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Scottish Business Leadership Conference 2020

Picture of Edinburgh Connections
Edinburgh Connections 29, July 2020

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The first-ever #SBLC20 took place online on 24th of June, lasted over 4 hours and was attended by over 100 delegates across Scotland. It started with Keynote from serial Entrepreneur George MacKintosh and featured 4 discussion panels covering Changing Workforces, Tourism and Hospitality, Commercial Property and eCommerce. It ended with an informal networking session facilitated by Colin McKeand.

We have curated all the best insights and tips from our Speakers for you below. Recordings from all discussion panels and the Keynote can be downloaded individually.

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Keynote from George Mackintosh

George shared his business journey and his top three business tips:

  1. Do not shy away from changing horses through the journey of business life.
  2. A lot of businesses do not have ‘big hairy goals’. So be different, set goals, make plans and measure against them. 
  3. Speed!!!! Do everything a little bit quicker! 

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‘The workplace is not dead, but it is definitely different.’ Ombretta Mancini

‘In terms of looking after the mental health of your staff and colleagues – this is not hard work. This is human skills. I work with businesses that found it easy to go up a few levels in terms of how they care for their people.’ Gin Lalli

‘Initially there will be very little money invested in training for leaders and managers. Businesses are trying to keep the cash in to cover losses. But training for leaders and managers is a must in the long term so they are equipped to support the staff well.’ Neil Bradbrook

‘To all leaders out there: You cannot choose what kind of leader you want to be. You need to adapt your leadership style to what type of leader your staff needs. To guide them and to support them in being at their best.’ Ombretta Mancini

‘To leaders and managers: Be very clear on your values, look after yourself and your values first. Even before you communicate with your team.’ Gin Lalli

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‘We seem to be in a better situation than in 2008 when both commercial and domestic property market collapsed simultaneously.

What we have now is a real package of economic money being pumped into the economy. It looks like the government supports businesses to stay above the line so they can more quickly return to being profitable. So that we don’t dip into a real recession.’ Iain Mercer

‘Adapt and future-proof. The key advice we can be implementing right now is to make sure your buildings can be easily repurposed for several types of uses.’ John Toms

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The retail is not going to die. It is going to transform’. Kumaran Adithyan

‘The next big opportunity in eCommerce that I see is that more and more people head nine. Including mature people, who have never before purchased online’. Ann-Maree Morrison

‘What I learnt is that asking for feedback is crucial. So keep asking for feedback and use it to improve what you produce, sell, customer journey and every aspect of your business.’ Russell Dalgleish

‘We experienced great success in sales for our business. We also observed a lot of success in our competition. Which shows again, how strong and full of opportunities eCommerce is becoming.’ Sara Roberts

‘We have definitely seen a shift in the recent months. The numbers will almost double for the end of the year according to the predictions. We are observing that in stronger than UK markets, where the lockdown has been lifted already, online selling continues to maintain its strong position. On top of that we are observing that consumers are less demanding in terms of delivery.’ Kumaran Adithyan

‘I enjoy the fact that there is a competition popping up, this means there is demand for my products. Also, whether you are just starting or already established in eCommerce, you can’t ignore data and statistics.’ Ann-Maree Morrison

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‘When thinking about increasing prices to make the business sustainable, remember that quality will be remembered longer than the amount paid.’ Andrew Scott

‘When reopening the business, the key point to remember is that it is not just about making a profit, we must think about maintaining the jobs for our staff. Therefore finding a balance and building communications with local communities is very important to us’. Tanja Lister

‘We must start to boast about Scotland and what we have to offer. The return may be slow, but there are ways to help build confidence among our clients and visitors’. Andrew Scott

‘The businesses need a lot of support from Government in terms of reinstalling the confidence in the general public about buying from businesses again’. Tanja Lister

‘There is work to be done with local communities and new strategies for consumer engagement.’ David Whiteford

How to show the customers that they are coming into a safe environment?

  • appoint a leader among your staff, to take ownership of this project
  • visual information is a must – but not overwhelming because the guests would like to relax and forget for a few moments about the reality
  • good to go scheme will be launching this week by UK Hospitality
  • only accept prebooked guests, so it is easier to manage operations
  • explain the flow to your guests when they walk in, with stickers and signs. however, this can be done in a fun and approachable way, for example, add a straw to the glass of wine, so your guest wearing a face mask can still drink it.

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To view the full agenda and for links to Speakers’ LinkedIn profiles, please click the button:

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