How do you know your business idea will be successful?

According to Peter Drucker, “what gets measured gets managed”. Acquiring and using data is one very important way of giving your business the best chance of success. Without data, you’re likely to miss revenue opportunities and  savings on cost. However, conducting  market research for your business in Ghana can be very challenging for startups and growing companies. The lack of, or limited documentation, fragmented information and bureaucracy in most government agencies make it so hard to undertake research that will help give a better understanding of your industry and inform decision making. Effective market research will help you ascertain the size of your market, the economic conditions in which your business operates and its potential impact on your business.

Here are a few sources of research findings that are available to you without the hassle and high costs often associated with doing research.

The Ghana Living Standards Survey
The major publication of the Ghana Statistical Service, the Ghana Living Standards Survey is published periodically. It provides data about the living standards of households in the country. The report covers the demographic characteristics, education, health, employment and time use, migration and tourism, housing conditions, household agriculture, access to financial services and asset ownership. Any business operating in Ghana will find this report useful for understanding its environment and the living conditions of the target market. This report is available for free on their website and hard copies sold at a minimal fee at their office.

The State of the Ghanaian Economy
This is published annually by the Institute of Statistical and Social Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana. Businesses will benefit from these reports by understanding the economic conditions of the previous year and its potential impact on their businesses in coming years. They also publish sector specific reports and papers which you might find useful for your industry. The State of the Economy report is available in the University Bookshop.

The Retail Eye

The Bureau of Market Research conducts extensive social research on demand basis for companies. However, they have industry specific reports which are more tailored to startups – The Retail Eye.  These are market audit reports covering various sectors in the retail industry and are very useful for analysis  and spotting opportunities for your business.

Edwards Deming sums it all up by saying “In God we trust, all others must bring data. Unless you’re an omniscient, omnipotent being (or Chuck Norris), you’d better have data to back up your idea or approach”