The Case Against Quick Wins: Short Sighted Decision-Making Can Lead to Long-Term Strife
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When doing business amid an economic crisis, entrepreneurs cannot be faulted for wanting to take on every possible opportunity they get to generate revenue for their enterprises. At the current stage of the world’s battle with the coronavirus pandemic, it’s safe to say that when it comes to business, times remain tough, cash flow seems to be coming close to a standstill, and pretty much everyone is beginning to resign to the fact that things may never actually “get back to normal.” As such, it’s easy to see why people would hesitate from saying no to any road that promises returns, regardless of whether the path indicated is precarious, or even perilous. But that in itself makes it clear why we should be thinking long and hard before making the decision to go down such routes for our businesses.
Two recent developments in the MENA entrepreneurial ecosystem have been on my mind lately- one was the shut down of the e-commerce platform Awok, and the other was the liquidation of private equity firm Al Masah Capital, both of which were based out of the UAE. Prior to their collapse, these two companies were pretty prolific in the region’s business landscape- indeed, they were both featured in Entrepreneur Middle East at different points in time over the last couple of years. However, their demise has led to questions being posed on how these enterprises were really being run, and what their leaders may have publicly said about their particular management philosophies wasn’t what they were actually practicing in their respective companies.
Speculations on what essentially caused the closures of Awok and Al Masah Capital are undoubtedly underway in the region’s business arena; however, I have used the principle of Occam’s razor to come to my own conclusion about their downfalls- the simplest explanation here is that these companies were somehow mismanaged (depending on who you speak to, there are quite lot of fingers being pointed). It seems rather apparent that their leaders were making bad decisions when running these companies- to put it quite simply, they were saying “yes” to things that they should have absolutely said “no” to. And therein lies the warning note for the rest of us running businesses through the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
As entrepreneurs, it’s perhaps easier for us to say “yes” to the wrong things at this point, with our faulty decisions being passed off under the premise of “doing whatever we need to do to survive.” But if the aforementioned business failures are any indication, one should be particularly wary of doing this- the leaders of those enterprises were also almost certainly thinking of short-term wins when they made those decisions that would end up crippling their companies in the long run. Amid the COVID-19 crisis, it can be tempting to think of only the here and now, but remember, your enterprise is something you want to stay for the long haul. As such, step away from those decisions that don’t make sense from a long-term perspective- if anything, your conscience will thank you for it.