The Virgin Group has grown from a magazine to a multi-national corporation. But how has it achieved this and what can your company learn from its business practices and leader, Sir Richard Branson.
When it comes to business, learning from successful companies can make all the difference to your success. Even without the same level of budget and income as large organizations, there are still plenty of lessons to take on board that can have a big impact on your business.
Not only can taking steps based on others' successful business practices yield good results, you can also avoid similar mistakes they made in the past that could negatively impact your company. With this in mind, a great organization to look at when it comes to successful business practices is the Virgin Group.
From starting out as a student magazine back in the 1960s to becoming a multi-billion dollar company, Virgin has gone through its share of good and bad experiences and has still come out on top. This is why your business can learn a lot from the Virgin Group about success.
The right person doesn't necessarily have the qualifications
Sir Richard Branson has the philosophy "personality before CV", meaning that he understands that the right person for a position doesn't always have the qualifications you may have been looking for. While having completed certain courses or achieved specific grades may show that an individual has the knowledge base to work from, there are other skills and experiences that can make an underqualified candidate more suited to a position.
The Virgin Group, therefore, puts a focus on finding the person with the right personality for the job. Not only does this mean that they will put everything they can into a position, it also ensures that they create a positive company culture as they are still able to have fun and get on with people.
This is an important lesson to learn when it comes to growing your business, as you want to employ people who want to be part of the organization's future and have something different to offer your company.
Look for gaps in the market
The Virgin Group has grown immensely and has had a hand in everything from rail travel to cola throughout the years. It looks for gaps in the market where it can provide a service or product that has value for the consumer and fills that space.
Sir Richard told Forbes that filling gaps in the market has created the company motto that "If you love what you do and if you believe in what you do, others will share your enthusiasm." This ability to diversify not only draws talent to the business, it also increases engagement and awareness of it in various industries. All companies trying to be successful should take this lesson on board and see the value of changing things up.
Communication is key
No matter whether you're talking to an employee or a customer, listening to what they have to say is vital to your success. This means that communication is a key concept that you should encourage everyone within your company to work on, as well as find ways to improve.
As Happy Fox discusses, letting employees know that you're listening will ensure they feel more confident in sharing ideas and highlighting problems. This can result in changes being made quickly that benefit your company.
Sir Richard Branson also encourages people to carry a notebook to write down any ideas they have as and when they have them, ensuring every idea is remembered and taken to the right person. While employees may not be able to carry a notebook with them, having an option for suggestions - from your team and customers - could be beneficial and allow others to see problems you might not notice.
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