It may seem far fetched. How can an ordinary business such as window cleaning, plumbing, or even marketing! learn from the hugely successful entrepreneur, Richard Branson? Well, Mr Branson has found several successful ways of achieving business growth, some of which are listed above. So, let's have a look at how a local business can apply some of those principles and grow their business.
You Can't Run A Business Without Taking Risks
For arguments sake, we will look at how these principles apply to a local window cleaning business..although, in theory, the same principles will work with whatever type of business venture you are involved in.
So, our first principle is that taking risks is essential to growth. What type of risks are we talking about here? Well, we are not talking about gambling, or it's equivalents in business. Nothing is to be gained by betting on your businesses' success. However, there are healthy types of risk that should be grasped.
As an example, take the subject of Marketing. A window cleaner might feel that word of mouth, and job excellence are the ways in which he might grow his business, and there is some truth in that. However, growth can take many years, and in this field people will often go with what they know, further inhibiting growth.
The answer to this is to take a risk by allocating a percentage of your income to Marketing. At first your advertising budget may be wasted when spent in many areas. However, over time, you will get advice from other window cleaners, and you will learn which advertising avenues prove successful for you. This, in turn, will maximise your use of funds in future, and growth will likely skyrocket.
The point of this, is that if you don't take a risk on growth, you won't grow.
Don't Do It If You Don't Enjoy It
Now, of course, window cleaning is not necessarily the most rewarding job you can do, however, there is still plenty to like about it. Many window cleaners get the chance to visit expensive homes, get to know influential people, and, earn a pretty good living.
So, if you enjoy it, don't change. And, if you are not enjoying what you are doing right now...change!
Seek Both A Second And Third Opinion
It can be tempting to believe that we know plenty, and maybe we do know quite a bit. However, there is a saying that to be successful, you should surround yourself with people who are smarter than you, and there is some truth in that.
Say, for instance, you are wanting to start a window cleaning business. Maybe you have never done window cleaning before. You might think that the job is easy...not rocket science, but pride comes before a fall. Don't make that mistake!
The best path to success is to seek out those who have already been successful, and apply their advice. For instance, the fact that you are willing to listen to what Richard Branson has to say, is, in itself, an acknowledgement that you recognise the benefit of listening to those who are already successful.
So, to maximise your chances of success....Seek both a Second and Third Opinion.
Believe In Your Ideas, And Be The Best!
Usually, when you go into a business, it is because you believe that you have an idea that will change the world. Take for instance, our humble window cleaner. Maybe he feels that he has a system that will increase his hourly rate, and do a better job than his competitors.
Over time, though, self belief can vanish. As success seems to be elusive, confidence can give way to doubt, and fear.
So, it is important that, from time to time, you sit yourself in a corner, and remind yourself WHY you got into this business, what you hope to achieve, and where you will be in 5 years time. Yes, believe in your ideas, and be the very best that you can!
The Best Way To Learn Is By Doing
It is no coincidence that a tradesperson will have to do a lengthy apprenticeship before qualifying for a full position. The apprentice will likely do little more than sweep floors, and make tea, for the first year, why?
The repetition is key to a disciplined growth of skills. Doing the same thing over and over is key to mastering the task.
In the same way, when you want to succeed, be prepared to fail. It is only by doing the task over and over, and learning from your mistakes, that you will become an expert at what you do...
Of course, when making mistakes, don't take risks that will get you fired, incur damages, or hurt others. But, you should still be prepared to put aside your pride, and make, and acknowledge your mistakes. Doing so is essential to growth!