After being retrenched in April 2019, entrepreneur Graham John King asked himself a question. Should he look for another job as a full-time employee, or should he use years of experience and skills and finally offer his services to multiple businesses? Needless to say, the answer was easy. He decided to pursue his marketing company and the rest is history.
Later that year, he founded G and T Impressions, a marketing solutions business that assists SMME’s to market their businesses strategically and measurably. Now, the company is one of the innovative businesses participating in the Youth in Business programme, hosted by the Khayelitsha Bandwidth Barn.
“Marketing solutions is what I know, and the idea to start G and T Impressions was a direct result of my passion and experience,” explains Graham, who is also the company’s Managing Director.
A Marketing alumni from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Graham started building his marketing career in the shopping centre industry in 2009. Now, having worked in the Marketing industry for over 10 years, he carries a wealth of experience in various sectors including retail, finance and education.
“With a unique flair for creative design and marketing strategy, these range of skills from brand development to social media management enable G and T Impressions to be guided with a high level of marketing excellence.
“Too many SMME’s fail because of poorly conceived and executed marketing tactics and this does not have to be the case. Our mission is to provide a marketing management function to businesses who do not currently have one internally but need it to grow a sustainable and successful business.”
Since the company’s inception, Graham has enjoyed a few highlights.
“The first highlight was finally taking the huge step to start my business in July 2019. My first client paid me a total of R750 for a marketing design brief, this payment is where it all started for me. In September 2019, I signed a 3-month contract to provide marketing support to a large governmental organization, and in November 2019, the highlight was officially registering G and T Impressions (Pty) Ltd. 2. The cherry on top was securing a 1-year contract to provide social media, press and marketing solutions to the corporate social investment programme of a listed company. And then, of course, joining the Youth in Business programme in January 2020.”
He adds that the programme has had a very big impact on his business.
“As a startup and new entrepreneur, understanding how to run a business is essential and I needed as much help as I could get. The programme gave me insights and lessons from real-life entrepreneurs in a free and easy environment. Big takeout for me has been in areas about business compliance, finance, tech tools to assist with my processes and pitching for new business.”
And the results can be seen already.
“In April 2020, one of my clients showed a social media reach of over 50 000 people with an engagement rate of 43%. This is the best-recorded performance in the history of their brand presence and exposure on social media since they started in 2010.”
However, Graham’s journey has had its fair share of challenges.
“There are too many to mention. They include business networking, promoting my business and services, defining my business model and overall business development.
“With COVID-19, the struggle is very real. We are not able to pitch business to new clients, and as a result, we are not able to expand and grow. On the positive impact, it has challenged us as a business to innovate and find new marketing solutions to assist our clients in still achieving their goals.
“Do what you love you, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”