Richard Branson is a British Billionaire and founder of the Virgin Group Ltd. The brand ‘Virgin’ is a world wide respected brand and Richard Branson is well known for his strong competitive spirit; an attribute that saw him successfully go head to head against British Airways and Coca Cola. He is also on our list of richest school drop out billionaires. Below are Richard Branson’s quotes, business lessons and competitive strategy for young entrepreneurs.

56 Richard Branson Quotes and Business Competitive Strategies

1. “Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.”

2. “A business has to be involving, it has to be fun and it has to exercise your creative instincts.”

3. “And obviously from our own personal point of view, the principal challenge is a personal challenge.”

4. “Unfortunately, we are not a public company. We are a private group of companies and I can do what I want.”

5. “I believe in benevolent dictatorship provided I am the dictator.”

6. “I don’t think so; in that Virgin is already a global brand. Brands like Amazon have had to spend hundreds of millions of pounds you know, building their brands; whereas Virgin is already well known around the world.”

7. “I wanted to be an editor or journalist. I wasn’t really interested in becoming an entrepreneur, but I soon found I had to become an entrepreneur in order to keep my magazine going.”

8. “We have always had a pretty competitive ferocious battle with British Airways. It lasted about 14 years and we are very pleased to have survived it.”

9. “When people are placed in positions slightly above what they expect, they are apt to excel.”

10. “What does the name Virgin mean? We are a company that likes to take on the giants. In too many businesses, these giants have had things their own way. We are going to have fun competing with them.”

11. “Screw it, let’s do it.”

12. “We’ve got an engaging, edgy, vibrant, fun product. It may or may not work but we are going to give it our best shot.”

13. “We look for opportunities where we can offer something better, fresher and more valuable and we seize them. We often move areas where the customer received a poor deal and where the competition is complacent. And with our growing e-commerce activities, we also look to deliver old products in new ways. We are proactive and quick to act, often leaving bigger and more cumbersome organizations in our wake”

14. “When we start a new venture, we base it on hard research and analysis. Typically, we review the industry and put ourselves in our customer’s shoes to see what we could do better.”

15. We’d love to be involved with the creation of something very special, something quite large and something quite exciting.”

16. “We have not scratched the surface. It does seem that it needs to be treated like a war.”

17. “Records are made to be broken. It’s in man’s nature to continue to strive to do just that.

18. “We are going to where no one has gone before.”

19. “Ridiculous yachts, private planes and big limousines won’t make people enjoy life more and it sends out terrible messages to the people who work for them. It would be so much better if that money was spent in Africa and it’s about getting a balance.”

20. “I’m inquisitive and I love a new challenge and if I feel that we can do it better than it’s been done by other people. We’ll have a go. Some people call that brand stretching and say that is not the way business should be done; and in the western world, generally it’s not the way business is done. And I think to be perfectly frank, the reason it’s not done that way is because most big companies are public. They have fund managers who only specialize in one area; and so if you stray outside the fund manager’s arena; the company gets criticized. Fortunately we’re not a public company; we’re a private group of companies, and I can do what I want.

21. “Business is giving people in their lifetime and what they need and what they want.”

22. “And you know, I have had great fun turning quite a lot of different industries on their head and making sure those industries will never be the same again because Virgin went in and took them on. Occasionally, we’ll come stuck and you know, we’ll learn from our mistakes but so far, I think we have managed to get it right more than we’ve got it wrong.”

23. “Above all, you want to create something you are proud of. That’s always been my philosophy of business. I can honestly say that I have never gone into any business purely to make money. If that is the sole motive, then I believe you are better off doing nothing.”

24. “Having a personality of caring about people is important. You can’t be a good leader unless you generally like people. That is how you bring out the best in them.”

25. “If you are trying to do something for the first time, it’s always an enormous challenge, and there is no guarantee of success. You never know with these things when you’re trying something new what can happen. This is all experimental.”

26. “Well, I’m somebody who is just living life, and if I get frustrated by something, then I like to try to put it right.”

27. “It has been like hitting up against a solid brick wall. All day and all night long, we battled to get through it.”

28. “Right now I’m just delighted to be alive and to have had a nice long bath.”

29. “If I was a businessman, or saw myself as a businessman, I would have never gone into the airline business.”

30. “There is no one to follow, there is nothing to copy. We may even allow those aliens who landed here 50 years ago a chance to go home.”

31. “I’m still…. maybe Peter Pan…. doesn’t want to grow up.”

32. “All you have in life is your reputation: you may be very rich, but if you lose your good name, then you’ll never be happy. The thought will always lurk at the back of your mind that people don’t trust you. I had never really focused on what a good name meant before, but that night in prison made me understand.”

33. “My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently accepting unachievable challenges and trying to rise above them.”

34. “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.”

35. I don’t think of work as work and play as play. It’s all living.”

36. “I had no interest whatsoever in running a company.”

37. “I was interested in creating things that I could be proud of and so, you know, I was interested in being an editor of a magazine, things that I could be proud of, and so, you know, I was interested in being an editor of a magazine, but in order to be an editor of a magazine I had to become a publisher as well. I had to pay the bills. I had to worry about the printing and the paper manufacturing and the distribution of that magazine.”

38. “I want Virgin to be as well-known around the world as Coca-Cola.”

39. “I’ve had to create companies that I believe in 100%. These are companies I feel will make a genuine difference. Then I have to be willing to find the time myself to talk about them, promote them and market them. I don’t want to spend my life doing something that I’m not proud of.”

40. “As much as you need a strong personality to build a business from scratch, you also must understand the art of delegation. I have to be good at helping people run the individual businesses, and I have to be willing to step back. The company must be set up so it can continue without me.”

56 Richard Branson Quotes and Business Competitive Strategies

41. “If you’re good with people and you really care, genuinely care about people; then I’m sure we could find a job for you at Virgin.”

42. “The companies that look after their people are the companies that do really well. I’m sure we’d like a few other attributes, but that would be the most important one.”

43. “A company is people…employees want to know…am I being listened to or am I a cog in the wheel? People really need to feel wanted.”

44. “In the beginning it was just about the business; now it’s about the brand.”

45. “Back then we would create a company based on frustration at other people’s service and suddenly realized we had one of the most respected brands in the world.”

46. “If you get your face and your name out there enough, people will start to recognize you.”

47. “Many people know the Virgin brand better than the names of the individual companies within the group.”

48. “Branding is everything. A young girl once came up to me and told me I could be famous because I looked just like Richard Branson!”

49. “Clearly in the eyes of the consumer; the brand has not been diluted, but we must guard against that happening at all costs.”

50. “Our model is to develop each business separately with its own shareholder and management – this way we can concentrate on the job in hand, rather than be part of some enormous and faceless conglomerate.”

51. “We don’t actually plan to launch new businesses over the next few years, but we are planning to take the ones we have into new territories.”

52. “Although my spelling is still sometimes poor, I have managed to overcome the worst of my difficulties through training myself to concentrate.”

53. “Some 80% of your life is spent working. You want to have fun at home; why shouldn’t you have fun at work?

54. “If a chairman of a company visits Seattle, that chairman should take all the staff out in the evening and have a few drinks together, talk together and party together and not be embarrassed about the staff seeing the weaker side of you.”

55. “I never get the accountants in before I start up a business. It’s done on gut feeling, especially if I can see that they are taking the Mickey out of the consumer.”

56.“Because I don’t see Virgin as a company but as a way of life and I fully enjoy it, I don’t think I’ll ever retire.”

Ajaero Tony Martins