Mum-of-three Lara Morgan set up a business in her small cottage and guided it towards global recognition. Her latest initiative is to help mid-size companies with practical advice, templates and frameworks to ensure that frustrated business owners can achieve accelerated growth.
Lara Morgan speaks on the following topics:
But she well remembers what it was like to start off a fledgling business from home. A survey by Workingmums.co.uk published earlier this week showed working mums don’t want to simply rely on a salaried income for a number of years from the same employer – they have high aspirations and want to do what Lara did. Our poll found a quarter of respondents said they already had a business idea, proving creativity and new thinking aren’t in short supply, while one third wanted to start a business/franchise alongside their normal work.
”I’m passionate about entrepreneurism in Britain,” says Lara. ”I was single and didn’t have any children when I started up my business in one room of a cottage. The hardest part of the business was definitely the first two years.”
Lara, now 43, had left school at the age of 18 and worked in Hong Kong selling business gifts to airlines and banks. Three years later she went to the Middle East where she became national accounts manager for Yellow Pages. But in 1991, Lara moved back to Britain and set up Pacific Direct in her cottage, selling business gifts. In 2002, she was runner-up in the Ernst & Young national entrepreneur of the year awards.
Her company became a global success and supplies luxury branded toiletries to hotels, cruise lines and airlines, with manufacturing plants in the Czech Republic and China, and offices around the world. She took all of her staff to Barbados for a holiday to celebrate a £1m profit in 2005, before selling a majority shareholding in the business for £20m in 2008.
Top tip: Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. ”A lot of people are frightened of just asking people for help,” says Lara. ”But it’s human nature that people like to pass on advice and talk about what they’ve done when they’re asked.”
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