Our Sage Business Expert Jeremy Corner gives us a great insight into the second day of Sage Summit 2015.
Day Two began with a fantastic keynote discussion on navigating a changing world between Deepak Chopra, General Colin Powell and Stephen Kelly. My favourite takeaway was Deepak’s answer to Stephen’s question about what is most important.
“Love and service,” he said, “love without action is meaningless and action without love is not worth anything.”
It’s refreshing to think about love in business. We always try to put lots of love into our products at Blue Eyed Sun and Ivy Ellen and I think that you can extend love (which involves compassion, empathy and considerate communication) into one’s whole business DNA.
In other words, love your customers, your partners, your staff, your suppliers and your community at large.
I met some amazing people today, including the business guru Evan Carmichael who I follow on Twitter and who runs a fantastic online resource for tips and advice for entrepreneurs and small businesses.
I sat next to Huffington Post blogger and author of Your Idea, inc, Sandy Abrams who I had a laugh with as well as business journalist, Dave Gordon, and the delightful Canadian social media expert, Rebecca Coleman.
After the keynote, which included some exciting new cloud based product developments from Sage, I headed off to my first seminar on best practices in retail and ecommerce integration with two Australian businessmen, Blair Watkins from Sage partner xmdevelopments and bricks and clicks retailer Steven Kumper from Medshop.
One of the big takeaways from this session is the importance of allocating significant resource to marketing for your website. You can have the best website in the world, but if you don’t market it well it’s the equivalent of opening a shop in the middle of the desert.
After a quick lunch break with the 8,000 other delegates I enjoyed New Orleans based, Flynn Zaiger from online Optimism, talk on maximising return from your website using Google Analytics.
His passion for the product and the powerful information it can harness was infectious and I’m looking forward to delving deeper into our website stats when I get home. I also caught Bob Oster from nspire technologies talking on how to prevent your site and business being hacked.
Danny Estrada then took some of us through the intricacies of effective email marketing and marketing automation. My favourite seminar of the day though was with marketing whizz Andrew M. Davis who gave a fantastic talk on the Loyalty Loop.
As Andrew wisely points out, so many businesses try to say they are different and then don’t actually act differently. You have to talk and behave differently from your competition if you want to win in business.
We’ve had a lot of success doing this with Blue Eyed Sun over the years. Effectively the loop is all about leveraging customer experience to generate more returning sales. We all know it’s easier to sell to a current customer than to find a new one.
Andrew’s colourful talk gave me some great ideas for how to improve our customer experience and build anticipation for our products into the way we operate on a daily basis.
I was eternally grateful that Sage had considerately laid on some snacks for delegates at the end of the day as I hadn’t eaten for several hours. After wolfing down a few mouthfuls, I headed back to my hotel to Skype my family before joining the European Sage party over at the beautiful Pavilion of Two Sisters.
One of the best things about attending the Sage Summit is being able to meet so many interesting and diverse small businesses from around the world.
From breakfast, where I met a couple who have an enormous pharmaceuticals business, through to dinner where I sat next to a lovely Spanish businesswoman who takes care of the payroll for 16,000 people a month across a range of customers in Spain.
They all have interesting stories to tell and Sage offers them a great range of software tools to help power their successes.
It was an incredible second day at the Sage Summit in New Orleans. Thanks to Brendan Flattery and the team at Sage for a wonderful party to end it. I can’t wait for tomorrow!