Imagine a world without WalMart. Where you walk onto the main street in town and buy coffee not at Starbuck’s but from your friend, who knows exactly what you want and has it ready by the time you get to the counter. Where food service is an industry whose economy is not determined by McDonald’s and Applebee’s, but by flourishing local restaurants that have beaten out the corporate competitors with their sheer ability to cook well.
How about walking into a record store that has the exact music you want, and is not catering to millions and millions of people that genericize the selection. Without which, your music collection would never have had the likes of Islands or Appleseed Cast.
And what about being not a number in line, but a customer?
Now it takes a hell of a lot of work to become a regular at a business. You’ve got to be pushy, in a nice way of course, to be a valued customer to businesses. Just think about the last time you called your credit card company, or your insurance agency. Sure, State Farm is like a good neighbor. They’re always there. Whatever. Were they really? And I mean really really. Like when you were a little kid and that phrase was the be all and end all of discussion.
And all of this is public knowledge. Those god damn corporate fat cats destroying America and killing the children in sweat shops and undoing the practices of good business will one day have theirs.
So here’s my question:
Is that day coming?
Between the dwindling economic state of the U.S. (a second failure of big-business-run business, the first being the obvious–shall we compare?–Great Depression), the success of local media that are some of the only successful news sources at the moment, and a greater push for better business practices worldwide, those greedy bastards may be seeing the end of business as they know it.
Look at the success of the major banks. This seems to be the straw in the current scenario; allowing the citizens of the world to see what good such major corporations can do. Yes, they provide great services. But when the giant falls, it takes down a lot of shit with it, and lo and behold the business climate we now face.
So in response to all this, once they feel comfortable spending money again, people will go to Irazu or Prego’s above one of many chains that litters Church Street (statement of the obvious: Elon residents, that means you). Maybe people will reject the less serving, larger companies for smaller ones that fit their needs and their niche more entirely.
And then will come a strange paradox indeed, but one manageable by any outlook: with greater globalization, businesses will begin to shift locally, finding support in smaller groups that they can cater to better, while keeping that global perspective. So here may be the most successful businesses, and entrepeneurs, listen close for I may be completely off but this is what I’m banking on; those that go back to the values of a successful business of old, knowing customers by name and placing incredible weight in their support, making sure that they’ll come back again. And with that, keeping up to date with global issues, and working their business strategy and priorities around that.
Globalization doesn’t necessarily mean a company with locations in every city and town and block. No, it is just a broader perspective that encompasses the values of more than just one region. It is a theory of humanism reflected in business.
The economic climate has shown us that things have to be different, that is for sure. Obama preaches for the success of Main St. So does Pelosi. So do Republicans. And it’s high time that something shifts in the monster that is an economy to secure it more, where not so much trust is placed in an institution that not only doesn’t serve each and every client as a human being, but also has the ability to take out the fiscal soundness of the entire world.
It is just not manageable to keep with the system that has now put the economy in serious jeopardy multiple times, and whether the hedge fund managers or the CEO’s like it or not, things really will change as a result. And I mean really really.