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Women who work it: Celebrating Durban's women in business

What makes Durban, Durban? There are many aspects that cumulatively make Durban the city we choose to call "home"...
Women who work it: Celebrating Durban's women in business
The climate, the cultures, the places and the people all contribute to this great and beautiful melting pot; a diverse and vibrant blend. This past month (Women's Month) we celebrated those women who are making their mark in the Durban business world. Women who have stepped up and gone against the grain. Women who have achieved in their fields. Women we can learn from.

This is passion. This is determination. This is innovation. This is #Durban. 

Durban 031 is proud to introduce you to Chloe-Simone Hofmann of Pistol + Honey Digital Agency:

A Cape Town local, Chloe-Simone moved to Durban in 2016 and started her Umhlanga-based Digital Marketing Agency, Pistol + Honey.  She was recently made a finalist in the Business Woman Achiever of the Year, awarded by Margaret Hirsch. We caught up with Chloe-Simone to find out more about being a female business owner and to pick her brain on how best to market ones business in 2018. 

Durban 031:You moved from Cape Town to Durban and chose to start your business here; what made you chose Durban? 

Chloe-Simone: I lived in Durban briefly in 2013 and completely fell in love with this city - its vibrancy, rhythm and heat. There is really no where else like it. At the time I received a big promotion in Cape Town and moved home for the position, but my heart remained firmly in the 031. 

Durban is growing. There is so much happening here. You only have to leave your house and drive a kilometre or two to see expansion and building everywhere. 

The romantic in me would rather Durban stay just the way I fell in love with it and stop getting so built up.

But the business woman in me sees all of the growth around me and becomes hugely excited by the opportunities and potential that exists in this beautiful city. 

Durban 031: You made a move that many people want to but that few actually do - you stepped away from the security of a corporate position and started your own business. What motivated you to make this change and what advice do you have for others considering a similar move?

Chloe-Simone: Wow - this really is a question I could speak on for hours, but I will try and keep my answer short!

After I finished my post graduate degree at university I worked in marketing and advertising for nine years. I became client service director at an advertising agency, and later head of marketing at an international Forex company. I reached my goals in the fields of both marketing and advertising and I was ready for my next challenge. 

I am a passionate innovator and had dreamed of building my ideal agency. An agency filled with cutting edge digital advances, wrapped in innovative brilliance and nurtured by a love for all things marketing. So that's just what I did with Pistol+ Honey.

When it comes to advice for those wishing to start their own businesses - its hard to isolate just one piece of advice. I think one of the most pivotal pieces of advice I could give though is to prepare for your business before you start it. There are many ways you can prepare - one of the most important is to ensure you have sufficient experience in the industry you wish to build your business in. Having a job in the same industry allows for you to learn from those who are experienced in it (rather than having to make all of your own mistakes). It also allows you to build a reputation for yourself in your industry and network with potential clients, suppliers and staff members!

Durban 031: Digital marketing is so big these days and there are so many different options as to how a person can advertise their business digitally; as a marketing and advertising specialist, can you give us any advice as how best to navigate the digital landscape for business? 

Chloe-Simone: You are so right there. Even as a specialist we have to spend hours a week on research because there are constantly new developments and if you do not keep up with them, you are unable to provide your business with the very best in digital marketing.

There are so many different components to digital marketing and it can be a bit of a mine field to navigate through. This is essentially why I started Pistol + Honey, to take the "guess work" out of marketing and provide businesses with the peace of mind that their marketing is safely in the best of the bests hands.

I see marketing the same way I see other industries - its a specialist field. For example, I do my own personal accounting, but when it comes to my businesses accounts I outsource to an accounting specialist because I know this will mean getting greater returns and improved value.

The same goes for all aspect of our business, including social media. Social media for business use is very different to that personal use; this is why many businesses who manage their own social pages struggle to reach their goals.

So I guess the best piece of advice I can give is hand over your marketing to a business who can help you grow and achieve your business goals. Start on a small budget you can afford and let your marketing company grow with you and increase your budget as your business soars.

5 Sep 2018 11:13

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