Saturday, August 18, 2018

Falling in Love Was the Easy Part

©2018 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"Falling in love was the easy part; planning a wedding - yikes!" -- Niecy Nash

Friday, August 17, 2018

Amazon Prime Day Ignites Global SME Sales

©iStock/Jaroslaw Killian
Data from Statista show that Small Business Saturday in 2017 generated around $2.43 billion in ecommerce retail sales in the U.S. That figure doesn’t get further broken down by the actual size of businesses that generated revenue, or by ecommerce platform, so it’s fair to assume that it includes all retail activity on that day.
"Prime Day [Amazon] is just getting started for us, but we're already seeing 10 times our average day sales," Kelly Fedio of One Savvy Life, a small business that sells on Amazon, said in a statement.
Learn more about how global small-, medium-sized business sales eclipse $1 billion on  Amazon Prime Day.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Making Global Trade Inclusive

©iStock/IgorSPb
Helping SMEs access world markets is the first step to a more inclusive trading system according to Diane Wang, Founder and CEO of cross-border e-commerce platform DHgate.com, who started out as a small businesswoman herself.

In 2004 Ms. Wang launched DHgate, a startup, that is now a global technology platform helping empower other small businesses to access global markets.

Learn more about how DHgate helps SMEs penetrate the global trade elite.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

4 Easy Steps to Developing an Export Marketing Plan

©iStock/Tzido
Developing an export marketing plan doesn't have to be a gut-wrenching experience.  Quite the contrary.

Every successful marketing plan begins with thorough market research. As stated in the article I [Laurel Delaney] wrote below, your first market research project is usually the toughest because it's all unfamiliar terrain. But once you have collected the data you need to predict how a specific type of product will sell in a specific geographic location, you can use the information over and over again as a guideline for exports of similar products.

Biggest tip:  Try to begin with the end in mind: Where do you want to go and how will you know that you have arrived?

Discover the 4 easy steps to developing an export marketing plan here.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Today in Global Small Business: How JD.com Uses AI to Take on Competitors

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

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Red Cures Sadness

©2018 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"Red is the ultimate cure for sadness." -- Bill Blass

Friday, August 10, 2018

Global Trade is the Future of Business

©iStock/AvigatorPhotographer
FedEx released an infographic that shows how small business leaders look at global trade as the future of their business and why it is important for policy makers to consider the impact on micro and small businesses owners.

Key finding:  A majority of U.S. small business leaders (82 percent) see increasing U.S. trade as beneficial to the U.S. economy, up from 76 percent earlier this year.

Access the infographic here.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

How Many of the World's Most Beautiful and Endangered Destinations Have You Been To?

©iStock/RudyBalasko
Take a look at 30 places to visit before they are gone forever.  Should you be lucky enough to visit any one of these magnificent places, tread lightly as it might extend the life of these wonders just a bit longer.

As provided by Architectural Digest ... read more.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Is South Africa Out of Step on Global SME Growth Trends?

©iStock/jacoblund
Is South Africa a "complete outlier" internationally when it comes to employment creation by small and medium-sized enterprises?  It raises questions about possible policy and regulatory failure.
Initial findings of a new study by the Small Business Institute (SBI) and the Small Business Project (SBP), released on Tuesday, found SA has only 250,000 formal SMEs, less than previous estimates of between 2-million and 6-million.
Is South African completely out of step with global SME growth trends?  Read more.

Monday, August 06, 2018

Today in Global Small Business: Take Your Business Global! weggchat™ August 8th

©2018 Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global.  All rights reserved.
What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:
Image used with permission by:  Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global (wegg™)

Saturday, August 04, 2018

A Wistful Northwood Supper Club in Lincolnwood, Illinois

A fav of mine.  Experience the nostalgia of a Northwoods Supper Club at L.Woods Tap & Pine Lodge (a Lettuce Entertain You Enterprise Restaurant). The menu features American classics and barbecue specialties.

Photos courtesy:  @2018 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.

Friday, August 03, 2018

Go From Local to Global, Here's How

©iStock/ipopba
As Chief Operating Officer at Globalization Partners Debbie Millin says: "Expanding globally can be a daunting task, but it is also hugely rewarding and can help grow your business in new ways. As globalization continues to be a trend for U.S. companies, there are more resources for you to reach out to as you plan your expansion strategy."
Today’s economy is truly global. A recent CFO magazine survey of senior executives showed 44% planned to hire an employee in a country where they do not have any employees currently. This sort of expansion is terrific on paper, but it can create an unseen problem: How can companies of all sizes effectively set up and manage a global footprint?
Learn about what you need to know to go from local to global.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

The Trump Tariff Effect on Natural Products and Dietary Supplements

©iStock/wildpixel
As Nutritional Outlook reported in July, ingredients used to create natural products and dietary supplements risk potential tariffs, which will will cause disproportionate economic harm to U.S. interests and increase costs for small businesses and consumers.

Click here for the complete list.
“We strongly urge the Administration to rethink its trade policy that will cause a financial burden on small businesses and the three quarters of American consumers who use nutritional supplements,” said Fabricant [Natural Product Association president and CEO Daniel Fabricant, PhD, who is set to testify at an upcoming U.S. Trade Representative hearing in late August on these proposed tariff actions] in a press release."
Read more about the Trump tariffs on natural ingredients and how they hurt small business and consumers.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

What is Depleting America of the Diversity, Nuances and Strength That Made It Great?

©iStock/Boarding1Now
According to the Kauffman Foundation, immigrants are twice as likely to start businesses in the United States than American-born citizens.
However, because the Department of Homeland Security is rescinding the Obama Administration’s International Entrepreneur Rule, which allowed foreign-born entrepreneurs to stay in the US for up to five years to expand their businesses, immigrant entrepreneurship is declining. 
Not only does this hurt aspiring immigrant and international business owners everywhere, it decreases the creation of thousands of jobs, and depletes America of the diversity, nuances, and strength that made it great.

Read more about how founder are making Silicon Valley borderless for immigrant and international entrepreneurs.

Good quote:  "The companies that really want to have a global impact need to understand cultural differences."

Monday, July 30, 2018

Today in Global Small Business: Growing Your Business Beyond Borders

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

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Just Living Is Not Enough

©2018 Laurel J. Delaney.   All rights reserved.
"Just living is not enough ... one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower." -- Hans Christian Andersen

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Laurel J. Delaney: Open the Door to the World

iStock
As Laurel J. Delaney says, "Succeeding in the digital world requires hard work, discipline, organizational skills, something remarkable to talk about and a long-term view."  She goes on to say:
To be found, you must participate and be active on as many of the top online platforms as possible. To have customers open their wallets requires developing a relationship with them, garnering their trust, and offering products they want. That causes people to take action.
What else does it take to become a digital rock star?  Read on to learn how to snag international customers using social media.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Luring Customers From Around the World

©iStock/lbrix
From a rummage sale of obscure products to 36 hours of discounts on major brands such as Samsonite luggage, Callaway golf clubs and General Mills cereals, Amazon.com Inc.’s fourth annual Prime Day event lured shoppers from around the world.
The promotion was the biggest shopping event in the company’s history, surpassing Cyber Monday, Black Friday and the previous Prime Day. Members bought more than 100 million products, Amazon said in a statement.
Small businesses also got a piece of Prime Day.  Amazon has millions of merchants selling goods on its marketplace, mostly small and medium-businesses that had sales exceeding $1 billion during the promotion, Amazon said.

Read more here.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Atlanta Metro Export Plan (MEP)

Add caption/Sriphongngam
In Chicago, we have Metro Chicago Exports, and now in Atlanta, they have the Metro Export Plan (MEP).
The Metro Export Challenge (MEC), an initiative of the Atlanta Metro Export Plan (MEP) intended to drive growth of international sales for companies in the region, has recruited new partners this year to target a different range of companies, including startups and minority and women-owned businesses. 
No matter who is behind a metro initiative, it helps drive export growth.  As the article states, every $1 billion in exports creates 6,000 new jobs.

Read more about how Metro Export Challenge gets companies ready for the world stage.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Today in Global Small Business: Join the Revolution and Sell Online

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

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Catching a Train

©2018 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"The only way to be sure of catching a train is to miss the one before it." -- Gilbert K. Chesterton

Friday, July 20, 2018

Manufacturing Mecca to the World

©iStock/wellesenterprises
BMW’s biggest auto-producing plant in the world is in Spartanburg, South Carolina.  It has helped draw more than 200 companies from two dozen countries to Spartanburg County.  And the German company — not an American icon like Ford or General Motors — is now the largest exporter of cars made in the United States, turning the port of Charleston, S.C., into a hub for global trade.

But the big question:  Is USA's President Trump setting off a global trade battle that will effect the town's livelihood?

One thing is for sure:
BMW saved Spartanburg and transformed South Carolina into a manufacturing mecca to the world,” said Mr. Britt, a member of the County Council. “When you mess with the golden goose, they’re family, and you’re messing with me.” 
Read more here.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Going Global is One of the Best Engines for Driving Business Growth

©iStock/Hollygraphic
Cost, payment risks and logistical challenges have discouraged online businesses from selling to or working with customers from anywhere but their home turf.  Not anymore.  We have entered -- a long time ago thanks to the Internet -- a world of business without borders.

According to SBA, "Nearly 96 percent of consumers live outside the U.S., and two-thirds of the world’s purchasing power is in foreign countries."
©iStock/peshkov
No matter where a business is physically located, expanding sales and operations to international markets is often one of the best engines for driving growth. Website translation and localization, global payment processing and outsourcing are three of the best methods to help a digital business grow beyond its own borders and to embrace the global marketplace.
Read more about tips and tools your startup can use to maximize your international business.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Women Entrepreneurs Are Unlocking Opportunities for Global Expansion

©iStock/Wavebreakmedia
Devishobha Chandramouli, guest writer for Entrepreneur Magazine and Founder and Editor, of Kidskintha says:
Understanding women’s entrepreneurial attitudes, trends and activity from all over the globe will help shape government policies at various levels along with the numerous educational and training programs aimed at improving the business environment for women.
She goes on to say, "The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Report for Women 2016/17 reports that 274 million women were already running their own businesses across 74 economies, of which 111 million were running well-established businesses by 2016."

Read more about six global trends that Devishobha discovered from the GEM Women report.

Note:  Women entrepreneurs are unlocking opportunities for global expansion and Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global (WEGG), which is referenced in the article, is an organization that supports female entrepreneurs in taking their businesses global.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Risks to Global Growth Are Rising

©iStock/Darwel
While the IMF has maintained its global growth forecast of 3.9% for this year and next, it has cut the outlook for the UK and the eurozone among others.
The outlook for the global economy has darkened as trade tensions rise and growth becomes uneven, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Read more on how Trump's tariffs will hurt global growth, the International Monetary Fund warns.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Today in Global Small Business: The E-Commerce Edition

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

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Find Perfection in Your Life

©2018 Laurel J. Delaney.  All right reserved.
"It's very hard to find perfection in your life.  But in the art world you can do that." -- Washed Out

Friday, July 13, 2018

Singapore SMEs Need Help Going Global

©iStock/imtmphoto
Is there room for further global growth for Singaporean SMEs? You bet.  According to new research from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore would like more information and support on global trade opportunities to help them internationalize.

What's the biggest barrier?  Competition.
Some 43 per cent of respondents said that the most helpful measures for enabling more SMEs to participate in global trade were providing more information and support on trade opportunities, while the same number said securing new or improved trade agreements was crucial.
Read more about how Singapore SMEs could do with more help to go global.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Wimbledon All-White Dress Code

©iStock/g-stockstudio
One of the more famous (and somewhat controversial) traditions at Wimbledon is the all-white dress code for participating athletes. Proper apparel is at the discretion of the referee, who can force a player to change his or her clothing.

Why the big fuss?
The rule apparently dates back to the 1800s when the sight of sweaty patches of colored clothing was seen as inappropriate. The “predominately in white” rule was adopted by Wimbledon in 1963 before it evolved into the “almost entirely in white rule” in 1995. Accessories were included in the rule beginning in 2004.
Read more -- for even if you are an athlete who is a global star, rules are rules and not to be broken.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

How Does US Manufacturing Compare to that of Other Nations?

©iStock/klenger
How does American manufacturing compare to that of other nations?

In a Brookings report, they develop a global manufacturing scorecard that looks at five dimensions of the manufacturing environment: 1) overall policies and regulations; 2) tax policy; 3) energy, transportation, and health costs; 4) workforce quality; and 5) infrastructure and innovation.

Key finding:
China is the top nation in terms of manufacturing output and the percentage of its national output that is generated by that sector. Poland meanwhile has the highest percentage of its workforce employed in manufacturing.
Another insight:
Small manufacturing firms often cite congestion, logistical, or connectivity problems as major barriers to overcome. As developing economies look to export more, increased transportation infrastructure investment is necessary in order to reach global markets. Moreover, countries that already have sound transportation infrastructures need efficient supply chains. 
They go on to say, "One cannot have high-performing manufacturing companies without adequate infrastructure."

We agree.

Learn more to find out how US compares to 18 other nations on manufacturing.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Australian Age of Entrepreneurship

©iStock/DGLimages
According to Bernard Salt, managing director of The Demographics Group, there is very much an Australian age of entrepreneurship.
The 2016 census shows that most business owner-managers are aged between 45 and 53. The peaks are higher for men than for women but both sexes top out in their entrepreneurial capacity at this time in life. 
However, Salt goes on to say, "The grassroots of Australian entrepreneurship is based in the new housing estates and in the shopping strips and centres in middle Australia. But our concept of entrepreneurship doesn’t seem to be capable of being leveraged into the kinds of big businesses [Apple, Microsoft, Google, etc.] that have so defined America in the past generation."

By housing estates, he means that a lot of Australia's entrepreneurial muscle comprises of small businesses associated with house cons­truction.

Read on to learn why Australian entrepreneurs must strive for a global reach.

Monday, July 09, 2018

Today in Global Small Business: Whiskey Wars

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

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Laurel Delaney Taking a Picture of Marilyn Monroe

©2018 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure.  I make mistakes.  I am out of control and at times hard to handle.  But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best."  -- Marilyn Monroe

Friday, July 06, 2018

Helping Global Small Businesses (GSBs) Soar

©iStock/Tsezer
I've been writing about global small businesses (GSBs) here since 2004 and I started talking about their importance more than 25 years ago when I first started Global TradeSource, Ltd.

In the recent edition of my best-selling book, Exporting: The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad ProfitablyI wrote:
"It was 1985.  Even back then, I challenged conventional assumptions about how to compete and started to view markets outside the United States as the future of the business I had started: Global TradeSource, Ltd. I even put “global,” “trade,” and “source” in the company name, thereby shifting the buyer’s possibilities from being local
to those of the world and drawing upon the distinctive strengths of alternative, growing overseas markets as those that would offer the company’s products and services.

That kind of vision, along with a more recent facilitator called the Internet, has broken down every imaginable barrier to growth and prosperity and has transformed not just how we conduct business but the world at large. The moment you create a Web site, blog, or Facebook account, your point of contact with consumers becomes global. The Internet is the great global leveler and gives everyone a chance to make spectacular strides in exporting—by finding, acquiring, and servicing customers the world over faster than ever—which in turn drives profits and growth for businesses. The blueprint for prosperity in exports is right at your fingertips. Never has there been such attention to the Internet, interconnectedness, and exporting than now."(1)
As you can see, Exporting:  The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably is much more than a book about export.  It's a book about how to establish and run a global small business that becomes great, global and soars.

(1)©2016 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Helping Women Improve Export Businesses

©iStock/beer5020
Research shows that women owned enterprises in the Caribbean are concentrated in saturated sectors making it more difficult for them to grow.  We-Xport (Women Empowered through Export) is designed to strengthen and support women owned businesses to increase their ability to access financing, and, well, to export.

We-Xport is helping women improve export businesses.  Sounds similar to what WEGG is doing in the USA.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Land of the Free

©2018 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth." -- Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Overcoming Barriers to International Expansion

©iStock/metamorworks
Once you’ve established your start-up in your home market, horizons often begin to broaden to growth opportunities in new markets overseas.  International expansion can also be an opportunity to diversify operations and to tap into new sources of talent and raw materials.

While going global is an expansion choice, there are still significant and often overlooked challenges if you’re a start-up entering foreign markets.

Here are a few with solutions on how to overcome barriers to expand into new territories.

Monday, July 02, 2018

Today in Global Small Business: Mid-Market Companies Can Make a Global Impact

©iStock/Faysal Ahamed
What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Invent the Universe

©Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe." -- Carl Sagan

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Get a Global Perspective

©iStock/Olivier Le Moal
Everything in business is about solving problems and these skills these can be learned to enable entrepreneurs to excel both within their local and domestic markets, but also be equipped to compete globally.  Beyond being solution-focused, SMEs also must have a global perspective.
“I [Alexandra Tselios is the Founder and CEO of Australia-based The Big Smoke] can’t see how that many companies can survive in the current economy without some sort of global perspective,” she says.  “The barriers of competition for companies has completely changed, your greatest competitor tomorrow could be some small start-up from Ireland.”
Read more to find out what makes a good problem solver.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

How to Make Communicating with Global Customers Easier for Small Businesses

©iStock/gutaper
WhatsApp Business app is particularly aimed at making communicating with customers easier for small businesses.
We [in India] are currently testing a solution for larger businesses—like an airline, ecommerce company or bank—to connect with their customers on WhatsApp,” a company spokesman said in an email, adding more than 3 million people globally are actively on WhatsApp Business. 
WhatsApp Business app allows small businesses to scale quickly and offer personalization and engagement.

Learn more about how to keep the conversation going.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Today in Global Small Business: Accelerate Your Growth Via Cloud Computing

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

Saturday, June 23, 2018

The Pina and the Colada

©2018 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"My point is, life is about balance. The good and the bad. The highs and the lows. The pina and the colada." -- Ellen DeGeneres

Friday, June 22, 2018

The Gilded Age Reboot Has Gone Global

©iStock/monsitj
As Quartz says, "Big business just keeps getting bigger. And the US government’s de facto green-lighting of AT&T’s purchase of Time Warner last week is a sign of more corporate engorgement to come."

The gilded age reboot has gone global.

According to new research by the International Monetary Fund, it has among rich countries.

Read more here.