Richard Branson

Richard Branson is, in my mind, considered a celebrity because of his successful multiple business ventures.  He has also played cameo spots in several movies.  But, no one can deny that his Virgin Empire is doing something correct, which is why I chose to feature him. – Genie

Mr Branson has many different types of business under the header of the Virgin group, which is more than 400 companies.  He dropped out of high school and started Virgin Records initially.  He has since then developed Virgin into a brand.  He started the business as a mail-order record business which eventually developed into the Virgin Megastores.  During the time of the Megastores, he also founded Virgin Atlantic, the airline company in 1984.  In 1999, he established Virgin Mobile.  He entered what he considered a risky business by starting Virgin Trains which won franchises of British Rail.

His airline has also acquired other European/African airlines and rebranded the Virgin group. He signed a deal in 2004 under a new space tourism company, Virgin Galactic, to take paying passengers into suborbital space.  He is also forming Virgin Fuels which is tasked with finding a cleaner-burning alternative fuel for vehicles and jets.  There is also a Virgin Racing team which has not made a big splash, but they are trying to develop a less “dirty” fuel for the Formula One Racing.   Lastly, Branson has interests in a drone company, 3DRobotics.

Branson has also diverged interests and created Virgin Comics and Virgin Animation which is an entertainment company focused on creating new stories and characters for a global audience.

In the healthcare sector, Branson established Virgin Health Bank which offers umbilical cord blood stem cells in private and public stem-cell banks. Virgin Care has been contracted by the local primary care trust and is in charge of 230 locations.

Top 7 Tips to be a Successful Leader of Your Business – Richard Branson

  1. Be Visible – continually interact with your employees asking how they feel they can better interact and serve customers. Interact with your customers, asking how their experience was and how you can better serve them.  Keep notes in a dedicated notebook.
  2. Express a passionate commitment to serving the customer. You want to give them an experience and superior service they cannot get anywhere else.
  3. Your company’s employees are your greatest asset. How your employees interact with your customers will make or break your company.  And how owners and managers interact with employees will set the tone for how employees interact with customers.
  4. Hire people who have the attitude you want. Seek to find people who are friendly, helpful, and optimistic.
  5. Empower your employees to solve problems and make every experience great. And when your employees are able to do this, praise them publically so they know how much you appreciate their efforts.
  6. Engage with Social Media with a genuine voice. If you are the head of your company, you need to be engaging with your customers through social media and not task it to a subordinate.
  7. Have Fun! Do not take yourself too seriously.

 

Business should be about more than just accumulation of money.  There should be a purpose behind your company, and the purpose can be defined by consulting with your staff and employees. Employees should have a voice in helping define the purpose of the company, whether is it to better the human condition or better the environment.  Businesses should implement an environment of sustainability, whatever that means for your business. Some ideas are changes to the HVAC, water use, electricity use, and waste use.  One of Branson’s quotes is “Don’t betray your dreams for the sake of fitting in.  Dreamers move the world forward”

More Richard Branson Quotes on Business

On Authenticity:

  1. “To me, business isn’t about wearing suits or pleasing stockholders. It’s about being true to yourself, your ideas, and focusing on the essentials.”

On Positivity:

  1. “My general attitude to life is to enjoy every minute of every day. I never do anything with a feeling of “Oh, God, I’ve got to do this today.”
  2. “A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.”

On Entrepreneurship:

  1. “Entrepreneurship is about turning what excites you in life into capital, so that you can do more of it and move forward with it.”
  2. “I believe that drudgery and clock watching are a terrible betrayal of that universal, inborn entrepreneurial spirit.”

On Caring:

  1. “Having a personality of caring about people is important. You can’t be a good leader unless you generally like people. That is how you bring out the best in them.”
  2. “A business is simply an idea to make other people’s lives better.”

On Challenges:

  1. “My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable challenges, and trying to rise above them.”
  2. “My biggest motivation? Just to keep challenging myself. I see life almost like one long university education that I never had–every day I’m learning something new.”

Summing Things Up:

  1. “Above all, you want to create something you’re proud of. This has always been my philosophy of business. I can honestly say that I have never gone into any business purely to make money. If that is the sole motive, then I believe you are better off not doing it.”
  2. “I don’t think of work as work and play as play. It’s all living.”

Inc. Magazine (http://www.inc.com/jeremy-goldman/11-richard-branson-quotes-to-encourage-fulfillment-at-work.html)

 

Non-profit Efforts

Branson launched an investment partnership called the Breakthrough Energy Coalition whose goal is to propel new energy technologies through commercialization.  This coalition is working with a growing group of companies to make sustainable energy a reality.  Mr. Branson’s non-profit, Virgin Unite, will be looking to help bring solar and wind energy to Africa and beyond in the form of mini-grids to power rural villages.  Branson is helping to increase investment in renewable energy to help lower greenhouse gases world-wide and to eventually replace the again nuclear, coal, and gas power plants.

Sources: Wikipedia, www.virgin.com