Xpose has grown from humble beginnings over a dining room table to becoming the fastest growing enterprise of its kind in South Africa.
The combined networking and business skills on offer is phenomenal and promises a bright future for all involved in the organization – business owners, our clients and our staff.
Firstly let’s look at a national survey that we conducted which commenced in 2016 and focused on two aspects:
- How many businesses were in South Africa?
- How do businesses promote awareness of their company and their products and services?
Many South African businesses (particularly sole proprietors and small partnerships) do not have the financial muscle to market themselves effectively.
An interesting fact (as at 2018) is that leading Internet Search Engines indicate that roughly 40% of South African businesses, products and services cannot be found on the internet!
That is rather shocking.
And why such a low percentage?
Small to medium businesses generally have not embraced the internet, primarily because of:
- the exorbitant cost of website design and hosting
- the lack of technical know-how when it comes to the internet
- not understanding the marketing potential of social media
Our survey also tried to establish what the most pressing needs of businesses were.
We personally visited 12,539 businesses across South Africa, chatted to the owners and recorded information.
In no specific order of importance the requirements were:
- The need for cost-effective marketing and exposure
- The need for quality yet price competitive branded wear
- The need for inexpensive mobile-friendly websites and hosting
- The need to self-manage websites (much like social media)
- The need for regular interaction at business networking events
- The need to display products at business expo’s
- The need to create and drive brand awareness
- The need for affordable graphic design services
- The need for access to business leads and referrals
- The need for dependable and inexpensive email and SMS marketing
- The need for cost-effective promotional products
- The need for quality, affordable branded wear
- The need to self-manage business information on business directories
- The need to self-manage their website information
In most cases three criteria stood out:
- Price (too expensive)
- Availability (could not or did not know where to find)
- Quality (inferior)
HOW WE STARTED
The survey mentioned above formed an integral part of the decision to launch our organization.
Having experienced great difficulty is locating certain businesses, products and services in South Africa, we decided that it was time to create a centralized database where every single business in South Africa would be found and where business owners could promote their products and services freely.
We employed a team of software developers to design a business directory website (which is the one that you are now visiting) and ran numerous trials until testing proved 100% satisfactory.
During the trials, some businesses that we used as “Guiney pigs” asked whether we could also provide other products such as corporate and work wear and a range of gifts and promotional items.
We toured around the country to source suppliers of quality goods at competitive prices.
We then established an online store website which has subsequently grown to thousands of items and includes clothing, workwear, safety wear, bags, headwear, display items, sportswear, gifting, promotions and more.
The products required branding so we were off again sourcing a branding company.
Then business owners asked to have logos and artwork designed, and off we went finding graphic designers.
Other business owners asked for websites, website and email hosting, QR codes, bulk email and bulk SMS … the list is endless.
So we just kept adding new products and services.
To make Xpose more manageable we structured multiple divisions.
So our modest little company suddenly was strategically placed to offer all businesses a huge range of marketing options – effectively a one-stop marketing store.
Having a working database in place, we fine-tuned this to a fully fledged business directory.
One question kept nagging at us.
How do we get all businesses in South Africa onto the database so that their marketing needs could be determined and addressed?
Then a light bulb moment!
We dashed off to a local College to chat to one of the student advisors.
We were very enthusiastically received when we explained that we needed students to visit and interact with business owners, simultaneously collecting information and introducing our range of products and services.
Needless to say, enquiries poured in from colleges and universities.
This also solved a headache for the colleges and universities as their students needed practical work experience as part of their curriculum and had to log up a number of working hours.
Although many students were taken in by big corporates, not all students could be accommodated.
The student mentorship program will be launched soon to provide students with practical business training which cannot be simulated in a classroom.
Although our student mentorship program is very much in its infancy, it will be modified to incorporate a number of the requirements of the colleges and universities.
We demarcated South Africa into 80 non-overlapping ‘exclusive rights’ business areas which will be sold as business entities during 2019 / 2020 (please refer to ‘Franchising Opportunities’ for a list of business areas by clicking here FRANCHISING OPPORTUNITIES.
The owner of each business area is granted sole rights to market our range of products and services in their business area through a network of sales executives reporting to them.
The business model will be franchised in the near future.
We don’t talk – WE DO!
During our national rollout we will create permanent, skilled, high income employment for at least 1,800 people.
We will also be circulating leads and referrals to businesses and hope that this leads to job creation in their industries.
Our student mentorship program will also create budding entrepreneurs of the future.
Xpose will be fully represented in South Africa by 2020 with business support centers in each province.
Three regional offices are to be established:
- Cape Town
Xpose is a fully fledged virtual office interacting constantly with businesses, keeping them informed with leads and referrals, enquiries, events and business opportunities.
Everyone in our organization works from the comfort of their homes – one of South Africa’s first truly virtual office environments.
SERVICES CURRENTLY OFFERED TO BUSINESSES
Please click here – “BUSINESS DIVISIONS” – link on our website to see our divisions, products and services.
WHAT ABOUT THE FUTURE?
We are introducing more business divisions, products and services which will be launched soon.
In just over a year we have had more than ONE MILLION visitors to our website (view statistics by clicking here – GLOBAL VISITORS.
Over 160,000 of these were visitors from abroad!
We are indeed proud of these statistics.
Yes, we accept that there is still a lot of work to be done.
Is there any other small business that can truly say that it has done so much in such a little time?
This little “upstart” business known as Xpose is equipped and ready to challenge and take on big stereotyped marketing and branding corporations and all other “wannabee’s” and leave them eating our dust.
Yes – kick our tyres and you’ll find us awesome.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org