Thursday, May 31, 2007

Age-Old Question of International Trade

Q: We are a small manufacturer and want to purchase some component parts overseas. The overseas entity doesn't want to ship without payment. Yet we don't want to pay before we are sure that the goods will come and they will be of the quality represented. What are our options?

-- Marc Chafetz, Washington, D.C.

A: You're asking one of the age-old questions of international trade: How do a buyer and seller handle payment so neither gets burned? Read WSJ reporter Kelly Spors's answer here.

And I'd like to add my two cents on the subject.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Technology Allows SME's To Go Global

Throughout the month of May, chambers of commerce throughout the country will recognize small businesses for their achievements and contributions.

One look at the statistics and it's easy to see why we deserve our praise. Small businesses have generated 60 to 80 percent of net new jobs annually over the last decade, according to, and according to the Small Business Association, small business owners represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms.

But even 15 years ago, small businesses were often limited by their geography to local or regional customers. Today, thanks to advances in technology, many of the 26 million small businesses in the United States can operate globally.

Read more here.

Seeking a Place on the World Stage

What do rock stars, entrepreneurs and universities have in common: They want to be known worldwide.

Read about how Brown University has a new international initiative.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Taking your business to new borders

Featured in the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday, May 22nd and wanted to share the piece with you.
Back in the 1980s, Laurel Delaney worked at a Chicago manufacturing firm that made chemical cleaning products.

Over a nine-year period, the company grew from $250,000 to $6 million in annual sales by "going global."

The firm eventually sold products in more than two dozen countries and reaped approximately a third of its sales overseas.

Watching that transformation spurred Delaney to adopt an adage to which she has adhered ever since: "Go Global or Die."
Read the story here.

Artist: Chrissy Weisgard, title "Crossing Borders," Denmark.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Who is more global? You, me or Spiderman?

None of the above. Despite the hype over globalization and suggestions that the top managers of large corporations should come from/be based in emerging economies like India and China, we have only a handful of instances where corporations have done something tangible in this direction. To learn more, visit here.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Surviving in a Global Economy

I will be giving a talk in Chicago at an exciting Empowering Women in Business event sponsored and hosted by two of my favorite companies -- IBM and Catwalk Consulting -- on May 24th. Hope you can join us! Learn more and register here.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Lollapalooza Going Global?

Perry Farrell is looking to possibly take his Lollapalooza show back on the road after being in a static location that last few years. When Farrell founded the festival, Lollapalooza started off as a successful traveling show, but sputtered when it returned from a a six year hiatus. After the 2004 tour was cancelled due to low ticket sales, Lollapalooza set up shop in Austin for a year before landing in its current location in Chicago. The home base approach seems to have worked and the festival has returned to being one of the biggest in the U.S. However, Farrell apparently is growing restless.

Guess what's next? Find out here.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Warren Buffet Going Global

We are on the right track if Warren is joining us in going global! He's looking for more money outside the U.S.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

UPS Searching for World's Best Small Businesses!

This is one of my favorite contests on the planet!

UPS today -- May 8 -- kicked off a program that seeks the best small businesses across the globe (yeah ... that's us!) -- from Alabama to Argentina and from Zimbabwe to New Zealand.

Dubbed the UPS Best “Out-of-the-Box” Small Business Contest, the program is designed for companies with annual 2006 revenues of at least $250,000 but not more than $10 million and is a way for UPS to reward small businesses using creative, innovative ideas and concepts.

Prizes for the winners range from $5,000 to $25,000 in cash, plus an IBM small business package. This is the first year that small businesses from around the world -- not just those in the United States -- are eligible to participate.

I participated in this event last year as an expert panelist speaker and it was a blast. I met so many innovative small business owners and still wear the decorative pin that one of the winners made through her business!

Will I see you there? I hope so. It's high-time we meet! First, you must register. And there is a special registration area for small business owners operating in different parts of the world. For example, here's the Chinese registration page. Once you register, I will wait to hear whether you are selected as a winner. Remember, all of you are already winners in my book!

Better hurry because contest application period ends September 1. In case you skipped the previous links, begin the online registration process here.

P.S. Just in (5/9) ... I have been asked to be a judge on the program and it's official:
The entries will be judged by an international panel of renowned small business experts, including: Laurel Delaney, President and Founder, Global TradeSource, Ltd.; Joshua Lau, Founder and CEO of YesAsia; Juan Antonio "Oso" Oseguera, editor of Entrepreneur en EspaƱol and Hayden Bradshaw, publisher and editor of Enterprise Magazine.
Read the press release here. I am honored and cannot wait!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Hi, Laurel ... How are you?

I always welcome emails like the one below from friends and colleagues worldwide. My new theory is to start measuring my ROA (return on accessibility) instead of ROI (return on investment). If you or your employees are not accessible, how will you contribute to the world at large?

Here's a message from a blogger colleague in China:
Hi, Laurel,

How are you? Having a good week?

My name is Rich Brubaker, and I am a fellow blogger located in Shanghai.

I recently found your blog, and have read your bio, and I just wanted to send a short welcome note to say that I look forward to following your blog.

Also, your software (blogspot) is actually being blocked by the great China Firewall, so I am unable to post replies (and that will also be the case for others in China).

Hope all is well and let me know if you would like to use any of my China content. I write a lot of content that SMEs would benefit from.

Hope all is well,

Richard Brubaker, MBA
China Strategic Development Partners LLC
Managing Director

934 Nanjing West Road, Suite 505
Shanghai, P.R.C. 200041
Tel: +86 21 6218 8486
Fax: +86 21 6217 0928
Website: China Strategic Development Partners
Weblog: All Roads Lead To China
Skype: rbrubaker_shanghai
Note to Richard ... thank you and hope you get the attention you deserve! Shame on China for blocking our blogs! Anyone in China who wants to post a comment on an entry, email me at ldelaneyatglobetradedotcom.

Take care,

Friday, May 04, 2007

Resources To Get You Going Global

These are all up on our blog now (right side panel) but wanted to make sure you are aware:

Scribed Global Guru:
A manifesto to get businessmen and businesswomen out of their own backyard and transition from local, regional or national firms into global players.

Building Your Global Empire:
Women in companies of all sizes are taking their business around the globe -- and to the bank.

Lost in Translation: Cautionary tales plus 10 ways to go global.

Going Global: 14 tips from leading experts and bold entrepreneurs will help you expand internationally.

Happy global trails!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Small Is Beautiful and Borderless

Digital Vision/Thinkstock
Read Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's (pictured) lips:

Being a small business is not a barrier when it comes to competing in the global economy. The key is to find your company's niche and focus on its strengths.

More here.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

How Global Is Your Business?

How global is your business, really? Put your company to the test with Pankaj Ghemawat's Globalization Survey, and after completing it, download a free PDF of his 2006 McKinsey Award-winning article, "Regional Strategies for Global Leadership."

I just completed the test and it takes about 8-10 minutes. Very substantial and well-thought out. Make sure you answer all the questions -- otherwise it won't take -- and include an email address (at the beginning) to receive the free PDF article!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Small Enterprises Are Not The Solution?

Very provocative article originating in Ghana ... see what you think and feel free to weigh in with your comments.

Excerpt 1:
Close behind it comes operating a small business that is not making it. The small and medium sized enterprise sector (SMEs) carries the hopes of government, being advocated by conventional economists as the solution to unemployment in the global market, and large amounts of money annually being pumped into support for small businesses – with micro-financing schemes, training and support.
Excerpt 2:
That is a result of the second reason: the global market gives huge advantage to size. If a small business succeeds, it is inevitably taken over by larger business. Even Mark Shuttleworth, perhaps the most successful small business start-up in South Africa, could not resist the terms of the take-over. When that happens? Jobs are lost because the larger entity remains competitive only by replacing people. Mergers and acquisitions dominate at the top.

Read the article here.