November 28th, 2014.
10 Tips for Business Expansion from Richard Branson
Image: Richard Burdett
Richard Branson is one of the top entrepreneurs in the world, with over 360 companies, and many important lessons can be learned from the way he manages his business. When it comes to expansion, Branson is arguably one of the best in the world, by following his lead and using his approach your business could thrive.
There are literally millions of things you could learn from Richard Branson, but here are the 10 you can’t go without:
1. Raise the right capital
In order to expand you need money, it’s as simple as that. Without the right financing you are in no position to expand. Before you do anything make sure you have the capital you need to carry out the expansion. Factor in all the costs that would be involved – cost of buying a premises, increased demand for stock, paying more staff – and then try to find a commercial financing solution to match your needs.
2. Believe in your ideas: give your venture everything you’ve got
“Belief in yourself and belief in your business ideas can make all the difference between success and failure.” – Richard Branson
If you want to succeed you need to commit fully, if you don’t believe in what you’re doing then why would anyone else? To expand your business you need to have faith that it will work, believe in what you are doing, give it enough attention and you should have no problem with expanding your business.
3. Get the basic structure right
Before launching an expansion you need to know exactly how this is going to be achieved. Are you able to continue using existing partners? Do you need new connections for different stock? Are you able to afford the expansion? Are you keeping your business branding or will this expansion be separately branded?
There are a million and one questions that you need to figure out before you can realistically set sail with expanding your business.
4. Don’t give up
“On every adventure that I have undertaken, I have faced difficult moments when the easiest thing to do would have been to thrown in the towel and walk away. But you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve by tenaciously sticking to your goals” – Richard Branson
Cutting your loses may seem like your only option at some point, but nothing is achieved this way. Committing yourself to the business expansion and seeing it through is the only way you will achieve success. Just keep going and you may surprise yourself with what you can do.
5. Communicate, collaborate and communicate
If you didn’t get that, communication is absolutely key. Some of the biggest companies out there only got to where they are now by inviting communication within the workplace. Encourage communication within the workplace, come up with new ideas and make sure they are implemented – the best ideas are often ones that come from a general discussion with similarly minded people.
6. Make lots of lists
“If you don’t write down your ideas, they could be gone by the morning.” – Richard Branson
Ideas are fleeting, you could come up with the perfect way to expand your business but because you didn’t write it down or begin to figure out how to put it into practice it can be lost on the wind. If you have an idea of the best way to expand your business or thoughts on streamlining current processes then make sure you write it down to come back to later.
7. Size isn’t everything
“Small is beautiful, […] I don’t see size as a competitive advantage” – Richard Branson
You may not have thought you’d see this here, but is expanding really what you want to be doing? If you’re simply offering more services or adding more locations to your business then this can be a good idea, but if you’re launching something new then it could be beneficial to treat it as a new business. Before deciding exclusively to expand think about whether that really is the right option.
8. Throw caution to the wind
“Virgin has a lot in common with bumblebees, the aerodynamics of the bee’s biology suggest it shouldn’t fly but it just goes out and does it.” – Richard Branson
Paralysis through analysis stops a lot of businesses from going any further. If you have an idea for expansion and you truly believe it will work then go for it. Stats aren’t always right and often the best businesses come from the strangest ideas.
9. Seriously, communication!
“Have a fearlessness of engaging with people, conversations can change the world” – Richard Branson
Communication within the business is great, but you shouldn’t neglect feedback from users of your business. Encouraging customers, clients and partners to give their opinions on your business and talking to them about what could be improved could lead to drastic and vital changes to your business.
10. It may not go to plan
“You mustn’t be afraid of failure.” – Richard Branson
Billions of new business ventures are launched every year, but not all of them come up roses. Some ideas just don’t work, if this happens you need to reassess and figure out why. Don’t let failure get you down, learn from your mistakes, pick yourself up and get back out there.
If you’re looking for more information on the best way to finance a business extension then talk to Pure Property Finance today. With years of experience in helping a wide range of businesses grow and expand, we can ensure you get the finance package that is exactly what you need.