5 Things I Learnt from Richard Branson by Catherine Salway

by inspire on July 26, 2013

New entrepreneur Catherine Salway shares the secrets she learned from working at Virgin in today’s guest blog. Since leaving her role as Group Brand Director at Virgin, Catherine has set up Redemption, new events where you can spoil yourself without spoiling yourself. Here’s her top business tips gained from working with Richard Branson and co…

1. The customer is king. It sounds obvious and old fashioned but it is really important to remember, no matter how big you get, that all your income comes from the public deciding to spend on your product or service. So you have to be on trend with cultural shifts and be on point with meeting customer needs. During my 16 years at Virgin it grew exponentially and yet Richard kept his in-built respect for the customer. At the launch of Redemption I chatted with the customers to get their feedback and I honestly listened to it.

2. Think of everything holistically and be a multi-tasker. Richard was ahead of his time when he starting thinking that earning money should be fun and rewarding and it should do some good.  Nowadays the lines are blurring between commerce and charity and state, so any organisation has to have a positive impact on the whole ecosystem. So I’ve created Redemption to be a business with a ‘heart of gold’ where we have a positive impact on society through not harming animals or the planet and by making it on-trend for people to avoid the ever-present booze and make healthy food choices.

3. Once you’ve thought through points one and two, be brave. Plan to succeed. Have a contingency in place for when it doesn’t, but build your plan and focus your energy around where you want to be.  This is the most rewarding part of being an entrepreneur: building a vision.

4. Linked to this – Screw it let’s do it. Time is money. Just get on with it. Don’t sit around agonising over every decision. Learn to let some things go. Be willing to let some things fail. Break some eggs to make the omelette, etc. At least this way, if you are going to fail, you will fail quickly. If you fail slowly you will waste both money and time.

5. Enjoy it. There’s nothing better than chilling out with your team and poking fun at how stressed everybody got today, or consoling one other after a run of bad luck, or celebrating an amazing success. One of the things I have in common with Richard is that we enjoy a party! Don’t let the business dominate your entire existence. Have a lie in. Hang out with your kids. Phone your dad. And if you over-do the work-hard/play-hard, come to Redemption and we’ll sort you out!

Redemption is running a residency at Netil 360 on summer Sundays, and a permanent residency at Goldfinger Factory from September 8th.

By Catherine Salway

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