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What are the most profitable business ideas in Ghana today? What exactly makes these businesses so worth going into? Are you looking for a business opportunity in Ghana?
After carefully studying the Ghanaian entrepreneurship landscape, we have identified 20 of the most profitable business ideas in Ghana and put them together in simple language for you in this post. You will also find invaluable advice on how to take advantage of these ideas.
Take a look at this curated list of 50 most profitable business ideas in Nigeria, many of these ideas apply to several other emerging economies.
Are you a fresh graduate? Are you part of the African diaspora seeking a viable investment opportunity back home? Take this list as an inside view of what people do to make money in Africa today.
How to start a Lucrative Business in Ghana
Before we get into the list of 20 of the most profitable business ideas to pursue in Ghana, we can identify 7 main factors that make a business lucrative and worth your consideration. You can use these factors to evaluate how profitable a business idea really is.
You easily notice that businessmen who have multiple businesses, often tow this line of business interest, and there’s a good reason for that. You’ll discover that secret today in the post, so let’s dive right in:
1. Personal Interest
As an entrepreneur, you’ll do better in a business venture if what you’re doing resonates with your “personal calling”. You may start something, but if you don’t believe in it, then regardless of how profitable it may be, you might not be able to follow it for the long haul.
2. Existence of an Entry Barrier:
Even though this determines the ease with which you can get set up, it also tells of how much competition you’ll have. A business with a low entry barrier is often saturated with so many half-baked setups. It’s often very difficult to stand out in such a niche
3. Nature of the Market — Semblance of a Subscription Model:
How often do your customers need your service or products? Do they require it frequently? Is this something they can do without? Is the service you provide something that a customer could use continually and make payments recurrently?
If so, then your business could be so profitable just by the nature of the service you provide.
4. Startup Capital
This can be an entry barrier, which reduces saturation in the niche, but if it hinders your ability to get started, then you cannot overlook it.
According to Investopedia, you can think of scalability as your ability to grow as a company, when you are faced with increased demand for your products or services, how easily would your structure and resources be able to meet the demand?
So scalability is the ease with which your business can expand without being constrained by your structure as a company. Can you easily hire more workers and increase your team? How much of what you do as a business can be delegated? If this is something only you can do… then the scalability is low.
6. Fast-Moving Consumer Goods
Not every product is fast-moving, and not every product is used by everyone. Some products have a high inventory turnover, and this can be attributed to the fact that users continually require such products. Also, note that some products have a short use duration and sell at relatively low costs.
Think of transportation services, food and drinks, beauty and barbering salons, and many of the business opportunities we’ve added to this list of lucrative business ideas in Ghana.
You’ll notice that the products or services being offered are continually needed by every single consumer, and sometimes it is needed by everyone. This is how you identify a service or product that is fast-moving.
7. Who is Your Customer?
Not everyone is your potential customer, and not even everyone in your market is your potential customer. Trying to reach everybody would be disastrous for your business because people always have different wants, and you’ll be spreading yourself too thin to make any impact.
Some sections of the market may not even bring you enough returns to justify your marketing effort, and you must identify this and strategies accordingly.
Every product is made with a particular customer in mind, and as an entrepreneur, your first step in marketing success is to identify who you are targeting with your products and services.
This is crucial because you’ll be spending a lot of money and effort to promote your brand or products to them, and attract them to your service offers. If you mistake who you’re targeting, it will appear as though your products are irrelevant or out of touch.
There are different classes of people in every society, you might need to identify the main demographic, behavioural, and cultural characteristics of your target market.
To do this effectively, ask yourself questions like where your potential customers are located, what interests them the most, what constitutes their pain points, how old they are, their educational background, and financial status.
This basic customer analysis and market segmentation will affect your pricing, business location, and area served. It will also impart any corporate social responsibility you intend to pursue.
20 Most Profitable Business Ideas in Ghana 2022
Now on to our list of most profitable business ideas in Ghana;
1 Poultry Farming
Number 1 on our list of most profitable business opportunities in Ghana would be poultry farming.
With minimal funding mainly to acquire land, farm structures to house the birds, agro-inputs like feed, fungicides, and other medication, day-old chicks, and a few farmhands as caretakers, a profitable poultry business can take off.
- You would require adequate security on your premises to avoid theft
- A clean farm environment is needed to avoid infections.
- Continual income from the sale of eggs
- Very scalable
2 Snail Farming
One business with a faithful demand base is snail farming. Similar to poultry farming, the initial capital can be very minimal
3 Vegetable Farming
The demand for basic vegetables never dips. In fact, the prices of vegetables in our local markets are known to always rise. what is lacking is always imported from neighbouring countries.
Do you have a sizeable farming area and access to a source of irrigation? Then you should definitely consider going into vegetable farming. Produce like onions, tomatoes, garden eggs, carrots, etc, always have a ready market.
The attraction of Uber is that the returns are quick and amazingly very high. If you fund your taxis with a loan, you can easily pay it all off within a couple of years.
How to make money from Uber, Bolt, or any taxi business
Note that the typical taxi model where you hire a driver and pay them a monthly or weekly salary is not popular anymore.
You might not find a good driver with this approach, and even if you do, he or she would like to burden you with one maintenance issue to the next. What is predominant these days is to offer the car to the driver on a work-and-pay basis.
How you do this is to insure the vehicle on a comprehensive insurance cover, install a vehicle tracking system in the car, sum up all these expenses and double it. This will be the future value you would be recouping from this investment. Now apportion it into the number of weeks within 2 years. This will be the weekly payment amount your driver would have to make into the account.
Then set up a dedicated bank account for the driver. Let the driver work and deposit the money into the account. You should monitor this to ensure that the contract progresses smoothly as it should. Make sure you have default clauses in your contract, and again, don’t forget the vehicle tracker.
- You would require trusted drivers
- High startup cost
5 Day Care Centre/Basic School
An elite educational centre is so profitable in Ghana that any entrepreneur who invests in it can expect to become rich, provided you are ready to invest some effort into providing value-for-money
- Needs investment in decent classrooms
- Requires trained and faithful attendants and school managers. Such people seem to be found only through months of training and personal investment and coaching
- As a services industry, it requires reputation management and good human relations with parents and the community.
- Difficulty in balancing receivables requires that you hire a strong accounts person and you offer value to defuse rumours of being heartless towards defaulting and non-paying parents
- Ruthless competition
- Officialdom and employee social security
- Like any subscription business model, the profits are amazing
6 Photography Services
With the advent of social media, every business and literally every public figure or famous person needs professional and well-edited photographs. And they need them multiple times every few days for social media and content creation purposes.
You can easily see why the photography budget of modern weddings alone can justify the profitability of a photography services business.
In some of Accra’s best photo studios, 5 pictures cost GH¢200. Roughly having just 10 customers a day will make you a thriving and profitable business. Add some proper advertising and home service, and you can be an industry leader in just a few years.
- May require setting up a good photo studio in a business district.
- Requires skilled photographers and image editors
- Requires professional cameras and equipment
- Can be successfully run as an online business
- Easily scalable
7 Barbering Saloon
One business venture we can bet on is operating a barbering salon. You’ll need a well-furnished shop and a couple of skilled workers, and you; be good to go. Add some quality branding and offer professional service, and you can attract all the middle class in your city.
Think of scaling your barbering saloon by running shift working hours for your team, and spreading out to other operating centres. You can also use technology and business improvement services like loyalty cards and coupon systems. Offer special home service for clients at extra fees.
8 Gym/Fitness Centre
Gyms inspire the subscription business model identified as a prime mark of a profitable business. Healthy living has become a need for many city dwellers. Start a modern gym in any residential suburb of Ghana, and you can quickly run a very profitable business.
9 Food and Drinks
This can take the form of restaurants and small beverage-making businesses. Many of them produce packaged local juices, cereals, pastries, etc. Catering services are actually a most lucrative service the world over.
What makes it so profitable is the cost of preparing the food or drinks is always a small fraction of the revenue. With just a little understanding of Home Economics, you could easily make over 400% profit.
Garnish your business location and add a little good business decision-making, advertising, branding, packaging, and the return on your investment will skyrocket in no time.
10 Real Estate
We added this because the version of real estate that makes long-lasting profits goes beyond just being a middle-man between property owners and renters.
In Ghana today, any form of acquisition of land and buildings for rent or sale is immensely profitable. The margins are simply unbelievable.
Besides residential apartments and townhouses, roadside stores are such hotcakes in many of Ghana’s cities.
If you own a chain of stores in Accra, you can be sure to make so so much.
- The high initial investment in land and construction works.
- The most profitable versions are the well-furnished properties with all needed service utilities and amenities
- Land litigation
11 Auto Mechanic Garage
Vehicle owners are constantly in need of skilled auto repair artisans. Mechanics who know what they’re doing seem to be an endangered species in Ghana. But that can be your lucrative business opportunity.
How this works is, you set up a fully equipped auto garage and recruit the best auto mechanics you can find to work for you.
You can make your establishment exceptional by making sure that your team of artisans is well-versed in people skills, professionalism, problem-solving abilities, ability to use technology, and strong work ethics
- Managing local artisans can be a difficult task
- Acquiring a site for your garage can be expensive
- To make this catch up quickly, you require modern tools and equipment like diagnostic machines and software. Consider hiring an engineer to manage your operations.
- Quickly scalable
- There is a high demand for quality auto mechanic services
- You could serve the whole nation; clients would be prepared to travel to be served.
- You can offer contract maintenance service for new car owners
- You can secure a contract to service vehicles of other companies
12 Construction Equipment Rentals
Many homeowners in Ghana build their own houses with local construction workers who use simple tools. But many more multi-storey construction works that require more advanced equipment like concrete mixers, reusable formworks, scaffoldings, etc, are springing up all over the cities of Ghana.
This is where your opportunity arises. You can acquire some of these pieces of equipment and offer them for hire to construction workers.
- Requires a high startup capital to purchase the equipment
- You might need to provide a means of transporting the equipment to the construction site.
- Your equipment must be carefully inspected after each order to identify thefts and damages.
- You need a warehouse to stock your equipment
- You’ll need a full team to help you in packing, and unpacking, for machines like concrete mixers, you need your own operator to man it for the customer. You’ll need your own team of scaffolders as well.
13 Drug Store
Licensed chemical shops and pharmacies are such a vital part of every community, but they’re also surprisingly extremely lucrative. Have you noticed those tiny drug stores which have been operating for years and yet they have just a meagre stock of wares?
Well, the reason they continue for years is because of the sheer profitability of this trade.
Now, why are drugstores lucrative? First of all, people are continually needing medication, so you never run out of demand. Secondly, most people just walk into a drug store when they feel sick and report their symptoms to the seller or dispenser.
The seller then offers them the kind of drugs they believe would best offer a cure.
As a trade secret, common drugs like painkillers and anti-malaria drugs, are often added to the “prescriptions” just to be doubly sure that the patient gets well.
How much money can you make if the majority of your customers almost always pay for your product offering without question? Thirdly, the profit margin on the drugs is almost ways over 100%.
- Requires access to supply from a good wholesaler with a good deal, and even a way to manage expired drugs.
- You’ll need well-trained over-the-counter assistants
- You’ll need to set up your store to a certain standard, consider getting a professional to help you to furnish and set up the store.
14 Outdoor Advertising
If you have the funds to invest, then large outdoor billboards are a sure way to reap huge returns on investment. Renting a billboard in Accra can cost as high as GHC30,000 per month.
Yes, that’s how much these brands and religious organizations pay for their outdoor advertising campaigns. Constructing a billboard is not cheap though.
You need a yearly permit from the local assembly for each billboard you erect. You have to set up your own fabrication company or outsource it to another metalworks company.
Then comes the printing of the Flexi banners (PV material), you can also outsource this. Lastly, hoisting the banner of the metal frame is the next difficult task. You might need to hire a crane if the billboard is bigger than a few square meters.
15 Mobile Phone Accessories Retail/Wholesale
Everyone uses mobile phones, and everyone needs mobile phone accessories like phone chargers, batteries, earpieces, phone screen guards, etc. And such items move like hot cake.
If you are looking for a fast-moving item with a high-profit margin and low initial investment to sell, then consider mobile phone accessories. To maximise, your returns, you’ll need a supply deal with a good wholesaler.
- If you choose a central business district as your base, you should expect tight competition with hundreds of other retailers. Consider siting your business outside the main business centres to reduce competition and help you to capture a more local customer base.
- Your shop must be set up to a standard that reflects the quality of your wares, and this can be expensive.
- Work with shop attendants who are familiar enough with your wares to be able to convincingly address customer questions.
- Can be started with a low startup cost
- Scalable into multiple outlets, and can include mobile phones and other gadgets
- Opportunity to expand into mobile phone repairs
16 Beauty Products Retail/Wholesale
If you visit a well-stocked beauty products wholesale or retailer in any business district in Ghana, you see why we included this as one of the most lucrative businesses you can start in Ghana.
The truth is, cosmetics have a massive market demand and there are many hawkers and street vendors out there. And that is where you come in.
You can open a wholesale or low-cost retail centre in your business district, and if you do this right, your salesperson will have no time to rest all day, because of the sheer volume of sales you’ll be making. If you don’t believe us, pay a visit to a cosmetics shop in a place like Okaishie in Accra.
- You might have to source your wares from overseas
- You need good inventory management and stock tracking system to check thefts
- You need salespeople with good customer service
17 Building Materials Retail Outlet
A truly fast-moving business you can do in Ghana is to sell building materials like cement, iron rods, and processed wood. These goods are highly in demand all over the country.
You might need to put up your own store for such a business in order to cut down on rent on your store, then also, since your customers are in construction sites in the peri-urban and new residential areas, you don’t necessarily need a shop in the business district.
The closer you are to the “new sites” as we call such places in Ghana, the more business you’ll make. Also, consider basing in a smaller city and targeting local builders.
- High startup cost
- Difficulty in securing a distributor deal with a manufacturer or a regional wholesaler.
- As part of the housing sector, building materials are a highly volatile market. Of course, the demand for goods is ever-present and prices are on the rise literally by the day. And even though that’s indicative of the revenue levels, it’s not necessarily all profitability. Because you constantly need a buffer account to stay in business. Imagine placing an order after selling a consignment only to find out that the purchase price from your manufacturer has gone up by a huge margin. This is why many building materials retailers go out of business.
- You might need a means of transporting the goods to the customers’ site. Consider acquiring your own delivery truck or outsourcing to local truck drivers.
Funding for small businesses is such a sought-after business that today, the same banks who used to deny loans without collateral securities are now teaming up with mobile money companies to offer loan services to individuals and businesses.
True, there is a level of loan default rate, yet the industry is still as profitable as ever. If you have any finance or accounting background, then a micro-finance company could be your cash cow.
If you don’t have a good Finance or accounting background, you could consider starting a “Susu collection” service and growing the business as your experience widens.
The Bank of Ghana clamped down on unlicensed and insolvent microfinance companies and closed down over 300 of them a few years ago. So the industry now has some sanity and trust, which is good for you.
- High startup cost
- You need a professional finance team to manage your loans portfolio
- You need an affecting debt recovery system
- You an effective way to minimised thefts of funds by your staff
19 Courier/Delivery Services
Delivery services were a thing pre-covid, but post-covid, they’ve become a necessary part of all modern life. As more and more people shop online and e-commerce becomes a normal way to buy and sell in Ghana, delivery and services have also become a very viable and profitable business offering.
You just need to have multiple moto-cyles, town rider vehicles or delivery trucks available to serve your customer needs. Take advantage of social media to advertise and promote your services to online business owners and shoppers.
- Note that many ordinary motorcycle riders and inter-city bus drivers and coach services also offer one-on-one courier service as well… so you’ll not be the only ones in this business. You have to brand your business properly and nurture an increasing number of satisfied customers. Segmenting the market to identify the right customers you can best serve, will help your business a lot.
20 Light Manufacturing Industry
All manufacturing activities in Ghana are often very lucrative, especially if you produce a fast-moving product. Examples of such products include bottled and sachet water, fruit juice, toiletries, soft drinks, and over-the-counter drugs like painkillers. An example you can go into is the products of nails.
You would need to look for a Chinese manufacturer who makes such a machine. Then you also need a workspace for your factory and hire a team of factory hands and qualified plant managers to help you operate the plant and minimise hazards and incidents.
Add some quality marketing and sales, and you could be an industry leader within a few years.
- High start-up cost
- Is best run if your full attention is given to it
- Managing a team of skilled workers might require human relations skills and systems if you can eliminate time-wasting and increase your production efficiency.
- Might require an elaborate factory establishment
- You’ll have to meet regulatory standards
- You need security services to check pilfering
These are 20 of the most profitable small business opportunities in Ghana we could come up with. These ideas are workable in most emerging economies like Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and others. What are your thoughts on them: and what would you add or take off this list.
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