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WATCH: Sage Secrets to my Success highlights

Business software provider Sage held an exclusive event in London for entrepreneurs, startups and small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). The event, named "Secrets to my Success" focused on providing aspiring business people with the advice, tips and knowledge they require to build a successful organisation. ITProPortal headed along to get the latest, and film all the action as it unfolded.

Lucy Yu, the vice president of people and culture at SwiftKey, took to the stage to explain why a great working environment is crucial for achieving business objectives. Bringing over a decade of experience working in the private and public sectors, from startups through to IGOs, Yu dealt with issues of growth, company culture, leadership and management, recruitment and retention, policies and internal communications.

Next up was's chairman, Simon Calver, who spoke about inspiring businesses and the importance of improvement through performance-driven organisational and financial restructuring activities. Having previously held roles as the CEO of LOVEFiLM International, vice president and general manager at Dell and vice president of international sales operations at PepsiCo, Calver has immense experience of handling key components of important organisations, as well as those all-important finances.

Peter Briffett, COO of event-booking startup YPlan, spoke about the importance of having a startup battle plan, and how you can establish a beachhead for entering new markets. Peter took us through the process of turning YPlan into a successful product that is listed today as one of the UK's most successful startups.

Ian Bennink, the founder of OpenDesk, also takes us through his experience running a small business, and how his company took off. He lets us in on his secrets for getting traction with venture capitalists, and how he worked successfully through the funding stages.

Then the guys from, who won Sage's Bag Yourself a Billboard competition, took us through their tips for a successful startup with a Jay-Z themed presentation, and booming soundtrack. They told us about why moving forwards, sideways, and sometimes backwards, is important for a startup.