Richard Branson says now is the time to make your millions VIRGIN founder Sir Richard Branson says despite the gloomy outlook, the time has never been better to be like him. Sir Richard, a self-made millionaire, believes the economic downturn has provided entrepreneurs with their greatest opportunity in years, The Times reports. “Fortunes are made out of recessions. A lot of entrepreneurs get going in the economic depths because the barriers to entry are lower,” he said. “There are a lot of Richard Bransons that will come out of the next three or four years.” Sir Richard highlighted financial liquidity as the most important area for governments to focus on during the financial crisis. “We cannot allow perfectly decent companies to go to the wall just because they cannot get liquidity. And if your bank is behaving badly, then shout about it because no business can afford to lose that lifeline,” he warned. He also urged business leaders not to panic and cut jobs unnecessarily. Unemployment rose to 4.6 per cent in January with some of Australia’s biggest corporations, including Telstra, Pacific Brands and Lend Lease announcing thousands of job cuts in the past month. “That has to be an absolute last resort for any company,” says Sir Richard. Sir Richard also offered small and medium-sized business some tips on how to get through tough economic times. “You have to come up with imaginative ways of saving cash, like signing every cheque yourself. You would be surprised how much you can save even in large companies if the boss questions every purchase order that goes out,” he said. ——————— I absolutely insist on looking over a run down of every expense that goes out of my business every single day. That is not to say that I don’t trust any of my team, in fact I know each of them to be excellent at finding the balance between price, effectiveness and efficiency, but actually watching the money leave the business has it’s benefits. Not least of all is the fact that… Sometimes, it hurts! One of the simplest issues this daily practice overcomes is continuing to pay for products and services that are potentially no longer required or have been replaced by a different area of the business.