Retailers in Ghana are extremely tough and persistent. Considering all the economic challenges they go through, you can always find them doing everything within their power to push through. Don’t get it wrong, there are thousands of them who actually end up becoming hugely successful even to the point of opening multiple branches across the country.
Shortage of retailers is not a phenomenon we believe Ghana will ever encounter especially taking into account the outrageous number of new retail and wholesale businesses that are setup everyday in the country.
According to a report by KPMG, the rising middle-class in Ghana means that convenience has become important for modern consumers with significantly different taste, preferences and aspirations. This is reflected in their demand for different products. It gets better; Africa sales volume is predicted to increase hugely as the continent spending power is estimated to rise to US$1.4 trillion by 2020, according to a McKinsey report.
Undoubtedly, retail sales in Ghana have seen a boost for the past years. By the Central Bank’s report, during the first ten months in 2011, retail sales scaled-up by an impressive 31.37 percent to GH¢77.76 million from GH¢59.19 million during the corresponding period of 2010.
If this is the situation, then in what ways are Ghanaian retailers not doing business right. The answer: Diligent Record Keeping & Automation.
We love to do business from memory. The problem with this strategy is that, it doesn’t scale. In Ghana, you will find retailers, both big and small doing business manually with paper and pen. This is time wasting, inefficient and simply doesn’t scale. Are notebooks really big enough to capture all the precious business activities and records?
A business like that is like a person without memories of the past. How do you record your experiences, learn from them and even make faster decisions when faced with similar situations from the past? We are building businesses without memories. With no historical data to guide informed projections into the future and so our ability to scale beyond our immediate communities, cities and borders is automatically capped.
Upon taking a closer look, you find dark holes and operational inefficiencies even in the retailers who are able to build multiple branches across the country. You discover weak foundations and a business that is on a time bomb. Other times, these businesses that actually scale simply get stagnant and don’t grow again. You can’t cheat the basics.
The retail industry is fast growing but our business owners are ill-equipped both in tools and knowledge to position their businesses for the next century.
We believe that awareness always precedes adoption. As visionaries, it is our job to sensitise our business owners on how to be diligent and consistent at record keeping with technology. Data in, intelligence, scalability and efficiency out.
We wouldn’t want the retail industry in Ghana to miss the boat on the enormous opportunities created by increasing consumer demand and spend. Closing down a business is a tough pill to swallow and that can’t be allowed to happen.
It all starts from proper, organised, diligent technological record keeping and automation.