Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Ray of Beauty

©2013 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"Flowers ... are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world." - Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1844

Friday, April 18, 2014

Eriksen Translations Helps Women-Owned Businesses Build For Global Growth

Photo courtesy:  Apress
We are honored and excited to be collaborating with Eriksen Translations. They are supporting women-owned businesses by providing complimentary copies of Laurel's new book, "Exporting: The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably," to attendees at the Women Presidents' Organization (WPO) 17th Annual Conference.
Delaney quotes Vigdis Eriksen, the founder and CEO of Eriksen Translations, in Chapter 15, "Web Design with the World in Mind," where she provides strategies for conveying cultural, linguistic, and business information to target audiences in a world that is becoming increasingly multicultural and multilingual. Vigdis Eriksen said, "To reach out to the world for business, your website should be flexible enough to adapt to other languages in the future. Build for global growth."
Read more about it:  Eriksen Translations Helps Women Business Owners Reach Their Audiences in the Global Marketplace

Both Laurel and Vigdis will be attending the conference in New Orleans (4/22-25) so look for them!  If you are not attending the conference, following them on Twitter is easy:  @LaurelDelaney @EriksenTrans and #WPOConf2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014

All Dressed Up and Ready to Go Global

Where are the current revenue-generating opportunities on the horizon?  E-commerce and apparel manufacturers.  Put them together and you have a perfect formula for global growth.  As stock analyst Bridget Weishaar writes for Morningstar:
We think modern technologies and consumer preferences demand an entirely different skill set from companies than in the past. In fact, we think current innovations have given companies an unprecedented opportunity to develop direct relationships with their customers [and the chance to expand in growing global markets] to solidify their intangible brand asset, as well as be creative in managing the supply chain to develop unrealized cost efficiencies, both of which are critical to developing an economic moat in this category.
Read what else Ms. Weishaar has to say at:  All Dressed Up and Ready to Go

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Franchising Has Gone Global

What's the big industry trend or hot topic these days at franchising conventions?  Take it global.  That's what Chad Finkelstein says at the Financial Post.  He adds:
I have no empirical evidence to support my position on this, but I think the appeal of international franchising is guided by one or a combination of the following: the cache and promotional benefits of being able to claim your franchise concept transcends borders; a strategic choice based on identified market trends; favourable economic and regulatory conditions that remove certain barriers to entry for a particular business; and/or someone from that country expressed an interest in being a franchisee.  
Read the entire article:  Is your franchise really ready to go global?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Accidental Exporter

Are you an accidental exporter?  You react to opportunities that come your way as opposed to preparing well in advance for them?  That's the difference between an accidental exporter and an intentional exporter. An intentional exporter does his or her homework, makes exporting a strategic priority and identifies overseas growth opportunities for the business.
"Despite the instantaneous exposure to global markets through the web, many small businesses are not prepared for dealing with customers overseas and are becoming ‘accidental exporters’, having not planned for or considered the practicalities or potential of selling abroad until an international order drops into their inbox."
Read the entire article:  Are you an accidental exporter?  For UK visitors, read the schedule on upcoming exporting events here.  The next one is July 5th.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Web Technology Enables Remote Coaching From Anywhere in the World

Web technology allows us to sell products and goods everywhere provided the customer has an Internet connection.  Take career coaching, a fast-growing and largely unregulated market. A decade ago the Kentucky-based International Coach Federation had 2,100 members; that number has since grown eightfold, to 16,600.
In 2004 the Harvard Business Review estimated that executive coaching alone was a $1 billion industry. Aided by Web technology that enables remote coaching from anywhere, the business is gaining ground in some unexpected corners of the world.
Read more:  An expat career coach's world without borders

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Embrace Spring

©2014 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
“Don't go fighting against the Spring.” - E.M. Forster, A Room with a View

(Photo taken on the 28th floor at 321 N. Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Guess Who's No. 1 in the World On Entrepreneurship?

No drum roll needed on this one.  The United States is the most entrepreneurial economy in the world, according to the 2014 Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index (GEDI).
The Global Entrepreneurship & Development Index was created to provide a more complete understanding of economic development by capturing the contextual nature of business formation, expansion, and growth.  It is based on analysis of comprehensive data sets from more than 120 countries that marshal information about the “3A’s” of development: entrepreneurial attitudes, aspirations, and activity.
Here's a look at the top 10, including scores:

No. 1:   United States - 82.5
No. 2:   Canada - 81.7
No. 3:   Australia - 77.9
No. 4:   Sweden - 73.7
No. 5:   Denmark - 72.5
No. 6:   Switzerland - 70.9
No. 7:   Taiwan - 69.5
No. 8:   Finland - 69.3
No. 9:   Netherlands - 69.0
No. 10: United Kingdom  - 68.6

Read more at:  GEDI Index | Global Entrepreneurship Development Institute

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Most Successful Export? Britain's Private Schools.

The children of the well-heeled flock to Britain's private schools, whether from China, Nigeria or Russia: the number of foreign pupils rose by 1.4% in the last year alone.  That's according to the Economist's article, "Overseas students:  How to ruin a global brand."  However:
Nick Hillman of the Institute for Higher Education says the [British] government has sent unclear messages about the sort of immigration it wants to restrict. An emphasis on holding down net immigration deters young Indians and Pakistanis in particular. Australia and America, which have more relaxed entry criteria for students, are becoming more favoured destinations. Colin Riordan, Cardiff University’s vice-chancellor, adds that Britain’s student-visa regime has become more onerous and fiddly overall.
Is Britain losing out to other countries in the contest for talent?

Read the entire article:  Overseas students:  How to ruin a global brand

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

There's a Mall for Everyone, Including Africa

Africa's largest shopping platform, MallForAfrica, allows African citizens to shop directly on U.S. and U.K. websites that previously wouldn't ship to them or accept their forms of payment due to logistics or security concerns. MallForAfrica provides U.S. and U.K. e-railers a new reach into the African economy in just 48 hours with zero liability. Their turnkey software application is built to ward off worries of fraud, logistics, foreign exchange and delivery.

MallForAfrica is co-founded by Nigerian-born siblings, California-based Chris Folayan and his Nigerian-based brother Tope Folayan. They serve as co-CEOs.  According to MFA's publicist:
There are 70 sites which have partnered with MFA, representing some 7.8 billion items.  After only two years in business, MallForAfrica does over 2 tons of merchandise/over 100,000 items/millions of dollars worth of transactions per year.  Their revenue has doubled over the past year, and this year they are on track to do 5x what they did last year.  They're expanding into two new African countries this year, and are expected to be in 16 countries by 2016. They have overcome the public's knee-jerk reaction to any mention of Nigeria immediately being associated with thoughts of cyber fraud. just named them one of the 5 African Tech Startups to Watch.
Pretty amazing and powerful stuff.  Pay a visit when you have time: MallForAfrica

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Adopt a Global Standard of Ethical Business Practices

While conducting business across borders, companies need to be mindful of ethics and laws, especially as they relate to exporting.  I should know because I practice it everyday in my global small business and devote an an entire chapter on the topic, "Global Ethics:  The Export World's Rules on Ethical Conduct" in my new Exporting book.

In the following article, "Ethics Must be Global, Not Local" published in Businessweek, Bill George says:
To build a truly great, global business, business leaders need to adopt a global standard of ethical practices.
Find out what else he has to say here.

Monday, April 07, 2014

OPIC Provides Tools and Support for Small Businesses

Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock
Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution.  OPIC works with the U.S. private sector, helping U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets, catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. Lately, they have been conducting Expanding Horizons' Workshops that educate participants on OPIC products and services - from accessing capital to opening up new markets.
“I know that as more and more U.S. small businesses engage in the global marketplace, you face new questions and unique challenges,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who along with fellow Minnesota U.S. Sen. Al Franken provided taped welcoming remarks for the conference’s participants.
Read more here:  OPIC Workshop for Minneapolis Area Draws 80 Small Businesses from 11 States

The next workshop is scheduled for May in Phoenix.

OPIC Small Business go here.