“Customers are just as happy to buy from someone based at home as they are from a business on the high street, and this brings the cost of starting a business down dramatically," said Branson.

By Ian Horswill


Posted on August 29, 2019

Sir Richard Branson, whose first business venture was at 16 in 1966, feels it is easier to start a business today than it was when he was setting up the Virgin brand with Virgin Records in the 1970s.

This was a time when landline phones and postal mail were the most popular forms of communication, and smartphones, emails and apps had not been conceived.

“Customers are just as happy to buy from someone based at home as they are from a business on the high street, and this brings the cost of starting a business down dramatically. You don’t have to commit to expensive global advertising campaigns but can do your marketing and market testing at the touch of an iPhone,” Sir Richard told Forbes.

Branson, who had a net worth of US$5.1 billion as of April 2018 according to Forbes, also said that it is easier to access money to start a business, with schemes such as crowdfunding and start-up loans helping entrepreneurs avoid many of the difficulties in securing business funding presented by the banks.

“While competition may be fiercer, I believe that if you have an idea for a business that solves a problem and makes people’s lives better, as a result, you have a good shot at success,” he said.

Branson recently revealed that his dyslexia has helped hiim get to where he is today, as reported by The CEO Magazine.

He wrote: “It’s fascinating how much we judge others on their ability to spell – when in reality most of the time this has little effect on our ability to do our work effectively. If you get an email that no one else will see apart from you and the recipient, does it matter that much? Being clear and concise is more important to me!”

“Perhaps it’s time to be a bit more lenient with each other and tolerant of our shortcomings. We all have them, whether it’s bad spelling, or forgetting to pick up our socks. We can keep working on them, and in the meantime, let’s remember that kindness is the most important trait we can all practice every day,” he said.

“Let’s look for the things to be grateful for, and celebrate our differences – for wouldn’t the world be rather boring if we were all the same?”

Earlier this month, Branson’s business Virgin Galactic unveiled Spaceport America, the check-in lounge where you will go and drink coffee and tea, perhaps have a bite to eat, before boarding the space ship, Virgin Galactic, in the desert in New Mexico.

Virgin Galactic had been carrying out test flights from Mohave, California, including the first successful launch of its tourism rocket plane into space in December last year.

More than 600 people have already paid US$114.6 million in deposits to Virgin Galactic to secure their tickets on the first spaceflights.