Friday, July 31, 2009

U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue

The first strategic U.S.-China Economic Dialogue was hosted by Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Washington, D.C. from July 27-28, 2009.
The Dialogue focused on addressing the challenges and opportunities that both countries face on a wide range of bilateral, regional and global areas of immediate and long-term strategic and economic interests. This first meeting of the Dialogue also set the stage for intensive, ongoing and future bilateral cooperative mechanisms.
Learn more here.

Even Plants Grow in Sidewalk Cracks

Here's another American Express OPEN Forum contribution, "11 Tips to Help You Thrive After Losing Your Biggest Client."

And your biggest client can be local or global.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Purpose-Based Global Marketing

Jim Stengel, a former global marketing officer for Procter & Gamble who retired from his post last fall,, has started his own firm, The Jim Stengel Company, LLC. The firm focuses on “purpose-based marketing." He plans to consult, author a book and serve an advisory role to MarketShare Partners.

He knows a thing or two about global marketing. Check out his site.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Are You a Global Food Marketer?

In Midwest, U.S.A., we are fortunate to have the Food Export Association which is a non-profit organization that promotes the export of food and agricultural products from the midwestern region of the United States.

The organization has been helping exporters of midwestern food and agricultural products sell their products overseas since 1969, when it was first created as a cooperative effort between 12 midwestern state agricultural promotion agencies and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS -- excellent resource).

If you are not familiar with the Food Export Association, you should be. Overlook the notion that you may not be based in Midwest, U.S.A. for you can still learn a lot about producing, selling, buying and marketing food products by visiting the website and downloading a couple of past Global Food Marketing newsletters (PDF files). Here are a few:
I particularly like the Q&A section which offers great insights into how to do things -- from shipping frozen food products to finding the right type of representation overseas -- it's all there.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

5 Strategies For Managing Demand in India's Emerging Market

Stephen McNulty, regional vice president, Asia Pacific, with supply chain solutions provider JDA Software, offers five strategies for managing demand in India's emerging market.
1. Ensure a clear understanding of local principles, customs and barriers.

2. Establish constant communication. India's communications infrastructure is still inadequate for global companies doing business there.

3. Develop comprehensive procedures and processes.

4. Ensure the quality of input information.

5. Identify and integrate the right professionals and insist on teamwork.
As the article states, India presents many opportunities to U.S. manufacturers, but just as many operational challenges.

Read more here.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Which Countries Will Lead World Growth?

The U.S. will fuel some growth in the coming years through exports to China and emerging markets but what other part of the world will lead the global recovery?

Find out here.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Beautiful Day in Chicago

Photo source: Laurel Delaney, Navy Pier
I hope everyone is enjoying their Saturday. It's a beautiful day here in Chicago.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Let's Not Distort International Trade and Investment

The global recession has taken a harsh toll on international trade, particularly for many members of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. World trade in goods and services will fall sharply in 2009 and is unlikely to rebound much in 2010, so APEC members must ensure that they do not make this bad situation worse by implementing protectionist policies (yes, the second of two posts in two days on this topic) that restrict opportunities for trade and investment.

To this end, APEC members should follow three guidelines for trade policy:
Do no more harm to the global trading system through damaging tariffs or subsidies; help world trade recover by accelerating and broadening the Doha Round trade negotiations; and complement Doha with APEC initiatives on trade, the environment, and regional economic integration.
Read more here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Is Globalization The Most Secure?

The most secure as compared to what?
Of all the trends we followed before the crisis, globalization seemed the most secure. Today, however, big and important question marks hang over some aspects of global economic integration.
See what the verdict is here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Winning at Business, Local or Global

I recently interviewed Alan M. Webber, author of "Rules of Thumb," over at the new American Express OPEN Forum.

Alan's an amazing guy. He called on Friday to thank me for saying such nice things about him and "Rules of Thumb." I'm not sure why he did that other than being super-generous. On my part, it's easy to speak the truth.

I wonder: If every Global Small Business Blog reader bought this book, would we be able to move it on to the best-seller list where it belongs?

Go buy it now.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Global Small Business Blog
Turns 5

Five years ago today (7/20/04) we launched The Global Small Business Blog ( which is now, according to Technorati, ranked in the top one percent of all blogs worldwide.

We thank you for your readership. It means the world to us! And we will continue to provide you with practical and relevant information to help you take your business global. Comment whenever you like. We love hearing from you. It keeps us on our toes.

Our first blog post: July 20, 2004

Celebrate with us ... Happy 5th Birthday to The Global Small Business Blog!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Startup Entrepreneurs Take On The World

Are you a relatively new entrepreneur (newpreneur)? Do you have a start-up story to tell that will blow people's mind because it's that amazing and important?

Then you should take a look at Alibaba's (microsite here) Newpreneur of the Year program which affords you a chance to take home a share of $100,000 in business grants.
It's simple: share your story in a short essay on why you should be the Newpreneur of the Year; join Alibaba for an inspiring discussion and dialogue among experts (e.g, Tom Peters) and peers and celebrate the excitement around entrepreneurship. Top Grant=$50,000, Second Grant=$25,000. Third Grant=$15,000 and two Fourth Grants=$5,000.
Alibaba (China-based) claims it is the world's largest online B2B marketplace.

Deadline for the contest: August 14, 2009.

Apply here.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Global Entrepreneurial Lessons From Charles Dickens
My latest contribution for OPEN Forum by American Express OPEN highlights how Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" parallels much of what we do every day within our businesses.

I also bring to the fore two other perspectives on the situation, my own with "A Business Carol," and that of Dr. Vijay Govindarajan, a professor of international business at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, with his view on business strategy.

A very different twist on things. See what you think. If you "get it," click on the Found It Useful button.

And by the way, I notice the OPEN Forum by American Express OPEN is officially launching to the world in 2 days. Be sure to pay a visit. Lots of good information for global entrepreneurs and business owners.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Information and Communication Technology Are Vital For The Global Economic Recovery

The World Economic Forum has released a new report ICT for Economic Growth which highlights how information and communications technologies (ICT) are critical for a transformational and inclusive global economic recovery.

The report details the economic impact of ICT as well as key factors for maintaining its equilibrium, resilience and innovation.

Download the report

Press release

Also, you might check out the World Economic Forum's Global Enabling Trade Report too.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Signs of Life in Global Trade

Two of the world's most important economies -- China and the United States -- are showing signs of growth.
U.S. exports grew in May, while imports fell, helping to narrow the trade deficit to its lowest level in nearly nine years. The report prompted economists to revise up their estimates of second-quarter gross domestic product. Some even suggested the economy might have grown slightly in the second quarter.
Read all about it here.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009

Hit the Global Reset Button

Maria Bartiromo, anchor of CNBC's Closing Bell and author of "Face Time" column in BusinessWeek, talks with Alexander Cutler, CEO of Eaton, a $15.4 billion diversified corporation with businesses extending deeply into the global economy. She asks eight questions:

1. Do you think the economy is resetting?

2. So how important is it for companies at this point in the economic cycle to be preparing for recovery?

3. With things so volatile, how can anyone presume to know what's around the corner?

4. When do you think we'll see job creation again?

5. What are you doing at Eaton to reset your game plan?

6. Which of your businesses have fared best and which have fared worst in the recession?

7. I'm hearing a lot of multinational CEOs complain about President Obama's proposed tax on foreign profits. What are your thoughts?

8. Are there any positives that have come out of this reset?

Worth a read to find out what's on Alexander's mind.

Inside a Company Resetting for Recovery

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Thrive Baby, Thrive

Tough times call for smart solutions and Intuit is offering a boatload of them over at its new Small Business United Blog. We reported about this in our Borderbuster e-newsletter on July 6th but just in case you are not a subscriber and missed it, we decided to re-feature the information here -- it's that important.

What's in it for you? Plenty. How will you find out? By a visit. Pull up a chair here.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Are You the Best Young Entrepreneur in America?

Calling all young, hip, fast-growth, BEST entrepreneurs in America! We want to hear from you. BusinessWeek is taking nominations for their annual America’s Best Young Entrepreneurs roundup through Aug. 16.

If you know of companies run by entrepreneurs age 25 or younger, nominate them here.

They’re looking for ventures that are fully operational – not just idea stage – and all of the founders must be 25 or under at the time of nomination. Goal: To identify companies that both demonstrate a clear potential for growth and establish the talent of the young folks behind them.

Feel free to nominate more than one company, and there’s no need to submit the same firm more than once.

Go for it!

How Important Are Export Programs for Small Businesses?

Very important. The U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship held a hearing at the Port of New Orleans on Keeping America Competitive: Federal Programs that Promote Small Business Exporting. The event included testimony from a number of witnesses. Read more here but let me leave you with an inspiring (yet maddening!) quote:
In her opening statement (PDF), Committee Chair Senator May Landrieu (D.-La.) noted that in 2008, $70 billion in exports maintained or created 600,000 high-paying jobs, and that small businesses make up nearly 97% of exporters nationwide. However, she went on to say, “while most of our exporters are small businesses, most of our small businesses are not exporting. In fact, small businesses make up just more than a quarter of the country’s export volume; trade remains dominated by larger businesses. What’s holding our entrepreneurs back?”
You tell me.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Are You A Genius Website Designer?

If you have one of the coolest designs for a small business site, then apply for the first in a series of awards for website design at (sponsored by Verio).

Be brilliant. Apply for the award.

(Full disclosure: Verio is a Global TradeSource, Ltd. client.)

Monday, July 06, 2009

Don't Get Bogged Down By the Recession; Instead, Export

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock
Small businesses make up 97 percent of the country's exporters yet only 1 percent of the nation's small businesses export. This stat was cited by U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.,) last week to demonstrate that exporting offers an opportunity for small businesses to grow even as they are bogged down by the recession.
Landrieu also said, "exporting has become a practical solution for small businesses looking to survive and grow."
Read more about how the Small Business Administration has two key programs designed to help small businesses that export. Go here.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Eco-Friendly Global Luxury

The tough global economic climate is forcing Mother Nature to come out full force in unexpected positive ways.
Over the past year, many of the world's best-known luxury labels have started to introduce eco-friendly products, snap up brands that tout their social responsibility and weave environmental themes into their advertising and marketing.
Are you looking into the validity of global small business environmental and social responsibility efforts?

Maybe you should. Read more here.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Get a Feel For the Overseas Market

If you have the time and the funds, nothing beats a visit to a country you are about to do business in to fully understand and appreciate how the people live day-to-day. Even Pepsi CEO, Indra Nooyi, realizes this:
The visit, one sweltering morning last week, was part of a 10-day "immersion" tour of China for Ms. Nooyi, who is seeking to strengthen the Purchase, N.Y., company's business in emerging markets. "I wanted to look at how people live, how they eat, what the growth possibilities are," she said in an interview Tuesday in Beijing. What she has seen has persuaded her that PepsiCo's approach to the Chinese market "is good, but not good enough. The opportunities are so much bigger." The company's "model for China has to be vastly different."
Read the entire article: "Pepsi CEO Tours China To Get a Feel for Market."
And one of the final points made in the article by Ms. Nooyi is right in line with our Top 10 Global Trends For Small Businesses For 2009 report published January 21st (refer to No. 1: "Disruptive innovation will be both the coolest and hottest new growth strategy in 2009 because it will transcend all boundaries and transform businesses" -- quote by Laurel Delaney) is this:

Ms. Nooyi challenged her China team to come up with ideas for products that cater to China's large older population. She also called for more in-depth research into women who, in China, are likely juggling work and motherhood and making the key day-to-day consumption decisions for households. She says she's calling on her executives to think "differently and disruptively," encouraging them to look beyond the company's traditional businesses in China.
Are you thinking differently and causing a little innovative disruption at your company?

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Changing The Way The World Learns Languages

What was he thinking when Tom Adams, CEO (37), chose to take Rosetta Stone public in April during the worst downturn in recent memory?
Since 2003, the company has grown from a small, family-owned business with $10 million in annual revenue and 90 full-time employees into a 1,200-employee operation with first-quarter revenue this year of $50.3 million.
Rosetta Stone’s shares have recently traded above $27 (shares went out initially above the estimated range of $15 to $17 and raising $112.5 million). The wildly successful offering sent a message of good news worldwide for privately owned companies.

Did Tom Adams take a calculated risk? Find out here where Lora Kolodny with The New York Times recently spoke with Mr. Adams about his decision.

Original entry about about Rosetta Stone and its interest to grow global can be found here (4/23/09).