Friday, April 10, 2015

Ghanaians Abroad: Eight Business Ideas to Start in Ghana

There are several types of Ghanaians living abroad. There is the type who has little or no education but decides to go abroad to hustle and find a job to do. There is also the type who goes abroad to study with the hope of returning home to contribute his quota to the development?of the economy. Then there are those who go abroad to join their spouses. No matter how a Ghanaian comes abroad, there is one over-riding aim: to achieve something, and, possibly, return home. Very often their ambitions delay due to circumstances beyond their control.

There are many Ghanaians who are bored and tired of living in the cold for so many years. The well educated are not happy to be engaged in menial jobs. Many are trapped into continued living abroad because they don't have any viable business in their minds which they can fall on when they finally return home. This article is directed to those people who do not know what they can do in Ghana. Some of the businesses I am going to suggest do not need a start-up capital and can be launched immediately one arrives in Ghana. Anyone with the required skills can start these businesses. The suggestions below do not require you having a university degree and can be undertaken by both females and males.

ONE: The first business idea I will suggest is dry cleaning and a laundry service. All you will need are two or?three washing machines. One of the machines must be bigger than the others. Once the machines are in Ghana, the next thing you have to consider is access to water and electricity. With the present electricity and water crisis what will be needed are a generator and the construction of a borehole to be powered by a pumping machine. A simple advert will be necessary to start with. This will involve going through the neighbourhood, from door to door introducing yourself and your new business - a new dry cleaning and laundry service. During the first week of active service, announce half-price for the customers who bring their clothing to be washed. It will be important to find out what the dry cleaner or laundry near you charges and then you reduce your charge by 10%. This small company will gradually expand if you keep customers very satisfied.

TWO: If you are educated or business-minded, here is another business idea you may want to try: lesson tutor. You may start with one or two classrooms and as the project expands, you increase the number of classrooms. Your main purpose is to organize extra or remedial classes for those who want to improve on their BECE and WASSCE results. Teaching must expand to include those who want to study in the USA, Canada and Europe. Competent graduates must be employed to teach those examination contents that are required to enter universities abroad. These are GRE, SAT, GCE “O” and “A” Levels, TOEFL or IELT and other international examinations. You must start a simple advertisement around the area where you live or in two or three Senior High Schools and also in your local church.? The advertisement, combined with effective and result-oriented teaching, will help spread the idea like bushfire. The important thing is to identify what is relevant to impart to the students. You may charge between GHc600 to GHc1000 per student per year and GHc1500 for the preparation of students for the tests. 

THREE: This next idea is better for females. Start a baby-sitting, a crèche or a day care centre. Make sure there are enough baby cots, bed sheets, foam mattresses for the day care kids and enough toys and playthings brought from abroad. A very healthy and clean environment will induce, entice and encourage more parents to bring their children to the centre. It is now common for parents to send their babies to a crèche and their children to day care centres since most of them are working far away from home. These parents do not choose any day care or crèche at all. They consider the environment, the toys and playthings used by the children. In this connection, a person who has lived abroad and brought up his own children is capable and more likely to provide the best facilities for the children. This is a good business because you can run another project, business or job during normal hours. You can even relax or do some other work while watching the children.

FOUR: Any IT specialist or a computer expert should never wallow in the quagmire of despondency abroad. It will never be worth it to remain abroad and wash dishes or clean factory floors with this special skill. I have a suggestion for you, dear IT specialist. There are many businesses in Ghana, namely educational institutions, hospitals, wholesalers and retailers, import and exports and others big or small, that have no websites or blogs. A new direction is needed for Ghanaian companies and institutions to have websites or blogs which are put on internet for public view. This is a lucrative business for website and blog designers because these are updated on the internet hourly. However, most of these blogs and websites?look crappy and poorly designed. You can make a difference if you have a good eye for colours and design. With a little research, flair and practice, you can design websites and blogs that will be preferred and admired by customers and visitors to the sites. 

FIVE: If you are a computer technician or repairer, a great deal of work is waiting for you in Ghana. Leave the backbreaking construction job and get established in Ghana and begin to do what you are trained for as a means of achieving psychological and material satisfaction. If you are a good computer repairer you have no reason to continue to ponder or worry about what you can do in Ghana. Many Ghanaians don't know how to solve basic computer problems. They have no idea of how to fix a system crash, solve blue screen of death, computer booting, downloading videos from YouTube, installing software, removing malware from a computer, or solving internet connectivity issues. These are simple problems that can take the software and computer repairer only ten minutes to solve while those who don't know about problem fixing struggle with it. While you get established in Ghana, advertise your services on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp and to close friends. The business will bloom and you will never regret leaving your comfort zone to start your business in Ghana.

SIX: If you know anything about catering, cake and snack making, cocktails and drinks then you?can put up?a profit-making business in Ghana. In Ghana a lot of events go on almost on a daily basis. These range from birthdays, outdooring, school events, church gathering, office parties, etc. Once you have effectively established your business idea in Ghana, simply launch an advertisement of your services to party goers you know and continue to sharpen your skills. As a strategy, make sure you price your services reasonably and deliver premium service as well.

SEVEN: The market for jewellery and bags is also worth considering. This market is huge. All you need is to be skilled in making any of these. Get a good camera, take nice pictures, post them on social media and charge ridiculously low prices. Once you have a customer base, you can begin raising your prices. 

EIGHT: There are other businesses in Ghana worth considering by Ghanaians abroad. These are solar energy business, dealing in diet recipes to ensure fitness and flat tummies. Launching a physical training gym, hair stylists and make-up artists, managing a company’s social media accounts and blogs, and the last but not the least, creating a local company that does local cartoons for Ghanaian children, using familiar Ananse stories and other children’s stories. This area, indeed, is virgin territory and any computer expert can combine with an artist to produce a professional job.

The dumsor enigma still hangs on the heads of Ghanaians like the sword of Damocles. However, if one is bent on establishing a business in Ghana, there is still a way out and certain alternatives like solar energy and generators can be used to support the business. It shall be well with Ghana, our motherland.

Written by Stephen Atta Owusu 
Author: Dark Faces at Crossroads 

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