Friday, November 28, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving filled with more abundance than you can handle. And thank you for your readership. It inspires me to keep pushing forward and continue to offer you the best we can on global small business.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
The truth hurts but the folks at Harvard Business Review have just come out (December 2008) with a far more eloquent way of guiding us on When You Shouldn't Go Global. Unfortunately, to learn more, you will have to either buy the article online for U.S. $6.50 or go to your local bookstore to pick up a copy.
Here's one interesting point made in the abstract:
Global efforts can be rendered counterproductive through unanticipated collateral damage.Bottom line: You don't want to move full speed ahead toward failure. The article could very well help you avoid missteps. Check it out.
Monday, November 24, 2008
You have to see it to believe it. Worth exploring.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
[Added 1/2/09 ... publicist sent us a link to preview Richard's book on a complimentary basis ... read it here.]
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Let us know. In the meantime, catch CFO Magazine's, "The Dollar May Be Up, But Are you?"
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Apparently virtual home office phone service provider toktumi has the answer and they are poised to change the way we do small business, globally.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
One statement caught my eye:
The film’s success (referring to Roadside Romeo -- first animated movie aimed specifically at the Indian market) confirmed what Disney and its rivals in Hollywood have long suspected: Hollywood’s best prospects for growth are in emerging theatrical markets such as India, China and Russia.And another point that relates to our blog:
“We’ve been very successful with our big global productions, such as Pirates of the Caribbean and National Treasure,” says Mr Reed. “But we think there’s a natural way to supplement these films in areas like China, Russia and India – areas that have built-in film traditions.”Key takeaway: Tailor your message to the market.
Read the entire article, "Disney Indian Adventure Rewarded," here.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
The brainchild of the Kauffman Foundation, Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) is an international initiative designed to inspire, inform, mentor, connect and engage entrepreneurs and to encourage them to "unleash" their ideas and solutions on a global, connected marketplace.
Find out more here, join in on the discussions, and spread the good global word.
Read more about this and other findings (for example, the percentage of early-stage entrepreneurial activity based on necessity has increased from 12.1% in 2005 to 15.6% in 2007. This increase may be due, in part, to the economic slowdown in the U.S.) from the “Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2006-2007 National Entrepreneurial Assessment for the United States of America,” conducted by Babson College and Baruch College -- here or direct to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) -- here.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Passion -- not necessarily profit (for example, if you love what you do, the money (profits) will follow at some point ... nearly everyone felt that way ... but you cannot sustain the growth of your business, especially during rough patches, without passion first) -- is the key to successful global entrepreneurial development and it ran deep (soulfully might be a better choice of words) within each of the 80 selected personalities representing 35 nationalities and segmented into four distinct profiles who each have an entrepreneurial role in society: entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs, politicians, and experts. I was placed in the Entrepreneur category under The Free Market Economy (one of three ethos*). The picture above shows all members and was taken on the grounds of the Evian Royal Resort overlooking Lake Geneva and facing the Alps.
Here's a look at the agenda we covered for the two and one-half days but before I share that, here's the definition of entrepreneur according to the World Entrepreneurship Forum:
"The entrepreneur, creator of wealth and social justice."
Does that sound like you? If so, let us hear from you! And two questions that arose from that statement:
1. What is the best way of creating wealth?
2. What is the best way of creating social justice?
And here's a glimpse at the founder's vision:
"The future depends on entrepreneurs. They play a pivotal role when confronting the business and societal challenges we face today and in the future. Creators of value, promotors of values, they will actively contribute to the advancement of global social justice." ~ EMLYON Business School - KPMG, Founders of the World Entrepreneurship ForumNow, to the agenda.
• The Entrepreneur, a key actor in the face of our world challenges.
• The many faces of the entrepreneur: introduction to the three ethos* (coordinated market economy, free market economy and the network-based economy) influencing entrepreneurs' behaviors.
• Topics, methodology and expected outcomes of the Forum.
• Key success factors for entrepreneurs across the three ethos (in other words, the character or ideals of a community of people).
• Breakfasts segmented by Profiles (Entrepreneurs, Social Entrepreneurs, Experts and Politicians): Sharing and exchanging challenges and issues each profile faces in their respective business environment.
The overall encompassing purpose was to formulate recommendations, develop content and format of future entrepreneurship education programs and issue proposals to have entrepreneurs behave fairly toward society
• Creating entrepreneurship-friendly business environments.
• Educating the next generation of entrepreneurs.
• Advancing the social commitment of entrepreneurs.
• Facilitated discussion on the above three bullets.
• Gathering to articulate the vision, mission and goals of the World Entrepreneurship Forum; liberation of the first conclusions drawn from the World Entrepreneurship Forum; and, announcement of the "Entrepreneur for the World" award (will tell you who won later).
Day Three (1/2 day)
• Feedback from the workshops and discussed conclusions from the previous two days of learning and sharing. Then we brainstormed about the Forum's impact and future (which included collectively formulating twelve recommendations to promote entrepreneurship worldwide) and went on to vote for "Entrepreneur for the World" 2009 award.
*More detail about this in a subsequent post.
I will report takeaways and highlight some of the members I met (a few are readers of our blog!) over the coming weeks for my notes are a mile long. Right now, I wanted to merely set the stage for what is yet to come. In between now and then, catch a different perspective on the Forum from two great media moguls Steven Strauss and Rieva Lesonsky who both participated at the conference. And catch Karen Kerrigan's report here.
More global entrepreneurial magic to follow. Stay tuned.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Much to write about but need substantial quality time to produce it. Look forward to providing my perspective on the Forum shortly.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Check out their website and watch the video to get an impression of the uniqueness of the community.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Experts will educate small businesses on the resources available to help them export their goods and services. The symposium will begin with a panel of successful small business exporters who will share their stories and expertise on tapping into the global market. Valuable networking and counseling opportunities for small businesses interested in expanding their businesses through international trade also will be available.Read more here.
Reducing barriers to trade is a significant way to help small businesses through the current economic downturn. With exports now accounting for a larger percentage of U.S. GDP than at any other time in history, expanding free trade is crucial for America's long-term economic health. Small businesses are playing an increasingly larger role in the U.S. export sector. The number of small and medium-sized exporters grew more than twice as fast as the number of large company exporters, between 1992 and 2003. This international trade symposium will enable small businesses to better understand how to take advantage of free trade and continue export growth.
Blogging will be sporadic but I will do my best to report out. Eager to learn and share the different views of the world on global entrepreneurship and how it has become an economic and social force.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 09, 2008
"All of us are hoping for something better, something different, a legacy we can leave to the next generation," said Tanny Berg, an Obama supporter who owns Jack Berg sales, an international distributor of electronics, and Epicenter El Paso, a shopping center and office development company.In this article, NAFTA and taxes are among the concerns of entrepreneurs. What are your thoughts?
"The status quo hasn't worked. We're in a deep recession and not particularly well-respected around the world, and our military might is being challenged in Iraq. I think Barack is the promise of maybe a different approach, at least tryable," Berg said. "It seems to me that more attention will be paid to small business - annual sales below $5 million - than under a Bush administration, where the emphasis seemed to be on larger businesses."
Friday, November 07, 2008
Cultural clashes (which we wrote about in general on how important it is to be positive towards cultures outside of your own) and power struggles seemed to really trip up their progress.
Read more about Lenovo's story here. Had a tough time finding the original WSJ article online.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
What a wonderful example of how to use social media to grow your business globally. Congratulations to Wiggly Wigglers and all the other award recipients!
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
We will continue to meet or exceed your needs here. Thank you for your readership and for your great contributions! Keep them coming!
7. A READER ASKS: Q&A
Q: To Ask The Expert,
I am the V.P. of International Sales for an office supply manufacturer. Our products are not unique. Therefore, I have found it extremely difficult to export our products although I have done so in the past but on the basis of quoting a very low price with hardly any profit. I then attempt to make up for the per unit profit shortfall with volume orders.
I have always felt that if we price our products at “marginal costs” rather than at full cost, we would have a much better chance at continuing to increase our exports. Are you aware of studies on this issue? How can I intelligently address this point with the CEO of the company? I have approached him on this subject but I do feel if I had information to support my theory, I would have a better chance at changing his mind.
A: From Laurel,
Thank you for your question.
When you refer to “marginal costs,” I am assuming you mean “profit margin.” Also, it looks as if you believe that offering plastic alternatives overseas at a slightly lower price than your domestic selling price (full price) is the key to greater export success. For the record, exporters typically take a 10% to 15% markup over their manufacturing cost.
One of the first measures companies practice in order to remain competitive in the global marketplace is severe price-cutting tactics and oftentimes at the risk of operating at a loss. If you offer a price-reduction strategy merely as a knee-jerk reaction to a rough economic climate, over the long haul, it won’t work. You must develop an export action-plan that supports a process. You are already successful on your export initiatives. Now it is just a case of doing more of the same but with greater discipline and flair.
To build up your exports, start selling in new countries or territories; develop healthier relationships with your distributors and agents; create a more innovative and effective international sales and marketing strategy in general; request your staff takes on more responsibilities; sell more on open account with export credit insurance and work more closely with your credit manager.
The next step is to cut expenses. Here are eight ways to go about it:
1. Shift your production to a lower-labor-cost nation.
2. Cut production costs. Eliminate unnecessary employees and hire temps or contract out when you need to fill in.
3. Build your sales force according to the needs and demands of your overseas customers. For example, if your customers demand extra service, make sure they get it.
4. Reduce the U.S. content of your product to remain competitive overseas.
5. Use the best possible payment method. The one that works best is the one that gets the deal done.
6. Engineer financing from a variety of sources, including U.S. Export-Import Bank (www.exim.gov).
7. Work more closely with your transportation expert (consider going direct).
8. Use the Internet to increase efficiency.
If you put all of the above into play, you will be able to offer more favorable export pricing to your customers, increase your international sales and make your boss happy.
Good luck and let us know what happens.
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Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Labels: 44th president, Barack Obama, Barback Obama elected President of the United States of America
Posted by Laurel Delaney at 11/04/2008 10:10:00 PM
A special thanks to all the folks at the Small Business Trends Radio and to Dan for his kind sentiments about our podcast on his blog.
Direct link to show post.
Direct link to audio file.
Monday, November 03, 2008
It goes to show you that hard work can grow a business global. Read more -- and watch the compelling video -- on the fresh new push into GLOBAL for Amway here. And more about the ad campaign here ... even if it is a little late.