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Date
07 November 2012

Business Shapers: Lara Morgan

Lara is a straight-talking entrepreneur who understands the frustrations felt by small and medium-sized businesses that have lost their way. Rather than administering generic big picture advice, Lara is dedicated to delivering honest and practical help to enable businesses to achieve their full potential.

Transcript

Business Shapers: Lara Morgan

Lara Morgan

Founder of Companyshortcuts.com

Business Shapers from Mishcon de Reya

In association with Jazz FM’s Jazz Shapers

Ok so as a 23 year old arrived in England having left school at the age of 18 with some education but a will not to go to University and I was offered an opportunity via my Asian background and connections to sell what one refers to as hotel amenities, that actually means sewing kits and shower caps.  So I pottered off down to the Dorchester aged 23 and I shook on the steps, I borrowed clothes so I could look smart enough and I showed them this pre-threaded sewing kit and that was literally the beginning of Pacific with no business plan, no vision, in fact, nothing. 

It took about eight years to bump into the proper business plan.  What I did do and to give credit to the banks, I went and got a small business plan guide and I sort of wrote that and put it in a drawer and thought okay so I now have a good idea and the plan pretty much said I should sell stuff.

For pretty much for eight years we, we that’s the Royal we, from me, myself and I for the first two years grew a business and by 1999 when the wheels were pretty much coming off and we were growing at a huge velocity and I was losing actually the will to live nearly because it was getting out of control and we were doing four and half million pounds worth of turnover, but ultimately I started to realise that I was completely out of my depth and I found a programme, a business programme called The Business Growth Development Programme at Cranfield and genuinely  I do not underline this enough.  It was a life changing opportunity to learn what real business process and structure was.  I think we need to start talking positively about actually what banks can do for business and banks will support businesses that give you a good cash flow, decent P & L, a bit of a plan, it’s never going to be perfect, of course there are going to be moments where you think I don’t want to tell them about the bad sales, but if you have an open relationship that’s when they will back you and they are the cheapest money in town and you retain your equity and your equity piece is your most valuable card on the table when you sell.  So you should sell your grandmother before you sell equity.

Business Shapers from Mishcon de Reya

In association with Jazz FM’s Jazz Shapers