Richard Branson’s profile
Entrepreneurial Concepts and models
Branson entrepreneurial strategy
Theoretical perspective of leadership and management qualities essential in entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship is the ability to develop a desire to systematize and manage a business undertaking, fully cognizant of various risks involved and navigating towards profit attainment. Richard Branson is, without a doubt, a force to reckon with if the empire he has built, from scratch, is anything to go by. He has, due to great entrepreneurial skills, been able to build and cut a niche within the airline industry. Today, Virgin Atlantic is a brand name that cannot be washed away. Further, Branson has ventured in other business by applying diversification; a virtue that is core in entrepreneurship. The essence of entrepreneurship being good leadership, Branson has been able to apply the right leadership in the course of time, thereby expanding his territory within the business realm. This paper seeks to present Richard Branson as an accomplished entrepreneur who has all qualities desirable in the trade. Indeed, Branson has, in the course of years proved to be an astute entrepreneur by applying the right skills for different scenarios, something that has occasionally worked for him and made him build an empire that cannot fail recognition.
Richard Branson’s profile
From the onset, it is important to acknowledge that the choice of Branson as a good example of entrepreneur is premised on his ability to begin from a humble background, devoid of ascribed privileges and later founding his business empire. He took many risks and had many challenges but focused on his dream and desire to be successful, something that paid.
He was born in 1950 at a place called Surrey in England. He attended school in the same location but had to drop out of school at the age of 16 because he had numerous challenges coping with school his early life involved a struggle with a medical condition called dyslexia which rendered him incapable to cope with the tasks at school. Right after dropping from school he started to train as an entrepreneur. His first business idea was to open a music record studio, Virgin Records. To date, he has the Virgin Group which houses more than 200 companies. His business portfolio has diversified in different sectors. Apart from business ventures Branson is known for his love for sporting activities, adventure and philanthropic works (Branson, 2008).
In 1966, Branson launched a student run school magazines which sold numerous advertisements and earned $ 8,000. The success of the magazine venture arose from free distribution of the magazines since the costs were covered by the numerous advertisements carried.
Branson stood out as a person who could sport business opportunity out of any environment. For example, in 1969 he lived in an area surrounded by music loving and drug addicts. Knowing that the area could not raise a lot of money, he decided to open mailing service that charged little amount but one that could sustain his magazines business adventure. The proceeds received there in were used to further expand the magazine business and also opening another recording studio in Oxford Street.
Despite having dropped from school, Branson worked hard and had a lucrative recording studio by 1972.
His choice of Oxford shire to open the recording business was particularity brilliant because it was a good location that earned him a lot of fortunes. Further he took advantage of the first recording contracts and made great records that hit the air waves to his advantage. He used the early opportunities in life to create customer loyalty through hitting hard. At that early opportunity, coupled with signing good artists and other strategies, Branson owned one of the top six studios of that time (Branson, 2008).
In 1980, Branson diversified into travel industry and opened Voyager Group. Four years later he opened Virgin Atlantic airline and other stores during the same period. Branson took risks and opened those business ventures. Entrepreneurship is all about risk taking and that was manifest in the approaches taken by Branson (Branson, 2006).
Another attribute that makes Branson outstanding is the ability to rise from challenges in business and soldier on. In 1992, his company Virgin got several setbacks that occasioned its sale to THORN EMI but his determination to persist made him continue in the music industry. On year alter he opened other stations, Virgin radio and V2 (Branson, 2006).
The choice of Richard Branson as an accomplished entrepreneur cannot be overstated. There is ocular entrepreneurial attributes in him. He was able to sport numerous business opportunities by taking numerous risks. He underscored the need for focus in the midst of hard times, evident in his ability to move on after the sale of his venture in 1992 and further build on other ventures. On the same note Branson has diversified his business interests in different industries as well as different countries. He currently operates more than 200 companies in more than 30 countries. He has spread interest in all the continents of the world (Branson, 2011).
Entrepreneurial Concepts and models
Entrepreneurship entails different concepts and models. Entrepreneurial behavior consists of different approaches that combine and work for the well being of the firm or the individual concerned. One of the key attributes of an entrepreneur is the ability to take risk. Propensity to risk is directly related to success that an individual can acquire in the process. Similarly, entrepreneurial capabilities are attached to compete with other firms and individual in the industry (George & Bock, 2012). This implies that an entrepreneur must be aware of the ever eminent competition and get ready to work within the industry which would normally attract many players so along as the venture is viable and attractive. An entrepreneur must be proactive and always willing to work and face the dynamic of the business with full knowledge of both negative and positive attributes in the field (Peters, 2005).
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Image of enterprenuership models; source: ( George & Bock, 2012).
Branson, like any astute entrepreneur also had the innovative mind that is called for in entrepreneurship. He was able to adduce business ideas from the prevailing situations. He spotted various opportunities and took risks to involve in those ventures that he deemed fit. He had a philosophy orientation that was geared towards successful implementation of aspirations, something that was very important for entrepreneurship. The ability to strive for growth within the firm was an entrepreneurial attribute that worked well for Branson and those that he put to manage his business. In essence Branson was able to develop the right entrepreneurial posture, by calculating the economic gains attached the businesses he engaged in. Posture calls for various attributes. For example, there is need to have a market share within the realm of the business that person engages in .Diversification is another attribute that is also considered as essential together with striving to the market leader. Richard Branson matched the above attributed because he diversified his business interest, aspired to be market leader and hose the right market segments to invest in. Profit maximization was is sole goal during the course of running his businesses (Covey, 2001).
Another critical component in entrepreneurship relies on the ability to have the right resources and competencies that would propel the business idea in question. In the same breadth Branson, throughout his time as an entrepreneur mobilized for resources from all manner of sources and employed the right competence to enable his success in business world. For example, at one point in his business venture, he was forced to sell his company when he was facing financial challenges. On the same note, he used adverts to finance production of his magazine while he setting up business. With regard to competence, Branson has always held the believe that the success of a business is largely dependent of the employees and as such employee the best and given the right to offer their expertise without any form of infringement, attribute that has worked right for him in the course of time. Entrepreneurship calls for proper organizational capabilities. This includes the capacity to introduce new product into the market at the most appropriate time and in the most appropriate manner. Entrepreneurship is largely dependent on resource mobilization abilities as well as the right steps geared towards sustainability of the business. Another essential facto in entrepreneurship is a good reward scheme that would enhance the potential of the employees and give them the motivation that would make them work harder in the venture. Currently Virgin Group of companies I known worldwide as a good employer and the kinds of freedom and motivation given to the employee by Branson have worked towards propelling the firm to greater heights (Northouse, 2009).
Innovations are another important attributes in entrepreneurship. Propagation of the innovation is further enhanced with the right marketing mix. As such, it is important to identify different markets segments and taking the right kinds of business there (Verstraete & Jouison-Laffitte, 2011). Branson, for example, has in time developed different business concepts and taken them to different regions and parts of the world. His 200 companies have roots in more than 30 countries worldwide and that demonstrates just how the business mogul has ventured through innovations and marketing applications that have enabled his brands cut a niche (Covey, 2001).
Entrepreneurship calls for scanning of the market environment and making the right choices, input various experiences learnt in the course of doing business and working towards improving the business venture. That implies that research and development must be given integral recognition within the organization and supported at all times. Through such process, the business venture can realize the customer feedbacks and requirements. A firm that can effectively get the right mix after scanning any business environment can succeed it its quest for success. There are different essential components that make up entrepreneurial composure to enter and win the market.
The entrepreneur must have the capability to identify need gap within any market segment and bring new products to serve that particular market. Similarly, an entrepreneur should have the capacity to compete with the rest of the competitors and perform above board so that both innovations and introduction of new products surpass the competitor’s pace. Entrepreneurial skills require that a certain chunk of the income derived from the market is allocated to research and development. This is important because research and development are important to the firm with regard to new inventions, innovations and general improvements to further the proceeds for the firm. Ability to create new products from existing generics is an attribute that befit any competent entrepreneur (Peters, 2005).
Entrepreneurship calls for adoption of certain organizational culture; a culture that the entity adopts and is easily identified with. For example, Branson has always believed that employees come first, before the customers and has therefore sought to pass that culture to all his business entity and has been recognized as that all the time. That means that all employees who come to particular firm must learn to adapt to the culture of that organization. The success of any business entity rest of the organization’s culture; a culture that must be synonymous with the organization. Organizational culture is important in entrepreneurship because it determines and influences the activities of the entity. It would always lead the entity in carrying out its activities in a consistent manner and do things that work for the firms. Mission statements, vision and core values of a business entity are examples of cultural attributes and the firm would always use them as the guiding principles while carrying out its duties. For example other entrepreneurial attributes like risk taking, innovations, inventions and looking for business opportunities are governed by the organization’s culture. Richard Branson is known as ago getter.
There are various attributes that are guided by culture in as far as an entrepreneur is concerned. The culture influences whether the entrepreneur is radical or novel in approach while carrying out business. It would relate to the manner in which the venture treats and relates with its employees. Branson, for example recognizes that employees are important in the business and gives them room to develop and contribute to the running of the business and that has always propelled him as a investor. Other aspects like team work within the organization and the running of the day to day activities within the firm have a big inclination to the organization’s culture.
Entrepreneurship calls for organization structure. The structure defines the different roles that different people within the organization play and how they play their various roles. It is within the structure the entrepreneur decides to be organic or mechanic in approach while running the affairs of the business venture.
The ability to organize and have a good structure has an influence in the running of the business of the firm. It would determine the administration of the firm in all spheres and do. It would govern the pecking order within the organization and the relationship between different persons within the organization. In this regard, it is important for the organization to have a good organization structure that that would work for the organization. A good organization structure is a prerequisite for the success of the organization and has such would influence the standings of the business venture among its peers and competitors (Northouse, 2009).
Branson recognized the essence of having a good organizational structure and adopted organic organizational orientation throughout his management style. That is evident in the approach he takes while running the business. Organic approach is open to capturing new business opportunities through the concept of risk taking. Similar, it calls for commitment resources in different ventures that would work well for the organization and that is equally ocular in the style undertaken by Richard Branson. On the same note, as it calls for ability to evolve in different situations and adapting, so has Branson done in the course of running business.
Branson entrepreneurial strategy
Branson, though out his endeavors has put in place the right leadership and management strategies that has seen his venture rise in course of time. Leadership and management are critical components of business management. As such, right leadership and management skills, similar to the one demonstrated by Branson are essential and that can be attested by the success that Branson has had. it is important to first and foremost appreciate what is leadership and management. Leadership refers to the ability to convince and sway other members of the team with an aim of steering the attainment of certain goals or objectives. The ability to select the best leadership style, makes one a successful principal in any organization. Management, on the other hand, is the ability to prioritize on different objectives and, further, making use of different approaches to ensure the implementation of the objectives through the use of different resources available in the form of human, capital and physical.