This idea was born from our experiences in the print marketing industry and the time we lived abroad.
For the past 10 years, I have been involved in print marketing. While advertising is critical to business success, the reality is that over the past few years, I have noticed that print advertising had become less effective and more expensive. As the old advertising joke goes: "Half the money I spend on advertising is a waste, the problem is I don’t know which half". The truth is that I knew half the print media we were doing ended up in the bin, because people just don't have time to read print media anymore.
I realised that there is a serious gap in the market to assist businesses with professional yet affordable marketing. Not everyone can afford print advertising, much less an ad agency. As a result, only a few businesses could advertise in print media, and this did not really give the readers what they needed: somewhere where they could find and read about ALL the businesses and services available in their area.
During our time abroad, we realised that the answer lies in online marketing and that South Africa was far behind the rest of the world in terms of online marketing. We could no longer ignore the fact that the Internet is the most cost-effective way to promote businesses. Not only is it affordable, so that ALL businesses in an area can enjoy exposure, it also ensures that businesses get a guaranteed return on what they spend on their online advertising.
So, in January 2011, we launched FINDTHEM.co.za from our offices in Fourways, Johannesburg, giving all my existing print advertising clients a free listing and mini-webpage for six months while building our FINDTHEM.co.za client base. We are the first business directory/listing site to offer unlimited space and allow our clients to include any content they need to promote their business - including photos, videos, brochures and even slideshows.
As such, the first FINDTHEM.co.za site was exclusive to northern suburbs of Johannesburg. But the business is growing and our second site has just been launched in the North West and a 3rd is on the way in Centurion. Now, along with Travis Sheils, a new shareholder, we plan to cover every area in SA with a Find Them website and expand internationally during 2013.
Tim Cohen CEO and Shareholder
I have been in Sales and Advertising for the past 10 years. I created and managed the Glo Media Advertising Agency for three years and I have published more than 20 magazines. I am also a graphic designer and an experienced traveller, having worked and lived abroad in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.
Travis Sheils Shareholder
With a background in hydroponic retail, pathology and mycology (mushroom farming), extensive travel and ticketing in the travel and hospitality industry, Travis' extensive travel and entrepreneurial spirit led him to work with FINDTHEM.
A dream come true
Bringing all our experience and insights together, we have created a business that not only makes people's lives easier, but also helps small businesses to advertise and market themselves and creates jobs and business opportunities. It is a dream come true for our team, and that is why we have chosen these simple and clear business values.
Business values To provide the public with free use of a site where they can find anything they are looking for in their immediate area.
-To charge our clients less than anyone else, and give them much more than they expect -To pay our staff as much as we can afford rather than as little as we can get away with -To become green and eco-friendly and cutting paper from our business entirely by the end of the year 2012
In support of this, we have expressed our vision and mission as follows:
Our vision - To become a recognised brand in South Africa for all that we stand for and provide - To be a provider of successful business opportunities nationwide - To become the 'go to' website for anyone living in South Africa who is looking for any business or service - To continue to be innovative and up-to-date with the latest in web trends
- To have 80% of our advertisers renew their annual contract with FINDTHEM each year
- To expand FINDTHEM all over South Africa, with 50 websites planned for 2012/13 - To expand internationally, initially throughout Africa, where there is a desperate need for Internet business
and then into Australia
Where we are going We have a two-year plan to cover South Africa with 50 websites and to establish 10 international sites by 2014. Soon the whole world will easily be able to find out about any business they are looking for through Find Them.
FindThem is also only the beginning we hope to bring you the public many more useful and exciting sites in the near future!
Our GREEN journey
In 2010, we printed nearly 100 000 magazines to promote roughly a 100 clients. In 2011, through FINDTHEM.co.za we have promoted over 400 businesses to 1 million people without printing anything.
- First and foremost, our green efforts are focused on encouraging businesses to go online. One of our core focus points is to move current printadvertising and marketing campaigns to digital and social campaigns. -Secondly, 90% of our communications are done via email and online, including digital booking forms. Any paper we print on or use isrecycled. We plan on cutting paper from our business entirely by the end of the year 2012. - We work from home and so drive very little, which means our carbon foot print in terms of travelling is minimal.
Thanks for reading & we hope you continue to explore FindThem! Please recommend us to all your friends & follow us on -