Thursday, December 31, 2015

Turn Up the Global Volume in 2016

©iStock/photog2112
It's a world market, not a local one.  Here's the deal:
In September 2013, the UKTI-funded BPI Music Exports Growth Scheme (MEGS) was launched. According to the BPI, it is “designed to make available grants ranging from £5,000–£50,000 to UK-registered independent music companies to assist them with marketing campaigns when looking to introduce successful UK music projects overseas.”
Such support continues to open the door overseas for up-and-coming UK artists.

Major key (not musical note) here?  Says Trevor McNamee of Brighton-based Jalapeno Records, which incorporates music publishing and management, as well as selling recordings:  "You need local knowledge, but it’s entirely possible to put together a promo and distribution plan and control it from the UK. For a niche record, you can do a thorough job overseas for very low cost. It’s never been a better time to be an indie label.”

Read more:  UK music industry turns up the global volume

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

How to Overcome Six Obstacles to Going Global

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In an article I wrote for About.com Import and Export site, I talk about six, basic reasons for not going global and how to overcome them.  It's based on more than a hundred interviews over the years, where media reporters repeatedly ask me: What’s stopping small business owners and entrepreneurs from going global? Is it really that hard?

Find out:  Six Biggest Stumbling Blocks to Going Global and How to Overcome Them

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Exporting Boosts Canadian Small Businesses

©iStock/Shauni
According to a new RBC Economics report entitled Doors open for Canada’s SME exporters, the time is right for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to grow their revenues, and support the Canadian economy, by increasing their exports of goods and services abroad.

Exporting represents a golden growth opportunity for small-and medium-sized businesses in Canada.
“This is a golden opportunity for small businesses who want to accelerate their growth,” says Sarah Adams, vice-president, Small Business, RBC. “The higher revenues earned by SME exporters should inspire other SMEs to grow faster by expanding exports, and market conditions couldn’t make it easier to start now.”
Adams has three recommendations for business owners looking to expand through exporting.  Read about them here.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Today in Global Small Business: The Best Year in History for Humanity

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What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Post-Christmas Joy

Hoping you had a fabulous Christmas and a Joyous 2016!

Photo courtesy:  ©Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Wishing You a Merry Christmas 2015

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a very happy, prosperous and healthy New Year!

Photo courtesy:  ©Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved. Loyola University Chicago, December 20, 2015.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

How to Leverage Online E-Commerce Marketplaces to Grow Global

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The secret to billions of customers finding you is to build a world stage comprising of a combination of social tools such as a blog (like this one), Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, as well as cultivate a brand presence on a website, mobile apps and other online databases.
Using a proven e-commerce platform such as Amazon, eBay or Etsy is beneficial too, provided its visitors are in line with your ideal target market.  Just remember that each of these platforms takes a percentage of the transaction profits and, in some cases, they even charge a monthly subscription fee. I always caution people to read the fine print when it comes to your costs.

After you test your products in new online marketplaces and enjoy significant revenue returns, it is then time to advance and create your own ecommerce platform to sell to the world and pocket all the profits. -- Source:  Business Success Strategies Q&A with Laurel Delaney: Going Global for Business Growth
For more information on using online e-commerce marketplaces as a stepping stone to taking your business global, visit:  The Top 5 Online Marketplaces for Small Businesses Looking to Expand Internationally

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Top 100 Best Bloggers in the World

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The Global Small Business Blog is listed as #81 in the list of Top 100 Bloggers in the World.  We also share a tip for starting and growing a business.  Check it out here.

Thank you to BizHumm.com for including us in the list.  We are in good company and very honored to be featured in the list.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

How Facebook Is Strengthening Its Ecosystem

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Two things worth noting about recent developments at Facebook. They've:
  1. Created a searchable directory on local service providers in an attempt to break into the local advertising market that could potentially expand to online-to-offline services assuming an integration with FB Messenger.
  2. Announced a partnership with Uber that allows messenger users to hail Uber rides directly via the messenger app.
Find out how this will strengthen Facebook's ecosystem: Facebook:  Act Local, Think Global

Monday, December 21, 2015

Today in Global Small Business: Export Webinar on 1/6/16 at WEGG

What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Never Stop Exploring

"My theory in anything you do is to keep exploring, keep digging deeper to find new stuff." -- Blythe Danner

Photo of a photo courtesy:  ©Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Some Rambling Thoughts and Opinions About the Japanese

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I've traveled to Japan more than a dozen times and have tremendous love for its people and the country.  Below I share some pearls of wisdom on doing business in Japan.  Think of these as insights that I've developed in my years of working with Japanese people.

A Guide For Doing Business in Japan

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Steel Industry is Suffering Badly and Globally

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Thailand’s Sahaviriya Steel Industries (SSI) PLC is closing its Redcar works with the loss of over 2,000 jobs, while India’s Tata Steel is cutting production at its plants.
Rolls has had an awful year, issuing several profit warnings, prompting speculation that its submarine business may be nationalised to guarantee the future of Britain’s nuclear deterrent. 
What's going wrong?  Is it a global glut of steel?  Caused by what?

Read more:  The makers stumble

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Did It Again: Made the Forbes 100 Best Websites for Entrepreneurs 2015!

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This is the second time we've made the Forbes 100 Best Websites for Entrepreneurs 2015 list. Thank you to Forbes for including us and thank you to all of you for your readership. Your continued interest keeps us hip and relevant in our space:  global small business. We are so proud, humbled, and happy to receive the Forbes honor.

Read more to find out who else made the happening list:  100 Best Websites For Entrepreneurs 2015

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Is the World Yours?

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How do you get started expanding internationally with a solid foundation so that the world becomes yours?  First, it starts with guts and a good business plan.  After that, it's all in execution. Here are six other tips from Samuel Pavin.

Read more:  The world is yours:  Six tips for expanding internationally

Monday, December 14, 2015

Today in Global Small Business: E-Commerce Sales Go International

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What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Wonderful Walnut Room at Macy's on State Street in Chicago

The world famous Walnut Room has been a Chicago tradition since 1907.
Located on the 7th floor of Macy’s on State Street the Walnut Room is the first restaurant ever opened in a department store. With Circassian wood paneling imported from Russia and Austrian chandeliers, the 17,000 square foot dining room is both elegant and comfortable.
Learn more:  Walnut Room | Macy's Restaurants  Take a look at the decorated tree in 2013.

Photos courtesy:  ©2015 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Walmart Effect in China

©iStock/Robin Images
As a global small business owner, how many times have you said, "I wish I was as big or had the power of Walmart?"  Oh come on.  You know you've gone there.  And yet you might work with Walmart and only worry about two things:  1).  Keeping up with demand and 2).  Getting get paid on a time.

But what if, just what if, you had to worry about this:
With Walmart (WMT) importing more cheap goods from China than it exports to that country, the retailer's actions may be implicated in an estimated loss of at least 400,000 U.S. jobs from 2001 to 2013, the study [published by the Economic Policy Institute] finds.
Would you rather remain who you are as a global small business owner -- creating jobs for America -- or become the size of Walmart and deal with their issues?

Read more:  Walmart's China syndrome:  The loss of U.S. jobs

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Give the Gift of Going Global

Screenshot courtesy:  Public Good
For those who are interested in supporting the growth of women business owners and entrepreneurs, be sure to donate before the year-end to Women Entrepreneurs GROW Global (WEGG), a 501(c)3 nonprofit which educates women business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide on how to go global so they can run healthier businesses and create a new future for themselves, their families and their community.

There are a variety of ways in which you can contribute:
Full disclosure:  Laurel Delaney, creator of the Global Small Business Blog, is also the Executive Director of WEGG.

Thanks for your support.  Your contribution allows WEGG to create high-impact educational programming that helps women business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide grow globally, increase their revenue, create jobs, and make an even more impactful contribution to their families and the economy.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

For Those Who Love Exports: Exim Bank is Back in the Global Game!

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President Obama signed EXIM Bank’s reauthorization into law on Friday, December 4, 2015, which means EXIM is back in the global game.
Beginning today [12/4/15], EXIM will be able to restart the work needed to meet its mission of supporting American jobs and equipping American businesses with the tools necessary to compete for global sales. Importantly, the Bank secured a long-term reauthorization that will be in effect until September 30, 2019.

Have a question?  Go here.  Want to get started?  Go here.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Today in Global Small Business: How Global Agencies Are Adapting to China's E-Commerce Boom

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What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:

Friday, December 04, 2015

5G: The Next Generation of Global Mobile Networks

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5G is the next generation of global mobile (wireless) networks.

Tech savvy business owners are looking into the benefits of 5G technology.  How is it going to transform the way they operate? What should they do to prepare?
There are clearly a number of changes coming for small businesses as they await the introduction of 5G technology. Since 5G hasn’t officially been released, it is difficult to know what impact it will have on global small businesses. This is especially true since there is no unequivocal definition of 5G yet.
Read more:  Business Intelligence:  Will 5G Boost Small Business Success

Thursday, December 03, 2015

How Inspiration For Developing a Product Can Be Your Own Butt

Spanx founder and businesswoman Sara Blakely talks about the challenges she encountered entering the global marketplace.  And yes, the inspiration for the creation of her product came from how she felt about her own butt.

Spanx can now be found worldwide in more than 50 countries. In addition to keeping butts covered seamlessly from Savannah to Singapore, SPANX also shapes the world by focusing on their mission: To help women feel great about themselves and their potential.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

You Are Never Going To Grow If You Stand Still and Stay Local

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As a small business, you can't do everything.  But you can make conscious choices that lead to growth for your company.  For example, you can choose to stay local with your business or you can choose to grow global.

In this example, Alan Lowry took over a business in administration and turned it in to a global distributor of street furniture in a matter of years. Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland-based Environmental Street Furniture designs, sources and manufactures a range of products from litter bins and traffic bollards to railings and bicycle sheds.

Alan says:
“We started from absolutely nothing, with no suppliers, no customers, no product base, so we have worked very hard to build that up from nothing to where we are today."
Read more:  Enterprising businesses going global to expand

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Trends and Players Driving Cross-Border Payments

©iStock/Askold Romanov
Judging by the level of merger activity in the global payments space of late, the pendulum is swinging much more towards the buy than the build (source:  Cross-Border Commerce Drives Global Acquisition Agenda).

For more information, visit:  Cross-Border Payments Ecosystem Trends, Players

Read related article by James Gagliardi:  Cross-Border Merchants Win with Added Functionality, More Languages
Tip:  The most successful retailers are using increasingly simplified checkout functionality and allowing users to choose to experience sites in a variety of multiple languages.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Today in Global Small Business: How U.S. Exporters Get a Leg Up from TPP

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What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Spirit of Latin America Lands With Latinicity in Chicago!

The spirit of Latin America lands in the heart of Chicago with Latinicity!  What is there not to love about food court Latinicity located at Block 37 (108 N. State)?  See for yourself.  

Photos courtesy:  ©Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Reboot Global Trade Talks

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Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group wants to reboot global trade talks.
“WTO 2.0,” he said in a speech at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Manila last week. “We should be using WTO to support small guys.” It’s the big buys that currently control the global trading system. They built it, as they alone had the resources to spread out around the globe."
He goes on to say that trade is a freedom, trade is human right and trade should not be used as a tool against other nations.

Mighty powerful words.  Besides Alibaba, who else benefits from small-business commerce?  Are we on the verge of a new trade agenda -- beyond Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)?

Read more:  Why the future of global trade deals could be small business

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

TPP, TPP and More on TPP

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TPP stands for Trans-Pacific Partnership -- a trade agreement with 11 other countries -- and there's plenty out there on the Internet about it.  You can start with my article "Trade Agreements are Not Just about Lower Tariffs" and then move on to C. Fred Bergsten's "Op-ed:  The Trans-Pacific Partnership and Japan" (the Peterson Institute for International Economics) and take a look at a more controversial opinion piece featured recently in The New York Times "Pacific Trade and Worker Rights."

Coming soon:  Watch for an interview with Karen Kerrigan, President and CEO, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, on the good, the great and the exceptional about TPP.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Today in Global Small Business: Ironman Store Readies for Global Online Customers

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What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Thank you Good to Great Author Jim Collins

©2015 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
I am honored and humbled that Good to Great author Jim Collins asked for my input about updating his book, Beyond Entrepreneurship:  Turning Your Business Into an Enduring Great Company.  Thank you ever so much and I am sure when you update the book, it will become another best seller!

Related post:  Thank you Best-Selling Author Jim Collins!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Walmart to Source $20 Billion Worth of Products from Women Entrepreneurs Globally

©iStock/Marina_Kruykova
Small fact:  Walmart has decided to source $20 billion worth of products from women entrepreneurs globally, every year.  That's according to Rajneesh Kumar, Vice President, Walmart India (P) Ltd.

Here's what female entrepreneurs [in Kerala, India] need to do to work with Walmart:
  • Make products of good quality that meet global standards.
  • Provide a minimum quantity of the products.
  • Be able to understand customers (since the rationale is that women make most of the decisions at home and hence women entrepreneurs will be able to understand the customers better).
Wait.  There's more.  Read on:  Walmart is ready to source products from women entrepreneurs in Kerala

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Introducing the No. 1 Nonprofit for Women Business Owners Who Want to Export

©Women Entrepreneurs GROW Global.  All rights reserved.
Women Entrepreneurs GROW Global (WEGG), a newly minted 501c(3) organization, has been launched and is committed to helping women-owned and women-led businesses increase their access to knowledge about exporting their products or services, grow their revenue, create jobs, and make an even more impactful contribution to their families and the economy.

Read the news:  New Education-based Nonprofit to Help Women Business Owners Export

Visit WEGG: http://womenentrepreneursgrowglobal.org/2015/11/18/spread-the-good-word-wegg-is-set-to-help-women-business-owners-export/.

Full disclosure:  Laurel Delaney, the creator of the Global Small Business Blog, is the Executive Director of WEGG.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

How Companies Are Demonstrating Real Dynamism in the Global Marketplace

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Being global is for any size company.  All one needs to know is how to ship overseas, use the Internet, collect or make a payment and have a great idea.  In fact, micro-multinationals, have advantages over small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Never heard of the term micro-multinational?
Micro-multinationals enjoy advantages unavailable to SMEs operating in a single market. These include the ability to exploit global variations in knowledge, skills and labour costs. They can operate their businesses around the world and around the clock across multiple time-zones. While micro-multinationals have all the traditional benefits of being small and nimble, they have additional benefits of operating and marketing their products and services in multiple global markets.
According to Martin Davidian, Managing Director Sales UK North and Ireland, FedEx Express, micro-multinationals will change the face of global business in the years to come.

Learn more:  The rise of micro-multinationals

Another related article of a similar title:  The rise of the micro-multinational, and why it matters to the U.S. economy

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Going Global is Not Just for Large Corporations

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There are infinite number of reasons why you should take your business global.  We talk about many of them at this blog.  In the article below, author Heinz Bulos, highlights two specific reasons why you should look overseas for business growth:
First, the opportunities obviously are much greater.  Second is foreign competition.
According to Bulos, there are different paths to entering an international market.  The article discusses six different business models to take your business global.

Read more:  Entrepreneurs go global