each position the attention it needs. The “Jack Of All Trades, Master Of None” route is a rough one.

  • April 30, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    Hypocrite Airline Owner Richard Branson Marches With Climate Change Protesters

     Cristina Laila Apr 29th, 2017 6:34pm

     Billionaire and airline owner, Richard Branson participated in the ‘climate change’
    protest with his BFF Al Gore today because owning an airline is such a
    great way to show how serious you are about having a small carbon

    The New York Times reported on Al Gore and Richard Branson rubbing elbows with the commoners at this protest:

     The marchers in Washington included Hollywood celebrities
    and stars of the political left like former Vice President Al Gore and
    the business magnate Richard Branson. The front of their ranks, though,
    was reserved for ordinary people: the immigrants, indigenous people,
    laborers, coastal dwellers and children, who organizers say are most
    vulnerable to the effects of a changing climate.

     I wonder if Al Gore did his usual–drive to the tarmac in a limousine
    to hop on a private jet so he could lecture the world on reducing carbon
    footprints by not flying in airplanes or using washers and dryers.

    Hypocrite airline owner @RichardBranson embarrasses himself at the LA #PeoplesClimateMarch

  • June 1, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    here is a tip don’t use Virgin banks, it’s the worst experience ever

  • June 5, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    Branson is not nice. He is currently suing the NHS in Britain, so he can take over contracts handed out by our Tory government. We pay National Insurance for free healthcare here and this evil monster is trying to undo what Aneurin Bevan set up decades ago. The visionary set up free healthcare for all U.K. citizens, so that we don’t have to go begging outside Wal Mart for money for brain surgery etc. I know, I’ve been over the pond and witnessed this. If anyone in the U.K. is reading this, then you must vote tactically on June the 8th, or else we will all lose our National Health Service. Vote the Tories out.

  • June 8, 2017 at 10:00 am

    Good video. We have some modules about entrepeneurship as well, with different kind of subjects you might be interested in.

  • June 17, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    Good! I think a lot of people can apply this to succeed.

  • June 19, 2017 at 3:21 am

    Imagine Richard and Elon creating some Virgin to Mars space Extravaganza MFG!!!

  • June 21, 2017 at 10:05 am

    what he is saying is so true and his story is so inspiring and makes me feel interested and what I should do if this happens to me. I like people like him because you never have people like that in the world.

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