Tuesday, August 28, 2007


If you are a subscriber to our monthly e-zine Borderbuster, you already know about the following tips based on an article that was written in the 8/6/07 edition, "No. 6: Outsourcing: Small Businesses, Big Gains," by guest author Manoj Vohra, who heads up the research services practice of Businessworld Intelligence -- the research and research-led corporate initiatives arm of Businessworld, India's most widely read and circulated business weekly.

If you are interested in reading the full article, we encourage you to subscribe to Borderbuster and we will be happy to send it to you. That's one of the many perks to being a subscriber: receiving cutting edge info on global small business before anyone else on the planet.

In the meantime, here are four (out of a bunch) best-kept outsourcing programming secrets for small businesses that are mentioned in Manoj's article:

1. Elance
2. RentACoder
3. ScriptLance
4. GetAFreelancer

Interestingly enough, when I gave a presentation on how to use Web 2.0 to go global a couple of weeks ago in North Carolina at the 2nd Annual Small Business Conference in North Carolina, one of the attendees, a native of India running a business in North America, later sent me the following email:
I really enjoyed your presentation today. Though, I am actively working on web 2.0 technology, I learned about a few additional good sites from your presentation. In fact, ScriptLance (Laurel here ... I had known about ScriptLance prior to Manoj's submission) is going to be a very good site for me to expand my business. I wanted to thank you for sharing the information. If you are in town, I would love to meet with you.
Looks like we are on to something. Better check it out. Don't forget about the rest of the article -- sign up is here.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

A.T. Kearney's Index of the 50 Most Attractive Offshoring Locations, 2007

Let's talk about the obvious results first. India emerges on top by a wide margin with China and Malaysia (yes, you read that right) holding second and third place positions but take a look at some of the other locations that made the grade or reinforced their positions. United States came in 21st and Ireland came in last. The index is measured against financial attractiveness, people and skills availability and business environment. Before you move on to the report, here's a little more:
Findings in the 2007 A.T. Kearney Global Services Location IndexTM reveal that the relative cost advantage of the leading offshore destinations has declined almost universally. Nearly every country in the Index, even those that fell in the rankings, improved their absolute scores, thus confirming that competition among low-cost countries is intensifying. Increasingly, simply maintaining current performance levels is no longer sufficient for countries that want to attract (and retain) the fast-growing remote services business. In addition, this year’s findings suggest that while the wage advantage of offshore locations will continue for 20 or more years, this advantage will diminish as demand for skilled workers increases in offshore locations around the globe.

Now in its fourth year, the Global Services Location Index, or GSLI, analyzes and ranks the top 50 locations worldwide that provide the most common remote functions, including IT services and support, contact centers and back-office support.
Download the 20-page complimentary report, "Offshoring For Long-Term Advantage," here.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

China Business Success Stories

A colleague of mine at Global Sources, a company that connects global buyers with global suppliers, alerted me to this China resource many months ago and I am just now getting a chance to review and share: China Business Success Stories. Not bad. And if you want to share your story, just email info@chinasuccessstories.com

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Beauty, Prestige and Worry Lines

TongRo Images/Thinkstock
The WSJ featured a story with the above title on Monday, August 20th, and it was on Estee Lauder CEO facing trying times at the family company. The article is only available to online subscribers so I'm going to type out the parts (excerpts) that I thought were extremely relevant to our interests here on going global. See if you capture, as I did, the little glimmers of great advice. Here goes.

WSJ: What retail alternatives are particularly attractive for your brands right now?

Mr. Lauder: We look for consumers who spend at the higher end of the product range.

There's a generic frustration that I have when I talk to the financial community. The vast majority of analysts we talk to are American, the vast majority of them don't travel much outside of the U.S., and if they do, I imagine that most of that travel isn't to figure out how our brands and other brands are sold and market in Europe or Asia. They seem singularly obsessed with North America and the success of the Clinique and Estee Lauder brands there. They miss the extraordinary growth and expansion that we're seeing from our brands outside of this market. More than half of our sales and a significant portion of our total growth will come from outside of North America.

WSJ: How do you translate your brands in foreign markets?

There are many things we have to do to make our message for each brand more relevant locally. For example, the Asian consumer is very heavily oriented to the skin-treatment business -- she trusts brands that are really solid in those areas. And she doesn't like fragrance. It's a very small portion of the total business. In Europe, in the parfumerie channel, it's predominantly a fragrance-driven business, more than 50% of the business, and the remainder is skin care and color. In the U.S., it's a little more balanced between fragrance, treatment and makeup. So our message in each of these markets has to be different and relevant.

WSJ: What about emerging markets?

Mr. Lauder: We see emerging markets as a tremendous opportunity. Beauty is one of the first entry points for that emerging middle-class consumer in these markets, and she's buying. The Estee Lauder brand in China is exploding right now because it represents aspirational luxury but at a price that's much more affordable than Louis Vuitton. We see the same thing going on in Russia. India is a little behind because there's a certain lack of established retail there. Also doing well for us is the Middle East, Latin America, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa.

5 Tips from William Lauder on Seeking New Territory for your Business

1. While expanding globally, adapt to local tastes.
2. Make sure new markets still serve your core consumer and brand identity.
3. Stay open to new and emerging channels.
4. Sometimes the biggest retailers don't represent the biggest opportunities.
5. Don't think like a U.S. business with international operations, take the mindset of a truly global company.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Your Last Chance in 2007 to Be The World's Best Small Business!

Just a few days left (10 to be exact) to enter the UPS Best "Out-of-the-Box" Small Business Contest. What's in it for you? How about U.S. $25,000!

The international contest will honor the most innovative small businesses and is designed for companies with annual 2006 revenues of at least $250,000 but not more than $10 million. Eligible businesses in the United States, Canada, Mexico, China, the Philippines and Singapore are asked to submit a 500-word essay explaining why they’re original and how they’ve been successful.

For more information and to enter the contest, visit here. Or, go back to our original post on May 8th.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Redefining Global Strategy

Award-winning author, Pankaj Ghemawat, writes a book about businesses competing globally and how companies must reckon with cross-border differences. It's due out September 27th. Read up about it here.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

All Fun Things India

Relax, take a tour. You might discover something you didn't already know about New Delhi, India.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Grow Global

You may think that export business is dominated by larger companies. But consider these statistics from the U.S. Department of Commerce: Small and medium-size enterprises (fewer than 500 workers) accounted for 97% of all U.S. exporters, and very small companies (defined as fewer than 20 employees) made up 70% of America’s exporters in 2002 (the last year for which figures are available). Small and medium-size businesses had $158 billion in export revenues that year, up from $103 billion 10 years before.

Selling internationally presents fantastic growth opportunities — if you can find and recognize them. This article I wrote highlights seven strategies to develop or find new or hidden markets in the world marketplace. Use these ideas to find new customers and new uses for your products and to fuel greater sales growth and profitability for your business. Hope you like it.

Grow global.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Abridged Borderbuster: 8/6/07


If you are not a subscriber to Borderbuster, here's a glimpse of what you missed this month:

1. Welcome From The Publisher
2. Update to our Readers
3. Thought Leader: Connected Markets*
4. Business and Cultural Tips: Have Some Fun!*
5. Hire and Fire: Regional Labor Laws*
6. How I Went Global: Ongoing Series // Manoj Vohra, India*
7. A Reader Asks: Q&A
8. Everybody Loves a Freebie -- repeat: FREE OFFER*
9. Toeing the Line*
10. Expat Entrepreneurs Indulge a Wanderlust*
11. Go global, Chidambaram tells India Inc.*
12. Blog World: Singapore Entrepreneurs*
13. Laurel’s e-Book: “GODZILLA Global Marketing!”
14. Take A Walk On The Wild Side (TAWOTWS)
15. Wind Behind Your Sail*
16. Miscellany*

*Indicates exclusive to Borderbuster subscribers only.

Sample section:

*Subscriber Exclusive*

What's the difference between a bribe and a gift? There's no clear standard, but prosecutors often take local culture into account. Here is a guide to culturally appropriate gifts, and how to present them, in five emerging markets, according to Vital Wave, a global consulting firm based in Palo Alto, California.

Read more here at Inc.


To subscribe to Borderbuster, visit:
Sign Up For Borderbuster!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

SME Toolkit: International Business Section

The SME Toolkit is a project of the International Finance Corporation. Since its inception in 2002, the SME Toolkit program has deployed more than 25 regional and sector-specific Web sites in collaboration with strategic partners in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. SME Toolkit content has been translated into 12 languages. The program has seen dramatic growth in recent months and SME Toolkit sites now collectively receive more than 2.4 million visits per year from users around the world. The Toolkit aims to address the three main impediments that SMEs face in utilizing technology for their business: access, lack of awareness/skills, and lack of locally applicable business applications/information.

IBM has dedicated more than $1.6 million to transform the Toolkit and rebuild it on an innovative open source platform using top talent in IBM research. The Toolkit now includes new Web 2.0 features such as live chat, online forums, business directories and survey capabilities to create a community where small and medium sized business can collaborate - anywhere around the world. For example, a group of small businesses could gather in an online forum to devise a strategy to bid on a large supply contract rather than as separate bids. The community tools also create an opportunity for peer learning.

The SME Toolkit is a free program. It's an amazing resource.

I was honored to be a part of this project by partnering with the Women Presidents' Organization (where I serve as a facilitator for WPO in the Chicago market) and providing global small business content. Check out the International Business Overview here. You can also jump to it on the home page under Go Global: Begin Exporting Now.

Press Release Headline: IBM and International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank, launch a small business toolkit to create jobs and fuel growth in the underserved and emerging markets.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Exporting Made Easy

The 2007 National Export Strategy examines how the combination of declining trade barriers and advancing technologies has made exporting easier than ever. American businesses should look at the global economy as a major sales opportunity as well as a source of competition.

The goals of this report are to raise awareness in the American business community about the advantages of exporting, to convince businesses that are not exporting to consider exporting, and to get those businesses that are exporting to enter more overseas markets.
All the good stuff (resources) starts on Page 175.