All posts tagged business

Success Tips From Richard Branson

Richard Branson founded Virgin in 1970 at the age of 20, and he hasn’t looked back.

He’s the only entrepreneur to have built eight separate billion-dollar companies in eight different industries — and he did it all without a degree in business.
“Had I pursued my education long enough to learn all the conventional dos and don’ts of starting a business I often wonder how different my life and career might have been,” he writes in his new book,

    Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won’t Teach You at Business School.

This week we’ll list 6 of his top tips from that book. We’ll list six more over the next two weeks.

Don’t do it if you don’t enjoy it.

Running a business takes a lot of blood, sweat, and tears (and caffeine). But at the end of the day, you should be building something you will be proud of.
Branson says, “When I started Virgin from a basement in west London, there was no great plan or strategy. I didn’t set out to build a business empire … For me, building a business is all about doing something to be proud of, bringing talented people together and creating something that’s going to make a real difference to other people’s lives.”

Be visible.

Branson received some timeless advice when building Virgin Airlines from Sir Freddie Laker, a British airline “tycoon.”
“Make sure you appear on the front page and not the back pages,” said Laker. “You are going to have to get out there and sell yourself. Make a fool of yourself, whatever it takes. Otherwise you won’t survive”.

Branson always makes a point of traveling often and meeting as many people as he can. This, he says, is how he came by some of the best suggestions and ideas for his business.

Choose your name wisely.

The unique name and brand that Virgin employs is one of the things that has made the company a success. Branson makes sure that the name ‘Virgin’ represents added value, improved service, and a fresh, sexy approach.

Branson says that he is asked all the time about the origin of the Virgin name, back when Virgin was just starting. “One night, I was chatting with a group of sixteen-year-old girls over a few drinks about a name for the record store,” he says. “A bunch of ideas were bounced around, then, as we were all new to business, someone suggested Virgin. It smacked of new and fresh and at the time the word was still slightly risqué, so, thinking it would be an attention-grabber, we went with it.”

You can’t run a business without taking risks.

Branson thinks of one of his favorite sayings when advising about taking business risks: “‘The brave may not live forever—but the cautious do not live at all!’”
Every business involves risks. Be prepared to get knocked down, says Branson, but success rarely comes from playing it safe. You may fail, but Branson also dares to point out that “there’s no such thing as a total failure.”

The first impression is everything. So is the second.

The first impression you make on customers will probably be when you acquire them. The first impression is extremely important, says Branson, but the second is equally as important.
The second time a customer usually contacts Virgin, it’s because he or she is having problems with the product or service. How you present yourself and your brand in these situations says a lot about how your brand maintains good customer relationships and handles obstacles.

Perfection is unattainable.

“There’s an inherent danger in letting people think that they have perfected something,” says Branson. “When they believe they’ve ‘nailed it’, most people tend to sit back and rest on their laurels while countless others will be laboring furiously to better their work!”

For this reason, Branson never gives anyone a 100% perfect review of their work. He believes that no matter how “brilliantly conceived” something is, there is always room for improvement.

One final tip that may or may not be attributable to Sir Richard Branson is that to be successful base your business at Executive Suites at Lakewood Ranch!

Executive Suite Advantages over Commercial Real Estate

An Executive Suite is a great solution for many business situations. If you answer “Yes” to any of these questions, then you should be considering Executive Suites at Lakewood Ranch. Be sure to call us at 941.373.1400 to discuss how this concept might fit your business situation.

• Does the thought of a long-term real estate commitment turn you off?
• Do you want to avoid paying utility deposits and monthly utility bills, real estate taxes and CAM fees?
• Do you need office space for a small work group of 1 – 5 people for any period of time?
• Do you want to be fully operational in only one day rather than months?
• Do you want somebody else to worry about administrative support and office management leaving you free to run your business?
• Are you currently working from home and looking for a professional environment to hold business meetings and/or have access to a support team when you need them?
• Are you an attorney, CPA, Financial Planner or business consultant considering branching off on your own?
• Do you need a flexible lease term that allows your business to expand?
• Do you need the ability to change location at short notice?

Executive Suites at Lakewood Ranch leases individual or multiple offices and provides the support and technology you need in today’s competitive business environment. We run the office so you are free to run your business.

The best way to fully understand the concept is to call 941.373.1400, discuss your business needs with our on-site manager and arrange for your personal tour of our outstanding facility.

Tips For Starting Your Own Business

Be Clear on Why You want to Start a Business

Taking control of your work life by starting out on your own may be daunting, but doing nothing cis not a better alternative. If you’re truly passionate about doing your own thing and you’re ready to go for it with everything you’ve got, then starting your own business can be the most frustrating and the most rewarding adventure you’ve ever undertaken.

Determine Your Business Type

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. The best idea for your business may be something that’s already out there, but different because of your personal twist. Take a look around and you’ll see no shortage of repeatable ideas: People need accountants, other businesses need consultants, many folks are apprehensive about large law firms, and people appreciate financial advisors who are close by. You just have to execute your version really well. So nail your idea – and keep in mind that a service business (a service you provide based on your expertise) is much less expensive to launch than a product business where it costs money to create a tangible item to sell.

Create a Simple Business Plan

Many new aspiring businesses owners think they’re supposed to sit down and write a detailed and lengthy business plan. Some people worry so much about dotting every “i” and crossing every “t” until their plan is just perfect that they never start their business. A basic business plan can be as simple as a one-page plan that covers what you will offer, who your target market is, what your price(s) will be and how you plan on marketing the business. The Small Business Administration website () is a great resource for writing your business plan as well as other good advice on starting and running your business.

Nail Your Target Customer

Determine exactly who your customers are with great specificity- this is key. Define your marketing strategy: I’m going to provide bookkeeping services for restaurants; I’m going to create social media campaigns for self-published authors, you get the idea. The more you can pinpoint your targeted client, the more focused your marketing efforts will be to reach them. You’ll be able to ask for the right referrals and you’ll know who and what to search for on the Internet.

Perfect Your Pricing

Your pricing must cover your costs AND it must also generate a profit. A classic mistake is to undervalue your time and talent, don’t make it. One option is to work the numbers from the top down: What are you looking to make annually? How does that break down monthly and weekly? How many products must you sell or how many clients will you need to bring in to meet those numbers? What are all of the costs associated with delivering that product or service? Review your assumptions often once you get going and tweak where necessary.

How to Fund Your Dream

Until you start bringing in sales, you must keep costs down. Think creatively. Forget hiring a full staff; ask friends for help and train interns. Negotiate for key services. Keep your costs low by considering an executive suite or shared office environment to house your business.

If tapping personal savings isn’t an option or if you need a more creative financing option, one of the fastest growing trends today is crowdfunding. Google “how does crowdfunding work?” to learn more. The SBA website also has great advice and resources for this.

Go Out and Get Customers

Nothing happens until somebody sells something and nothing else matters if you don’t have customers. The majority of your time and effort must focus on sales. Having a smart marketing plan to attract interested people, and then convert them to customers is your number one priority. Create a list of 50 potential prospects (your target customer) that you’ll go after and begin making calls. Learn how to build a serious social media presence for your business.

Dreaming about how fabulous your business can be is good; but doing the work to get it there is sensational. It’s all about your passion and hustle. The decisions you make and the actions you take each and every day will get you where you want to go.

Executive Suites at Lakewood Ranch provides the office suites, technology and communication services small businesses and startups need to propel them to success. And our budget-friendly service lets you hit the ground running without a ton of startup costs that those going it on their own are faced with. To learn more contact us today! 941.373.1400.