Businesses in the informal sector have been called upon to intensify efforts to scale-up their operations, maximise profitability and create more employment.
Mr Steven Ocloo, a pharmacists and entrepreneur, who made the call, said in order for small scale businesses to grow and expand operations and product lines, there was the need to examine the organisation, the owner and the staff within the enterprise as well as the infrastructure.
Mr Ocloo was speaking at the closing of a two-day Small Business Venture Bootcamp organised by the Institute of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development (IESBD) in partnership with the Century Incubator Ghana and the Lady Angel Network.
He said for small businesses in the informal sector to scale-up operations, there was the need to create efficient systems and strictly adhere to both owner and thorough staff guidance and motivation.
He said as the private sector was seen as the engine of growth, a little effort to scale up could lead to enormous benefits to the entire population adding that “if we can have 500 informal sector businesses empowered to employ five people each and treat them well, the country will not suffer.”
Mr Ocloo said there was the need for businesses in the country to begin thinking of increasing exports than importing and that it could only be achieved through improvement from the operations of informal sector businesses.
He urged small businesses to form partnerships that had the potential to increase their productivity through specialisation than one business attempting to do everything with low productivity.
Mr Ocloo urged the participants to ensure that their handiworks were well branded to attract more international customers.
Madam Gifty Volimkarime, the Country Manager for Youth Challenge International, urged small businesses who want to scale up to ensure that there was consistency with quality to always meet the interest of customers.
She said there was the need to also be consistent with supply ensuring that their products were available whenever it was demanded adding that “it is good to scale up but before you make the decision to scale, you have to re-examine the space and the equipment before you move.”
Mr Confidence Agblobi, Director of Marketing, GH Media School, urged small business owners to train people who can make their products available to the market to ensure continuity even in the absence of the owner.
Participants were taken through topics such as business growth strategy, packaging and standardisation, market development and competition, business management strategy and leadership. GNA