"If you have a partner that is suitable to do business with, it's fun. If you have a partner that isn't suitable, you will do ten businesses, and none will survive."
Running a business with your partner can either be a blessing or messy. Is it possible to separate emotions from business, and how would one address or give feedback to one's partner without hurting their feelings?
In this chat with a Kippa couple, Mr. and Mrs. Ibitoye, both the founders of Miah Business Consult, they share what works for them while running their business together.
What is the name of your business?
Mrs Ibitoye: Personally, I run Jereque Business Concept, where we teach people how to import from China. We also have a segment where we can teach people how to sell things you bring into the country. While we run Miah Business Consult.
Mr Ibitoye: We jointly own Miah Business Consult, and I own an Import-export Academy. For Miah Business Consult, we deal with different types of businesses. But the Import-export academy is basically to train people on how to import & export foodstuff. In food exportation, you earn in dollars, which is the business you want to enter in this present economy.
To be clear, the joint business is the one you train people on how to do export right?
Mr: Yes, we teach import, export, digital marketing, affiliate marketing and so on.
Mrs: This is something we do for ourselves so we see the need to teach it. The best part is that you make money through your phone from the comfort of your home.
How is the business registered?
Mr: The different aspects of the businesses are registered separately.
Is Miah Business Consult registered in both names?
Mr: No, I registered it in my name, but we run the business together as partners. I can't make any decision on any money made from the business without her awareness or approval.
How long have you been running the joint business together and whose idea was it?
Mrs: We have been running the business officially since 2019, and It was my husband's idea
What aspect of the business do you manage?
Mr: I handle every aspect concerning the logistics of the business, such as securing contracts, while she handles the financial aspect of the business. I am not so good at money management, so she compliments my weaknesses.
Mrs: Apart from the financial aspect, I also handle customer management, customer service and retention.
How is profit shared? Who is the main signatory to the company's account?
Mrs: When it comes to profit, there is no particular proportion to the way profit is shared. From the beginning, the goal of the business has been itemized and it was jointly done. We can't afford to fight about who takes what percentage because the business won't move forward. Sometimes we tend to use some of these profits to further the business. This business has brought a lot of connections, platforms and opportunities for us.
Mr: I was a freelancer before I got married. Profit-sharing isn't a problem. We run the business and look for what project is next to save towards. For instance, if we want to save towards a car, we divert the money we make towards that project. We save on PiggyVest and safe lock it. If the business is run with an external partner and not a family member, we would have a profit-sharing formula.
Has there been any money mismanagement or conflict, and how was it handled?
Mr: There has been one on my part during the learning process. Before we got married, I mismanaged the money I made from my business. My wife started hers, and I had to fall back and help her run her business. It was through this business our joint business was formed. So when it comes to the financial part of the business, she is in control because I have mismanaged my business money at some point.
Would you run your next business with your partner?
What advice would you give to those who want to run a business with their partner?
Mrs: When it comes to starting a business, the first thing is to know who you have. My husband knows me; that is why he can vouch for me. I know his weakness, and that was when I knew I must do something about it. I would advise partners to love each other for who they are. They shouldn't use the other person's weakness as a criterion to misbehave. Also, always give your partner chances to do more and learn from each other.
I want to advise partners that they can do it, and they should see their business as "problem solvers" outside the family setting. Finally, you need a lot of discipline and sincerity.
Mr: The most difficult person to do business with is your family member, and the sweetest person to do business with is still your family member. If I had not changed, I wouldn't have been a suitable husband to do business with. We had to find a solution to the part that was bankrupting the business: financial management. I'm resourceful and hardworking, but what's the point if you're making money and wasting it?
As much as family is involved, we know the boundaries to keep regarding money. So, it depends on the type of partner you have. If you have a partner that is suitable to do business with, it's fun. If you have a partner that isn't suitable, you will do ten businesses, and none will survive.
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