The idea behind Planet Margate was born late in 1999 when the founders, Paul Bedford and Allan Dummer, were living and working on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast. At the time they met, they were both involved in the tourism and restaurant industry and over the next couple of months chatted about how they could put their shared interest in computers and the rapidly developing internet to good use in the tourism industry.
Planet Margate finally came into being in August the following year with the name intended to convey that, although based on the south coast, we could work with clients no matter where they were situated. The fledgeling company grew quickly and soon had a client base of guest houses, restaurants and other businesses up and down the coast together with clients in such diverse places as Mossel Bay, Bethlehem and Pretoria.
As the business developed, the limitations imposed by the lack of internet infrastructure on the KZN south coast started having an impact on the growth of the business. The unreliable and slow internet connections meant that a lot of time was spent traveling to clients instead of conducting business remotely as was the original plan. As the business grew, most of the clients came from Gauteng, South Africa’s economic heartland and with one or both of the founders having to be there for at least two weeks of every month, the painful decision to relocate was made.
Just two and a half years after starting out, Planet Margate left KwaZulu-Natal and set up shop in Gauteng.
With the move to Gauteng early in 2003 and access to high-speed internet, thanks to a shared office in one of the Regus buildings, growth continued. The services we offered also expanded, with product photography and content creation coming into the mix.
Bespoke developments and e-commerce were next to be added with social media activities also becoming part of the bouquet of services we offer.
Unfortunately, Allan passed away in April 2017, but Paul is still at the helm of the business offering clients complete packages encompassing all their digital marketing needs.
Planet Margate celebrated 20 years of serving clients, some of whom are still part of the family today, in August 2020.