Monday, December 31, 2012

The World Needs More You In It

©Laurel Delaney 2012, "Morning in Chicago, December 2012"
Make a difference in 2013.
Create the better world you wish for.
Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Key to Success in China? Master the Chinese New Year

I have always followed the Chinese New Year and what it brings to each of us personally and professionally.  This year, we had the Year of the Dragon, the only sign that exists in mythology, not reality.  (By the way, my Chinese sign is the Horse).

The dragon represents power and superiority.  This was the Year of the Water Dragon (the last Year of the Water Dragon was 1952).  Next year the Chinese New Year falls on February 10th and it is the Year of the Snake.

The Chinese New Year, known in China as Spring Festival, is the country's most important holiday.

To fully understand the significance of the Chinese New Year and how to leverage it for greater brand development, download:
Learn more here.  Revisit WPP to find out trends for the Chinese Year of the Snake (2013).

Friday, December 28, 2012

What Constitutes a Global Footprint?

According to crowdfunding platform Indiegogo, to develop a global footprint, a company must support more currencies, languages and offer more localized websites.  Therefore, is Indiegogo global?

Does that mean Kickstarter is global too?

Find out here.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Meatballs, IKEA and India

What do meatballs, IKEA and India all have in common?  The approval of the Indian government.  As it turns out:
The Indian government may allow Swedish furniture retailer IKEA to follow its global model and open stores with cafeterias that feature their signature meatballs. Commerce minister Anand Sharma said on Wednesday that the government has taken a favourable view of the matter
Apparently, IKEA has a global business model and feels it ought not change it for anybody or any country.

Read the entire article:  IKEA's meatballs may be on its Indian menu after all

Related article:  India Looks Favorably on IKEA Plan

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

New Year's Resolution for 13 Chinese Companies: Going Global

According to China’s Ministry of Commerce, China's non-financial overseas direct investment reached $58 billion during the first 10 months of 2012 -- nearly a 26% year-on-year growth increase.  Thirteen Chinese companies are poised to go global in 2013.
Through expansion overseas, they aim to gain access to new distribution channels, international managers, brand recognition and technological expertise in global markets.
Read the entire article:  13 Chinese Companies Going Global in 2013

Monday, December 24, 2012

Season's Greetings!

©Laurel Delaney, 2012, "Trump Building Chicago"
I wish you a Happy Holiday
and a Successful 2013, to you and everyone around you.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Which Country Will Become a Global Growth Engine?

China this. China that. Which country are you betting on to become a global growth engine?
Those who are dazzled by China often forget that much of the rapid growth before 2008 was caused by the shift of global manufacturing from Europe and the U.S., not by domestic-oriented activity. China’s economy remains export-driven, with consumers accounting for only 38 percent of gross domestic product, far below the levels of many developing and developed countries.
See if your guess matches up to this article.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

What's the Key to Success? A Global Mindset

Here's what Jamal Mohamed Fakhro, Managing Partner KPMG Bahrain and Qatar says:
"A Kuwaiti company’s future today is in investing outside of Kuwait and not just within the country.” With globalization and the subsequent removal of boundaries, he affirmed that a successful business is one with a global mindset.
Fakhro is the chairman of KPMG’s Middle East and South Asia sub-region and the managing partner of KPMG’s Qatar and Bahrain practices. He is also a board member of KPMG Europe.

Read the entire article here.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What It Takes To Build a Global Brand

How do you craft a universal message that resonates with folks across the planet?  Elizabeth Wasserman, for, does a good job examining what it takes to build a global brand.
Forty years ago, there were only a handful of truly "global brands" and they were made up of only the biggest corporations -- Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Colgate-Palmolive, IBM, Shell. Then a rash of upstarts came along, such as Nike, Microsoft, Apple, and Honda, and pushed their brand reputation further than their actual sales footprint. But now that barriers to international trade have come down and the Internet has helped small and mid-sized companies compete on the global stage ...
She covers:
  • What a global brand is.
  • What you need to expand a brand internationally (steps to take).
  • Digging deeper:  trademark, copyright and patent protection.
  • How to build international brand awareness.
Read the entire article here.

Monday, December 17, 2012

To Be Successful in the Global Marketplace You Must Be Inclusive

Here's what Shirley Engelmeier has to say for Fox Small Business Center:
To be successful you must be inclusive, that is, you must give up misplaced sentiments of ethnocentrism and seek to learn, really learn, about the native culture you hope to market to from the native culture you hope to market to. You can’t take a U.S.-centric approach.
She also tells us something you may not already know, that is, if you just started using the Internet today:
So you think global markets are just for the big guys? Think again! The truth is, small companies can tap into one of the many rapidly emerging markets.  In fact, everything is global these days.
Read the entire article:  Going Global:  It's Not About You; It's About Them

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Global Small Business Blog Surpasses Half Million Pageviews

What an amazing moment.  We just surpassed more than a half million pageviews on The Global Small Business Blog!  Thank you to everyone for your continued interest and readership.  We keep on keeping on - thanks to you.

Here's our very first blog post back on Tuesday, July 20, 2004. 

Have a good weekend and back with you on Monday.

Laurel Delaney
Creator, The Global Small Business Blog

Friday, December 14, 2012

Your First Date in the New Year?

If you haven't already started to export, make a date to do so in the new year.  Let me introduce you (I'm big on matchmaking) to
Operated by the U.S. Department of Commerce as a collaborative effort with 19 other agencies, is a goldmine of information, tools and programs for anyone looking to succeed in the global marketplace.
In 2013, make it the year to learn, leverage and go global!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Concert for Sandy Relief: Donate Now

A day late but not a dollar short.  The Concert for Sandy Relief (which I watched from beginning to end on 12/12/12) -- benefits the Robin Hood Relief Fund and they are taking donations.

Go here to make your contribution.  Help those who were impacted by the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy in the United States.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

How to Sell More to the World

OK, you have a website.  You created a blog.  You are on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  But somehow, for some reason, you still can't get customers the world over to find you?

Well I've got a solution.  Go here to find out.

Claim your online space before your competitors do!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

No Country For a Hegemonic Power

According to James Joyner (not Joyce) of New Atlanticist:
Today's Global Trends 2030 report by the National Intelligence Council predicts that, "By 2030, no country—whether the US, China, or any other large country—will be a hegemonic power." Considering that this has already been true for quite some time, it's a safe bet.
Read the entire article here.

Bypass all and click here to immediately download the 166-page "Global Trends 2030:  Alternative Worlds," a publication of the National Intelligence Council

Monday, December 10, 2012

How to Become the Most Successful Company in the World

You may be small and global but how do you become one of the most successful companies in the world?
... make your customers happy.
Read the entire article here.
And if you remember, that's what Zappos didAmazon acquired them.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Favorate Holiday Spot: Chicago

©Laurel Delaney 2012, "Chicago, State and Randolph Streets"
"My favorite holiday spot - Chicago." ~ Laurel Delaney

Friday, December 07, 2012

What's Fueling Growth in Southeast Asia?

The article below is the first of a three-blog series on Southeast Asia.  It examines Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
While this series will provide plenty of social and economic color on Southeast Asia, it is not intended to be read as an exhaustive course study on any one particular country. Rather, it should be viewed as an outline that offers the reader a glimpse of the region, and collective emerging countries that don’t get their fair share of mainstream media attention. 
Learn more here.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

How to Stave Off the Recession? Trade Globally.

What the world needs now is not love sweet love but more trade - international trade that is.
Director-General Pascal Lamy, in his annual report to members on developments in the international trading environment, said: “The world needs a renewed and stronger commitment from all Governments to revitalize the multilateral trading system that can restore economic certainty at a time when it is badly needed. The policy determination to resist inward-looking policies seems to be faltering in some countries, even as the world economy needs more trade to stave off recession.”
Learn more here.

Note:  Information presented covers the period mid-October 2011 to mid-October 2012.  The full report is available on the WTO website.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

China's Vegetables Are From Mars, Fruits Are From ...

A spin off from Men Are From Mars, Women From Venus, now we are learning that China is preparing to grow vegetables on Mars.  Looks like the men will be eating well.
Chinese astronauts are preparing to grow fresh vegetables on Mars and the moon after researchers successfully completed a preliminary test in Beijing, state media reported.
Read the full story here.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Where Are the Fastest Growing Cities in the World?

Where are the fastest growing cities in the world?
The top 50 fastest-growing cities, by GDP per capita, are practically all in the developing Asian world. The top 18 are in China. The rest are in China, Indonesia (Jakarta), India (Chennai), and Australia (Perth).
Where are the fastest shrinking cities in the world?
Of the world's fastest-shrinking cities, 42 of the bottom 50 were in the EU. The others included Dubai, Adelaide, Australia, and Albuquerque.
What does it mean?

Consider taking more of your business into Asia in 2013.  If you are currently doing business in Athens, Lisbon, Florence and Valencia, expect a sales and profitability drop at some point.

Read the entire article here.

Related:  Global MetroMonitor 2012

Saturday, December 01, 2012

How to Improve Customer Service the World Over?

Photo courtesy:  ©Laurel Delaney 2012, "Whole Foods Customer Suggestions"
Improving customer service can be as simple as tacking up a bulletin board (as shown above at a Whole Foods Market in Chicago) and letting customers say what they want to say.  Who knows, you might end up with improvements on the way you do things and some great ideas!

The goal is to bring out the best from your global customers and stakeholders by giving them an area to share and discuss feedback.

What have you done lately to improve customer service?  Let us know -- especially any online platforms you've developed -- and we'll post your ideas here.

Related post:  How to Provide Great Global Customer Service

Thanks, Happy December 1st and have a great weekend!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Got An Overseas Plant? Scrutinize Working Conditions.

Photo courtesy:  ©Laurel Delaney 2012, "Hat Made Anywhere, World"
It's 3:00 a.m. local time.  Do you know where your products are made?  What about the conditions in the factory -- have you visited it lately to witness firsthand?

If you are uncomfortable addressing these questions, you better read:

Factory fire in Bangladesh ignites scrutiny over working conditions, overseas practices.

Here's the drift:
The garment factory in Bangladesh where 112 people were killed in a fire had been making clothes for Wal-Mart, Disney, Sears and other major global retailers — some of whom say they thought they had stopped doing business with the place.

The apparent confusion underscored what some industry experts say is a major obstacle to improving factory safety in developing nations ...
Bottom line:  Monitor your supply chain!  If you don't know who is making your product and under what conditions, who does?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Why It Pays to Be Flexible in Foreign Markets

As a business owner, you've heard of being resilient in tough economic times but it also pays to be flexible all the time while conducting business internationally.
In the global game of exporting, flexibility is just as important, since almost any aspect of your original game plan may need to be adapted to local market conditions.
Read the entire article:  Going Global - Be Flexible in Foreign Markets

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Does Every Entrepreneur Dream of Going Global?

According to "Gidsy Shows How to Take Your Start-Up Global" (Tech Europe - WSJ - August 28, 2012):
Every entrepreneur dreams of going global.
That made my day.  See if it does for you too!

Related article:  Taking Your Startup Global (ReadWrite - July 23, 2012)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Multicultural Design

When you design for an international audience, it's like walking on thin ice.  You want a certain look or feel - only to find out well into a project - that a color you used means "death" in the foreign country.  Well that message will go nowhere!  And, more than likely, you have offended a whole lot of people in the process.

In Designing for Foreign Cultures, I outline five factors to consider when creating products, websites and marketing material for an overseas audience.  The key is to master the market you are entering and be extra sensitive to the people you are developing a design for.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Small Is Beautiful and Can Be Global

Top Photo Group/Thinkstock
When I was in my twenties, I remember reading Small Is Beautiful (excellent book) and every time I think about that title now, I want to change it to:  Small Is Global.

In "Never Too Small to Go Global," Bernard Paprocki makes a case that you are, well, never too small to go global.  Read his article here.

Related post, "Small Business Can Be Borderless"
(March 23, 2009):
Remember when E.F. Schumacher wrote the classic Small is Beautiful? I think about that all the time now with small businesses going global. One of Schumacher's philosophies was: "Why use the computer if you can make the calculation on the back of an envelope."

If he were to revise his book today, he might offer this: "Why remain local with a business if you can easily go global?"

Saturday, November 24, 2012

From Global Blogger to Breadmaker

©Laurel Delaney 2012, "Baked Rhodes Bread"
Here's my attempt at making homemade bread (as shown in photo).  Shhh ... it's my single greatest best-kept personal secret:  Rhodes Bake-N-Serv (and it's fabulous).  The loaf shown (I rarely use a regular loaf pan -- prefer a Bread 101 look!) is Rhodes Traditional (Frozen) White Bread (3-pack).  Now the world knows!  And the bread while baking makes the house smell like a little bakery.

Have a great weekend!

Full disclosure:  This is not a sponsored ad but I am hoping Rhodes sends me a lifetime supply of free bread! 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Global Small Business Owner: Don't Keep Making Hamburgers When McDonald's Comes to Town

How does the owner of a small hamburger shop survive when McDonald's comes to town?  What does the little hardware store that provides unquestionable top-line service to the community do when Home Depot shows up a mile away?

In the case of the small hamburger shop, the owner needs to sell something else.  With the hardware store, it's similar -- sell more than hardware and offer more personal service -- something the big guys can't do as efficiently.
As a small business, it’s nearly impossible to protect yourself from this kind of assault. If you want to stand your ground and fight, then the best strategy is to ally yourself with other local businesses and pool your resources. Offer free cross-advertising campaigns and attack the large multinational threat together. While you can’t offer discounts on all your products to fight back, offering rotating sales on select products can attract customers. In an all-out war against the big guys, the enemy of your enemy is your best friend.
Learn more here.

Meanwhile, don't forget Small Business Saturday and Global Small Business Sunday.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving Dear Readers!

©Laurel Delaney 2012, "The Garden"
"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." ~ Marcel Proust

Thank you all for your readership and Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Maximizing the Benefits of Globalization: European Perspective

The following report seeks to identify opportunities to make European industries more competitive by maximizing the benefits of globalization. 

Download the 285-page PDF-file report here:
European Competitiveness Report 2012

Breakdown of report here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


You've heard of Small Business Saturday but now we're proposing Global Small Business Sunday (11/25/12)!
It’s a fabulous idea to support your local community—business owners in your neighborhood who provide a pure American-made product or service—by purchasing their goods on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I also praise American Express for launching the movement, especially as it benefits the company if shoppers use their American Express card to make their purchases. But how do you shop the other 364 days of the year? Will you continue to support the local businesses—I hope so—or will you expand your purchases to include all over the world? 
Learn more:  Global Small Business Sunday:  ShopPlanet by Laurel Delaney

Monday, November 19, 2012

Who Has Enormous Power Over the World?

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock
According to Pakalert Press, a small group of companies have enormous power over the world.
“An analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational corporations has identified a relatively small group of companies, mainly banks, with disproportionate power over the global economy.”
After you read the article below, let me know if you still believe in the notion of a "free market!"

No Conspiracy Theory - A Small Group of Companies Have Enormous Power Over the World

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Global Ambition Takes Flight

Photo courtesy:  ©Laurel Delaney 2012, "Birds On a Pier"
"Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings." ~ Salvador Dali

Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 16, 2012

The China Effect

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock
The 27-page report below is six years old but still relevant and worth a read.  From Oxford Economics:
Increasing trade and investment links with China are generating substantial benefits for the U.S. economy, boosting GDP by about 0.7% by 2010 and reducing prices by 0,8%. Together, these equate to an increase of $1,000 a year in average household real disposable income.
Download and read the entire report here.

As the report says, "Despite the growing US-China trade imbalance that has been capturing headlines, the long-term benefits to the United States of trade with China are substantial and likely to endure."

Thursday, November 15, 2012

How to Globalize Early and Rapidly

According to the article featured below, how well a technology startup addresses the realities of globalization will determine its success.
In this article, lessons that have been extracted from six literature streams and from information on 21 startups founded in 12 countries are used to identify the six elements that a startup must get right to globalize early and rapidly.
What must a management team get right to globalize a technology startup early and rapidly?

Find out here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

There They Go Again: China Blocks Google

The Chinese government blocked Google's major services late last week.
The ban shows that companies that espouse the free flow of information aren’t always welcome around the world, and they have to plan for the possibility that they might be shut down at any given moment. Google’s own stats showed a sharp decline in traffic from China, affecting everything from search to Gmail, Google’s email service. The Google Play mobile app store was also inaccessible from within China. Services returned in some parts of the country on Saturday, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Cause?  You decide.

Read ALL related Global Small Business Blog posts here.

Related blog post from blocked in China

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Payoffs, Bribes and Gifts in International Business: Avoid At All Costs

Payoffs, bribes or gifts should never, ever be a means to accomplishing your international business goals.

Example of an innocent bribe scenario:
After struggling for years to get that automotive accessory business in Korea, you switched sales agents in an attempt to nail it and suddenly out of nowhere -- and to your surprise -- got the business? Did you get the business because the new agent did a better job or did you get the business because the new agent bribed the automotive company without you knowing?
Find out more:  How to Avoid Bribes in International Business by Laurel Delaney

Monday, November 12, 2012

Prediction: China to Become World's Largest Economy by 2016

Looking to 2060: Long Term Prospects for the World, a report produced by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) says China is projected to overtake the U.S. to become the world's largest economy as early as 2016.
“The United States is expected to cede its place as the world's largest economy to China, as early as 2016. India’s GDP is also expected to pass that of the United States over the long term."
Learn more here.

Report:  Looking to 2060:  Long Term Prospects for the World

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Are You a Global Thinker?

Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock
How do you break from the past and develop a global mindset?
The Global Thinkers Forum (GTF) is a non-profit initiative and a platform to create dialogue and bring current and future leaders together to discuss governance, society, progress and the future. GTF has been created to reposition perceptions about governance through a global perspective.
Global Thinkers Forum

Related article:  Leading With a Global Mindset

Friday, November 09, 2012

Globalization of Services Is Still In Infancy

According to WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy:
“The global economy is being transformed at an unprecedented speed and at the heart of that transformation is the services economy. (…) Services underpin every part of the production process, from research and development to design, engineering, financing, transportation, distribution and marketing. In short, without services, there would be little value-added and innovation.”
Learn more about the growth of the services economy here.

Related articles:  WTO | News - Speech - Director-General Pascal Lamy - Lamy:  "It is high time that we put services at the heart of our trade opening agenda"

New Release:  U.S. International Trade in Good and Services

Service Exports:  A Dynamic Option

Thursday, November 08, 2012

How to Manage an Import/Export Mistake

When things go bad in the global marketplace, communication is the key to turning things around in a positive direction.  Exploring and weighing options is equally important.

Below I share two real experiences—one export and the other import related – showing how creative thinking and playing to one’s strengths can provide simple solutions to what could have become a costly disaster in the import/export world.

Crisis Management:  What To Do When Your Import/Export Goes Wrong

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Is Globalization Shtick Getting Stale?

Are we giving a false picture of the world?  Rajan Menon argues that we are.
But the globalization shtick is getting stale, not just because it's become a mantra, but because it gives a false picture of the world we inhabit and presents a cartoonish view of our universities. (Yes, I know all about the complaints against higher education: point taken -- to a degree, anyway.)
Let's start with what's making the world what it is -- and changing it simultaneously. No one can deny that the advances ...
Read the entire opinion piece here.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

CNN Projects: President Obama Wins Re-Election

Breaking news:

Who Favors Who in the USA Presidential Election?

As Gary, Indiana born Joseph E. Stiglitz, professor of economics at Columbia University, and recipient of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Economics says:
Overwhelmingly, non-US citizens favor Barack Obama’s re-election over a victory for his challenger, Mitt Romney. There are good reasons for this.
Find out more: America's Global Election

Monday, November 05, 2012

Worldly Education: FREE

E-learning startup Udacity has partnered with Amara to use crowdsourcing for closed captioning of its video assets.  Udacity's free online classes have been attended by some 750,000 students since Udacity’s launch in January.
Closed captioning could not only help Udacity to make its content accessible to deaf and hard-of-hearing students, but also be the first step towards an international expansion.  
Learn more here.

Related article:  Disruptive Coursera ...

Saturday, November 03, 2012

A Worldly City: Chicago

©Laurel Delaney 2012, "View From The Mid-America Club Chicago"
Up on the 80th floor of The Mid-America Club Chicago.  Breathtakingly beautiful views of the city.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 02, 2012

USA Ports Take On Foreign Trade Zones (FTZs)

Related to yesterday's post on foreign trade zones, it appears that most of Napa County is about to become part of a foreign trade zone, via an expansion plan by the Port of San Francisco.
Being included in a foreign trade zone “is an excellent opportunity for businesses to enhance their competitiveness in the global economy,” and will hopefully stimulate trade-related business and create jobs in the area, Jim Maloney, maritime marketing manager at the Port of San Francisco, said.
Learn more here.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Establishing a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ)

A foreign-trade zone is a dedicated area where goods can land, be repackaged, modified, manipulated, relabeled, manufactured further and re-exported without customs authorities stepping in.  An FTZ is especially beneficial to firms that import components in order to manufacture finished products for export.

But how do you establish a foreign trade zone (FTZ)?

Find out here.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Intense Global Transformation

The world according to Javier Solana and after the United States presidential election.

The World After November

Information on Javier Solana:
Javier Solana was Foreign Minister of Spain, Secretary-General of NATO, and EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy. He is currently President of the ESADE Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics and Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.