At a meeting with various SMEs businesses in Accra, he revealed like most developing countries, Ghana’s SME market is a key factor in driving the development agenda as it makes up 92 percent of the enterprise market and currently contributes roughly 70 percent to GDP.
The Tigo Business Director encouraged SMEs to unlock their growth potential by digitizing their services. This he believes will transform how they do business in three ways – by widening their market size, improving customer experience and increasing employee productivity.
Highlighting the first benefit, Mr. Essien advised SMEs to get their business online to increase market size, become more agile and to make the most of new opportunities. “The Internet allows for the elimination of geographic barriers to reach a wider and more diverse audience. Although simply building a website will not guarantee increased business, if it is marketed appropriately it can become a viable channel to reach new and existing customers.”
He went on further to say businesses could also make use of search engine optimization tools to ensure their website is listed among top search results as this would drive traffic to their websites. “Internet marketing has also proven to be more affordable, effective and more targeted than traditional marketing because every day, more and more Ghanaians are using the internet to find products and services they want to patronize”, he said.
Touching on the other benefits of businesses going digital, Mr. Essien spoke of the ability to widen payment options for customers through mobile payments such as Tigo Cash and online payments. “Through digital access, SMEs are also able to interact with customers’ online, video chat with suppliers, staff and customers, have sales staff connected with devices in store, share information securely across departments and stores, and even offer customers free WIFI in their stories”, he added.
Finally, he mentioned that Tigo Business has invested in a number of tools and solutions to help businesses widen their access to market. They include advanced services like VPN over mobile, cloud computing and dedicated internet services through several hundreds of thousands of kilometers of fibre network underlying the country’s major cities which has vast resources that businesses can tap into.