Connect with us

Start-up Industry Specific

How would I go about starting a marketing business and what are the types of services or marketing options that I can offer?

A guide to offering marketing services to other businesses.




How to start a marketing company

The first step to take is to decide under what kind of business entity you want to operate the business. Registering a company might seem like an administrative headache but it’s an important step in the birth of your new venture, and one that can have a significant impact to the future of your business.

To start a business you must decide if you are going to operate as a Sole Proprietor or Private Company. If you are going to register a PTY then you have to register the business through Companies Intellectual Property Registration Office (Cipro). Once this is done, register the business with the South African revenue Services (SARS).


Mentorship and support is a crucial element in setting up a new business and there is plenty of support out there for starts-up. Some mentorship and support programmes are offered free and others charge a fee for their expertise.

What is a business mentor?

A mentor is someone with entrepreneurial business experience who serves as a trusted confidante over an extended period.

How to choose the right mentor

Choosing the best mentor is a personal decision. You must feel comfortable with the mentor and have a good rapport with that person, who must also have the best interests of your company as his or her goal. Because of their expertise, they have the knowledge to implement a series of proven systems and strategies designed to help your business grow.

Associations to join

By joining associations, you will give your business credibility. Clients will feel more comfortable doing business with you as there is an industry watchdog that they can turn to if something goes wrong.

The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa

The advertising and marketing industry is self-regulated in South Africa. The marketing and communication industry voluntarily regulates the content of advertising. The advertisers who pay for the advertising, the advertising agencies responsible for its form and content, and the media, which carry it – work together, to agree advertising standards.

The ASASA has set up a system to ensure that advertisements, which fail to meet those standards, are corrected or removed.

The Marketing Association of South Africa

MASA protects the credibility of marketing by improving the way marketing is perceived and practiced in South Africa. MASA is a Section 21 company that works as an ‘anchor’ in the industry.

The Digital Media and Marketing Association (DMMA)

The DMMA is a voluntary, non-profit association focused on growing and sustaining a profitable digital industry within South Africa. The DMMA currently represents over 70 local online publishers and over 25 creative, media and digital agencies, between them accounting for more than 10 million local unique browsers and 330 million page impressions.

For more information

What to Specialise In

How to start an outdoor marketing company

The first thing that you have to do is to sign up contracts for potential sites. This is done through meeting with landlords and coming to an arrangement. Once the contract is signed between yourselves, you need to obtain permission to advertise at the sites you have selected. This permission is provided through the town planning department of local municipalities’.


Ensure that you comply with all relevant legislation regarding billboards, posters and any other form of outdoor advertising that you are planning to use with the local municipality. You must obtain written approval from the council.

Take note of the address, stand, street name and crossroad that you would like to utilise. Click here for a complete list of local municipalities where you can apply for permission. Permission can take anything from three to six months and in some cases it can take up to five years.

Outdoor advertising methods

Billboards are the most common method used by outdoor marketers and they continue to be one of the worthiest techniques to mark a branding imprint to hundreds or millions of targeted minds.

Other outdoor mediums

Do not limit yourself to thinking that outdoor media, is only billboards. There are a myriad of alternative outdoor mediums. These include vehicle and building wraps, posters, moving billboards and digital signage.

Hit the right target

Outdoor media is a robust form of advertising. There are many reasons for this. Traffic is slow along certain routes, allowing time to read.  If a pedestrian wants to read an ad, he or she can simply stop walking and take notice. You can also better target your message to consumers who will be most receptive to it because everyone goes somewhere at sometime.

Networking can be most useful

By joining the Marketing Association of South Africa they can provide access to a network of credible business and marketing professionals as well as enhanced personal credibility to your business as a marketing professional.

How much capital is needed to start a digital billboard business?

The capital required to start a business should be determined through the preparation of a business plan.


One of the biggest suppliers of this kind of equipment is Polycomp. They offer over 700 products ranging from R2 500 for the smallest sign which measures 650mm x 115mm while the biggest billboard ranges in price from R856 000 and measures 44.2 square meters. This is the type of billboard seen in soccer stadiums.


Ensure that you comply with all relevant legislation regarding billboards. Legislation and by laws differ from municipality to municipality. If you intend broadcast on a digital billboard you will need to obtain broadcast rights as well. The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) will be able to give you more information regarding broadcasting rights.

More Information:

Entrepreneur Magazine is South Africa's top read business publication with the highest readership per month according to AMPS. The title has won seven major publishing excellence awards since it's launch in 2006. Entrepreneur Magazine is the "how-to" handbook for growing companies. Find us on Google+ here.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Start-up Industry Specific

How Do I Start A Transport Or Logistics Business?

An all in one guide to starting a transport and logistics business.




Prev1 of 9


Thinking about starting a transport business?

Forecasts indicate that the demand for freight transport will grow in South Africa by between 200% and 250% over the 15 to 20 years.

Some corridors, (high volume transport routes that connect major centres), such as the corridors between Gauteng and Cape Town (which amount to 50% of all corridor transport) will increase even faster.

The scope in the transport and logistics industry is varied – from a one-man show using a small truck to transport goods and offer services, to a fleet of transport vehicles which travel the length and breadth of South Africa’s roads.

Road transportation includes commuter transport from taxis to bus transportation.

It can be a tough industry and there are many threats facing transport businesses but if you get it right, you can build a successful business.

What is covered in this guide:

  1. How to start your transport and logistics business
  2. How to get funding for your transport business
  3. What are the costs involved
  4. Finding customers and getting transport contracts
  5. Getting onto suppliers lists
  6. Buying trucks and employing drivers
  7. What are the regulations and risks
  8. Where to find guidance to start your business.

Ready to get going? Click the arrow button to learn how to start your own transport business.

Prev1 of 9

Continue Reading

Start-up Industry Specific

How To Start A Farming Business

Keep these nine points in mind when launching your new farming business.




Prev1 of 10
Prev1 of 10

Continue Reading

Start-up Industry Specific

How Do I Start A Security Company In South Africa?

There are two kinds of security companies, one that sells products and one that sells services or you can combine both.





To start a security service company in South Africa you must register with the Private Security Regulatory Authority (SIRA). There are two kinds of security companies, one that sells products and one that sells services or you can combine both. It is estimated that the private security industry in South Africa employs over 400 000 individuals.

If you’re looking at starting a security guard company in South Africa, the following guide will be able to assist you in the deciding if it’s the right decision for you.

You need a lot of capital

Starting a security business requires a good deal of capital outlay and it’s highly recommended that one should have a background in this field.

Decide what kind of company you want to start

There are two kinds of security companies, one that sells products and one that sells services or you can combine both. Each sector falls under its own regulatory body.

What about area competition?

Greg Margolis is the CEO of NYPD Security, a niche security company that has operated for the last five years in the leafy northern suburbs of Johannesburg.

“To run your own security service company I think that you have to be well rounded in terms of not just being a good business person, but you also have to be a people person, a marketing person and know a good deal about the business.

“There’s tough competition, but I love what I do and wouldn’t sell my business even if I was offered triple what its worth. I am passionate about what I do”, says Margolis.

Starting a Security Services Business

To start a security service company in South Africa you must register with the Private Security Regulatory Authority (PSIRA). This includes paying a registration fee of R2 280 and writing an exam. Once you have passed the exam, proved that you do not have a criminal record, SIRA will conduct an inspection to establish whether or not your business meets the infrastructure requirements. A further fee of R1 710 is charged for the assessment. Each year the business is re-accessed which costs a further R500 plus the annual renewal fee or R520.

The following documentation is required for registration:

  1. An authenticated copy of the CM1, CM2, CM27, CM29, CM31 and CM 46 (apply at Registrar of Companies or Attorneys), if the applicant is a company;
  2. An authenticated copy of the Partnership Agreement if the applicant is a partnership;
  3. An authenticated copy of the trust deed and the letter of authorisation to the trustees from the Master of the High Court if the applicant is a business trust

Related:Steps for Setting the Right Prices for Your Security Business

Also required:

  1. The Suretyship form (SIRA 4) to be signed by the natural person who has taken full responsibility of the security business
  2. Every director, member, partner (as the case may be) applying for registration as a security business must have successfully completed, at a training establishment accredited in terms of law, at least, the training courses Grade E to B
  3. An authenticated copy of the Tax Clearance Certificate from the South African Revenue Service (SARS)
  4. An authenticated copy of the VAT Registration Number from SARS.
  5. An authenticated copy of the PAYE number from SARS
  6. An authenticated copy of the COID number (Compensation for Occupational Injuries & Diseases) from the Department of Labour
  7. Sufficient information in writing to enable the Authority to ascertain that the applicant security business meets the requirements with regard to the infrastructure and capacity necessary to render a security service;

This include, inter alia, the following:

  1. Submit a business plan to the Authority including the location and activities
  2. A resolution by the applicant security business stating that it will be able to operate for the next year
  3. The applicant proves that it has an administrative office that is accessible to the inspectors of the SIRA
  4. The applicant must have equipment which is necessary for the management and administration of the security business, e.g. fixed telephone, fax machine, a hard copy or electronic filing system for the orderly keeping of all records and documentation
  5. Show that the affairs of the applicant security business are managed and controlled by appropriately experienced, trained and skilled persons
  6. The applicant security business has at its disposal a sufficient number of registered and appropriately trained and skilled security officers for the rendering of a security service for which it has contracted or is likely to contract
  7. The security officers must be properly controlled and supervised
  8. The applicant security officer has at its disposal sufficient and adequately skilled administrative staff members for the administration of the affairs of the applicant
  9. The business must have has all the necessary equipment, including vehicles,  uniforms, clothing and equipment that must be issued to its security officers
  10. The applicant security business is in lawful possession of the firearms and other weapons that are necessary offer security services in respect of which it has contracted.

Related: Get going with a One Page Business Plan

Landing contracts


The most important thing you can do to start and operate your own business is to develop a good business plan.

It’s invaluable because the business plan forces you to come to terms with your business. Selling the business concept seems to the problem, said Margolis. These are his five tips that will help to get the business going.

“The security industry in South Africa is very competitive. You have to get out there and you have to keep knocking on doors, there isn’t an easy solution”, explains Margolis.

Top Tips

1. Look at your business plan and decide if you have a competitive advantage. If not, work out how you can make the market understand the unique value your small business has to offer.

2. It is important to make yourself known. It isn’t difficult or expensive to increase awareness about the business. Attend ratepayer meetings, spend time at the local police stations, and attend meetings the police have with residents and businesses in the area. This way people get to know you and respect you and half the battle is won. Networking is the way to go.

3. It’s my experience that bigger companies are reluctant to give security contracts to a company that is a one-man show. Make sure that you have a structure in place. Clients need to know if something happens to you, the business will not fall apart, and the services they have paid for and you have agreed to supply, will not cease. Clients need to understand that besides experience, that you are credible and that all the checks and balances are in place. This must be one of the key selling points.

4. Consider taking on a partner. Choose a partner who has the attributes that you lack. The ideal partner would be one with strong links and contacts in the community that you want to work with. Let your partner control the selling side while you handle areas you’re strong in, such as expertise and service delivery. The other option is to employ sales staff.

5. Stay abreast of new trends in the field, and update your skills. This is something that I strongly believe in. You have to be well rounded in terms of not just being a good businessperson, but you also have to be a people person, a marketing and sales manager and know a good deal about the neighbourhoods you work.


Are you new to starting a business? Read 15 Things Every Newbie Needs to Know About Starting a Business

Security products

What are the requirements to start a security product supplier business?

If you are starting a security company that sells electronic alarm systems and other security products it’s wise to become a member of SAIDSA in order to provide your business with the credibility it needs to be taken seriously by the public and security service providers.

The objective of SAIDSA is to upgrade the quality and standards of electronic security and to protect the public from unscrupulous, “fly-by-night” operators. When a security system is purchased, an ongoing relationship is entered into between the purchaser and the security service company concerned.

The security service product supplier must have the infrastructure and the required expertise to support the relationship continuously.

Security Sector Regulatory Bodies

The security industry has established a number of bodies to regulate itself. Membership in these bodies is voluntary. They include:

Ready to get going? Here’s 10 Steps to Start Your Business For Free (Almost)

Continue Reading



Recent Posts

Follow Us

We respect your privacy. 
* indicates required.