It is said that services which are rendered without joy, helps neither the servant nor the served. One lady has proven how true that saying is, as her joy in rendering services to her friends while in school has developed into a business idea. She started on campus as someone who helped others pack their things during vacations and went out to look for trucks to transport them home. But later, she found out that it was a business people were cashing-in abroad. She then partnered a friend to set up an enterprise that will commercialise her idea. Read on as Tina shares her journey with B&FT’s Inspiring Startups.
Christiana Quayson, born in Takoradi and raised in Accra, is a past student of the Wesley Grammar school in Accra. She had her first degree from the Ghana Technology University College where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology in 2017. She is currently doing her national service at the Ghana Revenue Authority.
Her partner, Nana Adjei Yirenkyi, is also her classmate in the university and holds the same degree.
Tina, as she is affectionately known by her friends, has always wanted a ‘busy life’. So, while in the university, she offered to help her friends pack during vacations and would go the extra mile of finding a vehicle to transport them home. In fact, she just found joy in assisting others, and she rendered all those services at no charge. That is what she kept doing until they all completed university.
Little did she know that helping others could open a big business opportunity for her in future.
A business opportunity comes!
Tina realised from some foreign movies she watched that there are professional movers whose services are engaged by households and companies when they want to relocate, but such services are rarely seen here in Ghana.
She thought: “this service I was rendering for my friends in school as a hobby is really a big business in some countries! Then, I think I have to start commercialising this hobby.”
Divine Relocation Services on the move
Deciding on doing this business idea, she registered it in the name Divine Relocation Services. Then, she started advertising to students of her former campus her new services. Sooner, she got calls from some of them during vacations to help move their things home.
The process takes the pattern as she did while in school. She packs the things in boxes, but this time, branded with her business name—a sure sign that she means business. Then, they have a number of trucks they work with, hence, depending on the load they have, they call one and transport to the destination. When they arrive at the destination, if the client wants, she would further unpack all the boxes for him or her.
The business has been well received by people. At least each week, she gets calls from new clients in want of her services.
Tina says they want Divine Relocations to become the go-to relocations service provider. As part of plans to realise that vision, she has plans of insuring the goods and people she transports.
Mode of marketing
The business has accounts of social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram where she markets her products and also engages clients.
She also gets new clients through recommendations from people who have used her services.
The business of rendering moving services is a capital intensive one. Ideally, the investor needs to buy vehicles. But because of lack of funds, Tina says, they have to rely on truck rentals to do their business, and that is taking a toll on them.
Another challenge that confronts them often is the fact that the service they provide is relatively new in Ghana. Many would ordinarily find their own trucks and do their own packing when they want to relocate. So, introducing the service here and charging a moderate fee seem to some, a sheer waste of money.
How education has helped
Education, Tina says, has helped the business in that they both have a background in IT and are able to use it to their advantage.
“Because of my knowledge in IT, I know how to use social media and boost my page for more people to see our services; I can also create a website, so I am able to use the internet to enhance the business.
Again, education taught me communication and so I am able to communicate with my clients in a very professional way. So, it has added to my customer service skills.”
Importance of women empowerment
“I believe for our nation to shed the name developing nation, we give women the opportunity to develop, to be empowered to bridge the gap. There are a lot of women out there who have the zeal, the strength to do whatever they want to do, but some of them do not have that opportunity. I think there are lot of strong women out there who will do great if they get the needed support.”
How government can help
“I think if we could get a system where if you have a good business idea you could go for financial support to grow your startup business, that will be very great. You may have the idea but you need money to keep that dream alive. So, I think government must have a support system to help young businesses to grow.”
Advice to the youth
“My advice for my fellow young entrepreneurs is that they should keep their dreams and hopes alive. There will be times that things will be difficult but at that point don’t give up. If you patiently go through and devise strategies to address them, you will make it.
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