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The weird and wonderful world of scaling

Written by Lara Morgan on Wednesday, 01 September 2021. Posted in Leadership, People

Entrepreneur Lara Morgan discusses the business of scaling, and how it can be seriously affected by matters outside of your control.

The weird and wonderful world of scaling

Entrepreneur Lara Morgan discusses the business of scaling, and how it can be seriously affected by matters outside of your control.

Scaling-up is certainly not a one-size fits all procedure. In simple terms, it is the ability of an existing successful system to comfortably handle more work by adding resources to that system.

Scaling covers a host of different departments. Regarding administration, can the system cope with an increasing number of users?  Can you add new functions without disrupting existing activities? And, from a geographical perspective, is the system just as effective during expansion from a local area to a larger region. These are just three different ways in which scaling-up will affect your business system. There are many other examples too.

Over the past year, it has perhaps been easier to pinpoint where scaling in a business needs to happen. And, once identified, focus all of your efforts in those areas. One of my businesses, Global Amenities Direct, which is involved in the hotel trade, has had to play largely a waiting game because this sector has been hit for six during the pandemic.

Yet, on the other side of the coin, there has been a rising awareness and value placed on health. So we have placed greater emphasis in this area, and especially on the brands Scentered and Yogi Bare, which I will describe in more detail below. Both brands are making a massive difference to people’s mental health and wellbeing.

I believe the trick to scaling is finding a product that solves a problem for the consumer, and then remain committed to it while trying to locate the best outlet. You must discover the most profitable methods for manufacturing and distributing the item or items, and maintain a relentless focus on learning how the customer is best served.

My brands

I have focused my investment in a number of British businesses. I’ll quickly run through which ones they are and what their purpose is. All of my businesses are founded in the health, wellbeing or fitness arenas. It is something close to my heart. For me, my goods, services and/or products have to be functional and practical. They need to make a true difference, as well as benefit all of those who use them.

Scentered: Creates portable mindful wellbeing aromatherapy balms, blended to help you through your busy day by using scent as a mental trigger to transition you to your desired state of mind.

Yogi Bare: Top quality yoga mats and accessories. We have adopted an eco-conscious approach by using natural rubber, while a new tree is planted for every mat ordered.

Global Amenities Direct: Hotel amenities. We concentrate on the latest trends, while reducing plastic consumption. We have replaced all those hotel freebies with products that are eco-friendly, sustainable, recyclable and reusable. 

KitBrix: Waterproof and sturdy products for the outdoor sports fan. We use military grade materials for our products.

Getting the basics right: Start with a great team and develop a solid culture with a genuine mission. This, I have found, will overcome most things. To be successful, you need to satisfy many areas, such as identifying the best ideas and products, employing knowledgeable and motivated staff, finding relevant contacts, and having readily available money to grow and expand.

Early in my business career a certain high street bank would not entertain my business plan. But I was not prepared to take ‘no’ for an answer.  I was doing pretty well but there are always outside forces which come along and knock you off your step. By the time Covid came along I was pretty well established anyway. 

But a few decades ago my company survived SARS, the outbreak of Foot and Mouth and, of course, the 9/11 terrorist attack. The latter required some serious rescaling and, unfortunately, I had to make some people redundant. It also forced me to re-strategise and amend my budgets.

Over the past year, some of the biggest challenges I have faced have once again been brought about by matters totally out of my control. We’ve all been in the same boat. When this happens you have to cut your cloth accordingly. You need to be agile, adapt quickly and innovate, while remaining positive at all times. 

When you face new barriers, always try to overcome them. Never just accept your fate. There is always another bank to talk to, or an expert to employ, or new technology to embrace. If a process no longer works efficiently, find a way to put this right, even if it means ‘ditching the old and replacing it with something brand new’.

But, at all times, keep your team up to speed with what’s going on in your business. These are important people who share your passion and goals. When I started out, it was mainly men in my business world. Now I love to encourage women to take control, many of whom are a younger breed of female entrepreneurs. 

All in all, I have had a positive experience. I’ve been lucky to be surrounded by people who share my visions and passions, those who have accepted the rough with the smooth.

The famous English writer of the 19th century, Lewis Carroll, once remarked: “We only regret the chances we didn’t take, relationships we were afraid to have, and decisions we waited too long to make.” I honestly believe I do not have any regrets. I am privileged and lucky to have the life that I have, which has been shaped by hard work and perseverance. Along the way, I have made the correct scaling decisions to ensure my businesses have been successful.

About the Author

Lara Morgan

Lara Morgan

Lara has been a finalist in Ernst Young Entrepreneur of The Year Award three times and a finalist in the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year Award. In 2009 Lara received the much-coveted Cranfield University Entrepreneur Alumna Award. She is a published author of the Amazon best-selling business book “More Balls Than Most” and is a co-founder of Start Up Britain. Taking all this in her stride, she also trains for charity bike rides and triathlon and came 10th in the 2011 World Triathlon Championships in Beijing.

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