Globalization and the Internet has opened up doors for small and medium enterprises to flourish in a competitive market ruled by multinational corporations and conglomerates. That isn’t always the case though.
I grew up in a small city up north where most, if not all businesses (at least back then) were small, mom & pop type, family owned enterprises. In fact, up until recently, my mom used to own a small travel agency along Session Road which was named after her and my dad’s name put together. That travel agency was put up in 1993 and it was quite the success then. After all, traveling wasn’t as common as it is now, and people hadn’t the slightest idea how to go about doing it on their own, hence the need for agencies like ours to act as middlemen. Technology hadn’t yet developed as much, and all we had was one computer which operated on, what I recall, was a software called Abacus. This was basically the device we used to book seats, and check flight schedules and whatnot. Through the years and up to the early 2000’s, the business developed, and technological advancements made it much simpler. Upgrades were made, and we were now able to book flights and hotel reservations with ease. We even had a direct telephone line to Manila, which allowed us to make calls without paying long distance fines.
Years passed, however, and in around 2008, our little mom & pop establishment was dying. The Internet had made it so easy for anyone to make their own arrangements online that nobody cared to visit travel agencies anymore. Almost every hotel had its own website, and every airline had its own online booking system. Even promos and package deals were available online. There really was no need for the middleman anymore. So, as it were, in 2010, we sold that little business that my mom had built almost twenty years ago. It was a sad reality, but was a necessary consequence of the changing times. Although the Internet is undoubtedly a great tool for small enterprises to flourish, I suppose its always good to keep in mind that there are exceptions to every general rule.
Joni R. Gomez, Entry # 4