Saturday, October 30, 2010

Do You Have a Solid Online Global Footprint?

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The Legislation recently passed a bill aimed at helping small businesses that will provide $30 billion for a lending fund and $12 billion worth of tax breaks.

Find out what's in store for SMBs as a result of its passage.

Read:  New Legislation Will Give SMBs a Break ... and Much More

Full disclosure:  Verio is a client of GlobeTrade.com's and GlobeTrade.com is a happy customer of Verio's!

Posted by:  The Global Small Business Blog

Friday, October 29, 2010

Top 10 Risks for Global Business

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Distilled from the collected viewpoints of over 70 leading industry executives and analysts and backed by exhaustive research across 14 different sectors, the Ernst & Young Business Risk Report 2010 identifies the 10 greatest risks facing businesses.

These may not all apply to your business but it's certainly worth a look to anticipate challenges ahead.

Here are the ten:
  1. Regulation and compliance.
  2. Access to credit.
  3. Slow recovery or double-dip recession.
  4. Managing talent.
  5. Emerging markets.
  6. Cost-cutting.
  7. Nontraditional entrants.
  8. Radical greening.
  9. Social acceptance risk and corporate social responsibility.
  10. Executing alliances and transactions.
Best part of the entire piece:

Globally, business is generally experiencing an upswing.

Read the entire article here.

Posted by:  The Global Small Business Blog

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Mobi Madness for SMBs Round the Globe

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Got a Mobi, I mean, dotMobi (http://mtld.mobi/)? If not, you better listen up. Ireland-based dotMobi, the mobile Web solutions company behind .mobi recently announced highlights of its third annual study, "Mobile Web Progress," on mobile Web trends. It examines available websites via the world’s most-used global top-level Internet domains: .com, .net, .org, .info and .mobi.

What's the upshot on the study?  The mobile Web is continuing its explosive global growth (refer to chart below).
dotMobi’s Director of Engineering, Ronan Cremin, said, “The study demonstrates that apps are shifting to become a part of a broader mobile Web strategy rather than the strategy itself. While some brands build individual apps for multiple platforms like iOS, Android and BlackBerry, businesses are increasingly choosing a mobile Web solution for their content, as many of the Alexa top 1,000 have already done.”
Wait, there's more.

goMobi (http://gomobi.info) is another tool developed by dotMobi that allows small business owners to strengthen their presence on the mobile Web by creating customized, professional-looking (and functioning) mobile sites from an easy-to-use template. GoMobi here.

The advantages of goMobi site creation include:
  • Affordability (eliminates the need for specialized developers)
  • Ease of use (no programming experience necessary, drag and drop technology)
  • Functionality (site will function on all mobile devices with web access)
  • Immediacy (site goes live within minutes of completion)
Some other exciting resources and tools you might want to check out to learn more are:
We wrote about dotMobi in our Top 10 Global Trends for Small Businesses for 2009. Find it here, refer to Point No. 2 (we are off by a year -- not bad), and see what others had to say about our report in the comment area.

Posted by: The Global Small Business Blog

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Global Business: Decoupling or Convergence?

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Fascinating piece, "Trading Places" by Frances Kim for the Yale Economic Review.
Highly controversial and greatly overused, the term “globalization” generally characterizes the phenomenon by which multiple economies have apparently begun to move in sync with one another. The pundits may all have their own opinions on the merits of global inter-connectedness, but statistics tell many different stories regarding whether international economies have really converged to move in a synchronous global business cycle.
Read the entire article here.  Agree or disagree? We'd welcome hearing from you!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Repeat: How to Provide Great Global Customer Service

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The relationship between you and your overseas customer shouldn't end when a sale is made.  If anything, it requires more of your attention.

Think of your after-sales follow-up as part of your product or service offering. And the first step is to say, wholeheartedly -- whether in person, via Skype, by email or telephone -- "Thank you for your business!"

After all, you want to support your customer's success in any way you can, and you will be building a constructive interdependency that can become your gateway to the world.

Go here to read the entire article:  How to Provide Great Global Customer Service

Posted by: Laurel Delaney, The Global Small Business Blog

Monday, October 25, 2010

World Currency: The U.S. Dollar

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David Wessel, economics editor for The Wall Street Journal, writes: "Weaker Dollar Is No Elixir for Economy."

Quick snippet:
The logic, drawn from textbooks, is that a decline in the dollar will make U.S. exports cheaper for foreign customers, so they will buy more, and will make Asian exports more expensive, so the world will buy less. It's no magic elixir.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Video of Apple's Grand Opening of New Lincoln Park, Illinois Retail Store

video

Video credit:  Laurel Delaney, The Global Small Business Blog

Apple's Grand Opening of New Lincoln Park, Illinois Retail Store

Photo credit:  Laurel Delaney, founder of GlobeTrade.com

Photo credit:  Laurel Delaney, founder of GlobeTrade.com

Photo credit:  Laurel Delaney, founder of GlobeTrade.com

Photo credit:  Laurel Delaney, founder of GlobeTrade.com

Photo credit:  Laurel Delaney, founder of GlobeTrade.com

Photo credit:  Laurel Delaney, founder of GlobeTrade.com

Photo credit:  Laurel Delaney, founder of GlobeTrade.com

Photo credit:  Laurel Delaney, founder of GlobeTrade.com
I had a great time standing in the rain and taking photos this morning of Apple's grand opening of new Lincoln Park, Illinois retail store.  Managed to walk away with a classy umbrella souvenir (as shown above).  Those global Apple folks think of everything!
Congrats to Apple!  Nice launch.

Posted by:  The Global Small Business Blog

No Matter What, You Have To Put Yourself Out There

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Umar Cheema, an investigative reporter for the largest English-language Pakistani newspaper, The News, writes of his recent abduction ...

Abducted and Tortured - for Reporting the News

Lesson learned:  No matter what, you have to put yourself out there and take a stand.  We commend Mr. Cheema for doing so in this piece (and in his life) -- because the most important element to life is "freedom."  We hope he is allowed to keep that freedom along with his ability to write brilliantly.

Related article:  "Who Attacked Umar Cheema?"  Others here and here.  Lastly, "The Significance of Umar Cheema's abduction - Blog - Committee to Protect Journalists."

Posted by:  Laurel Delaney, The Global Small Business Blog

Friday, October 22, 2010

More Globalization

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I am not sure why the authors titled the feature in this fashion other than for purposes of provocativeness.  Globalization never went away.

The Return of Globalization
by Gary Hufbauer and Kati Suominen || Foreign Policy

Read it here.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Make An Effort to Improve Our World

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Nicholas Kristof writes an interesting opinion piece for The New York Times:

How to Change the World

Worth a read.  Worth an effort to improve our world.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Canada's Can-Do Spirit on Exports for Small Businesses

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According to Minister Iain Black, small businesses in B.C. have shouldered the heavy lifting to recovery through job creation, wage increases, exports and contributions to the province's gross domestic product.
"B.C.'s nimble, resilient small businesses are leaders in creating jobs and increasing wages, while boosting our province's GDP and export numbers."
Read more about this here.

And read the 36-page report Small Business Profile 2010 (referenced in the article) to learn more about the state of small business in British Columbia.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Start and Run a Profitable Exporting Business: FREE!

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Provided you have access to the Internet, now the whole world can learn the fundamentals to exporting.  I've released my book, "Start and Run a Profitable Exporting Business" for 100% FREE readership over at Google Books (thank you Google!).  It took a couple of weeks to get it processed but it's finally live.

This is a perfect time to dig in and learn everything there is know about how to export since President Obama has put such a big push behind this expansion mode for SMBs.  Read our previous posts covering the National Export Initiative here and here.

I am currently working on the next level digital aspect to exporting for entrepreneurs and small businesses (e.g., how to leverage websites, blogs, Facebook and Twitter to take your business global along with how best to digitally sell and collect payment from overseas customers) which will serve as a nice complement to "Start and Run a Profitable Exporting Business."  Watch for that release soon but in the meantime, I highly recommend that you read "Start and Run a Profitable Exporting Business" first to truly understand the basics of what it takes to go global.

Enjoy.  And if you like it, all I ask is that you write a review.  I'd welcome hearing from you especially if my book helps you take the first step toward making the world your business.  Many thanks.  Happy exporting!

Note:  "Start and Run a Profitable Exporting Business" will be featured permanently on The Global Small Business Blog in the lower right hand corner for easy access.

Posted by:  Laurel J. Delaney, The Global Small Business Blog

Monday, October 18, 2010

Export Readiness Centers for SMBs in Washington

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With a $1.28-million grant from the state Community Economic Revitalization Board, WSU Spokane will host two export readiness centers; one will be in the Seattle area, the second will likely be in the Sirti building, at the Riverpoint Campus. The grant runs for two years.

More details can be found here.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Think BIG (John), Focus Small

Photo credit: Laurel Delaney, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. for The Global Small Business Blog - "Autumn in Chicago."
Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Data Apps and Mash-Ups for the World

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The World Bank is opening the doors to thousands of its global development indicators and inviting the public to use the data in mash-ups, smart phone applications, and other tech tools that can help support clean energy and fight poverty.

"This will allow policy makers, researchers, and civil society to track the impact of policies, develop new solutions, and measure improvements more accurately," says Shaida Badiee, director of the bank’s development research data group.
To encourage software developers, the bank is holding an “Apps for Development” contest with $45,000 in prizes and financial support. Entries are due by Jan. 10 and must include data from at least one of the bank’s data-sets and relate to one of the bank’s eight key development goals that range from environmental sustainability to reducing childhood mortality.
Sounds like this will move us a step closer toward solving some of the world's most pressing problems.

Learn more:  The Global Muckraker - International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Bet the Farm on This One: Tesla Motors

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Just as Apple reshaped our world on music and cool gadgets, Tesla Motors will do the same for the automotive industry.  This is definitely a company to watch.  Tesla is named for electrical engineer and physicist Nikola Tesla.

What makes its cars disruptively innovative?  Tesla's electric cars use energy efficiently, don't pollute, and will help eliminate dependence on oil.
Tesla vehicles liberate their owners from the petroleum-burning paradigm and associated inconveniences. The idea of time-consuming and costly detours to the gas station, routine oil changes, and frequent maintenance quickly becomes rather "last century."  Owners drive their Roadsters all day long - to work, to errand, and on joy rides; at the end of the day, they simply return home and plug in. While the car quietly charges, the owners enjoy their evening, and wake up to a fresh, fully-charged car each morning.
 Doesn't that sound like a winning formula towards a sustainable, solar electric global economy?

Learn more about the future of automobiles here.  Executive bios here.  Toyota involvement here.  Yes, there's been a recall (single incident/single car), but that's hiccup in the grand scheme of things.

Posted by:  Laurel Delaney, The Global Small Business Blog

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Where Will You Be in 2020?

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Need help mapping it out?  Start here:

Intuit 2020 Report
Twenty Trends That Will Shape the Next Decade

Our friends and colleagues over at Small Biz Labs/Emergent Research and Intuit (press release here) have done an amazing job producing a document that will serve as guide for our future.

This is a must read for anyone who wants to stay ahead of the pack on all things related to global economic growth and the power of the Internet.

Excerpt:
10.  Industrializing Countries Emerge as the New Engine for Global Growth.

Imagine a world where businesses big and small cater to a new middle class who lives outside of their traditional markets.

In the coming 10 years, consumer spending will increase in the developed world, but not to prerecession growth rates.  Aging population, depleted savings and a debt hangover will restrain spending rates for these countries.  However, the developing world will experience significant economic growth with more than 1 billion new middle class consumers fueling global consumer spending.  Successful businesses will adjust their products and services to meet the needs of these new middle class consumers.

Access report here.  A PDF file of the report is available at www.intuit.com/2020.

Posted by:  Laurel Delaney, The Global Small Business Blog

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Global Powerhouse Groupon

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Chicago-based Groupon -- which some estimate will soon exceed $400 million in annual sales -- has also discovered a slightly more painful truth: that its lucrative business model will continue to attract a formidable army of skilled copycats worldwide as long as there is money to be made.

Learn how Groupon defends itself in global markets here

Posted by:  The Global Small Business Blog

Monday, October 11, 2010

New Rule Benefits Women-Owned Global Small Businesses

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A rule, published in the Federal Register, by the United States SBA to boost opportunities for small businesses owned by women was finalized this week and expected to be fully implemented in 2011.

The program authorizes 5 percent of federal contracts to be set aside for women-owned small businesses where the anticipated contract price does not exceed $5 million in the case of manufacturing contracts and $3 million in the case of other contracts.

Under the Jobs Act provisions that went into effect recently, SBA has permanently increased 7(a) and 504 limits from $2 million to $5 million, and for manufacturers and certain energy-related projects seeking 504 loans, to $5.5 million.

At it relates to international trade:
The maximum for International Trade and Export Working Capital loans also has been increased from $2 million to $5 million.

SBA also permanently increased microloan limits from $35,000 to $50,000, raised the limit on Export Express loans, from $250,000 to $500,000, and made the program permanent.

SBA Express loan limits have been temporarily raised from $350,000 to $1 million for one year.
Read more here.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Dollar Rally?

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Currency war?  Dollar rally?  Need for more U.S. economic stimulus?   You decide.

WORLD FOREX:  Dollar Falls to 15-Year Low Vs. Yen On Weak U.S. Jobs | WSJ.com


As Dollar Falls, 'Currency War' Talk Builds | WSJ.com
The dollar hit fresh lows against several currencies Thursday, raising pressure on global leaders to address worsening tensions among countries vying to keep their currencies weak and exports competitive.
FX Outlook:  U.S. dollar to get a respite after recent selloff | Reuters

US sheds 95,000 jobs in September | FT.com
The US needs to create about 200,000 jobs a month in order to keep up with population growth, let alone bring down the unemployment rate, and the weakness of the labour market since the spring has been one of the most troubling signs that the economic recovery has hit a soft patch.
IMF's Blanchard says no need for more U.S. stimulus | Reuters

Posted by: The Global Small Business Blog

Friday, October 08, 2010

A Worldwiew

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Robert Levin, founder, editor-in-chief and publisher of The New York Enterprise Report, interviews Phil Friedman, founder of CGS, Inc. on how he managed in 26 years to take his business from 5 to 3,000 employees and operating in 35 countries.

Quick snippet showing one of Friedman's interview answers:
We will be expanding. We will be growing organically and we will be growing by acquisition. We had tremendous success in Europe, so Europe is a major focus for us. We’re expanding in Central Europe, and right now we have two major facilities in Bucharest and Romania, and we will be adding a third one. And that part of the business is growing very rapidly. We will be making acquisitions, most probably in Latin America. We’re looking at Chile, Argentina, and Columbia for acquisitions right now. We will be expanding our virtual event offering, which is a relatively new business for us. And we are number one in the world in the apparel industry space.
Read the entire interview here.

Subscribe to The New York Enterprise Report for FREE here.

Posted by:  The Global Small Business Blog

Thursday, October 07, 2010

World Business Brought to You By Radio City Music Hall

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World leaders, CEOs and academics convened to share their latest insights on key business topics.  Some of the speakers included "Freakonomics" co-author Steve Levitt, best-selling author Jim Collins on "Sustaining Great Results" and Joseph Stiglitz.

Learn more here (after the fact -- but maybe you can access it via a recorded presentation; a few have short video clips that are worth a watch).  Sign up for updates/newsletter here.

Added 10/12/10.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Welcome to the Great International Education Race

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There is a well-thought out scramble for students, professors, prestige and prosperity that is changing the face of university education around the world.
For decades the United States attracted more than a quarter of all foreign students in college or graduate education. Recently that has begun to change. While the continuing boom in study overseas — an explosion largely unaffected by the economic downturn — means that the number of foreign students going to the United States has continued to grow, the U.S. share of the foreign student market has fallen to just 18.7 percent, according to the most recent report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Meanwhile countries like Australia, Russia and New Zealand have all seen their share of the market rise sharply.
Read all about the rapidly changing international education landscape here.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

International Trade Just Got Easier in Georgia

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If you are located in Georgia (U.S.A.), it's your lucky day. Free expert advice -- yes you read that right, FREE -- is available for the small business owner through the University of Georgia's Small Business Development Center in Gwinnett.

Their focus is in three major training areas: consulting, management training and research analysis.

Sampling of what they can do for you under the Management Training area:
ExportGA is a program offered to those businesses that are ready to expand into international markets. Additionally, the SBDC offers online classes through SmallBizU.
Learn more here.

Go to University of Georgia's Gwinnett Small Business Development Center or pick up the phone and call them at 678-985-6820.

Monday, October 04, 2010

China: Prop Up Currency Or Else?

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Is the United States threat to China right or wrong?

You decide.

Andrew Busch: This Threat to China is All Wrong

Sara Murray and Douglas Belkin: American Sour on Trade

Larry Ringler: Bill Could Be a Boon

Keith Fitz-Gerald: Controversial House China Tariff Bill Will Take America Down the Wrong Road

Dan Froomkin: Drawing A Line with China

Bob Davis and Andrew Batson: Geithner Stuck in the Middle on China

And in the meantime (separate but related a bit), Buffet and Gates entertain China's super rich here.

Posted by: The Global Small Business Blog

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Grow Global: 10 Tips From Leading Women Entrepreneurs to Help You Make the World Your Business

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Re-visiting an article I wrote back in early 2009 that is still relevant to today's times:

Growing Global: 10 Tips From Leading Women Entrepreneurs to Help You Make the World Your Business

The launch (November 2008) of Women Entrepreneurs GROW Global (WEGG) was based on the work I did for on the article. Realized a need and went after it to satisfy.

Enjoy and have a great weekend. Back with you on Monday.

Posted by: Laurel Delaney, The Global Small Business Blog

Friday, October 01, 2010

Global Expansion Boosts Profits for Zara Parent Inditex

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What can an entrepreneur or small business owner learn from Inditex (owner of Zara), the world's largest clothing retailer? Plenty.

First, Zara delivers new models of clothing to its stores twice a week (lesson: depending on the industry, speed counts).

Second, emerging market consumers will account for sixty percent (60%) of global luxury goods sales in 2020, up from 40 percent in 2009, according to an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein (lesson: emerging markets are worth a look).

Lastly:
The goal for every luxury company, wherever their clients are, “is to keep people coming back into stores with new products,” analyst Farren said. “That’s what consumers want.”
(Lesson: To get and keep global customers you must continually hit the refresh button on your product and service offerings. Are you?).

Read more here. Related articles here and here.

Posted by: The Global Small Business Blog