7 Ways to Avoid Being a Bad Ghanaian Entrepreneur

Everybody is doing something. At least most people I know have regular day jobs and are operating a side business of some sort. I know of bankers who are fashion designers; administrators who have pineapple farms; accountants who DJ at night during weekends and health and safety officers who are photographers (aka me). The question here is how can one avoid being a bad entrepreneur in Ghana? If you are now starting your own ‘thing’ how are you going to ensure your ‘side-business’ doesn’t die out as a start-up? Do you see yourself to be the next Ghana's Steve Jobs? Ghanaian one-man businesses come and go all the time. Trust me you don’t want yours to be one of them. I have realised that having your own business requires certain basic but very relevant actions which you must implement and without which you are bound to face serious challenges. These are the sort of actions you wont find in any management book or hear in any lecture hall because they are the everyday things we do as Ghanaians which most times hinders our economic progress.  

Action 1

Stop sleeping too much – As an entrepreneur/wanna-be you cant go your usual 9-10 hours of sleep anymore. 10 hours? Are you kidding me? Whilst you were sleeping the Chinese invented a rechargeable bulb which switches itself on when your lights go off. Stop using the weather as an excuse to sleep more. Ghanaians love it when it rains! Rains mean cold weather which = more sleep. 5 – 6 hours of sleep is enough for you. Your mind is fresh and you are bound to get more business ideas when you wake up at dawn, there is less disruptions around you too.

Action 2

You cant attend every funeral/wedding – Are you the type who jumps at the thought of a distant relatives wedding or funeral? All of a sudden you are calling up friends checking to see who is attending and what to wear. The 4-6 hours spent sitting at a funeral drinking and eating would be better spent putting together your financial statement or completing your business plan or calling your contractors to ensure work is going on as planned. Its very common to see shops close up during weekdays just to attend funerals outside Accra for the whole week! How does the business make profit? I am not saying don’t attend, at least show your face to the bereaved family and leave to your matters. Let the dead bury the dead, I say.

Action 3

I will do it tomorrow (no you cant)- this is one crime we are all guilty of. I face it a lot myself. Pushing things off to last minute rather makes you lose opportunities. In Ghana, we can procrastinate because of the rain, no electricity, no water, hunger or an opportunity to eat Omo Tuo with the boys.

Action 4

You don’t use the Internet? Seriously? – I have spoken to a few start-up owners who tell me they check their mail once a week depending on the amount of credit they have on their phone. If you are using a Smartphone and you dont know how to upload apps or check your mail on it then please sell the phone and get a Nokia 3310. In this age of technology being everywhere no entrepreneur should use that excuse at all! Access to the Internet is available ‘everywhere you go’! Internet cafes, mobile internet, wireless technology gives you access 24/7 to world-wide information on business ideas and trends. How are you going to improve your business without the use of technology?

Action 5

You cannot be liking and commenting on people’s statuses on Facebook all the time –
If you can spend 30minutes reading, liking and commenting on people’s statuses and pictures then you have to cut back. I beg you! Facebook has many free tools which as an entrepreneur you should utilize. Build your Facebook page and market your product or services because marketing via print or radio media is above your budget. Have you seen my Roots by Naa page? Use Facebook wisely.

Action 6

You cant spend 3 hours watching Nigerian/Ghanaian/Mexican soap movies – This one is for the Ghanaian woman! I am sorry but you cant watch all those Ghanaian/Nigerian/Mexican soap movies for a while. I mean seriously, you cannot spend precious 3 hours for a Nigerian movie if you intend to start your own business. Those days are gone.

Action 7

You cannot shop as you used to- Sad but true. Now is the time to save money and push resources into the business. That red shoe you have been dying to buy? No, cant do. Invest more and spend less that’s the slogan for a buiness-minded person.

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