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Start-ups, ignore Branson’s advice

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“Caroline Plumb and I were thinking about starting a consultancy business,” he recalls. We had just finished university and we were being wined and dined by Accenture who were recruiting graduates. I wanted his opinion on what I should do with my life.

To his credit, Branson didn?t have Osmond removed but listened to the wannabe-entrepreneur’s quandary.

“I asked him, ?Should I become a consultant with a big firm and think about starting up my own business later, or should I bite the bullet now

Better become a consultant,” came the tycoon’s reply.

Osmond and Plumb went on to found Freshminds, the research and recruitment consultancy, later that year. Seven years on, the company is seeing revenues of ?6.3m and profits of more than £1m, with an overseas expansion on the cards.

“I?m glad to say that we ignored his advice,” laughs Osmond.

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