When was the last time that you in the diaspora went out of your way to patronize a Sierra Leone owned business? Or sat down and watched an hour of Sierra Leone TV? Or listened to some Sierra Leonean artists music? When was the last time that you instead thought negatively about Sierra Leone music, TV and businesses? Chances are you are more likely to have done the latter more recently than the former. The truth is we all decry that Sierra Leone business is mediocre but we don’t go out of our way to help make it better.
Image Source: Hen Nyandei
We’re all guilty of it. We see a beautiful bag, skirt, etc crafted and sewn in vibrant and colorful african fabric and we immediately want it. But when we ask the price and we are told that the wallet is $20 or that the skirt is $50, we immediately lose interest. In fact some feel as if their intelligence has been insulted because they know that the piece did not take a lot of Leones to produce. Some don’t even ask the price because they are of the opinion that african inspired clothing and accessories are overpriced.
For those of us in the diaspora, specifically USA, we know that Black Friday is coming. All over America millions of people are waiting on this day to take advantage of sales and seemingly deep discounts. But this article is not about Black Friday. Rather it is regarding the fact that Christmas Season is approaching in Sierra Leone and instead of thinking of how the government can generate revenue by capitalizing on the seasons festivities and overseas guests to stimulate the economy, instead we are hearing that carnivals are going to be banned. Unlike the diaspora, there appears to be no tracking and discussion of the festive seasons (Christmas- New Year and Easter in Sierra Leone) and what that does for the economy. Whereas in the diaspora prior to these important seasons, predictions are made as to what sales will occur and how the economy will perform. After the seasons have ended there is reporting on how the economy performed and low or high sales is analyzed and discussed.
Imagine that the next time you call customer service you catch a little whiff of something that sounds familiar in the background. Krio. You’re surprised. You look around you to see if it’s perhaps someone near you that said something even though you know that it’s not. You clear your throat and dare to ask, “Am I talking to someone in Sierra Leone”? The other person on the phone a pleasant sounding young woman says yes indeed. You’re happy and excited and for the next three minutes you two talk about the fact that you’re from Sierra Leone as well!
If you have ever gotten transportation service from an uber driver or created a logo on fiverr, you have participated in the “Gig Economy”. Gig, is a slang word for work that is usually only on a short term / project by project basis.
Soon it will be that time of the year. December. When Sierra Leoneans near and far leave the hustle and bustle of the overseas life and venture to Sierra Leone for some much needed fun and sun. This means many have or had to at one point prior to their trip book their flight. For many this perhaps involved a middleman, a travel agent. But is this travel agent really necessary?
When it comes to business there are many ways in which you can operate. For example you can choose to go all out and do a lot of branding, get business cards and a website or you can choose to operate mostly based on word of mouth and direct contact via phone/email for those interested in your product/service. In this article, we would like to discuss websites and why getting a website for your small/still developing business may not be a bad idea.