Recently I transitioned from offering my online accounting software as paid service, to offering it for free. It was a very tough choice to make, after all who wants to offer a product they’ve worked hard on for free?
Through trial and error, what I realized is that many businesses in Ghana struggle to cover their basic expenses. This implies that even when they’re offered products that meet important needs within their business and they have an interest in using them, the funds just aren’t available. In Ghana and indeed many emerging economies, online products also face their own peculiar set of obstacles, one of the largest being suitable payment systems. In Ghana there is a low level of credit card penetration and as a result, payments become cumbersome (potentially resulting in the loss of customers). Some companies however such as Ozinbo Pay have tried to fill this gap
What was my alternative solution?- Offering online advertising to other companies. This solution is nothing new, internet giants such as Google and Facebook provide most of their products for free and generate revenue through the sale of advertising space to individuals and businesses. I’m nowhere near the likes of those two companies, but for me and other entrepreneurs who have faced similar issues, this is a practical solution. Rather than having to approach individual businesses for ads, there is an easy to use online solution offered by Google called Adsense. Adsense allows Google to post third party ads on your website. As visitors to your site click on these ads, revenue is generated. The ads posted are targeted and generally reflect content that would be relevant to visitors to your site.
So if you’ve found yourself in a situation similar to mine, it is important to realize that you do have options. Adsense isn’t the only solution out there, but it definitely is a viable one.
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