How I Started A Marketing Agency In South Africa?

Dana Ohana

Think Big. Be Big. Do Big. Consulting

Team Size



Not Disclosed


Cape Town, SA

STart Date


I had the pleasure of interviewing Dana Ohana the founder of Think Big. Be Big. Do Big. Consulting based in Cape Town, South Africa.

Dana was born in Israel but relocated to South Africa for work. After many years of experience working for global companies in marketing field she has decided to pursue her own business.

She is helping small businesses with their marketing needs, runs her own YouTube channel and teaches online courses on Udemy.

It was a great pleasure meeting another impressive and inspiring Female Entrepreneur.



My name is Dana, I have 10 years of experience in Marketing and Public Relation both South Africa and abroad. I have a B.A degree in Communications & Management, as well as an M.B.A Master’s Degree in Business Management, majoring in marketing & advertising.

I relocated to South Africa from Israel almost 4 years ago with the company I was working for at the time. I was sent to help the South African team with their marketing. When the offer came I immediately said yes as I saw it as a once in a lifetime opportunity so there was no way I could refuse. I saw the opportunity and grabbed it.

When the moment came for me to decide if I am going back to Israel or staying in South Africa, I realized that this is an opportunity for me to start something on my own, become an entrepreneur, and share my knowledge and experience. This is what lead me to start ‘Think Big. Do Big. Be Big. Consulting’.

My main goal is to share knowledge and help small businesses to unlock their full potential. My business provides all marketing services in one place. This includes building custom marketing and strategy plans to suit your individual business, outsourced marketing service for companies that don’t have the budget to hire someone full time, graphic design and website design, marketing consultation and lastly, my new addition and current focus, online courses and lectures geared to empower entrepreneurs in getting their business marketed in a way that will increase revenue. My new focus helps to share my tools with a larger audience instead of one-on-one clients only, allowing the audience to learn in their own time and focus on their business during the day.



I always had a clear plan on where I wanted my life to go. In Israel, straight after high school everyone is called to go to the army, and most people work and travel before they go to college or university and that is what I did.

I did my B.A., straight after my M.B.A. and immediately started working in the industry and developing myself professionally until a year ago when my company asked me to go back to Israel as I had delivered what I was asked to do. That made me wonder what direction I should take – if I should go back to Israel and stay with the company I was working for or stay in South Africa and start by consulting company after seeing so many businesses that could benefit from a better marketing strategy.

I decided that this is the time for me to start sharing my knowledge and experience, not only the theoretical side but also give real examples and provide easy simple marketing tools for small businesses to adapt and implement.

I noticed a lot of people are lacking knowledge on how to effectively market their company and while there are many people out there offering a similar service to me, they either overcharging or not providing a full solution that will actually help these small businesses grow.

I saw an opportunity that I could take advantage of and in the first year I realized that there are many opportunities and this is what has shaped my service offering to what it is today.

In terms of the business cycle I guess you could say that I have just completed the first cycle, “The Limbo”, where you are still making changes and your business strategy and trialing different strategies and I am very excited to say that I am finally going into Cycle 2, “The Start-up”, which mean that now once it’s all clear to me and I know where my business should be and can finally move to the stage where I market my business.


The moment I decided to become an entrepreneur and I knew, back then, what my business will be about I came up with the name and registered my company on the same day.

The funny part was that only after I submitted my application to register my business, I realized that the word “BIG” actually has a significant meaning on the driving force behind my business. I was at my 5 am yoga class and it just came to me, BIG = Branding, Innovation, Growth. This has been my guiding force since that moment.

While waiting for the company to be registered, I designed and built my business website and used my existing network to start promoting my business.

I also started using social media platforms to market my business and realized that I needed to revisit my strategy and focus on marketing my business through social media and networking. I have updated and redesigned my website and started using additional tools such as email campaigns to market my business.

I started this business based on my work experience and knowledge gained over the years in the industry. Using my existing international professional network, should I need any advice or input, I can always call on them which adds so much value to my service offering.

One of my best friends in South Africa, Jolene Palmer, is also my business mentor, so I would like to use this opportunity to thank her for always giving me the best advice and reminding me not to give up when things are difficult.

That is the same advice I give to people who want to start their own business – build your own support group, people who will always remind you to keep on pushing and that you can do it!


Biggest Challenge: Since I am not local in the market I work in, my biggest challenge was to find a way to gain their trust, build a community around me and build up a client base.

Biggest Achievement: My biggest achievement is seeing how I have helped my clients, helping them make their dreams come true, motivating and guiding them and seeing the positive impact of this on their business.

My second biggest achievement was pushing myself to do things outside of my comfort zone, such as making my own YouTube videos where I give tips and share my knowledge.

It hasn’t been easy, and has taken time to get where I am today, but I can see improvements every day – in my videos and the reactions I get, in the growing client base and following on my social media platforms. I am proud of myself and would advise everyone to try and do at least one thing that is outside of their comfort zone, and then keep pushing thereafter.

I have other small achievements like growing my Instagram account to 1000 followers in less than 2 months. The exciting part is that I am only at the beginning of this amazing journey and I am looking forward to seeing what new achievements will come in 2020.


I use different marketing platforms to promote my business. Some I use on a daily basis and some only for special projects and promotions.

I promote my business by social media on a daily basis: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Tik Tok. I also use networking events and friends recommendations for promoting my business.

For special projects I will use put together a strategy and use social media for the promotion, although I make sure I keep it relevant and don’t send all the material all at once, as well as networking events or forums and email campaigns.

I always tell my clients “social media is an amazing tool but choose it wisely, don’t waste your time, energy and money on something that will bring you zero results”.


As I mentioned earlier, I have just completed the first business cycle, which is limbo, and I am finally at a place where I have a clear roadmap of where I would like to take my businesses.

After changing my business strategy more than once in the first year of business I have a very clear strategy and business goals.

Now I am at the second cycle which is a start-up and I’m working on building my own community where I will share my knowledge and experience with those who want to learn from me and use the tools I provide them with in their life and/or business.

My goal for this amazing community is that I want there to be knowledge sharing, to learn from each other, a community of give and take and not only take.



  • Udemy – to sell my online courses
  • When To Post – to post on the right time on Instagram
  • TubeBuddy – to manage and grow my YouTube channel
  • Hostinger – to build my website
  • Canva – for social media designs


The main thing that is influencing me at the moment is my yoga journey to becoming an instructor. I have learned a lot, from the beginning where I learned that in order to stay in a position you need patience more than balance; how you need to have a strong core in order to do something as simple as a headstand and that you need to do it slowly and do it right. These are the same principles that you need when starting a business or anything in life. If you do not have the patience, you will fall down quickly.

I am trying to apply the same principles to my business and build a strong foundation while doing everything slowly with control and reminding myself not to lose patience.

I am also enjoying listening to Sunny Lenarduzzi’s YouTube Channel and reading Osho’s books.



Never give up on your dreams. Although it is not going to be easy and there will be some challenges along the way, always keep on pushing for what you want in life.


Remind yourself that rejection is redirection. Every rejection you experience in life from a potential client, bank, friend, partner or anyone saying no to you, consider as a gift.


I know it is not easy and sounds weird, but they are just redirecting you to a better place, to the place you are meant to be in, although you can’t see it at the moment.


Consider every difficult moment like that as a part of your journey that helps you grow and helps you build yourself and your business brand.


Use those moments to tell a story, your brand story, on a personal level and on a business one.


You can look at the market and say “but there are many competitors so why should people buy from me and not from them”, the main reason is not the product/service, the main reason is you! Your story! The way you tell it and their perception. So don’t be shy to tell your story, including the rejection part.


Never give up, it’s up to you which story you want to tell and share so choose the one that will make you happy and lead you to success.


Also, get the right people around you, those who will support you and constantly remind you of how amazing you are and what your capabilities are, so that giving up is not an option!

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Violeta Semenova

Welcome to the Biz Ladies interview series!

If you’re new to these series, I interview women entrepreneurs on how they started their business, what was the idea behind it, how they got where they are, the struggles, the reality and more.

By sharing their stories, we want to inspire other women to get started.

If you are interested to share your own story on the Biz Ladies LET ME KNOW!

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