Businesses in Ghana, whether foreign-owned or local, have encountered challenges and continue to face challenges in different forms. Some of them have surmounted and become household names, whilst others have fallen off. What exactly do the successful ones have in common that the failed businesses lacked.
Very few businesses in Ghana have seen a small shade of success without marketing their products or services. Many businesses that go under often did not have marketing budget from the beginning and never set aside funds for marketing even when they started making money from their early years of sales.
Assuming your product or service is a supernormal one is often a big mistake. To succeed you must market your business and your products, even if it is a life-saver. Ghanaians, like other nationals, are gradually becoming used to products being brought to them rather than searching for them. You need to get your name out there and make it the first to come to mind when consumers think of getting an item in your product category.
Leadership and Innovation
Leadership is what drives a business towards the ‘promised land’. It’s quite simple. It is the vision and abilities of the leader that lead everyone else and ultimately the business to where it’s envisioned to be. Businesses have crumpled in Ghana for many reasons, and often, poor or weak leadership is one of them. To survive the vagaries of Ghana’s business landscape, you need experienced and proactive leaders.
In addition to strong and proactive leadership, innovation is also essential to business success in Ghana, no matter how small-scaled.
Connections! Perhaps not the exactly the right word but in this context it means one’s ability to tap into friendships (personal, political or business) and family ties for the benefit of his business in circumstances where you would not have gotten that favour or not gotten help within the time frame that you got it.
Knowing people and being able to leverage on your network for the benefit of your business is very important in Ghana and my guess is that it is so in many African countries and even beyond the African continent.
Ghana however presents a conducive environment for business. This is evidenced by the billions that have been invested in the country by foreigners. Local businessmen also have certain business areas reserved for them in addition to all other businesses in which foreigners are allowed to engage in.