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  • Aim Before You Shoot: Reducing Business Risks and Increasing the Chances for Success

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    Sir Richard Branson once said: “You don't learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.” Indeed, he is one of the most prominent examples of an entrepreneur who faced big trouble but recovered every time because he learned from his mistakes. The business is all about learning and only those who can recover from a failure will become successful.


    As an entrepreneur, you’ve heard it a million times: you can’t succeed if you’re afraid to take risks. No one is readily willing to take them because well, they don’t always work out great. In fact, many times taking risks works out pretty, pretty badly – but that’s totally okay.


    You might be surprised to hear that failure is an option for an entrepreneur. It often is. No one can really protect themselves from a failing big-time. It’s better to think that even if you lose everything, you will still come back and achieve even more.


    Let’s get back to Branson’s story for a moment. When he started his Virgin line of record shops, he sold products that were designated for export. The rules in the UK at that time permitted selling these records only in case the business paid a higher tax. When the authorities discovered that Branson was selling records for export and avoided paying a 33 percent tax, the failure was inevitable.


    Eventually, Branson was slapped with a £60,000 fine. He avoided going to trial by agreeing to pay the tax in addition to the fine. At the time, he and his family could not make the payment so his mother decided to re-mortgage the family home.


    However, he did not give up on his dream and started another business as soon as he could. Now, his net worth is estimated at $5.1 billion. Many factors have helped Branson to reach such tremendous success. Here’s what he had to say about becoming successful:


    To be successful, you have to be out there. You have to hit the ground running and if you have a good team around you, and more than a fair share of luck, you might make something happen. But you certainly can't guarantee it just by following someone else's formula."


    What does that mean to you? First, to “hit the ground running” means you need to:

    • Have sufficient financing. As Branson himself said, “I think that there's a very thin dividing line between success and failure. And I think if you start a business without financial backing, you're likely to go the wrong side of that dividing line."

    • Choose the right employees. Having employees who don’t share your excitement about the company is one of the worst mistakes a start-upper could make. These employees create an uncomfortable working environment, leave early, arrive late, and put their own interests ahead of the company’s.

    • Build excitement around the company. To make sure that the launch of a new company will attract interest from people, you need to use advertising, mobile apps, and other promotional measures available to you. For instance the way college paper essay writing service do that.

    • Know your goals. Before you launch a business, you need to make a list of everything you need to succeed, including storage, supplies, equipment, financing, vehicles, etc. As the result, you can reduce overhead costs.


    Next, Branson stressed the importance of having “a good team around you.” Indeed, the success of a new or existing venture often depends on the ability of the founder to attract the right people. Here are several things you should consider when picking a perfect team:

    • Determine your weak spots. For example, if you are a business wizard, it would be wise to hire some people with technical skills.

    • Decide the most qualified candidates. Consider their experience and reasons for quitting the previous job. If you have some doubts, call their references to see what they have to say.

    • Conduct a conversation. Finally, talk with each of the candidates and ask them questions that interest you. This way, you will identify their personality type and other useful information.


    Last but not least, you need to be lucky. There is no formula for that but one thing is certain: you should never give up until you achieve your dream. Richard Branson didn’t give up even though he had lost millions of dollars. Remember: there are no mistakes; only experiments that didn’t work well.


    The Bottom Line

    There’s no better way to confirm that a big-time failure is a significant part of both your personal development and growth of your business than to review the cases of the most successful entrepreneurs. By having a look at the life of Richard Branson, we’ve determined that he failed so many times but refused to give up eve after his mom had to re-mortgage the family house.


    It’s okay to fail because you’re dealing with all the unknowns of business ventures. However, no matter how you fail, the success always follows if you continue to move forward and be smart about it. So, follow the tips in this article to increase your chances for success and reduce risks.

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