Saturday, October 20, 2018

America the Beautiful

©2018 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
The author of "America the Beautiful," Katharine Lee Bates, was born in Falmouth, Massachusetts in 1859 and grew up near the rolling sea. Her graceful poetic style came through in poems such as "The Falmouth Bell" ... read more here.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Upskilling and Educating SMEs in Ireland

Staying Ahead Digital Roadshow, the second in a series of events held by Google in partnership with Enterprise Ireland, aims to upskill and educate Irish SMEs in reaching new customers, expanding their businesses, and future-proofing their operations for a digital world.

Fionnuala Meehan, Head of Google Ireland, says:
“With only 17% of Irish businesses selling across borders online, we see huge opportunities for Irish SMEs to be innovative in the digital marketplace and to become exporters of goods and services. We know that companies with a strong online presence will grow twice as fast and employ twice as many people as those with a minimal or no web presence, and at a time of uncertainty – now more than ever – we believe it is important that Irish SMEs are supported in getting online to build more successful and sustainable businesses.”
Read more about how Google is on the road in Cork, Ireland to to help SMEs stay ahead.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

4th Annual Global Small Business Forum 10/19/18 in Chicago

©2018 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
There is only one.  Spectacular.  Global Small Business Forum. And it is held in Chicago on Friday, October 19th, in the morning.  Don't miss it.

To learn more and to register, visit:

See you there.  (Sneak preview of the program.)

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Is There a Wrong Way to Grow a Business Internationally?

It's pretty easy for me to tell you all the wrong ways to grow a business internationally from failing to secure a guaranteed method of payment on a sale to not bothering to market your business to neglecting the rules and regulations of a country you are about to enter.

So, that all said, let's have a look at the right way to grow your business internationally.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Today in Global Small Business: False Song of Globalization

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

Saturday, October 13, 2018

A View from Peet's Coffee in Chicago

©2018 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
You never know what you  are going to see when you look out a window on a Friday afternoon at Peet's Coffee & Tea at 400 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.  There goes a bride.

Friday, October 12, 2018

The Brobe Sells to the World

The Brobe, a medical garment company, was spurred by a local cause very dear to Allison Shickel's heart -- but her idea has translated into a rapidly expanding global company.
"A friend of mine had four surgeries for breast cancer," Shickel told CBS MoneyWatch in an interview. "She said they gave me these drains, and she showed me [the garment the hospital gave her]. It didn't hold up or give her any dignity. I was thinking there's no way if my mom or sister had their breast removed that I would give this to them," Shickel said.
That was the insight and inspiration that launched her Austin, Texas-based business the Brobe.  The garment includes engineered interior pockets to handle various post-surgical indignities such as drains, which allows for a very graceful recovery for all.

Learn more about how she pivoted into the global marketplace via her online platform that sells to the world.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

How to Prep Accordingly for Holiday eCommerce Sales

The holiday eCommerce selling season can be a real challenge — and a profit-booster, provided you prep accordingly.  I [Laurel Delaney] asked four eCommerce CEOs a handful of questions about how they plan, prepare and execute global sales during holiday crunch time.

Here are their answers.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

How to Build a Global E-Commerce Brand

Having a global customer base is a goal for many U.S. companies. Finding the right technology options to automate processes can be one large piece of the challenging puzzle. The right tools and tech can ease the burden of e-commerce businesses trying to grow internationally.

Here's how three companies with a direct-to-consumer online presence talk about the technological challenges and overall successes of going global.

Learn more about how it is easier than ever to build a global e-commerce brand.

Monday, October 08, 2018

Today in Global Small Business: Importing From China

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

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Some Chocolates Need to be Discovered: Donaldson's Is One of Them

I made a lovely road trip to Lexington, Kentucky and this is the little gem I discovered on my way back home:  Donaldson's Finer Chocolates -- around since 1966.  If you are traveling from Kentucky through Indiana (I-65) to Chicago, as I was, you never want to miss it.  The owner, George, is shown above.  When I asked to take his photo, George said, "If you don't want me to break your camera."

Needless to say, Donaldson's Finer Chocolates "are made with fresh creamery butter, rich whole milk, pure cane sugar, top quality chocolate and a lot of Hoosier pride.  It’s a difference you’ll taste immediately and never forget!"

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

Friday, October 05, 2018

Show Results and Your Credibility Will Grow Global

Ten insights into how you can prove to your clients that your business has all the bells and whistles of bigger companies, in addition to benefits unique to smaller business models.
  1. Show, don't tell
  2. Share your story
  3. Become a partner not a vendor
  4. Become more customer-focused
  5. Build great case studies
  6. Record and publish powerful testimonials
  7. Personalize the partnership
  8. Believe in yourself
  9. Be No. 1 at something
  10. Practice the upgrade
Bottom line:  show results and your credibility will grow global.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Positioning For Global Success 10/19/18 (Chicago)

©2018 GSBB Media LLC.  All rights reserved.
Join us for the 4th Annual Global Small Business Forum held in Chicago on Friday, October 19th from 8:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. at the Gleacher Center.

Companies of every size, in every industry and in every country who desire to grow face the prospect of expanding internationally. From finding customers, to making, sourcing and marketing products and services worldwide, to recruiting and retaining global talent with different backgrounds and capabilities, going global is no longer the exception but the rule. The big question is:  How do we do it?

Learn and hear from four (4) successful business owners, who are taking the world by storm as they talk about what it takes to go global, and how companies today can achieve the radical transformation they need if they are to continue to flourish worldwide.

Ten (10) great speakers are lined up:
  1. Sonat Birnecker Hart, President, KOVAL Distillery (panelist)
  2. Allison Larson, CEO, World Blazer LLC (panelist)
  3. Christophe Ridet, co-founder and CEO, Wear Moi (panelist)
  4. John Walton, Founder and Managing Director, Jackpoint Jackstand (panelist)
  5. Chantal Wittman Meier, Vice President, International Trade Banking MB Financial Bank 
  6. Deanna Kunze, Associate, Nixon Peabody 
  7. Laurel Delaney, President, and President, wegg® 
  8. Ellen Rudnick, previously serving as executive director of the Polsky Center and clinical professor of entrepreneurship at Chicago Booth
  9. Marc Schulman, President, Eli's Cheesecake
  10. Richard Paullin, Executive Director, ITAGC
Special thanks to the forum sponsors:  MB Financial, Nixon Peabody and the University of Chicago Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

To learn more and to register, visit:

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

The Global Small Business Insurance Market 2018

The Global Small Business Insurance Market 2018 report studies the global small business insurance market size, industry status and forecast, competition landscape and growth opportunity.

What else?  Wait, there's more!
  • Study and forecast the market size of Small Business Insurance in global market.
  • Analyze the global key players, SWOT analysis, value and global market share for top players.
  • Define, describe and forecast the market by type, end use and region.
  • Analyze and compare the market status and forecast between China and major regions, namely, United States, Europe, China, Japan, Southeast Asia, India and Rest of World.
  • Analyze the global key regions market potential and advantage, opportunity and challenge, restraints and risks.
  • Identify significant trends and factors driving or inhibiting the market growth.
  • Analyze the opportunities in the market for stakeholders by identifying the high growth segments.
  • Strategically analyze each submarket with respect to individual growth trend and their contribution to the market.
  • Analyze competitive developments such as expansions, agreements, new product launches, and acquisitions in the market.
  • Strategically profile the key players and comprehensively analyze their growth strategies.
Learn more about the global top players, key stakeholders, the market segmented by regions, and the report's objectives.

Monday, October 01, 2018

Today in Global Small Business: wegginar® "Small Startup, Big Global Impact"

©2018 Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global™.  All rights reserved.
What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Castles in the Sky

©2018 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"Clouds do not really look like camels or sailing ships or castles in the sky. They are simply a natural process at work.  So too, perhaps, are our lives." -- Roger Ebert

Friday, September 28, 2018

Empowering African Business Operators With a Free Global Online Travel Platform App

A recently launched free global online travel platform app, Seychelles Ahoy!, will empower small, local travel establishments across the African continent, offers a fresh approach, which demonstrates the power of new technology to drive positive business change for smaller, local business operators.

According to Dr Charl du Plessis of South African-based Chapel Lane Media, with the mobile market now dominating the digital universe, the demand for compact, informative and high-functioning travel Apps keeps growing exponentially.

He goes on to say, "that small, local travel establishments across the continent were highly reliant on foreign-based bookings portals to secure a steady flow of guests."

Read more about the new global travel app that will empower small, local travel enterprises across Africa.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

High-Tech Middle Market Companies in Emerging Economies: This Could Be Your Moment

Emerging economies face daunting challenges.  One in particular is creating a positive climate for growth, one in which companies large and small can find markets inside and outside the country.

Brazilian media and private equity leader Eduardo Sirotsky Melzer has a message for high-tech, middle-market companies (e.g., typically a $300 million to $500 million investment per deal) in emerging economies: This could be their moment.

Melzer says, "People are told to launch enterprises that are adjacent to something they already do. But that mind-set will never lead [them] to start a truly new business."

One question asked of him in the strategy+business interview:

Do you see companies starting in Latin America and then moving into more of a global or regional focus?

MELZER: One challenge for Brazilian companies is to develop global brands that can succeed in North America, Europe, and Asia. I think it’s partly a mind-set issue. These middle-market companies, in particular, have to have the willingness and energy to think globally.

Read more about Eduardo Sirotsky Melzer's interview with strategy+business:  Start Small and Think Globally.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Mastercard Track™: Streamline Management of Payments

Mastercard's newest offering will enhance your cash flow visibility and reduce the need for payment status inquiries to customers. Mastercard Track™ aggregates payment timing and rich remittance details across your customers, all in one place.

Will it be good for small businesses?  According to the Small Business Trend's report:
By removing the manual processes of identifying and validating suppliers as well as outdated payment systems, Mastercard Track looks to lower the billions of dollars in cost associated with global trade.
Learn more about how Mastercard and Microsoft are teaming up to help small businesses become exporters.

Hopefully their solution will simplify the process of doing business around the world.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Today in Global Small Business: Global Used Car E-Commerce Industry

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

Friday, September 21, 2018

Market Domination: Amazon or Google?

Google has disrupted an area which Amazon dominates with its alternative e-commerce platform, Google Shopping.

Is this good news?  According to Kyle C. Murphy, practitioner faculty of strategy at Pepperdine Graziadio Business School, who knows e-commerce inside out, it is. 

Below he offers insights as to how smaller companies can profit.

Learn more about how Google and Amazon's competition is a win for smaller e-commerce companies.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

STEP Awards 2018: Funding Export Opportunities

SBA Administrator Linda McMahon says, "The STEP awards are an important resource that provide small businesses with the confidence and funding they need to thrive in this competitive international market." She goes on to say.
"The SBA is committed to ensuring equal access for small businesses to international markets and expanding export opportunities, and ensuring small businesses have the resources they need to drive their businesses and local communities forward."
The 2018 STEP awards will allow states to assist small businesses with the information and tools they need to succeed in export-related activities that are in line with the objectives of the program.

Check out which states got what dollar amount in STEP funding here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

5 Key Traits to Mastering the Skill of Execution

According to Kim Perell, successful entrepreneur and author of The Execution Factor, there are five key traits that are required to master the skill of execution and become a successful entrepreneur: vision, passion, action, resilience and relationships.

Perell suggests using these traits as a blueprint for understanding who you are and where you are going.

Execution is the critical skill that drives success -- locally or globally.

Read more to discover how to translate important strategic and operational decisions into action.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Squash Etsy? Amazon Makes Its Move

Amazon is making a big play to squash Etsy — and using artisans and gadget makers as the face of a $1 trillion company.

We'll let you be the judge.
Amazon launched a new section of its site called Amazon Storefronts on Monday morning, a space that looks remarkably like the handmade e-commerce giant Etsy and offers customers access to “over 1 million products” from 20,000 “small and medium-sized” US businesses.
Read more about Amazon, the friendly corporate giant, one which encourages entrepreneurship and the revitalization of small businesses, will start serving small businesses, defined as basically anything less than a publicly-traded global brand.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Today in Global Small Business: A Few Good Russian Cartoons Are Going Global

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

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Never-Ending Aspiration

©2018 Laurel J. Delaney.  All right reserved.
"Dance is about never-ending aspiration." -- Judith Jamison

Friday, September 14, 2018

Are You Ready to Go International?

You may never feel entirely ready to go international, but there are some important benchmarks you should reach before you start considering interest from overseas.  Here are six.
  1. Have a profitable business model in your home country, with systems and procedures that have been proven across multiple locations.
  2. Have adequate experience and maturity to interact meaningfully with foreign partners. 
  3. Be the primary point of contact for your international partners, both during agreement negotiations and after the deal is signed.
  4. Add someone to your team to focus specifically on identifying target markets and searching for partners
  5. Have patience.
  6. Be prepared to invest significant time and money before your international efforts pay off.
Read the entire article to be sure you are ready for international expansion.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

A Little Rain and Jazz Music for Wherever You Are Located in This World

Here's what people say about this 10-hour music video:

"My eight year old LOVES this. :)  I have it on for her when she comes home from school, and it puts her in a good state of mind. Thank you."

"Love this one.  Just gorgeous.  This is the perfect music for a cold winter night with a glass of Cabernet. Actually it's the perfect music anytime."

"Love this!!! Listening to this beautiful music while drinking my warm cup of green tea with lemon and honey, pretending it is raining in Saudi Arabia. Haha."

"I go to sleep faster and relaxes me."

"Despite the fact that Sao Paulo is in rainy weather, this jazz + rain session is perfect. It reminds me of 50's movies and I'm already sick of bossa nova. However before I stay depressed with jazz, the Instrumental Salsa is a good addition."

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Korean Dumplings Go Global

With automation and a big business bet, Korean dumplings are poised to go global.  Technology has made the quality, the look and the size of each bite-size dumpling consistent and has significantly improved productivity.  Hence, the whole world will soon enjoy dumplings.
South Korea's largest food company is making a multimillion-dollar bet on "mandu," developing its own machines to automate the normally labor-intensive production of the Korean dumpling and building factories around the world.
Good-bye pot stickers and hello Korean dumplings!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Today in Global Small Business: The Business Case for Curiosity

©2018 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Life is a Voyage

©2018 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"Everyone who achieves success in a great venture, solves each problem as they came to it. They helped themselves. And they were helped through powers known and unknown to them at the time they set out on their voyage. They keep going regardless of the obstacles they met." -- W. Clement Stone

Friday, September 07, 2018

Optimism and Success Abound Among U.S. Exporters

Despite uncertainty around trade agreements and U.S. trade policies, many exporters are still optimistic about export opportunities and investing in their international operations.

The 2018 American Express Grow Global Survey highlights that U.S. exporters remain optimistic on revenue growth through international business.  Further, companies also often experience positive impacts on their domestic operation as a result of exporting.

Read more about how US exporters expect international sales will continue to grow.

Thursday, September 06, 2018

The Mark of Zara on the Global E-commerce Front

Zara has big plans to go global with e-commerce.

The retailer has increased its focus on web operations and investments in technology, ranging from applications to track stock to virtual reality in dressing rooms.
[Zara] plans to make clothes from its Zara label and other brands available online anywhere in the world within two years, aiming to become one of the first truly global clothiers as Inc. (No. 1) encroaches into fashion.
Read more how Zara will soon make their clothes available to anyone, everywhere in the world.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

In Nepal, Equality Begins With Economic Empowerment

The Women Entrepreneurs Summit 2018 kickstarted in Kathmandu on September 03, 2018.  The summit, with the theme "Equality Begins With Economic Empowerment," aims to bring onto a single platform, many influential women business leaders, international service providers, professionals and organizations, government representatives and other stakeholders to discuss on innovative economic transformation through collaboration.

According to South Asian Women Development Forum (SAWDF) President Pramila Acharya Rijal, the event will most likely see delegates from nearly 27 countries. She [Pramila] expressed hope that the event will act as a platform for various collaborations with international and national organizations.

To learn more, visit the International Women Entrepreneurs Summit 2018 in Nepal.

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Boon Supply: Using Ecommerce as a Force for Good

©iStock/Murat Gocmen
Vertically integrated product company Boon Supply is bringing yet another change to the ecommerce business model:  The company automatically gives 50 percent of every purchase value to over 500 causes and partners with schools to contribute $12.5 million annually to education programs.

Mompreneur and CEO Lily Kanter knows a thing or two about starting businesses.  She  co-founded home decor company Serene & Lily after opening a baby furnishings store in California.
“Entrepreneurs are creative thinkers about a new idea. And I [Lily Kanter] think what it takes to be successful is, first of all, you've got to be really tough physically and emotionally because you get a lot of rejection,” she says. “You can't be defeated. You just have to keep plowing through.”
Learn more about Boon Supply.

Monday, September 03, 2018

Today in Global Small Business: Happy Labor Day and RIP Senator John McCain

©2018 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:

Saturday, September 01, 2018

Be Proud to Call Yourself a Blackhawks Fan

©2018 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"Every loss, every win.  Every season, every game.  All the ups, all the downs.  All the goals, all the saves.  Be proud to call yourself a fan." -- Unknown

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Canadians Embrace Moving Cannabis Across Borders

With some of the major names creating a presence in key markets like Canada, Jamaica, Peru, and Colombia, it's become evident that the time is now to prepare for cannabis trade across international borders.
So far only a handful of companies are performing wholesale transactions internationally and each of them is based in Canada. This is largely due to the country's status as the first G7 country to fully legalize adult-use cannabis, which enables the production capabilities and legal frameworks to facilitate international transactions. 
Will Canada become a production giant for international cannabis trade?  Can Canada meet global demand?

Are you ready to go global with your cannabis company?