Richard Branson, the founder and chairman of Virgin Group, is the owner of 400 companies. A self-made billionaire, the serial entrepreneur regularly shares his business knowledge and advice in newspaper columns and magazine articles, parting his pearls of wisdom about business management. And the best thing about Richard BransonÂ´s advice is it can be adopted by any business owner, large or small.
To manage business affairs, Branson advocates delegation and time management. Yet he also advises executives to answer every email. As unproductive as this may sound, Branson manages up to 400 messages a day. And this is where delegation and time management really shoe there worth. Deleting messages from customer is not only rude, but also bad for business. But you donÂ´t have to answer them all personally. Reading through your emails will determine which you should handle and which can be passed to delegates.
Smartphones are excellent time managers; but you have to manage your smartphone rather than letting it absorb your time. DonÂ´t check for messages in meetings and during off-hours. Constantly checking your phone prohibits good concentration and has actually proven to have a negative bearing when making decisions. Use your smartphone in spurts by checking emails at scheduled intervals and in between time focus on the task at hand.
Trust your delegates
As an employer you need to manage your own time and give the tips and tricks to your employees to stay focused and managed. One way to accomplish this task is to give your team space to work. Don’t be a micro-manager. Allow your trained employees to manage the day-to-day functions and delegate or hire someone to be head of operations.
Having delegates you can rely on gives you uninterrupted time to project manage the bigger picture and make decisions that are crucial to future growth. Break up the workload in teams so there is no struggle to managing competing responsibilities.
Hire employees who you trust to help you run your business on a daily basis. Mistakes will be made, but do resist the impulse to step in and “fix” all the problems. Instill a sense of responsibility into your management team and this team will run the business as if it was their own.
Listen to Employees
Some of the best suggestions in the running of a business have come from employees who ask questions and provide answers. According to Branson, communication that is based on openness, listening skills and precise language to and from every employee should therefore be encouraged. Making them feel at home and comfortable where they work is also an ideal way of keeping them happy. Use companies like Easy Offices to get the best possible office space for your team, or even invest in virtual offices so they can work from the comfort of their own home once or twice a week.
Allow senior staff members to attempt solving problems before you step in. If there is no resolution, offer suggestions and advice. The best CEOs and managers give senior and middle management the responsibility to sort out problems first and only offers knowledge and help when needed.
Wealthy businessmen like Richard Branson do not become successful because they do not know how to run a business - and mostly they learnt from their mistakes. Therefore, whenever Branson and other self-made businessmen like him offer advice, it is usually worth taking.