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Lara Morgan's Top Business Tips

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Inspirational entrepreneur Lara Morgan founded Pacific Direct, a toiletries supplier, in 1991, which she then sold for £20 million in 2008, and has since started Company Shortcuts, dedicated to helping entrepreneurs. Her success has led her to be shortlisted for the title of Stylist's Business Ambassador, making her business advice invaluable for aspiring female entrepreneurs.

1) Sales are all you need

Sales are the only thing youneed to have a successful business. It sounds incredibly obvious, but so many people forget it. I started my first business with a phone, a fax machine and enough money to live off, I just got on the phone and sold. And make sure you pursue each lead, so many women will go to 80% with a deal – put in all the leg work – then let someone else close it and take the money. Don’t be embarrassed to take the order and get the money.

2) Do admin outside business hours

Between nine and five you shouldn’t be doing anything other than selling. Doing your paperwork is essential, but when you’re starting out you can’t afford to take away time from making money.

3) Hold on to equity

I retained 99% of my business (my mum had the other 1%) until I sold it. So when it fetched £20.2 million, I got £19.9 million. Owning all of your business also means that when you’re putting in 20 hour days, it’s only for you. The business retains all of its value – financially and emotionally.

4) Don't stick to one mentor

I’ve had various mentorswho’ve helped with recruitment, financial matters (exporting, currencies, oversees trade) and accounts. I actively sought out free advice from people and I wasn’t afraid to move on when I felt I’d learned everything I could. It’s important to find new mentors.

5) Don’t employ lightly

I never forget the responsibility that comes with being someone’s boss. You are in charge of their livelihood. Taking on employees is a must, but you must have business in the bank before you do. With employment you have to accumulate before you speculate.

Read more inspiring business advice from fellow finalist and entrepreneur Corina Kellam