#0007 - Brett Perlstein of SearchKings™ Africa

Civitas Team

20 ideas from Brett Perlstein on growth, early customer sales, scaling your business and financial management

Brett Perlstein is the founder and managing director of SearchKings™ Africa, a leading digital marketing agency that specialises in running digital marketing campaigns for small and large businesses. They build and customise, profitable and measurable digital advertising campaigns for companies across South Africa and around the world. Founded in 2013, SearchKings™ Africa has grown to over 200 clients and has become a Global Premier Google Partner. Al Glover of Civitas sat down with Brett to discuss growth, early customer sales, finding the right target market and financial management.  

Summary of the best ideas from the discussion

  • Use your network for early-stage sales
  • Target entrepreneurs as early customers
  • Plan for failure and need to innovate
  • Set quarterly growth targets
  • Clearly define your offering, your customer and your pricing 
  • Work closely with a great accountant
  • Digitize your accounting function
  • Deeply understand your numbers 
  • Reinvest cash flow to grow

On Early Customer Sales 

  1. “It is really all about networks.”
  2. “It was calling up as many people as possible who were once in my shoes and were willing to give a young entrepreneur with a good product a chance.” 
  3. “We set out clear growth targets ensuring how many customers we were targeting to reach every quarter.”

On Defining Your Target Market 

  1. “You need to know that you are going to take two steps forward to take one step back.”
  2. “As long as you learn from your mistakes, innovate and get smarter the next time around, you’re on the right road to success.”
  3. “You really need to define what you’re selling and who you’re selling it to.”
  4. “We spent a lot of time looking at who we wanted to service, how we were going to service them, what the right price point to enter that segment of the market was.”
  5. “We set out clear growth targets ensuring how many customers were we targeting to reach every quarter.”

On Financial Management 

  1. "Cash flow is going to be the living life force that drives any of these businesses."
  2. "Being able to understand cash flow, being able to forecast, being able to see."
  3. "Knowing how to potentially find cheaper money or gearing your business is really, really important and those are fundamental skills."
  4. "If you’re not an accountant yourself, try and find somebody who understands that and keep them close."
  5. "I can highly recommend digitizing your business and digitizing your accounting function."
  6. [on digitizing the accounting function] "Fundamental in our business in helping us get a line of sight on what our numbers look like and how we can make smarter business decisions because of our ability to have this data at our fingertips."

On Growth 

  1. “Understanding the numbers in your business is really key to giving you the ability to scale.”
  2. “Really knowing the ins and outs of your basic numbers that drive growth is fundamental to your success.”
  3. “Sometimes you’ve got to know that in order to grow trees, you’ve got to plant some seeds and spend some money.”
  4. “A lot of entrepreneurs that I know get very attached to cash flow.”
  5. “If you don’t reinvest money back into the business be it in marketing, in people and you know if you’re in a manufacturing business, in machinery or whatever it is, it’s going to be very hard to move the dial.”
  6. “Don’t sit on the cash because nothing’s going to happen.  You need to reinvest it in the business if you want to drive real growth.” 

Full transcript 

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