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How to choose the right co-founder for your startup

You have the plan, the desire, and the energy to start, but it has become very clear that you’re missing something — you need a co-founder.

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After a lot of hard work, brainstorming, researching, and testing, you’ve finally found the right idea to build your startup. You have the plan, the desire, and the energy to start, but it has become very clear that you’re missing something — you need a co-founder. Someone who can complement your skills, act as a sounding board or a voice of reason, and help you lift your startup idea into reality.

Having two founders on the team, rather than one, significantly increases a startup’s odds of success. It is clear that two fully invested founders are greater than the sum of their parts. Depending on your startup’s focus and your professional background, you might struggle to find anyone willing to go into business with you or you may be flush with options. Either way, here are the key considerations before tying the business knot with someone:

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Define your core values

Whether it is hiring an employee, selecting a vendor, or choosing a co-founder, using a solid and well-defined set of core values is a great place to start. Your core values determine your priorities, goals and the decisions you’re willing to make. Are you super competitive or more of a collaborative person? Do you want work-life balance or are you thinking business 24/7? Focus on the values that make you truly different from others. They should be who you are, not who you hope to be.

Should you run multiple businesses as an entrepreneur? Part 2, Godwin Obaseki,

Assess your own strengths and weaknesses

We all have strengths and weaknesses. The key is becoming aware of them. Develop good strategies for leveraging strengths and mitigating weaknesses. Highly successful people have dialled this in and figured out where they excel and where they struggle; then they surround themselves with the right environment and right people. While it might be tempting to find a co-founder who is just like you, it’s better to find someone who complements you in the right way to benefit the future of your company.

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Make sure the other person can check their ego at the door

One of the key tests for a potential co-founder is making sure they can put aside being right in order to do what’s best for the partnership. This can be tough when you’re looking for someone very technical and knowledgeable. This type of person can be brilliant, but if they have little EQ, they’ll be difficult to work with over the long haul. Being humble, open to new ideas, and willing to collaborate on decisions is key to making a successful co-founder.

[READ MORE: Setting goals for your startup – what you need to know (Part 1)]

Ensure you both have the same level of drive and motivation

You don’t need to agree to work 80-hour weeks or be in the office until 2am every day, but you want to ensure that both of you have similar commitment levels.

Discuss how you will deal with adverse circumstances

Every business and every partnership will go through tough times. Fundraising difficulties, cash flow shortfalls, employees leaving, and clients terminating contracts will all happen and they will put strains on the partnership. Make sure you and your co-founder have a strategy for dealing with tough times and are able to weather the storm.

Discussing these topics upfront is a great investment of time. The best business partnerships are successful not because of the heights they achieve, but because of the lows, they survive. While you’ll never find the perfect co-founder, taking some time to ponder these questions will ensure that you find the best one in the time you have.

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Find the right combination of co-founders

Startups will be more successful when they have two balanced partners. Many founders make the mistake of finding a co-founder who is exactly like them, rather than finding someone with complementary skills. Ideally, startups should mix skill sets. For instance, companies shouldn’t have two people that are both tech-focused and don’t understand the business or marketing elements of running a startup. Make sure that if one co-founder is tech-focused, the other has the business acumen to complement the other.

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Just as a startup should mix skill sets, they should do the same for personality traits too. For example, having two people who are afraid of public speaking won’t benefit the startup since they will have to pitch to investors, speak to clients, present in front of accelerators, and more. If one co-founder is shy, it’s best to have another person who is more outgoing and has confidence in speaking in front of people. Each of the co-founder’s strengths will support the other.

Find a partner you can trust

In addition to balancing personality traits, it’s essential that founders find partners they can trust. Trust, like Stephen Covey once said, “Is the glue of life. It is the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It is the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”

Shared passion isn’t enough to ensure a successful founding partnership

Running a startup brings out the best and worst in people. A large percentage of startups fail due to inter-team conflict— not poor planning, but conflict between personalities that don’t mesh. This friction is often highest among co-founders, especially in a startup.

Here’s why your business needs a solid value proposition (PART 1)

Have a plan to handle disagreements

Create a template of steps for working through disagreements. Planning ahead for potential problems will have a two-fold effect:

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  • You already know how to react and respond to the disagreement when it arises.
  • The disagreement is less likely to arise because you have a game plan.

[READ ALSO: Setting goals for your startup – what you need to know (PART 2)]

Don’t settle – choose perfection

You wouldn’t settle for marrying someone who wasn’t “the one,” would you? Don’t settle when choosing your co-founder, either. Finding the perfect co-founder will take time, but it’s better to find “the one” than to go through a messy break-up later on. If you’ve found someone who you think is your new co-founder, be real with yourself when assessing their potential faults and the drawbacks of working with that person.

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Business

LIRS further extends deadline for filing annual tax returns by one month

“We constantly debated what other measures could be taken as an organization to support individuals and businesses at this time, hence, the additional one-month extension from June 1, to June 30, 2020.” – Ayodele Subair

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LIRS further extends deadline for filing annual return by one month

The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) has again extended the deadline for filing of Annual Tax Returns from May 31 2020 to June 30, 2020.

This is part of the state government’s effort to provide relief to taxpayers in light of the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. With this development, annual returns for individuals, both employees and self-employed persons, can be filed anytime before June 30, 2020.

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In a press release signed by Monsurat Amasa, the head of LIRS’ Corporate Communications Department, the agency urged taxpayers to take advantage of the magnanimity of the government and file their returns. The LIRS’ Executive Chairman, Mr. Ayodele Subair, explained the extension thus:

“As the Lagos State Government keeps abreast of global best practices in containing the Covid-19 pandemic and eases the effects of an economic downturn on taxpayers and residents of the State, LIRS had initially extended the deadline for filing annual tax returns for two months, from the statutory March 31st of every fiscal year to May 31, 2020.  

“We constantly debated what other measures could be taken as an organization to support individuals and businesses at this time, hence, the additional one-month extension from June 1, to June 30, 2020.”

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(READ MORE: COVID-19: Lagos issues new guidelines, considers full reopening of economy)

He further explained that taxpayers can file the annual returns from the comfort of their homes and offices using the LIRS eTax platforms. They can also generate assessment and payment schedule, and other tax administration matters on the same platform. Updates on business operations and alternative payment platforms are to be found on the verified handles, and the LIRS website.

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Business

Where to invest in May

Post-COVID-19 lockdown, Nigerians need to send their money on the right errands in May 2019, if they will not be caught napping the expected recession.  

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Money

This May, post-COVID-19 lockdown, Nigerians need to send their money on the right errands, if they don’t want to be caught napping during the anticipated recession.

When listing out assets that should make up the ideal portfolio in May 2020, founder of Nairametrics, Ugochukwu “Ugodre” Obi-Chukwu, explained that investors should consider choice stocks in the Nigerian and foreign stock exchanges, as well as investments in money market instruments where some decent profits can be made.

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Ugodre said this during the maiden edition of the Nairametrics Monthly Investment Guide Webinar.

According to him, this will also be the time to look into Agri-Tech investments, using crowdsourcing platforms, after which you can sit back and watch your funds grow over a time span of 5 months to a year.

According to him, it is also important to invest in foreign currencies and crypto-currencies to balance one’s portfolios.

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He noted that foreign direct investments have reduced over the last couple of years due to reduced trust in Nigeria’s economic policies, and the desire of foreign investors to cash out their funds with ease. This also explains why portfolio investments grew by 38% in 2019.

He said, “Foreign investors love portfolio investments because when they put their money in, they can easily take it out as well.”

(READ MORE:   CrowdFunding: Who is qualified according to new SEC Guidelines)

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Finding the right stocks

On the stock market, he noted that quite some stocks improved in the month of April and could improve in the coming months. He listed 20 suggested shares, including six stocks which he described as COVID-19 proof.

Agritech,Errands you can send your money in May 2020  

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Dangote Sugar Refinery, May & Baker Nigeria Plc, GSK, Neimeth International Pharm, Nestle Nigeria, and Cadbury Nigeria Plc are fast-moving consumer goods companies that are expected to be resistant to pressure from the pandemic.

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He advised investors to track stocks that are liquid, have good financials and good corporate governance, in order to limit risks borne by investors. Valuation of the shares, he said, could be done by comparing stock value and earnings per share.

Working around cryptocurrency volatility 

While making a presentation on “Why Bitcoin should be in your portfolio,” Yele Badamosi, CEO of Bundle stated that foremost cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, had maintained a steady appreciation over the last decade giving investors high yields.

Although the market is highly speculative and unregulated, its high returns and high risk indicate that investors with high-risk appetites could find the market more attractive.

To avoid being on the wrong side, he advised users to consider time-based rebalancing, or tolerance rebalancing to reduce risks and rebalance one’s portfolio.

(READ MORE: AfCFTA delay: A bane to Africa’s $3.4 trillion economic bloc)

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“There are reputable people in the space, but it is important to do your research, start small, and buy regularly. Be wary of get-rich-schemes and unrealistic guaranteed returns,” he advised.  cryptocurrency,Cryptocurrencies and its usage in Africa, Errands you can send your money in May 2020  

 

With applications like Bundle Africa on Google Play Store, buying cryptocurrencies is as easy as selecting the buy button and having it saved in your bundle wallet.

What to expect in Q2 2020

According to Wale, an economist, who also spoke at the webinar, the demand for crude oil will remain low as several countries and businesses are still in lockdown, even though OPEC has cut down production.

Interest rates may remain low, though, despite this, Nigerian business entrepreneurs cannot expect single-digit interest rates.

Foreign reserve and government reserves will remain under pressure in the coming months. The World Bank says that this is the worst year so far, going back to the great depression and this is what I think as well. This is probably going to be the worst economic crisis we have seen,” Wale said.

He added that with the exception of industries in the Healthcare sector, telco companies, digital technology companies, and food producers, other sectors could very well expect a big hit.

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Business

Why risk your life when you can bank with V by VFD (VBank or V)

Unlike other apps that are laced with either unbidden and hidden charges, V is free, as there are no charges for customers whether they are transferring money to another customer of V or another bank.

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VFD MFB closes gap with bank customers, launches new app, Why risk your life when you can bank with V by VFD (VBank or V)

The recent lifting of the lockdown has seen Nigerians rush to the banks to execute banking transactions that they have missed in the last five weeks.

Saying that this action or mis-action contravenes the physical distancing preached by the health agencies and government, is only stating the obvious. By doing this, they endanger themselves, and other family members whom they return to after their day at the bank.
But what if it was possible to do all your banking from your phone?

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V to the rescue
V disrupted the banking industry when earlier this year, it launched a highly optimized virtual bank app that enables users to carry out all banking transactions with ease and from their phones.
Users are able to create and set up a bank account with the app within 5 minutes and start carrying out transactions immediately.
Of course it doesn’t matter if you already have an account with the traditional banks. There’s always room for pleasant disruptions, aren’t there?

What they offer
VBank was launched as Nigeria’s first fully virtual bank to close the gap which hitherto existed between established traditional banks and their customers. That means there are no barriers between the bank and its teeming customers and potential customers.
Unlike other apps that are laced with either unbidden and hidden charges, V is free, as there are no charges for customers whether they are transferring money to another customer of V or another bank.

(READ MORE: VFD Group meets nutritional needs of residents of Olowogbowo community)

According to Azubike Emodi, MD/CEO, VFD Microfinance Bank, experts behind V are taking a consumer-centric approach with an aggressive feedback collection mechanism to build an app that meets the objectives of the customer.
The app, which is available for download on App store and google playstore allows users to monitor expenses and income, categorize budgets, and set spending limits. V is available to download by searching for “V by VFD” on App Store and Google Play store.

Why risk your life when you can bank with V by VFD (VBank or V)
What else could one ask for in a bank?
Another landmark feature of V is referral functionality (Veelage), which is also connected to monthly financial reward. It allows interested users of V to earn income and advance though the V community simply by getting account holders signed up with a unique ID and maintaining an average balance.

About this unique feature, Olukunle Salami, Business Performance Manager, VFD Group Plc would say that It is a 2-way value proposition that ensures individuals can earn consistently for several months beyond the initial referral point.

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Whoever guessed that we could earn from our bank?

 

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