Here are the top five tips from the entrepreneur that needs no introduction:
"You have to realise quite early on when you're starting a business that you don’t know all the answers. There are people out there that know the answers better than you. When you’re in a team you’ve got to delegate the jobs appropriately. Sometimes they’ll do the jobs better than you, and other times they’ll make mistakes and not do it the same way you may have done it. You’re much, much stronger as a team of people than you are as an individual. In some sinstances, a great entrepreneur isn’t a good manager. When I was younger, I found someone to run areas of my business so I could focus my attention elsewhere."
"You only live once, so if you can do something that you’re proud of and it’s making a real positive difference. It’s better to do that than doing something that’s making money just for the sake of it. The world needs companies that can make a difference, so if you have a choice between a company that is going to create clean energy and one that could dirty the world- how much more satisfying would it be to jump into the first one?"
"A business is only as good as its people. Surrounding yourself with wonderfully talented people, ones that are particularly good in the areas they’re dealing with, is everything. They don’t have to have qualifications but they’ll need to have a natural instinct to achieve what is expected of them. Ideally, great personalities is important too."
"Before anything, you need to have a start-up company that can excite people. The thing your doing needs to be worthwhile and making a difference in the world. If you’ve got that, then it should be easy to get people to want to write about it and talk about it. Have your staff going to the pub on a Friday night and proud to be working for you- that's something that creates a buzz. Word of mouth and free publicity is so much more easier than paying for advertising. The important thing is to come up with an idea that you can take pride in and that way you should be able to get the message out."
"Let’s take Virgin Trains for example. We recently held a massive party for all of our train staff, so there were 8,000 people who came to the countryside and we all had a great time. We were celebrating the fact that in the least 10 years, they have transformed the west coast train line, when it was run by the Government, to something really special. They all knew exactly where they were heading. All 10,000 people who work for Virgin trains were incredibly proud of the fact that they work for a company that wanted to transform rail travel in Great Britain. If you can give people the tools and if you can make sure every little thing about the product is right, and if it’s not then they know you’ll do your best to fix it, then you’ll get committed staff. If you have that, then your customers will be happy."