The commitment of merchants and businessmen to fulfil their obligations to each other remains the solid firm rule in the world of business.
This holds true no matter how developed the judicial system of settling commercial disputes, or how strict the forms of contracts, documents and guarantees in business transactions.
This is the basic rule of business stability, which is a protective shield for society from the cycle of judicial disputes, personal quarrels, delays in the implementation of business and projects, and the consequent economic and social damage.
In cases of economic recession, weak markets, and tight liquidity, commercial problems arise due to the inability of businessmen to pay their financial obligations.
These include obligations towards their employees in addition to the costs of operating their businesses, such as rents, maintenance, and others.
The ripple-effect is felt as a consequence when the employee stops paying his obligations towards his children’s school, which in turn stops paying EWA bills, thus, we enter into a vicious cycle of the phenomenon of non-payment.
Getting out of this loop with the least possible damage is through honesty and transparency in doing business.
My life was not all successful. In fact, I went bankrupt more than once, especially in the early stages. But every time, my first obligation was to pay my debts despite the lack of documents that required me to do so.
This commitment was a great burden and required a long and painstaking effort. But in the long term, it made my reputation as a businessman who respected his word, and earned me the trust of businessmen and people.
I make sure that my business with my partners is through word of mouth and the handshake. Only after that, the documents and contracts come. I believe at the same time in the friendship and sincerity of those I deal with, and I also realise that it is not very smart to include contracts with obscure conditions for later use against others, but you should protect yourself as a businessman, not to be tempted and exploit others who put their trust in you.
This does not mean that I have not been cheated and deceived throughout my practical life by bad people. Some disappointed me, let me down, and some of them even stole from me. These were stabs that did not harm my body, and I often anticipated deception before it happened.
As the proverb says, “You may be able to fool all the people some of the time, or some people all the time, but you will not be able to deceive all the people all the time.”
It is your right as a businessman to be ambitious, but beware of being greedy, because greed can lead you to do anything for money. I once heard a professor at Harvard say that one of the things they are keen to instil in the minds of graduates is “to avoid being arrested”.
This sounded strange, but the professor responded that the university noticed that many of their graduates end up in prison. The reason for this is their increased enthusiasm and passion for money, more money, and more money, then they are ready to do anything for money.
My request to my fellow businessmen, especially those with small and medium businesses, is to believe that the economic challenges that we are living now will end sooner or later. That prosperity will return to business again, so they should spend their time rebuilding their business models to cope with the great changes both in the markets and the needs of consumers. Moreover, they should discover new business opportunities, and to turn not only to their companies to reduce operating costs, but to pay attention to their personal and family expenses as well, and to take care of their commercial reputation, as it is their real capital, once lost, it cannot be rebuilt again.