FROM a cramped flat bedroom in 2013 to four people sharing two desks in 2015, today SearchKings Africa has 16 people sitting at 16 desks in first-grade offices in the heart of Sandton – helping African small and medium enterprises (SMEs) unlock their potential, one lead at a time. The brain behind the business is Brett Perlstein, a chartered accountant turned Google Ads specialist. He gave up his suits and ties for designer T-shirts and trainers to carve out a niche offering in SA’s Google Ads agency landscape when he opened SearchKings in 2013.

One of the few agencies in the country that offers a tailored solution aimed at SMEs, SearchKings Africa remains true to its undertaking to help SMEs across the continent unleash their true potential. “The small business sector in South Africa and on the continent is a critical part of the national economy – and meaningful economic growth is tightly linked to the success of new and growing enterprises,” he said. “We have to focus on ensuring that SMEs are ready for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. With 1.2 million SMEs in South Africa alone, and more than 50% expected to fail within the first two to three years of inception, there is no doubt that the need to generate leads at scale is not only key to success, but crucial for survival.”

Today one of the country’s Premier Google partners, the five-year journey to get there has been “one hell of a ride”. “As a startup business ourselves we understand many of our clients’ experiences. Starting something from nothing requires a thick skin and steadfast ambition,” added Perlstein. “The process of building a business is brutal and there were moments when we were so deep in the trenches, it felt like there was no way out. But we believed wholly in our value proposition and today we get to help small to medium businesses plan, build and execute their digital campaigns with remarkable success.”

A career that has now taken him across the globe, Perlstein now finds himself on home soil in Johannesburg, where he has spent the past five years nurturing SearchKings Africa’s customers through the power of Google Ads. His expertise has seen him travel the continent, being handpicked by Google to do multiple keynote addresses including the Nigeria Google Partners launch in Lagos on how to grow a successful SME agency at scale. Together with technology partners in Canada, SearchKings Africa ensures that it can execute campaigns for SMEs at scale, something it has done with great success across the US and Canada with more than 2 000 customers.

Perlstein’s journey, coupled with his local and dynamic team, has evolved into a business that speaks directly to his clients’ distinctive and varying needs. In a changing world of artificial intelligence and machine learning, technology is fundamental for the SME success equation. “We understand the SME landscape when it comes to their challenges and general risk aversion. But at SeachKings Africa, we guide and support our clients from beginning to end, ensuring that our specialist services allow any client who sits opposite any one of our 16 qualified Google experts to realise their full potential,” concluded Perlstein.

Talent reporter.

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