I’ve lost count of the number of Business Start-up shows over the years…..are they easy…NO…..they are damn hard work….after 2 action packed days my feet hurt like hell and I lose my voice and quickly I fall asleep on the train back to Newcastle without the need of a beer. But I always come away feeling that I’ve made a difference to somebody’s life….or business.
Sometimes it’s easy to lose touch with business reality when you work for a larger sized business……so I find it not only refreshing, but truly inspiring talking to anyone who is either thinking about starting their business, is in their first few months of trading or looking to move their small business to the next level.
I get so much insight into the motivation, fears, perspiration and challenges they face in launching their business idea trying and make it a success. I come away from these shows with fresh insights into how can I make their lives easier using the software and services Sage provide.
My favourite Start-up Show moment…
I had a gentleman approach me and ask me if I recognised him and whether he could shake my hand to say thank you.….I apologised for my bad memory. He went on to explain that he had approached me randomly at the show 3 years prior while on his lunchtime from work…..(he was at risk of redundancy from work).
He had often thought about wanting to be his own boss and had a business idea but he was nervous about taking the jump and he wasn’t sure where or how to start.
He was grateful that I simply had taken an interest in what he wanted to do and our short 20-minute conversation had given him the confidence to make that leap of faith, and he has not looked back since. He has religiously returned to the show every year since because he personally still is able to get value to add to his business, but he now likes to talk to and inspire other people on that leap of faith and journey.
Looking back what I did was not ground breaking or revolutionary…it was to simply to “believe in your idea and sell the story”….to approach your plan like it was your college project or university dissertation…. do your research. That is: know who your customers are, where they are, and what they want. Break it down into manageable chunks and time-box them. Don’t be afraid to ask for help…there are lots of people out there who can, and who are willing, to help.
I’m still proud today of how I made a real difference and it is without doubt my favourite and most rewarding moment of my 20 year career at Sage.
What can you expect from Sage at the show?
A key mantra of Sage is to be one of the UK’s biggest supporters of start-ups, micro-businesses, and small businesses in the UK…..and we’ve been doing this for 30 years…
We’ll happily talk to you about your business ideas and give you support and insights on how to get it off the ground. We can also talk to you in depth and demonstrate how our business solutions can help you, from our free Sage One Expenses & Invoice mobile app through to our cloud accounting tools that help you record, track and manage your business finances, such as Sage One and Sage Live.
PS – also if you love coffee like I do, we have a coffee barista and some snacks on the Sage stand.
What I’d encourage everyone to do?
Make the most of your time at the event…..don’t be shy or afraid to ask questions….network….do what’s right for you and your business….and, finally, enjoy it!
Also, don’t miss out on Sage’s own Jonathan Dowden’s talking about how you can take your business idea and shape it into a plan in just a weekend.