Business ideas

Developing SME business ideas through technology

On September 14, the Access Bank/Graphic Business SME Clinic was successfully held at the Akroma Plaza Hotel in the oil town of Takoradi in the Western Region.

Under the theme: “Unleashing the potential of SMEs through digitalisation”, the event attracted hundreds of entrepreneurs while thousands participated online.

This comes at a time when technology is rapidly changing the world in ways that have never been seen before, as individuals continue to search for cheaper, convenient and easier ways to do things.

With technological evolution still taking place, businesses around the world are therefore still struggling with how to use digital tools to deliver tailored solutions to their customers.

Critically, it has become apparent that many SMEs, especially those in this part of the world, including Ghana, are lagging behind despite the huge potential of this space.

Event Highlights

1. Top Online Customers – Key customers are still spending time online. This is why SMEs have been invited to the clinic to ensure that online portals are created and present. This is crucial as it is one of the main ways to reach those online to patronize their product or service.

2. Work smart – Working smart is the way to go now. Working smart essentially means figuring out what your strengths are and building a network around you to build on those to achieve your goals in the fastest and most efficient way possible. This is important for SMEs in our part of the world, as the speed at which people use online portals is increasing rapidly.

3. Work with the right device – Access to the right device is key to being able to take advantage of the many apps provided on smart mobile devices by manufacturers. These apps can teach simple things like accounting, among others, including staying on social media to interact with lots of other people.

4. Be aware online – Being online to engage with people should be a conscious activity. Small business owners don’t really have to be tech savvy. They can hire other people to do it for them. This is important because in addition to creating a job opportunity for people, they also have the opportunity to use this space to sell their products or services.

Springboard tips

A few weeks ago on the Springboard, Your Virtual University, host Rev. Albert Ocran engaged MTN Ghana Senior Regulatory Affairs Manager Sam Fifi A. Bartels and Adroit 360 Managing Director, Jacob Kwaku-Gyan. , for the second time to share some tips on how companies could use technology to develop their ideas.

The Best Lessons From Sam Bartels

1. In-store analytics; store cameras now observe your movements, purchases and preferences to make suggestions. Attention is the most sought after commodity in the world.

2. Church; Churches have been slow to adapt to technology. But today, multi-site churches share service from different locations. Cyber-enabled churches now have online devotions and offering options.

3. Sports; Player recruitment, coaching, education and physiotherapy are all driven by data and analytics. Today, there are smart jerseys and helmets that monitor data. Sports consumption has been changed by technologies such as pay-per-view, virtual and augmented reality, etc.

Kwaku Gyan’s Best Lessons

1. Cooperation; Some of the greatest successes are achieved when companies collaborate instead of compete with everyone.

2. Data-driven decisions; Don’t try to show off by trying to be everywhere. Not every idea can work in other places. Using data-driven research helps you know what will work without making assumptions.

3. The GOBE app; I developed an app for a popular gari and bean vendor in Alajo called Lebene. After her initial hesitation, she is now so excited because sales have tripled thanks to the power of technology.

4. Trade; Technology offers convenient and instant options. Now you can sit in the comfort of your home, virtually review products and order. Smart software also suggests other things you might need and reviews from other users to help you decide.

5. Flexibility; For a customer relationship manager, technologies now allow the company to personalize your customer experience and reimburse you when needed. These apps know your birthday and even give you birthday discounts.

Go forward

SMEs need to be able to take the opportunities offered by digitalization seriously, as this is what can make them bigger or sustain their business.

Many of the world’s leading brands that refused to keep up with the rapidly changing technology in the world have retreated or are now playing catch-up.

The future of money is digitization and that is why SMEs must work to be part of the changing times.

Again, Ghana has signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which offers them leverage to access a huge market.

It should also be noted that digitization can help SMEs to take advantage of crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is a method of funding that involves funding a project with relatively small contributions from a large group of individuals, rather than seeking substantial sums from a small number of investors.

Access Bank and Graphic Business gives value because it provides technical support to SMEs to do better.

It is expected that the lessons learned will be adopted to improve their lot.