Saturday, July 24, 2004

Outsourcing Is Not A Dirty Word,

Especially If Small Businesses Are Involved.

The debate about offshore outsourcing of high-paid U.S. jobs has little bearing on the daily concerns of most small business owners. They simply want to balance their books, make payroll and stay focused on customers.

Few small companies outsource their business processes to offshore service providers from India or elsewhere, says Gartner analyst Robert Brown. Yet, he says, a thriving industry of regional U.S. firms has grown up to offer outsourced support to small businesses.

To read the entire article published by Investor's Business Daily, visit: Outsourcing Is Not A Dirty Word

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Small Firms Don't Look Abroad for Business? Not so!

Inc. published an article on small businesses indicating that they are opting NOT to do business overseas and I absolutely disagree.

Here's part of what the article said:

"Just 13 percent of more than 600 businesses across a range of sectors made foreign sales in the past three years. However, the numbers improve for small manufacturers, with 39 percent saying they made overseas transactions."

Want to know the real exporting facts on U.S.A. small businesses? They are as follows:

• There are more than 230,000 small businesses exporting in the United States alone.
• The number of small business exporters rose 250 percent from 1987 to 2001.
• About one of every five U.S. factory jobs depends on exports.
• Exports mean new customers and more than 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside the United States.
• Small businesses with fewer than 500 employees export roughly U.S. $182 billion a year or 29 percent of all exports.

Source:'s report "The World Is Your Market: Small Businesses Gear Up For Globalization," to be released August, 2004.

If you want to read the complete article along with my sound-off, visit: Small Firms Don't Look Abroad for Business?

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Abridged copy of "Borderbuster"

For your review.

Borderbuster Monthly E-Newsletter (No. 32): July 6, 2004
Distributed by ( and Designed To Help Entrepreneurs, Small Businesses, Activists, Futurists, Academics, Executives and Corporate Risk-Takers Go Global.


We encourage you to forward this issue! Subscribe FREE!
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1. Welcome from the Publisher
2. Feedback From Our Readers
3. Wired! Hong Kong, China, and Japan Flex Their Electronic Muscles*
4. Business Cultural Tips: Have Some Fun!*
5. Outsourcing Dilemma*
6. How I Went Global: Ongoing Series // Arlene Hirsch (U.S.A.)*
7. A Reader Asks: Q&A*
8. Everybody Loves a Freebie -- repeat: FREE OFFER*
9. Small and Global
10. China Report: Studies in Operations and Strategy*
11. A Market Big as All the World
12. Whither Global Inequality? Reviving an Old Debate*
13. Watch for Laurel’s New e-Book: “Godzilla Global Marketing”*
14. Take A Walk On The Wild Side (TAWOTWS)*
15. Wind Behind Your Sail*
16. Miscellany*
*Subscriber Exclusive*

Whether your business is B2B or B2C, if you are planning to visit or do business in China, Japan, or Hong Kong, you need to understand the nature of the electronic infrastructure and whether or not you will be able to communicate, in the same way you can back home. The authors provide an overview of how these infrastructures have developed and what you can expect. They also point out the need to understand cultural expectations.

To read the full article, visit (highly recommended by Laurel):
*Subscriber Exclusive*

Enjoy. And remember, there is no such thing as a universal attitude. These are just guidelines so when in doubt, ask while visiting a foreign country.

• Brush up on noodles. Slurping Asian noodles is okay, but when they come as the last dish of a formal Chinese banquet, don’t finish them. To do so implies that not enough food has been served.

• Know when to say “cheese.” The French eat the cheese course before dessert, the British have cheese for dessert and Australians tend to eat it after dessert.

• Beware of slang. Never say “I’m stuffed” in Australia or England. It has a sexual connotation.

• Know what’s standard – and what isn’t. Remember that tipping varies between countries, but the sign for “check please” – a scribble with one hand across the palm of the other – is universal.

• Watch your hands. If you’re in a country where people eat with their hands, use only your right hand. The left one should never touch food.

Source: Crain’s Chicago Business April 26, 2004: “It’s mind over manners when you’re traveling abroad.”
*Subscriber Exclusive*

Corporate America has been using cheap overseas labor for years. Does it make sense for your company?

To read the full article, visit Inc. magazine online:
Outsourcing Dilemma______________________________________________________
7. A Reader Asks: Q&A
*Subscriber Exclusive*

This is an excerpt from Parade magazine, June 20, 2004. Marilyn vos Savant is listed in the “Guinness Book of World Records” Hall of Fame for “Highest IQ” and provides the answer.

Q: From Jeffrey Albert, Fairborn, OH

My sixth-grade French teacher had an amusing sign in her classroom: “If you can speak three languages, you’re trilingual; if you can speak two languages, you’re bilingual; if you can speak one language, you’re American.” What do you think of this sign?

A: By Marilyn vos Savant

I think that it’s a garden-variety put-down, but fragrant with sour grapes. Or maybe the writer was just ignorant of the facts. One reason that some cultures speak more than one language is that their nations have a common bond, such as the European Union. Another reason is that the size of some countries and their proximity make speaking more languages almost necessary. In Europe, for example, trains crisscross the continent (which has about the same area as the U.S.) and people visit other nations the way we visit other states. Plus, English is unarguably the most important language in the world. Most Americans have little need to learn anything else.

-> Got a question or a comment? Good. Send it here: (
*Available on*

Whether they export roller coasters or import Japanese novels, small U.S. companies are conquering the world – country by country.

For more information, visit Fortune Small Business:
Small and Global
*Subscriber Exclusive*

China offers potentially huge benefits for multinational corporations. With a population exceeding 1 billion and an immense supply of low-wage workers, China is coveted both as a consumer market and as a superb location to source products. But is China really the place where major corporations need to be in the decades to come?

To find out, read full story here (may require registration):
China Report______________________________________________________
*Available on*

Looking for sales and expansion opportunities abroad? Take it from someone who has made it her business to know: it's a whole new ball game.

To read the entire article, visit ICEVED:
A Market Big As All The World
*Subscriber Exclusive*

If you can think wild thoughts, then you can most certainly go global.

The work of Edward Tufte, the unquestioned genius on design information, has inspired people worldwide. If you are in the mood to take yourself to a new virtual place, visit Tufte’s site and see a visual representation of a Japanese weather map, colorful tee-shirts or a music score with dance notation. His books, artwork and seminar info can be accessed and purchased on line. Laurel owns the first two of his seven books. Fascinating stuff.

Visit: Edward Tufte.
(Remember, inaction is the worst kind of failure.)

*** We welcome suggestions for our Take a Walk On The Wild Side. Early responses have the best chance of being published. Please include your title, company affiliation, location and email address. We reserve the right to solicit and edit suggestions.***
*Subscriber Exclusive*

“Tough domestic rivalry breeds international success.” -- Michael Porter
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What's "Borderbuster" have to do with The Global Small Business Blog? Everything.


The Global Small Business Blog is a newborn marketing channel for "Borderbuster," a free, monthly 12-page e-newsletter published by "Borderbuster" was inaugurated November of 2001 for the purpose of helping entrepreneurs and small businesses go global. Thought leaders consider it to be one of the top three best resources in the United States for providing practical and relevant global business information. Entrepreneur magazine and The Wall Street Journal have praised "Borderbuster" for its excellence in empowering the small business community to expand internationally.

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