“I know my core skills, and most importantly my own weaknesses, so I ensure that I have the right team in place to complete the loop. In South Africa specifically, I’ve also found having a strong network to be critical to the success of my businesses,” he says.
Marcus is an entrepreneur who started his first company Sinsation Promotions at the age of 18, building it up to be a real contender in the industry.
At the age of 25, he created The Poker Room, a corporate team-building venture that offered corporates training in poker and game theory – designed to enhance the use of poker skills in business and business skills in poker.
In 2008, he ventured into the world of publishing, establishing luxury lifestyle magazine Live Out Loud in Cape Town.
His latest venture, Magnetic, was founded in 2012, together with business partners Jan Pickard and Korak Kuhnert – who built the app – and he introduced this innovative project management software to marketing and advertising agencies, offering them a platform that has proven to be a vital tool for managing the freelance workforce of experienced professionals.
Growing up, Marcus didn’t know what he wanted, but remembers that he was always on the lookout for opportunities.
“The first one hit me fresh out of school, when I went to a R5 drinks party attended by a small group of people – probably 20 at most. I went to the owner and motivated that he allow us to take over the venue every Monday night. That’s how my first venture, SinSation Promotions, was born. We grew the company significantly, until it became one of Cape Town’s leading party promotions companies. This kick-started my passion for driving my own future, and I have never looked back,” he says.
Marcus believes Magnetic has helped him diversify his business.
“We’ve created a flexible and open work environment for our team, giving them the opportunity to take part in high-level conversations which contribute to the future success of the company. At Magnetic, our goal is to provide a single solution to managing all the important processes inside a business,” he says.
Marcus says retrenching some of his employees when his previous business failed about a decade ago was the most challenging phase of his entrepreneurial journey.
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“We did everything we could to keep the business going, and this was my first – very hard – lesson on how difficult it is to close down a business,” he recalls.
He realised that this challenge was the result of having no clear financial plan and cash flow forecast.
“I’m fortunate to have a business partner at Magnetic now who is extremely financially sound and ensures that we adhere to the budget,” he says.
Magnetic has clients across the UK and USA. Marcus is planning a full UK strategy to replicate the growth path in the local advertising and marketing sector.