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Aussie Business Showcases How Family & Friends Can Create Commercial Magic Together

The team at HSP 4×4 Accessories are flipping statistics on their head. Brothers, Massih Aimaq and Masood Aimaq, and life-long friend, Omer Dost, have gone against the odds by nurturing a small idea into a highly prosperous, thriving business that is fast becoming a global brand.

“In 2018, Smart Company revealed that while over 70 percent of Australian businesses are family-run, only 30 percent survive the transition from first to the second generation, and just 12 percent make it to the third generation,” said Massih Aimaq.

“Despite the statistics and the trail of liquidations caused by falling outs between family and friends, we have continued on an upward trajectory at HSP 4×4 Accessories.  In fact, I think we have re-written the rule book on what to do.”

Massih Aimaq is the co-founder and director of HSP 4×4 Accessories, a brand specialising in the design, prototyping, manufacturing and marketing of accessories for 4×4 lovers across the country, including their infamous cutting-edge HSP Silverback Lid, HSP Tailgate Lock, and HSP Electric Roll R Cover.

According to Aimaq, the bond between the three co-owners is a testament to HSP 4×4 Accessories’ recent and ongoing success. He believes the business would not be where they are today without implementing clear practices to ensure everyone feels heard, valued and of use at HSP 4×4 Accessories.

Aimaq has shared his five secrets for working most effectively with family and friends in a business venture.

  1. Be clear with your aspirations for the business

“The best thing Masood, Omer and I did right at the start of our business venture together was being upfront and open about everyone’s wish to grow the business. By putting all of our cards on the table right from the beginning we were able to ensure we were all on the same page with our aspirations for HSP 4×4 Accessories.  We recognised the need for, and potential of, vehicle manufacturing in Australia,” Aimaq said.

“This very simple conversation underpinned the making of our business mission statement, and detailed business plan. From that point onwards all three of us were allied with where we want the business to be one, five and ten years into the future, and then align our individual decision making with these goals.”

  1. Determine your individual strengths

According to Aimaq, all three of the men affirmed their skills and strengths in the business very early on.

“We worked out what everyone wants to do within the business, and most importantly, the why and the how behind these roles. Due to the fact that we are such a close-knit trio we all had a rough idea of what we assumed each other’s roles should be, but this did not necessarily meet up with reality,” Aimaq explained.

“Taking the time to talk openly and candidly about where our passions lay in the business was an important step in ensuring everyone was happy and fulfilled in their roles moving forward. This is absolutely one of the keys to HSP 4×4 Accessories’ success.”

  1. Assign responsibilities, not titles

“As HSP 4×4 Accessories took off in the market we assigned individual areas of responsibility to each of the three of us, not fancy titles. In our experience we found that big titles can often be more symbolic and not result in actual practical hands-on responsibilities. As HSP 4×4 Accessories continued to grow in the world of 4x4s, I do not believe we would have been nearly as successful if we had not had each of our clear roles defined,” Aimaq added.

“We also placed significant importance on ensuring our roles did not cross over. Trust plays a major role in our relationships’ dynamic – when we believe that each of us are completing our responsibilities to a level that we would all be happy with the team runs most smoothly. After all, we have no reason to doubt each other’s investment into the business. This system of trust has increased HSP 4×4 Accessories’ efficiency as we were not double, or triple, dipping into tasks that did not require all three of us involved.”

  1. Communication, communication, communication

“For family and friends currently, or thinking about, going into business together I would urge them to put in place systems to keep each other updated. Nothing weakens a relationship more than poor communication, or none at all,” Aimaq emphasised.

According to Aimaq, meeting regularly to discuss everything that matters for HSP 4×4 Accessories has strengthened the bond of the business triplets. By consulting on everything at designated, key times throughout the week no partner feels out of the loop, or solely wearing the stress of a particular situation. He also recommends implementing a cloud based software that documents the progress of different tasks and projects the business is working on, so that any co-owner can feel informed at the click of a button.

  1. Give collective acclaim

“The reason we went into business together is because we knew the business would be strongest with the unique combination of our strengths we bring to HSP 4×4 Accessories. In times of stress or triumph we make sure to remember that this is a three-man-team and we would not be where we are today without the efforts of the entire time. For this reason, we make sure to never take individual credit or abort individual blame for a less than desirable situation on one person,” Aimaq said.

“We celebrate together, but we also hang our heads together. Yes, we are three individuals outside of work, but at HSP 4×4 Accessories we are first and foremost a team.  This is why we have achieved many world firsts as a business with our designs and innovations. We work well together. ”

Massih Aimaq, along with his brother Masood Aimaq and life-long friend Omer Dost, design and manufacture world-first products that maximise the potential of a ute by creating solutions, not just products. With over 20-years of experience in the automotive industry, the close-knit three co-founded HSP 4×4 Accessories. The company continues to push boundaries in the local and international 4×4 industry – making the most innovative, best-priced products on the market.  The business sells products in Australia and overseas and also supplies to vehicle manufacturers both domestically and globally.

Stanley Gatero is a writer at Disrupt Magazine. He covers topics concerning technology, entrepreneurship, news, and sports. He is an avid traveler.

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