The customer is always right, most of the time.
The customer is always right… unless they’re wrong. After all, they’re only human too. Your customers’ opinions are important, but “you should not build your customer service system on the premise that your organisation will never question the whims of your clients,” says Branson.
Branson warns that many entrepreneurs think if they provide ‘the-customer-is-always-right’ service that it will improve their businesses. This is only sometimes true. Beware not to damage relationships with customers or staff with your customer service policies.
Define your brand.
When it comes to defining your brand, Branson advises entrepreneurs to do the opposite of what he did with Virgin, which is spreading out all over the place. And while it’s true that Virgin branches into many different industries, Branson says the company is actually quite focused on one thing: “finding new ways to help people have a good time.”
Stick to what you know. Underpromise and overdeliver. Because if you don’t define your brand, your competitors will.
Explore uncharted territory.
Branson compares exploring new territory in business to exploring new territory in science or geography. “We will find new species and better understand the make-up of the deep-level waters,” he says.
Business translation: There are still many things out there that haven’t been discovered, invented, achieved. Exploring little- or uncharted areas can spark new ideas and innovations.
Beware the “us vs. them” environment.
A workplace should be one in which the boss and his or her employees communicate well and work together toward the same goal. “If employees aren’t associating themselves with their company by using ‘we’, it is a sign that people up and down the chain of command aren’t communicating,” says Branson.
If you think there might be discrepancies or tension between employees and management, Branson advises to check with the middle management first to try to uncover the source of the problem and address it head-on.
Build a corporate comfort zone.
Employees must feel free and encouraged to openly express themselves without rigid confines so they can do better work and make good, impactful decisions.
“This may sound like a truism,” begins Branson, “But it has to be said: It takes an engaged, motivated and committed workforce to deliver a first-class product or service and build a successful, sustainable enterprise.”
Not everyone is suited to be CEO.
A manager needs to be someone who “brings out the best in people,” someone who communicates well with others and helps an employee learn from a mistake instead of criticizing them for it.
Not everyone does this well, and that’s okay. The founder can but doesn’t have to be the CEO; if the fit isn’t right, he or she should know when the role is meant for someone else.
And, just like last week, we think one more success tip that Mr. Branson should have added is that to boost the chances of success for your business base it at Executive Suites at Lakewood Ranch.