For a budding entrepreneur, the thought of growing their small idea into a big, thriving business is understandably an exciting prospect. After all, who wouldnt want to bring their product or service to as many people as possible? Who wouldnt want to make a difference in peoples lives and make so handsome profits?
However, as digital entrepreneur Lawrence Jones has highlighted in his recent Small is Beautiful blog, many forget the benefits to maintaining a small business mentality when their company begins to grow.
Why is it when things get bigger, they get more complicated? It was my first question on my very first day on Necker to Richard Branson. How do we maintain the passion and enthusiasm we have now as we approach and grow beyond 100 staff? It was clearly a concern even back then, and sadly I didnt fully take his advice until very recently, explained Jones.
Was he right? What do you think? Of course he was. His advice was to follow what he did with Virgin Records and all its subsidiaries. When the business gets to 100 strong, split it in half. Take all the managers and make them the directors of the next business and get both sides competing with each other.
This piece of advice passed on from the Virgin Group Founder to Jones is a point which he has recently talked about at great length, clearly keen for entrepreneurs to realise the importance of managing both their own time and that of their employees effectively.
"Today the Virgin Group is made up of dozens of companies headed by CEOs and managers who have the freedom to run their businesses as they see fit. This philosophy goes against the usual rules of business and may seem unmanageable, but it has turned out to be one of the keys to our success, explained Branson in a recent blog.
If there was any ever proof required to back-up this philosophy to business, it can be found in the scores of Virgin companies that have tread this well-worn path. As Jones rightly points out, it began with the very first Virgin business, Virgin Records, and has since been used to get the best out of the Groups other major assets.
Are you an entrepreneur? If so, do you strive to maintain this approach to business in your company? Or do you approach the problem from a different point of view?
Let us know