Lean Search‘s journey at Turbine started with Test Drive 3. We had a chat with Noor Sheriff, founder who shared his journey from Turbine‘s Test Drive Programme to being selected in the newly launched Acceleration Programme.
Tell us about yourself and your product
Noor Sheriff, MBA, ACIM, NLP, Founder and Head of PPC of Lean Search, member of the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and Institute of Business Advisors of Southern Africa (IBASA).
After ten years in Marketing as a banking marketer and luxury real estate marketer, out of which seven years in digital marketing, Noor launched Lean Search, the first agency dedicated to Search Engine Marketing (SEO & SEM) in Mauritius.
The agency offers only two services: SEO – Search Engine Optimisation, or the process of getting a website found on Google’s top page, and SEM – Search Engine Marketing, using Google Ads to show Paid Search ads in Google, or Display and YouTube Ads.
What are your main achievements so far?
- Setting up a cloud-based office
- Growing to a team of 4 full-time members and a network of over 25+ collaborators
- Generating revenue and profitability despite the COVID-19
- Setting up of online payment gateways for recurring payments to facilitate onboarding of international customers
- Gearing for growth and scaling up
What role did Turbine play in your growth?
Turbine has allowed us to grow by giving us access to a great network of consultants, angel investors and weekly 120-minutes sessions with dedicated business coaches specialising in AI, financial modelling and following up on the entrepreneur’s growth and growth plan of the start-up and over and above that, providing start-uppers with office space, free Wi-Fi, free Coffee and free meeting rooms for 12 months!
What are some challenges you came across?
Testing the proprietary methodology developed by Lean Search to its breaking point to improve the processes and deliver outstanding results for our customers. We practice User Experience driven Search Engine Marketing, and we have had to onboard new customers in sectors such as online course platforms (education), e-commerce (FMCG / giftable items), real estate (luxury and international acquisition), finance (financial instrument and debt) and put our methodology to the test in these insightful sectors.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Starting up is a challenge. However, getting incubated provides the opportunity to make sense of your idea, test your concept, reach an MVP (Minimum viable product) and, more importantly, build a robust financial model.
Becoming an entrepreneur is the easy part. Building a scalable business is challenging and requires a full-time dedication with the appropriate resources deployed on the project.
Competition exists, but the market gap needs to be identified and studied to see a market in that gap. Therefore, market research is vital. Know your market size, know your starting market share, and from there, you can set KPIs and targets for growth.
What are your plans for the next three years?
Build a product-based company from a service-based company. Turn data patterns into recommendations, create a Saas (Software as a Service) to deliver Ads across industries via Ad Exchange networks such as Google Ads.
Lean Search has already crossed the borders to acquire clients in Europe. The aim is to facilitate the onboarding of clients from developing markets to increase their revenues by delivering high quality converting Ads.