As thousands gathered in the 100-plus-degree summer heat of Las Vegas for the Sage Summit, it occurred to me that Sage was once a small company, just like yours. It, too, went through a time when the owners had\u00a0to figure out how to launch it, stay afloat, scale and grow. The Sage Group is a global company offering accounting, data management and related business software to more than 6 million customers. Its subsidiary, Sage North America recently hosted its annual customer event called Sage Summit. Here are 11 facts to know about Sage\u00a0and what it does for small businesses. 1 + 2 = startup -- Sage was started in one pub in New Castle in the United Kingdom by two university students. Like so many small businesses Sage\u2019s startup was not planned. One evening, two university students sitting in that pub realized there had to be a better way for businesses to manage their finances -- and the concept of Sage was born. Takeaway: Inspiration can strike anywhere. Be\u00a0sure to\u00a0capture your thoughts as they occur to you -- it just might be that next opportunity. 30,000 conversations -- That's how many conversations Sage employees hold with Sage customers, every single day. Takeaway:\u00a0In this era of the Internet, we sometimes forget our customers want -- and need -- to talk to us and not search our websites for FAQs. Your phone number should be easy to find on your website, or any communications you send your customers. 150,000 online community members -- Sage City is Sage's online community with more than 150,000 small business "residents" who connect and support one another. Considering Sage City was launched last year, that\u2019s a lot of population growth. Takeaway:\u00a0Creating an informational community for your customers is a way to build\u00a0 loyalty while adding value. It's also a good way to encourage customers to spread the word to their friends and colleagues. 5,000 small business owners -- That's the number of people who attended Sage Summit this year. This was the first year since the Summit was started in 2006 that the Summit was open to everyone -- Sage customers, partners (there used to be a separate partner conference) and small business owners in general. Takeaway:\u00a0Can you host an event for your local customers? If you have a store or office, host an open house, offer promotions and encourage your clients \u201cbring a friend.\u201d 25,000 social messages -- That's how many messages were generated during Sage Summit using the #SageSummit hashtag on Twitter. That translated into a whopping 12.7 million social impressions. Takeaway:\u00a0Using social media is no longer an option for small business owners. Integrate social media into your overall marketing plan. 0 employees on up -- Sage offers products and services for every small and midsize business \u2014 no matter the size. \u00a0Products are designed to serve distinct needs depending on size. Takeaway:\u00a0A deep focus on your market enables you to segment them by need and deliver solutions to serve their distinct needs. $22 billion in credit card transactions -- Last year Sage processed about $22 billion in credit card transactions for its customers. Takeaway:\u00a0While it can be expensive to take credit cards, it\u2019s increasingly the way America wants to shop. It's also a must for online. A report from market research firm Javelin Strategy & Research says by 2017 only 23 percent of point-of-sale purchases will be made with cash. 8,500 miles -- Sage launched an RV tour last year with 35 Sage executives, to visit customers throughout the United States and Canada in two months. They logged 8,500 miles in their quest to learn from the customers from visiting on site. Takeaway:\u00a0As important as social media or teleconferencing is, there's no substitute for face\u00a0time\u00a0with customers. 1981 -- This is the year that Sage got started. By 1999 it was named to the\u00a0the\u00a0FTSE 100 (i.e., one of the 100 largest companies on the London Stock Exchange). Takeaway:\u00a0\u00a0Perseverance matters in business. 24 countries -\u2013 From its humble start as an idea in that U.K. pub, Sage has grown into a global company with revenues of more than $2 billion, over 12,700 employees worldwide (3,000 in North America), and a footprint in 24 countries. Takeaway:\u00a0\u00a0Humble beginnings can lead to enormous success. 15,781 feet above sea level -- That\u2019s the height of Mont Blanc, which is the highest mountain in the Alps. Pascal Houillon, the president and CEO of Sage North America is a master scuba diver who relaxes by climbing mountains and has scaled Mont Blanc. Takeaway:\u00a0No one can work 24/7. Make time to do what you love, it will replenish and refocus you.