Building a successful digital product or service in Ghana is like building an offline business. It requires careful planning and execution. With the growing number of tech startups in the country, competition is high, making it even more important to have a solid strategy in place. But the good news is that there are a lot of opportunities, too.
Here are some tips that can help you create a successful digital product or service in Ghana:
Identify a specific problem to solve
The first step in creating a successful digital product or service is to identify a problem that needs to be solved. This could be anything from improving the efficiency of a certain process to providing access to information that was previously difficult to get. Make sure that the problem you are trying to solve has a large enough market to support your product or service.
How do you find out which areas you can explore?
There are several tools that you can use to get an understanding of what people are searching for online:
- Google Trends: Google Trends is a free service provided by Google that allows you to see what topics are trending and how they are trending. You can use Google Trends to get an idea of what people are searching for globally, or you can narrow it down to a specific country or city.
- Keyword research tools: Keyword research tools, such as Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, and Ahrefs, allow you to see the search volume and competition level for specific keywords. You can use these tools to see what topics people are searching for and how popular they are.
- Social media listening: You can also get an idea of what people are talking about and searching for on social media platforms. Tools like Hootsuite and Brand24 allow you to monitor social media conversations and track specific keywords to see what people are saying about them.
- Google Autocomplete: Another way to see what people are searching for is to use the Google search bar and see what suggestions are provided as you type in a query. These suggestions are based on the most common searches made by other users.
- You can also evaluate the thriving business areas by checking platforms such as Amazon.com and dummies.com. The sections under the menu items on Amazon and the topics covered on dummies.com show what is currently in high demand.
Conduct market research
Once you have identified a problem to solve or a demand, it is important to conduct market research to ensure that there is a demand for your product or service. This will also help you understand your target audience and the competition you will be facing.
Create a minimum viable product (MVP): Once you have completed your market research, the next step is to create a minimum viable product (MVP). This is a simplified version of your final product that is designed to test your idea and get feedback from your target audience. This is a crucial step in the development process as it allows you to make any necessary adjustments before launching a full-scale product.
Build a strong team
Building a successful digital product or service requires a strong team with the right skills and expertise. Assemble a team that has the technical skills, as well as the business acumen, to help bring your product or service to the market.
One crucial aspect for those starting a business is to possess:
- Financial resources to support the hiring of employees.
- Technical expertise in the relevant field.
- A strong network of influential individuals who can provide support for the project.
It will be a challenge if you do not have any of these but want to start an online business.
Use the right technology
Choosing the right technology is critical to the success of your digital product or service. Choose technology that is reliable, scalable, and will meet the needs of your target audience.
Evaluate all options, but choose and stick with technologies that apply to your project. Do not fall for the hype, as it will only lead to wasting time figuring out the best platform to use, especially if the technology itself is not your focus.
A prime example is a team I worked with in the past. Our goal was to create a platform that would provide farmers with accurate agriculture information. However, we spent months developing just the website, a task that could have been completed in just a few days. As a result, after a year, we were still fixing small details like the logo, text placement, and font size on various pages. Unfortunately, all we had to show for our efforts was an “About Us” page and limited information on the “Services” page.
Focus on user experience
The user experience is critical to the success of any digital product or service. Design your product or service with the user in mind, keeping in mind their needs and wants. This will help increase user engagement and make it easier to keep customers over the long term.
Marketing and promotion
Once your product or service is up and running, it is important to have a strong marketing and promotion strategy in place. This will help you reach your target audience and generate interest in your product or service.
Bringing the product or service to life only accounts for 10% of the overall effort. Most of the work, 90%, lies in effectively promoting it.
By following these tips, you can increase your chances of building a successful digital product or service in Ghana. Remember, building a successful product or service requires patience, perseverance, and a willingness to learn from your mistakes.
Author: Kaunda Ibn Ahmed (Online President), Communications Team Member, IIPGH
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