Mr Gbadebo is a fabric retailer based in Lagos Nigeria, and just like most rising entrepreneurs, has a physical outlet in the heart of Ebute Meta (Lagos-Island), and primarily markets his products via Instagram and WhatsApp stories. 

However, while he is able to get lots of orders online, he struggles to maintain track of payments, and purchase history as well as manage a time-consuming logistic procedure. Is that something you can relate to?

Miss. Aminat is an excellent hairstylist and is no doubt the best you can come across in Ojuelegba, Surulere. Sadly, she misses a lot of referrals online since she barely has time to attend to her messages during the day. And of course, like every other diligent entrepreneur, she would rather attend to her customers first, and her messages later in the day.

Based in Abuja, Nigeria, Mrs Onyinye is the founder and CEO of Genies Box, a bespoke gifting service for unique gifts and personalized experiences. In her own case, she has everything all figured out from well-managed social media platforms down to world-class gifting services. However, her biggest challenge was having to constantly deal with an existing website that offers everything but a satisfactory user experience.

As a grooming entrepreneur, sometimes, you are Mr Gbadebo, another time, you are Miss. Aminat, and occasionally, you can be Mrs Onyinye. Truth be told, it doesn’t matter who among these people you are, all that matters is what you can do differently to optimize your efficiency as a business owner.

Terminal Africa to the Rescue

Aware of the plight of an average entrepreneur across Africa, Terminal Africa seeks to tackle from the core, some of the predominant challenges that most SMEs and entrepreneurs encounter while attempting to scale up their businesses.

Since its inception in August 2021, Terminal Africa has played an instrumental role in scaling up over 1,500 businesses across Africa. Essentially, the barely 1-year-old startup leverages what could be described as tailored or personalized services.

Notably, Terminal Africa is able to eliminate major barriers to entry for SMEs in the African e-Commerce landscape by combining web-hosting services with top-tier logistic solutions through strategic partnerships with industry-leading logistic companies such as Kwik, GIG Logistics, DHL, GoKada, and others.

That said, Terminal Africa’s extensive range of solutions, which span across all aspects of e-commerce, can benefit a typical small or medium-sized business with barely an active social media presence.

For instance, an SME can completely set up online by implementing Terminal Africa’s wide range of personalized solutions, which include a custom website, analytics, full-fledged marketing tools, access to leading logistic services, multiple payment channels with over 12 international currencies, and automated updates that allow end-users to track their shipment’s journey.

“Seeing is not Always Believing”

“Seeing is not always believing,” as Martin Luther King famously said, but an additional confession could make all the difference. Many in the corporate world are like this, always hesitant to attempt new things, especially add-on services or operational models that require them to leave their comfort zone.

However, like Mr Gbadebo, Miss. Aminat, or Mrs Onyinye, settling for less is just not an option, and if Terminal Africa is all you need to eliminate all the barriers to running a smooth, hassle-free business across Africa, then you are right where you need to be.

Again, just knowing about Terminal Africa isn’t enough, and we’re sure you’re curious about what makes this innovative solution right for you. Before we go on to answer your question about why you should use Terminal Africa, here is what Mrs Onyinye has to say about her operational experience before and after implementing Terminal Africa Solution.

“Prior to using Terminal Africa, I think my biggest challenge was figuring a way to showcase everything that my business sells. 

I run a gifting company and we have over 200 gift items available so it can be quite challenging showcasing all of them to potential buyers. Even posting on Instagram wasn’t enough because with gifting sometimes you have to combine the items and customers have special requests too. 

Before we started using Terminal Africa, there was a lot of back and forth before our customers could place a gift order and it was very time-consuming.”

Several businesses, like Mrs Onyinye’s, suffer a lack of patronage simply because they are unable to showcase their items to potential clients in the most appealing way possible. 

Others, such as Miss Diana Iba, who runs a pharmaceutical business in Lagos, face an even greater challenge in addition to figuring out how to showcase her products in a highly efficient manner. In her words, Miss Diana stated that  “trust is a critical element in the pharmaceutical professions,” which is something that an active social media presence alone cannot achieve for her business.

Both our customers and our suppliers have to believe that you’re legitimate business before they interact with your brand online. Without a website, it’s hard for people to get more information about your business, making it harder to get them to trust your brand. So I’d say that is a challenge Terminal has helped us solve by designing our website.” Miss Diana explained further.

Now, for someone like Miss Dunni Odutayo who runs a wholesale bag business, finding a way to showcase her product, as well as a website that presents her business as a legitimate one while preserving clients’ trust, is not the end of the obstacles. According to her, the cost of using an independent dispatch rider for her in-state, and inter-state delivery is on the high side.

Definitely delivery. I recently had to deliver an order to a customer in Ikorodu and it cost me only N600 on Terminal Africa! Normally, it will cost me like N2000 to deliver to that area. So yeah, they’re saving the customers a lot of money with deliveries which are encouraging and will make them happy to return.” Miss Dunni responded when asked about her toughest challenge before Terminal Africa.

However, with Terminal Africa in the picture, running a small or medium-sized business has been made easier. This also implies that aspiring or grooming entrepreneurs will now face little or no barriers to entry when kick-starting their business, especially in the ever-changing e-commerce sector.

Also, transitioning from an offline to an online business will cease to be rocket science as many were made to believe. Or perhaps, let’s say Terminal Africa has solved the rocket science side of things while ensuring a smooth onboarding experience with its user-friendly, and easy-to-navigate products and services. 

Again, saying, like seeing is not always believing, but an additional confession could make all the difference. 

When asked how Terminal Africa has effectively improved her business productivity on a daily basis, Dunni emphasized how seamless stock-keeping has been since her business was integrated on the platform.

Terminal made me more organized about my business especially when it comes to taking stocks. I sell bags and so I have many different kinds of products that are available in different colors

The fact that I have a place to store all my product information means that I am able to keep track of my inventory better. From checking stock monthly, I can now do this weekly and I’m always sure that every item being sold on my website is actually available in stock.” Dunni revealed excitedly.

It gets even better when someone like Miss Aminat won’t have to worry about responding to her WhatsApp chat during the day while attending to customers. 

For instance, Miss Dianna, in her response to how Terminal Africa has effectively improved her business productivity on a daily basis, noted that she has been able to maximize her time because she no longer has to constantly respond to customer chats unless it is absolutely necessary.

I think chatting with customers can be quite challenging. Sometimes you can have to chat with many people in a day answering questions about products but they may still not end up not buying anything. So that can be a waste of time. With Terminal a customer can go on our website, see the product information and just order it straight from there. So it’s easy and simple.”

Also, if you are like Mrs. Onyinye who has an existing website, switching to another with less complication is very essential. According to her, Terminal Africa has eliminated the hurdles of going back and forth with developers who helped operate her former website.

I think the fact that I can update my website by myself has definitely made me more productive. The way my website was structured before I always had to rely on my developer to make any changes. So I would have to send him my pictures and it could take days or weeks before the changes would be made. 

Sometimes even a small typographical error would take time before it is edited. Nowadays, I login to Terminal and make the changes I want to the site and everything is updated immediately.” Mrs Onyinye noted how TA has helped improve her business productivity.

Finally, as a business owner or entrepreneur, making informed decisions is critical since it is essential for achieving predictable results. For someone like Miss Dunni, making important business decisions has never been easier with Terminal Africa.

Terminal Africa helps me with how I categorize my products for my customers. The bags I sell are similar and mostly vary according to their colors and prices. So categorizing them in the right way helps my customers find the right bag for their budget easily.”

While Miss Dunni is not alone, Mrs Onyinye also admitted that her decision-making has improved since she started using Terminal Africa. In her words, “the dashboard on Terminal helps my business decision making a lot”

“It’s something I’m always looking at and I make sure I review the information there at the end of every business day before I go to bed. From the dashboard, I can see what products people are interested in or are looking at a lot. When I see what they’re looking at, I then post it on my Instagram page or promote it more on social media. This usually helps me sell more,” Mrs Onyinye noted. 

If you are a grooming entrepreneur, or perhaps, planning to start a business, building on the Terminal Africa infrastructure may be one of the best business decisions you may ever take. And, if you are still in doubt, here is your shortest route to getting started!

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