As Global Entrepreneurship Week approaches, thousands of Britons will take inspiration from entrepreneurs like Richard Branson, Michael Dell and Mohammad Yunus and start their own business. These businesses could hold the key to the UK’s economic recovery, as outlined by Prime Minister, David Cameron: “It’s about creating jobs and opportunities: small businesses in the UK employ nearly 60 per cent of the workforce and contribute almost half of UK turnover”.
While initiatives like Global Entrepreneurship Week provide a great platform to support, connect and inspire new entrepreneurs, the start-up stage is just one of the challenging phases companies go through.
“Many business leaders simply don’t have the know-how to really take their business to the next level.” says leading entrepreneur, and Founder and Chairman of Company Shortcuts, Lara Morgan. “While there are lots of practical assistance and financial support available for new start-ups, many business leaders discover they have a significant skills gap when they look to step up into the high-growth category.”
After finding initial success through hard work and enthusiasm, many leaders of start-up businesses encounter problems when it comes to strategic planning and developing an organisational structure and company culture that will facilitate fast growth. “While one person’s drive can be enough to get a start-up off the ground, being able to build and motivate a team and implement processes that will provide a platform for sales growth requires a very different skill set,” says the co-founder of Company Shortcuts, Nicola Cook. “We talk to entrepreneurs every day who are aiming to step up from maybe £1m turnover to £10m or £20m, and issues like finding the right salespeople, underpinning their growth financially and scaling their Sales Engine come up again and again.”
Encouragingly, the number of high-growth companies in the UK increased by 30%* last year, and in turn, this has fuelled demand for training services, as leaders recognise the need to invest in themselves for the good of their business. This has been reflected in Company Shortcuts own growth, increasing 245% year-on-year, with events like their Business Accelerator day proving particularly popular, attracting hundreds of entrepreneurs.
While the effect World Entrepreneurship Week has on encouraging entrepreneurs to start a business should be applauded, supporting growth beyond the initial start-up phase is also crucial. Lara Morgan is so passionate that fast-growth companies should be supported that she reinvest all profits from Company Shortcuts into Company Shortcuts Trust to sponsor ambitious enterprise leaders’ course costs and support their growth acceleration.
Lara Morgan is best known for growing Pacific Direct, from start-up to successful exit, 23 years later. She now invests her time in fast growth companies and represents UKTI as an Export Ambassador, having previously exported to 110 countries. Her vast experience and business knowledge includes specialisms in licensing luxury brands, manufacturing toiletries and selling to the hospitality environment through complex global distribution chains. She's also an expert in leadership and developing talent having learnt through her own experiences of employing 500 employees in an open fast growth sales culture.