Small businesses must invest in sustainable planning – Dr. Sarpong

December 23, 2016
Source: thebftonline |Ghana
Small businesses must invest in sustainable planning – Dr. Sarpong

Small businesses in the country must consider investing their resources in sustainable planning rather than taking decisions based on emotions fuelled by election results, Dr. Forster Kum-Ankama Sarpong, a business executive and lecturer, has said.

“Our excited business partners in the small enterprises and petty trading space across the length and breadth of Ghana, especially in at the Abbosey Okai spare parts section in Accra and the Kejetia market in Kumasi and other parts of the country, should consider investing in sustainable planning,” he said in an interview with the B&FT.

With reports that small business operators in the country have reduced their prices by as much as 30percent after the election of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo in the just ended Presidential elections, Dr. Sarpong warned that despite the impulsive reactions of traders and entrepreneurs, the market in 2017 could characterized by uncertainty.

“If you invest with a long-term, balanced and consistent approach, neither presidential candidate is likely to have a dramatic effect on your investments.

There will be periods of time when your faith can be tested in the system, but as we've seen based on past scenarios, you don't want to let those events determine what you do next. In investing, you need to maintain a long-term, broad focus. A narrow-sighted approach will result in less than optimal results,” he added.

He urged that just like any market there will always be moments of uncertainty, “therefore, while we can't look into the future, we can look to the past to get a sense of how people have reacted in similar periods of uncertainty.”

Traders and small business owners have a history of reducing the prices of goods and services in a election years. It can be recalled that in 2000 and 2008, crucial election years, traders reduced and slashed prices after the results were called.

But Dr. Sarpong questions this attitude and believes that sustainable planning will have done things differently.

He urged the President-elect, Nana Akufo Addo to address the dwindling fortunes of the manufacturing sector so that much needed jobs can be created and boost economic growth.

“The manufacturing sector continues to shrink and Ghana risks losing its industrial base if government policies do not quickly address these challenges to revive the industrial sector,” he said.

Apart from manufacturing, Dr. Sarpong also wants to see the taming of inflation, stabilization of the currency, lowering of interest rates so that businesses can access cheaper funds to expand.

Also, Dr. Sarpong is hoping that the new government will take a second look at the increments in utility tariffs and petroleum prices due to the addition of several taxes that have led to an increment in the cost of production.

“The recent hike in petroleum products poses a serious challenge to the national economy as most enterprises will have to contend with an additional 30percent running cost on their operations, thus pushing up the cost of goods and services in the country,” he said.

Already, Nana Akufo Addo has served notice to several associations, business leaders and the general populace that his government will scrap or reduce some of the taxes slapped on goods and services and Dr. Sarpong believes that if all promises are delivered the economy will bounce back to where it belongs.