Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Operating Across Borders

©iStock/Bet_Noire
Find out what happened when an Italian retail company wanted to send an employee to the U.S. to oversee the rollout of new locations in the New Jersey region.  Think it was hassle-free?

Read:  Going Global:  International clients create a growing niche

Monday, March 02, 2015

Today in Global Small Business: Capital for Globalizing Firms

©iStock/Zzvet
What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Snowwoman in Chicago

©2015 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
Don't ask me how I know it's a snowwoman as opposed to a snowman. She just is.  I took this photograph at Delaware and Michigan Avenue, Chicago.  Somebody was in a creative mood.  Thank goodness!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Watch for Disruption in the Global Accounting Software Space

©iStock/Chagin
Who hasn't heard of American software company Intuit?  They've been around since 1983 doing a great job providing easy and convenient accounting solutions to businesses of all sizes.  Now comes the disruptive part and enough that Intuit better not ignore.  It's clear that Intuit CEO Brad Smith is already on it with his recent article "Intuit's CEO on Building a Design-Driven Company," in the January/February 2015 - Harvard Business Review.

Now there's New Zealand-based software company Xero that develops 'beautiful' cloud-based accounting software for small and medium-sized businesses. The company has offices in New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

And there's accounting software company The Sage Group who just recently announced a global agreement with Salesforce.com that goes like this:
Sage has agreed to start using the Salesforce Customer Success Platform. Implementing the cloud based CRM system shows that Sage want to get close to Salesforce and get some kind of symbiotic partnership with the cloud giant. - Source:  The Sage Group Plc announces global agreement with Salesforce
Watch all these companies for future global competitive activity.  Bring it on as they say for each wants to play in every country!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Intuit Quickbook Interview: Why Small Businesses Are Poised To Expand Big Time Overseas

©iStock/Violka08
Below I discuss seven questions with Suzanne Kearns for Intuit Quickbooks:
  1. How much in U.S. goods gets exported each year, and has that figure increased in recent years?
  2. Are there indicators that show when a small business is ready for global trade?
  3. How should business owners determine which markets to expand in?
  4. What are some things business owners can do to attract foreign buyers to their website?
  5. How should business owners handle foreign currency transactions?
  6. What should small business owners know about shipping products overseas?
  7. Where can business owners learn about customs duties and foreign taxes?
Read the interview: Can Your Small Business Expand to a Global Market?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

What Challenges Do Importers Face?

©iStock/RalkoV
What is the one thing that will throw everything off on an import? Mistakes!  In this article, I talk about seven other critical issues affecting importers today and what you can do to avoid them.

Read:  8 Big Import Compliance Challenges

Monday, February 23, 2015

Today in Global Small Business: And the Award Goes To ...

©iStock/Ayzek
What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Chicago Modern Skyscraper: The Aon Center

©2015 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
The Aon Center is a modern skyscraper in Chicago, Illinois (third tallest building in IL) and designed by architect firms Edward Durell Stone and The Perkins and Will partnership.  It was completed in 1974 as the Standard Oil Building.  There's talk about new owners ...

Friday, February 20, 2015

How to Eliminate the Surprise Factor Via Global Ecommerce

©iStock/Nyul
If you design your ecommerce site in such a way that your customer comes first, business should flow through nicely no matter what part of the world your customer resides.  But the way to really build a seamless and enjoyable online buying experience is to pay attention to a couple of other important details.  Here they are.

5 Ways to Prevent Surprises in Global Ecommerce

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Michele Ferrero, The Man Who Brought Nutella to the World, Dies

©iStock/Mrohana
Tic Tac mints.  Ferrero Rocher chocolates.  Nutella spread.  All these delicious confectionery products are produced by Ferrero SpA, a $30 billion company, and brought to life by Michele Ferrero, who died at the age of 89.

He was a family man and had a great, global vision for his firm (well ahead of his time):
It was Michele Ferrero’s vision to expand internationally. In the 1950s, he opened production plants and offices in Europe. He expanded to the rest of the world starting in the 1970s. All the while the company shunned acquisitions, breaking into foreign markets by introducing products catering to local tastes.

Ferrero is the world’s fourth-biggest chocolate confectionery company, with 8% of the global chocolate market. No. 3 NestlĂ© has 12%, according to consumer research group Euromonitor’s data from 2013.
Read the obituary:  Italian Chocolatier Found Success with Nutella

And what a sweet ending ... he passed away on Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Borders Are Blurring and the World Is Getting Smaller

©iStock/Saicle
With the world getting smaller and borders blurring, this presents new opportunities for retailers to reach potential customers.

How is the future of global e-commerce going to develop?