Monday, November 29, 2004

Why The Dollar Is Giving Way

In BusinessWeek

Curious as to what's going on with the dollar? If you have time, read this comprehensive commentary:
Why The Dollar Is Giving Way

Friday, November 26, 2004

Baby Steps Led Mother To National "Entrepreneurial Export Award"

In BusinessEdge (Vancouver, B.C.)

Sandra Wilson is putting her best foot forward as she steps up to receive the 2004 Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of The Year Export Award.

The Burnaby-based maker of soft-soled leather baby shoes was honoured last week at a gala dinner in Toronto by BMO Financial Group. “This award means a little bit of recognition of the time, the effort and the energy that has gone into building this business,” says Wilson, owner of Robeez Footwear Ltd. “Most people think we are an overnight success story, but it has actually taken us 10 long years.”

To read Sandra's story about how she started her exporting business in her basement and grew it into a U.S. $15 million-dollar exporting business, visit: Baby Steps Led Mother To National Export Award

Monday, November 22, 2004

Playing the "Wal-Mart-China" Global Game

In response to the many postings on blogs -- from Small Business Trends to The Entrepreneurial Mind -- about eBay's international expansion and how they are enabling small businesses to go global, I'd like to bring up another monster of a company and country who are not necessarily leading the way for small businesses to go global but influencing the international marketplace: Wal-Mart and China.

Wal-Mart has achieved economies of scale that are unprecendented when it comes to its purchases from the biggest country-customer in the world: China. Here are some facts I tracked over the last couple of days on just how BIG the Wal-Mart and China game is:

• Wal-Mart is termed China's eight-largest trading partner by the government-controlled mainland media and would place ahead of Russia and the United Kingdom on the top-10 list.

• Wal-Mart would be the fifth-largest importer of Chinese manufactured items if it were considered as a nation.

• The U.S. is expected to run up a total trade deficit of more than $600 billion in 2004, with the deficit in its bilateral trade with China contributing $150 billion.

• Wal-Mart imported $15 billion in goods from China in the fiscal year that ended January 31, 2004. About $7.5 billion were directly imported by Wal-Mart, the other $7.5 billion came indirectly through suppliers.

• In the same period noted above, Wal-Mart's total net sales reached $256 billion, with roughly $209 billion coming from U.S. operations.

Here's what I researched on the dollar-yuan situation that you might find interesting:

It all begins when American consumers plunk down their credit cards at Wal-Mart stores anxious to buy appliances, toys and clothes at rock-bottom prices. But because the United States imports roughly $6.50 in goods from China for every $1 that America exports to China, the Beijing central bank ends up with a huge reserve of dollars, amounting to $514.5 billion, for example, at the end of September.

Not wanting a boatload of dollars in its vaults, the People's Bank of China, the central bank, uses a huge portion of its reserves to buy Treasurys. THIS IS A KEY TO KEEPING THE YUAN FROM APPRECIATING AND THE DOLLAR STABLE AT 8.28 YUAN. It also keeps U.S. consumer prices down along with interest rates, which means for now that Americans can continue to plunk down those credit cards at Wal-Mart during the upcoming holiday season.

What's a small business to do? Navigate your way around this monster "Wal-Mart-China" relationship and either export goods that are the world's best at their intended purpose to China or go elsewhere.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Entrepreneurship and global media coverage

In Wisconsin Technology Network News

This is a thoughtful and practical article on the importance of not just creating world-class products but also letting the world know about them! I highly recommend you read it to understand how "global" publicity plays a significant role in business success.

To read the entire article, visit: Wisconsin Entrepreneurs Need To Self-promote Like Coastal Rivals

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Another Crystal Ball

Posted in Always On
A real estate veteran looks at demographics and comes up with a new view.

Here's what Francine Hardaway of Stealthmode Partners had to say (an extract from article) on global outsourcing, entrepreneurship and small businesses but first, Leann Lachman did the numbers:

• And the office market, because the global outsourcing of skilled service jobs continues. By 2010, 1.7 million office jobs will go overseas, doubling by 2015 to 3.4 million.

• Lachman believes we will replace those jobs with something, but she's not sure what. I (Francine), of course, believe it will be small business and entrepreneurship, lean and mean, with strategic partnerships and strategic outsourcing (but no need for the kind of big office space of the past).

To read the entire mind-opening article, visit: Another Crystal Ball (A Look At Demographics and A New Worldview)

Friday, November 12, 2004

Coming Growth Strategy: Exporting!

In Small Business Trends (11/10/04)

As reported by small business trend expert Anita Campbell: Coming Growth Strategy: Exporting

And a very BIG thank you for mentioning our ChangeThis manifesto about small businesses going global in the report.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

ChangeThis manifesto: Global Guru. Shaking Things Up. Making Things Happen.

In Small Business CEO

A special thanks to founder Steve Rucinski at Small Business CEO Blog for mentioning and praising my just-released "ChangeThis Global Guru" manifesto. We hope the work inspires many of you to go global! You can download and read the manifesto (for free!) here: ChangeThis Global Guru Manifesto (11/9/04)

Spread the word and many thanks!

Friday, November 05, 2004

Abridged Borderbuster 11/5/04

If you are not a subscriber to Borderbuster, here's a glimpse of what you missed:


1. Welcome From The Publisher
2. Feedback From Our Readers
3. UPS CEO Says That All Business Today Is Global!*
4. Business Cultural Tips: Have Some Fun!*
5. Service Franchises Are Going Global
6. How I Went Global: Ongoing Series // WSJ Nobel*
7. A Reader Asks: Q&A*
8. Everybody Loves a Freebie -- repeat: FREE OFFER*
9. How to Write For A Multilingual Marketplace
10. Entrepreneur in a Global Organization
11. Export “Red Flags:” New Proposed Regulations*
12. The Next Generation of Global Branding*
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*

Sample section:

*Subscriber Exclusive*

Q: Dear GlobeTrade Team,

We manufacture high-quality step ladders and are trying to figure out the best way to source complementary products in China to offer a family of hardware tools for our customers. Any suggestions?

A: You bet and we just caught this information in the November edition of IOMA’s report on “Managing Exports & Imports.” Here’s the clip:

China Sourcing Fairs provide exporters and importers a one-stop venue. The China Sourcing Fairs (, organized by Global Sources, bring together volume buyers with international-standard manufacturers from all over China to Shanghai. Buyers can benchmark and source from new, competitive China suppliers more effectively. Buyers can register for the shows, reserve a hotel room in Shanghai, and arrange a China visa at the site.

We have not used this resource but did scan the site and found it to be fairly comprehensive in – as it claims -- taking you to the center of China.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

Laurel and the team

-> Got a question or a comment? Good. Send it here:

To subscribe to Borderbuster, visit:
Sign Up For Borderbuster Here

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Women Entrepreneurs Enter the Global Marketplace

In The Fox School of Business and Management, Temple University

How can women enter the global marketplace and find success? As the numbers of women poised to enter the global marketplace accelerate, this question is becoming increasingly important. According to the U.S. Small Business Association, women-owned businesses currently account for 30 percent of businesses that export more than half of their products worldwide.

Here are a couple of great tips that I tracked in the article and they apply to both men and women alike who are interested in expanding internationally:

• Don’t let challenges take over opportunities (the biggest challenge women face in doing business internationally is the perception that they will not be as successful as men because of cultural assumptions about women’s roles in other countries, along with work and life balance issues. If women are supported by their companies and take the risk to get started, they will be just as successful).
• Create a targeted export strategy.
• Know your market and your product.
• Be proactive.
• International business is built on relationships (a skill at which women excel).
• Treat all business as local (women should be who they are, listen, have a sense of humor and be willing to share a bit about themselves with overseas counterparts).

To read the entire article, visit:
Conference Guides Women Entrepreneurs Entering the Global Marketplace