Pushing The Boundaries of E-commerce in Ghana
Ian Henry Tabi is a graduate of the University of Ghana (Geography and Resource Development & French). He is the co-founder of Software Entertainment Clothing, founder of Software Solutions- Benin and the founder of MyTabimart.com, an online market that serves customers all over the world.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS.
Tabimart is an e-commerce business– an online market and a social media management agency. Our vision at Tabimart is to be the most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover virtually anything they want to buy online with worldwide delivery. We have a subsidiary social media agency that provides social media management and digital content marketing services to individuals, organisations and businesses.
WHAT MOTIVATED AND INSPIRED YOU TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
The extensive use of cash in “online shopping” today in Ghana has made e-commerce lose its electronic value. I then started MyTabimart.com in order to create an efficient service that eliminates the buyer-meets-merchant situation which can be very dangerous in Ghana.
ARE YOU CURRENTLY RUNNING ANY PROMOS/CONTESTS/GIVEAWAYS THAT YOU WOULD LIKE OUR READERS TO KNOW ABOUT?
At the moment we are signing on new producers, merchants, wholesalers, suppliers and sellers for free; no subscription fees! We get your products registered and uploaded onto our online market absolutely for free. We’ll be giving away Koowa tops, wrist watches and airtime from 18th to 20th June 2017; all you have to do is to follow our handles, repost or retweet the photos and tag us.
The Dare2Start Entrepreneurship Competition 2016, University of Ghana- Tabimart was among the top 10 out of the 72 groups that contested. No awards yet; we’ve been running for 8 months.
WHERE IS YOUR BUSINESS BASED?
Our business is based in Accra. It’s an online business so the web is practically our workspace!
WHAT WERE THE FIRST FEW STEPS YOU TOOK TO GET YOUR BUSINESS UP AND RUNNING?
First of all, I sought legal advice, then business registration, acquisition of domain names, marketing and the search for clients, the search for service providers and partners.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY OF RAISING AWARENESS OF YOUR BUSINESS AND GETTING NEW CUSTOMERS?
In my view, the most effective way of raising awareness of my business is through publicity; and it has to be consistent. I use social media and also advertise on other websites. With regards to getting new customers, referrals by existing clients is the most effective way for me.
WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGES SO FAR?
My biggest challenge has been with end-consumers of our e-commerce website: many people do not really understand e-commerce and how it’s supposed to work. Lol. People want you to change your business module to their standards.
HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THESE CHALLENGES?
It takes a lot of patience and dedication to deal with this challenge which I encounter each working day. I need to explain the structure of our business and how our nationwide delivery and worldwide delivery systems work.
HOW DO YOU KEEP MOTIVATED THROUGH DIFFICULT TIMES?
There’s one phrase I repeat each day- “God is King.” My Christian values really affect my attitude towards work and in every project I undertake in each task I carry out, I commit it into the hands of God. Isaiah 40:31 keeps me motivated at all times; it says:
“but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
This bible verse keeps me going each day.
HOW DO YOU DISTINGUISH YOURSELF FROM YOUR COMPETITORS?
Our company is the only online market in the country that enables merchants reach their target customers, and distribute/ deliver products without direct physical contact and operates a strict “cashless payment policy”.
WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE RECEIVED RECENTLY?
The best advice I’ve received recently- it’s better to start small and grow big than to start big and struggle growing.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER ENTREPRENEURS?
My advice to other entrepreneurs…. “Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground”- Theodore Roosevelt. In simpler words; dream big and always aspire for more but never lose focus in the process.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE BUSINESS TOOLS/RESOURCES AND WHY?
My favourite business tools are analytics software, social integration APIs and content management systems.
WHAT IS A GOOD ARTICLE OR BOOK YOU HAVE READ RECENTLY?
One good book I’ve read is Managing Your Team: How to Organise People for Maximum Results by Adrian Pruss & J.L Spencer.
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY LEARNING ABOUT FOR YOUR BUSINESS OR LOOKING FOR HELP WITH?
At the moment, I’m learning business history and business management.
My goal for the next few months is to expand our client and customer base for both the online market and the social media management agency.
Twitter: Personal – @mants3_Stan
Official – @mytabimart
Personal – https://www.instagram.com/iano_adveira/
Hashtags: #mytabimart #tabimart