Lara Morgan fizzes with energy, which comes across in her book, More Balls Than Most. She was only 23 when she started her own business, Pacific Direct, specialising in the manufacture and supply of hotel amenities.
The book is a fast-paced and compelling read, packed with Morgan’s personal experiences and learnings, from starting the company in 1991 to selling it for £20 million in 2008.
Morgan was tireless in her pursuit of growth and success for ‘her first baby’, and the rigour she applied in all aspects of her business obviously paid off. The book is packed full of practical guidelines summarised at the end of each chapter as ‘Lara’s Laws’, which are relevant to running any business, either as an owner or a senior manager.
Like all successful entrepreneurs, Morgan has enough self-confidence to take note of her gut reactions to things, including her hiring process: ‘Employ people for the fit of their attitude – aptitude can be taught’. ‘People power’ is also a key theme of the book: ‘A team can build something amazing, an individual cannot.’
The book contains plenty of tips on building staff morale, celebrating successes and encouraging people to help improve the business. It also mentions tackling issues such as underperforming employees.
My key takeaway was a simple one; it’s all about the sale. Sometimes, as business leaders, we get caught up in many issues involved in running the business. Morgan reminds us that it’s the sales that count and that businesses should be engineered around maximising opportunity creation.