How to Start a Successful Business from Scratch: Valuable Tips from Sir Richard Branson and his Friends

How to Start a Successful Business from Scratch: Valuable Tips from Sir Richard Branson and his Friends

The statistics are not on your side. Most startups failed; only a few that can withstand the test of time. You always wonder, are there secret sauces that can make your startup rock the business world?

Well, maybe there are.

Here are some tips on how to start a business from scratch – from yours truly, Sir Richard Branson – along with his friends, Sir Brian Souter (Founder, Stagecoach Group) and Jimmy Cregan (Founder, Jimmy’s Iced Coffee). They offer epic advice that you need to put into practice.

6 tips on how to start a business from scratch – and stay away from failure

To recap, here are six important things mentioned in the talk.

1. Have money to pay the bills, seriously

There’s a dividing line between success and failure. When you don’t have enough money to pay the bills, you’ll end up to the wrong side. If you can make sure that you have the fuel to make your startup engine to run, you’ll be fine on the right side.

2. Focus on the people, maintain a balanced startup

In order to succeed, startups need to have two group of people who run it: The dynamics who orchestrate everything – plan or the future, executing plans, negotiating, etc., and the mechanics who make sure the engine to run smoothly (e.g. the finance people, the IT people, the law people, the marketers, etc.). Imbalances will fail a startup.

3. Start with your passion. Cliche but true.

If you can’t sleep at night thinking about your idea and can’t wait to get up in the morning to work on your idea, then chances are, those would make a great startup. If you don’t have the drive to work harder than hard to make it work, then you should rethink your intention for starting a business, at all.

4. Choose the right partner

Trust is so important in startups. That said, your BFF and siblings may make great partners because at least you start your business with trust in place. Bad partners mean a guaranteed failure, no matter how huge your startup’s potential is.

5. You need a mentor

Don’t have a mentor? Look for one. Mentors keep you in check (e.g. if you move away from your plan), and they can see what you can’t see.

6. You need to be ‘crazy’ to be a successful startup

A good dose of ‘craziness’ is required to be a successful entrepreneur. You need to be able to take action when others say that you shouldn’t. You need to say yes when people say no. Challenge the status quo, and do what you think is necessary to get your startup off the ground.


Those tips seem simple, but if you are seriously thinking about it – about how to put them into practice and all – you’ll learn that it’s all coming back to your execution.

You see, ideas are great, and all, but those are not enough – you need to execute.  You need to have the right mindset, partner with the right people, hire the right person, build the right plan, execute the plan flawlessly and have the right dose of passion and ‘craziness’ to differentiate your startup from the wannabes.

How about you: What’s your takeaway from the video?


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One thought on “How to Start a Successful Business from Scratch: Valuable Tips from Sir Richard Branson and his Friends

  • # 3 and #5 are my favorites. Starting and running a business is an arduous journey that takes lot of effort and long time. If you don’t have passion for it you will burn out very quickly and give up. By the same token it helps to learn from those who have gone through it and hence the importance of having a mentor.


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