Richard Branson's top three tips for starting a successful business

Richard Branson, founder at Virgin Group, is a wildly successful business man, entrepreneur and thought leader. We will do well to listen to what he has to say when it comes to starting and running successful businesses. In his 2012 debut post as writer for linkedIn.com, Branson shared his top five tips for starting a successful business. Here are his top three tips for starting a successful business and one of our own bonus tip to help you establish a thriving business.

1. Listen more than you talk

The first of Branson's tips for starting a successful business emphasises on being a good listener. According to Branson, we have two ears and one mouth and we would do well to use them in proportion. "To be a good leader you have to be a good listener", says Branson. Brilliant ideas can come from the most unlikely of places.

In business, you need to always be on the lookout for shrewd advice. Keep your ear open for useful comments in board meetings and even look out for useful ideas in online forums. Ask your frontline staff for their opinion on different issues as often as you ask your top management staff. Reach out to people, draw them out, listen to what they have to say and learn from them.

2. Keep it different, but simple

To stand out and enhance your chances of establishing a successful business, you need to be radically different. According to Branson, different doesn’t mean complex. Some of the most successful businesses are unique and different in many ways, but they offer some of the most innovative and simple solutions to problems out there. This is what you should aim for in business.

3. Be proud of your work

Branson urges us to be proud of our work and celebrate the people who work around us. Reward those in your business that go the extra mile when dispensing their duties. Afford all the help you can to your staff and always strive to improve their working conditions and environment.

Remember your staff is your biggest brand advocate and when they take pride in their work and the company, it will shine through to your clients and business prospects and ultimately reflect in your profit margins.

Bonus tip

Our bonus tips for starting a successful business is this: test and measure every step of your business growth. You cannot identify a program, strategy or process that is pulling down your business if you are not fully testing, measuring and tracking every aspect of your business operations and growth.

Delve in there and get the baseline statistics of the heart rate, blood pressure and breathing of your new business operations. This will empower you to make correct diagnosis of your progress so far and implement appropriate remedial measures where necessary.

Oh; and, don’t forget to have lots of fun throughout the journey toward a successful business. Keep in mind Branson’s quip: “Have fun, [and] success will follow.”

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