Business in the 21st century has changed. With the help of social media and the aspect of learning tricks from woman who have gone through the process, it’s always refreshing to share with up and coming women and give them the support needed to begin their own business.


  1. What are the biggest challenges to starting a business?

Starting any business can sometimes be daunting and overwhelming. However with the right tools, mentors and knowledge anyone can start a business. I work with many new startup entrepreneurs who have an idea or a dream that they want to bring to the world.


The very first element in the process is to write down your idea or dream, and begin researching the industry or market you want to go to market in. Start researching it online, by typing your keyword or keyword phrase into the search engine, you’ll quickly see if there have been searches already around your keyword. A great example: I have a client who wants to open an organic produce brand and supply households with fresh daily organic veggies and fruit. I would start with the keyword ‘organic food…..’ and the search engine will pretex a few phrases. These pretext phrases are searches that people have already made online. Google, Bing, Saharah and Yahoo keep these searches because of search volume. In other words, the global community have searched for this keyword more than 2000 times. This give you great insight on your market and where to begin the research process – before you even develop your business module.

When you do this type of research you want to get clear about your idea as well as these four elements.

  1. Is there a need for my idea or dream in my community or global community?
  2. Who is already doing this and how did they start?
  3. Where would my idea or dream begin and where would I focus my go to market strategy?
  4. How would I best get in front of an audience and who is my audience?

Again you can use the most powerful search engine; Google to answer some of these questions. I would highly recommend that you use Google trends will give you more insight into your target audience demographic. This tool identifies which region the keyword is mostly searched by and gives you valuable insight into other competitors. Here’s an example. Here’s the direct link to visit as the example:

The next phase after you’ve done this research is to write down how you see your new startup working and the process of how it would work. Begin with the end in mind. Put yourself into your ideal target audience shoes. How would they receive your fresh veggies and move backwards until you reach the beginning. This way you’ll quickly identify if you would need to outsource some of the work, and you’ll also quickly identify gaps within the process.


The next process is to take to the streets, or social media. Begin asking your immediate network if they would be interested in this type of startup. What would they be willing to pay and how would they like to have it delivered. Getting this type of knowledge is key. As it will help you compile a pricing structure as well as a sales process or funnel that you can put together.


In essence the biggest challenge to starting any business is to find out if there is a need, want or desire for your particular product, service or offering. Once you’ve determined this, it take good research and positioning to really get your business going. The other challenge is finding the right target audience, because without people, who want your product, service or offering, you have no business. So keep all of this in mind when starting a new business. Research is paramount as it will quickly identify gaps within the market and give you an edge before you spend a cent on developing your dream or idea.

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Lucille Divine is known as the Digital Marketing Maverick because of her cutting edge approach in Digital strategy and training. Her career in digital started 10 years ago when she made a decision to shift her focus from the events marketing world to online marketing. Since then she has trained and consulted with brands like Branson Centre and Italtile, Ocean Basket, Shanduka Black Umbrella’s and agencies such as Digify Africa, Google SA, Facebook SA, Waggener Edstrom, Aqua Online and Ogilvy South Africa. She is most passionate about pioneering the way we communicate using digital media, Lucille currently heads up the training at Smurt Marketing and leads a digital collective group called Smurt Worx where she projects up with digital graduates that she has successfully trained over the past four years.. Lucille feels that she is shaping the digital industry for the future, she is passionate about sharing her knowledge by giving back to those who want to learn how to effectively communicate using digital marketing and media. She is also a passionate ambassador to causes that help develop and empower people to become digital pioneers of their own.


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