Growth & Customers

Key learnings from Sage Summit UK: Part two

Use People Science to understand your employees

Take a look at part two of our amazing influencers’ key learnings from Sage Summit London.

Kevin Poulter: @kevinpoulter

So, what did I learn at Sage Summit? Lots of takeaways

  • Building a community of supporters and fans is important for your business
  • Utilising social media to amplify what you do, entertain, go behind the scenes, educate and inform, isn’t just a nice to have, it’s essential
  • Video is now king, and livestreaming is at the top of the pile
  • There is a long way to go for companies to learn the digital transformation skills they need to enhance their businesses
  • Diversity in the 21st century is still an issue, but the good news is that teaching digital skills helps level the playing field.
  • At the end of the day, no matter what the technology, people are people and people do business with and buy from good people, so be nice, respectful, listen, respond and offer value and your business will flourish.

So there you have it, my key learnings from Sage Summit London, I’m looking forward to learning more and most importantly implementing these teachings into my business.

Sage Summit opened my eyes to the broad range of products, partners and customers who are part of the Sage family. The diversity in organisations represented and individuals in attendance was refreshing. There were even sessions on diversity issues that, although going some way to identify areas of change and improvement, readily identified how far businesses in the U.K. still have to come.

The second noticeable feature of Sage Summit was the sense of community. The dedication of Sage employees to the company, its partners and most importantly it’s customers is paramount. This, matched with skills, talent and enthusiasm made the whole experience stand out from other conferences and business fairs.

Finally, there must be a mention for the top class speakers, both from within Sage and outside. Of particular note were Jamal Edwards and Dame Martha Lane Fox, both of whom are leading the digital revolution from very different points of view but with equal enthusiasm and anticipation for the future.

Will I be back next year? Of course. Will I be trying to find an excuse to travel to the mega summit in the US? I’ll see what I can do!

Janice B Gordon: @janicebg

I felt that Baroness Lane Fox delivered a relevant message for the Sage partners, customers and general business owners who must negotiate a volatile economic environment as the UK rethink its relationship with the rest of the world. Martha Lane Fax said, build for scale and think bigger and broader from day one creating a business model that is easily scalable, and that your business must be accessible to all global cultures so inclusivity and diversity must be at the centre of your decision making. I also loved Sahar Hashemi OBE 6 Habits to Maintain the Start-up Entrepreneurial Mindset, I would only add to Sahar’s list of habitsPurpose,meaning in life and work is becoming more important that money and wealth for entrepreneurs.

Sid Moore: @sidmooremanc

As an accountant, I had only really considered the Sage accounting products as “the thing they did”, but after two days with them I discovered a whole lot more.

They are great believers in getting to know a business and offering support to grow them using their accounting, HR solutions and Business Management tools. These include £3 trillion payments processed each year!

Philanthropy – At the event, the “Big Give” was held where 3 charities pitched to everyone to secure funding from the Sage Foundation. Sage staff can also donate their time each year to worthwhile causes and whilst maybe not every member of staff can go abroad to do this (like Alan Laing), it made me realise that Sage think about developing people and businesses from the inside and are not just about selling product.

Key highlights for me were the inspirational talks from entrepreneurs.

There were many comments by the great line-up of key note speakers which gave me food for thought.

Deborah Meaden, Martha Lane Fox and Sahar Hashemi had insights about their own business growth and failures; including:

“focusing on the right user need”, “delighting your customers by seeing things through their eyes”and my favourite from Sahar Hashemi is to be “100% authentic and be yourself”.

These are all learnings which I will be trying to develop within myself and the team at Moore Accountancy.

Diversity and the Gender Gap

As a female business owner hearing these speakers and also Kelly Hoppen talk about diversity in business and the workplace was important. It brought to mind the gender gap issues across the “developed” world and how much further we have to work to minimise it.

One of the stats produced stated that a woman starting university now, would be 81 years old before the pay gap closes – as a mother of 3 girls that is shocking and has made me realise that not enough is being done to highlight this #GenderEquality issue and it is something I shall be researching more of from a personal perspective.

On a more positive note, I met a great bunch of people, enjoyed networking with other small business owners, talked the ear off the poor guy from The Pensions Regulator (TPR) and had quite a few Sage Mocktails from the bar.

Ola Agbaimoni: @OlaAgbaimoni

I absolutely loved attending the Sage summit. It was meticulously planned and executed with precision. From the friendly team of Sage personnel who gave every delegate a cheer worthy of a football superstar as they walked into the keynote hall to the special dietary requirement lunches that catered for all needs (trust me if you don’t eat wheat it’s a real treat to be able to eat at a conference) you couldn’t have felt more cared for and appreciated.

If the goodies had stopped there the summit would have been a winner. However, Sage lived up to their reputation for excellence and supporting small businesses to be more profitable by providing an excellent menu of workshops and technical session.

My three biggest takeaways were-

AI is going to have a real impact on the way we do business. Rather than replacing people AI will free us from the mundane so we can focus our energies on being creative.

There is no one size fits all for entrepreneurs as demonstrated by Jamal Edwards and Sahar Hashemi. The secret is to start and learn what works for you.

Small business don’t have to worry about new digital tax reporting because Sage has got our backs!

Krishna De: @krishnade

In today’s digital economy, it was interesting to hear insights from keynote speaker Martha Lane Fox who co-founded at the height of the dotcom era.

She had three key tips for entrepreneurs when developing products or services. Firstly, think of the end user are you are in development which goes to the heart of making sure that you create products that they not only want and need, but that they will invest in. Secondly, build for scale and go global. It has never been easier to launch a business online and we can attract customers from anywhere in the world as a result of inexpensive digital technologies. And finally, put diversity at the heart of your design. If we fail to do so, we are potentially missing out on valuable insights and opportunities for innovation which could give us a competitive edge.

I would have love to have had the opportunity to hear her speak and ask her questions especially about the digital skills charity she founded, Doteveryone, whose goal it is to make the internet work for everyone. If that goal is realised just imagine the possibilities!