Wednesday, December 28, 2005

International E-tiquette

In Entrepreneur

Avoid embarrassing faux pas in online global communications.

Read the article here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Grabbing a Globalization Partner

In Optimize

Why a global collaboration executive should be the CIO's next partner -- or position.

Read the article here.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Abridged Borderbuster 12/5/05


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

1. Welcome From The Publisher
2. Feedback From Our Readers
3. Offshore Adds U.S. Jobs?*
4. Business and Cultural Tips: Have Some Fun!*
5. Making It In China*
6. How I Went Global: Ongoing Series // Euresto Partners
7. A Reader Asks: Q&A*
8. Everybody Loves a Freebie -- repeat: FREE OFFER*
9. Professional Protocol In The Global Marketplace*
10. Going Global*
11. Building A More Competitive America*
12. Blog World: Curing Brand Chaos On The Web*
13. Laurel’s New e-Book: “GODZILLA Global Marketing!”
14. Take A Walk On The Wild Side (TAWOTWS)*
15. Wind Behind Your Sail*
16. Miscellany*


*Indicates exclusive to Borderbuster subscribers only.

Sample section:

*Subscriber Exclusive*

As global companies strive for competitive advantage wherever they can find it, it is not much of a stretch to suggest that developing a cadre of outstanding global executives offers a sustainable advantage that meets most of the criteria. Find out here whether your leadership pipeline is best described as a drip rather than a flow. Not sure what that means? Well, you are in for a big global surprise.

To download the PDF file or to read the HTML version, visit here.


To subscribe to Borderbuster, visit:
Sign Up For Borderbuster

Thursday, December 01, 2005

What Do Saudi Women Want?


Of the 23 million or so people in Saudi Arabia 49% are women. It doesn't take a mathematician to gauge the wealth of marketing possibilities. What are you waiting for? Read the article here.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Global Small Business Success: What Does It Take?

Small businesses are the backbone of our state and national economy.

According to the Small Business Administration, small business represents 99.7 percent of all employers, employ half of all private sector employees and pay 44.3 percent of total U.S. private payroll. Nearly 40 percent of these small businesses are in the technology fields and 53 percent of them are home-based.

Clearly, national and state policy-makers should be listening to what small business wants and needs to succeed in the global economy.

What do we need to push forward?

Read the opinion piece here but I think we need a lot more than this.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Role of Small Businesses In Exports to China

In Export.Gov

Go here to download report.
Then click on "The Role of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Exports to China: A Statistical Profile."

Get the scoop on what's really going on and then get going! The data represented is from 2002, the last year for which data are available. It's phenomenal! You won't want to miss it.

Monday, November 21, 2005

20 Women Exporters Take Part In Training

In IPPMedia

An institution dealing with women entrepreneurship development (WED) and the Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO) have organized a five-day training session in Dar es Salaam to make women exporters in Tanzania become competitive in the global market and increase their capacity so that they can engage themselves effectively in international trade.

Read the article here.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

A Global Checkup: Diagnosing the Health of Today's Organizations

In Strategy+Business

Nearly 50,000 profiles completed over two years by individuals around the world are consistent with one central hypothesis: Most organizations are unhealthy. Find out why here.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Global Business Columnist


It's official!

CHICAGO, IL (PRWEB) November 11, 2005 – Laurel Delaney, an international entrepreneur and author, will become a global business columnist for Entrepreneur magazine on Nov. 1.

Read the release here.

I just hope I can follow through on my remarks: “There are just no more excuses on why companies aren’t going global,” Delaney says. “Rather, this is the beginning of a global small business revolution.”

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Abridged Borderbuster 11/4/05


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

1. Welcome From The Publisher
2. Feedback From Our Readers
3. U.S. Must Help Iraq Obtain Wealth Quickly*
4. Business and Cultural Tips: Have Some Fun!*
5. Foreign Shopping Sites Cater to U.S. Customers*
6. How I Went Global: Ongoing Series //
7. A Reader Asks: Q&A*
8. Everybody Loves a Freebie -- repeat: FREE OFFER*
9. Expanding Internationally: Grow As You Go*
10. The Importance of Developing An International Strategy*
11. Executive Planet*
12. Blog World: A Feature On Wal-Mart*
13. Laurel’s New e-Book Is Ready: “GODZILLA Global Marketing!”
14. Take A Walk On The Wild Side (TAWOTWS)*
15. Wind Behind Your Sail*
16. Miscellany*

Published in Chicago – “Home of The World Series Champion White Sox!” – Congratulations!

*Indicates exclusive to Borderbuster subscribers only.

Sample section:

*Subscriber Exclusive*

Large companies routinely take advantage of the enormous potential of international markets. They simply budget for the expansion, spending whatever it takes to build the infrastructure to support future revenue. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, have limited resources, few connections, and tight budgets. When they go global, they need to be convinced that they are doing the right thing.

To read the balance of the article, visit:


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

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Going Global: Help For Small Manufacturers

In Industry Week

Despite the criticism of the federal government's trade policies that some say have effectively allowed foreign competitors to gain unfair advantages against U.S. makers of goods, at least one Commerce Department program is aimed specifically at helping small and midsize manufacturers to thrive in the same big pond with the sharks.

Read the article here.

Friday, November 04, 2005

The Three Hurdles Of Global Web Sites

In Optimize

One of the most difficult issues companies are dealing with in the new global economy is thinking locally and managing globally. Sure, companies have always had international divisions and subsidiaries, but they tended to be isolated fiefdoms. Now the global economy requires that companies use their Web site to provide a consistent image to customers, no matter where they are. But companies can't just impose a one-size-fits-all view on their Web site.

Here's what they have to look out for:

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Going Global: Can You Afford It?

In WorldWIT

Determining how much you can afford to invest in your international expansion efforts can be a tricky proposition. Will it be based on ten percent of your domestic business profits or on a pay-as-you-can-afford process? That’s an excellent question. And my answer is: It depends.

Read more here.

And a big thank you to our favorite webinar place -- shhhhhhhh ... a best-kept secret -- for letting us know the article was published.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Going Global: Try South First

In Inc.

Many entrepreneurs have their eyes fixed on China, but it may make sense to look south as well as east. The recent passage of the Central American Free Trade Agreement gives the U.S. six new free-trade partners -- Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic. The treaty immediately reduces or eliminates 80% of tariffs on U.S. exports -- including IT, medical equipment, and telecommunications supplies -- opening a new world of opportunity. And risk.

Read the article here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Going Global But Localizing The Brand

In Inc.

There are 1.3 billion potential wine drinkers in China, and Scott Henry, owner of Henry Estate, a winery in Umpqua, Oreg., was convinced they'd love his pinot noir. Henry understood that Western-style wine is a relatively new phenomenon in China, but he also believed that his wine's taste and texture were a perfect match for Chinese cuisine.

Henry Estate is no stranger to exporting. For the past 10 years it has shipped cases to Canada, the U.K., and Japan. How much harder could it be to add China to the list?

Read the article and find out here.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Going Global: Study Your Markets, Develop a Strategic Plan


Go global before a foreign competitor steals or marginalizes your business. Not only will you expand your market, but you will access a diverse revenue stream which is more stable since you will no longer be as vulnerable to periodic downturns in any one economy. Global companies outperform domestics, growing twice as fast with significantly higher returns.

Find out how and why here.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Abridged Borderbuster 10/5/05


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

1. Welcome From The Publisher
2. Feedback From Our Readers
3. The Global Business*
4. Business and Cultural Tips: Have Some Fun!*
5. China Venture News*
6. How I Went Global: Ongoing Series //*
7. A Reader Asks: Q&A*
8. Everybody Loves a Freebie -- repeat: FREE OFFER*
9. Going Global Has Its Perils*
10. Energizing Entrepreneurs*
11. Doing Business: Benchmarking Business Regulations*
12. A Wee Bit of Ireland*
13. Laurel’s New e-Book Is Ready: “GODZILLA Global Marketing!”
14. Take A Walk On The Wild Side (TAWOTWS)*
15. Wind Behind Your Sail*
16. Miscellany*

*Indicates exclusive to Borderbuster subscribers only.

Sample section:

*Subscriber Exclusive*

Globalization has made the world a smaller place and has changed the way people do business in OECD countries. But did you know that a significant part of global integration reflects trade within transnational firms and industries?

To read the balance of the article, visit:


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

Thursday, September 29, 2005

A Crash Course In Globalization

In Fortune Small Business

Five years ago, I wrote global small business briefings for Fortune Small Business. Many are still relevant today for going global. Take a look:

Gaffe-Proof Global Marketing

Don't let your company's sales pitch get lost in a translation.

Tap Business Opportunities in China

Finding the right partner is the secret to doing business with the Chinese.

Find the Right Overseas Partner

Team up with a well-connected distributor and watch your sales explode.

A Crash Course in Doing Business Abroad

Is your Website attracting customers from around the world? Use these sources to learn the ropes of doing business overseas.

You can access links to each of the above articles here.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Case Study: How Lenovo Is Leveraging the Global Brand from East to West

In May 2005, when Lenovo Group completed a U.S. $1.75 billion purchase of IBM's personal computing division, the China-based manufacturer leapfrogged its way to become the No. 3 computer maker in the world, second only to Dell and Hewlett-Packard. Along with rights to the venerable IBM name and logo, Lenovo got Deepak Advani, a Wharton graduate who was serving as vice president of marketing for the old regime.

Read Wharton's interview with Advani, now Lenovo's senior vice president and chief marketing officer, to find out what it takes to merge an Eastern business -- whether big or small -- with a Western one.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Leading In A Global World

In LeaderValues

Globalization is a driving force in business today and its consequences are the subject of much debate. Yet, despite its increasing impact on every aspect of organizational effectiveness, I wonder if most leaders have really confronted its consequences in terms of leadership skills and mindsets.

Global means more than just sourcing or selling in foreign markets.  It means recognizing that as we become more interconnected and interdependent, the basic processes of leadership and management must evolve to keep pace with the changing marketplace.  It means that leaders need not just to “go global” but to “think global.”

Read the entire article here.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Are Women Globalization's Winners?

In the Globalist

Canada has a new foreign minister, Pierre Pettigrew. Reason enough to delve into our archive and present his argument about who benefits and who loses in the era of globalization. In this Globalist retrospective, he finds that three distinct groups — women, immigrants and young people — will not only benefit from globalization, but are better equipped than most for handling its challenges.

The article is adapted from a speech Pettigrew gave at the World Forum 2000 and is more relevant than ever today. Remember, his remarks were made four years prior to the release of Friedman's bestseller, "The World Is Flat," which makes it a very compelling read.

Friday, September 09, 2005

What the global CEO thinks like


Conventional wisdom talks of economies of scale. But in today's world, perhaps we should be looking at economies of learning and knowledge, says Sir Martin Sorrell, founder of WPP, one of the world's largest advertising groups. He manages over 100 companies operating in 92 countries.

Here's what Sir Sorrell says about what the global CEO thinks like:

"As a global CEO, if your database is well linked, you can be really up to date before you meet others so at least you appear to know what is going on.

Lots of people say that I am too much of a micro manager. I regard that as a compliment, not an insult. There are people who pull away from details and become totally consumed with strategies and tactics but implementation suffers.

If you ask someone why he got fired, the reason is usually because of execution not because they did not have a vision. We tend to have a lot of initiatives going on. I tend to believe that it's better to have thirty initiatives a day so you can get ten done, rather than have three and get just one or two done.

Being prepared is important. There are no nice neat mathematical models. What works in one place will not work in another. There are no global approaches, no blacks and whites but shades of gray. There have to be compromises, with strategic advances and strategic retreats.

You have to have different models. It could be an alliance model with just 20% of the company. It's pretty important to have a vision and execute that vision. I should be determined. Persistence is very important and speed is also very important.

I used to say it's better to take a bad decision on Monday than a good decision on the following Friday and I still think that it is true. You have to give people an instantaneous response, that's why I'm accused of being a micro manager."

Read the entire article here.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Abridged Borderbuster 9/6/05


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

1. Welcome From The Publisher
2. Feedback From Our Readers
3. The Changing Face Of Global Business*
4. Business and Cultural Tips: Have Some Fun!*
5. The Next Big Idea*
6. How I Went Global: Ongoing Series //*
7. A Reader Asks: Q&A*
8. Everybody Loves a Freebie -- repeat: FREE OFFER*
9. Business in China: A Wakeup Call*
10. Identify Emerging Market Opportunities*
11. Language Isn’t The Only Trade Barrier*
12. Chinese Ownership of American Companies: A Problem?*
13. Laurel’s New e-Book: “GODZILLA Global Marketing!”
14. Take A Walk On The Wild Side (TAWOTWS)*
15. Wind Behind Your Sail*
16. Miscellany*

*Indicates exclusive to Borderbuster subscribers only.

Sample section:

*Subscriber Exclusive*

Going global has never been easy. Companies have always struggled to reach out effectively to different cultures and balance competing national agendas. What's different today is the speed with which events transpire and major forces react to move markets and shift competitive strengths and weaknesses. Businesses must be savvy enough to identify—if not anticipate—the new sociological, political, and economic trends that emerge almost daily.

To read the balance of the article, visit:

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

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

China's hidden weaknesses

In The American Thinker

This is a great commentary offering good insights and I will follow up with the author, Brian Schwar, who lives in China, to get more of his thoughts on doing business in China. Here's his lead ...

"Before Westerners get carried away with irrational exuberance about the number of new Shanghai skyscrapers going up or the millions of new cars clogging the streets of Beijing, foreigners would do well to gain a greater understanding of the massive economic challenges its Communist leaders need to tackle in the next few years."

To read the entire feature, visit here.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Getting To Global


One of my favorite minds in strategic marketing, e-business and innovation is that of Mohan Sawhney, who is the McCormick Tribune Professor of Technology, the Chairperson of the Technology Industry Management Program, and the Director of the Center for Research in Technology and Innovation at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) -- not too far from where my office is located.

He writes a briefing which states, "Getting to global in a fuller sense means passing through four stages: global sales, global sourcing, global processes, and the differentiated global network."

Friday, August 19, 2005

The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy

New book ...

During a 1999 protest of the World Trade Organization, Rivoli, an economics professor at Georgetown, looked on as an activist seized the microphone and demanded, "Who made your T-shirt?" Rivoli determined to find out. She interviewed cotton farmers in Texas, factory workers in China, labor champions in the American South and used-clothing vendors in Tanzania. Problems, Rivoli concludes, arise not with the market, but with the suppression of the market. Subsidized farmers, and manufacturers and importers with tax breaks, she argues, succeed because they avoid the risks and competition of unprotected global trade, which in turn forces poorer countries to lower their prices to below subsistence levels in order to compete. Rivoli seems surprised by her own conclusions, and while some chapters lapse into academic prose and tedious descriptions of bureaucratic maneuvering, her writing is at its best when it considers the social dimensions of a global economy, as in chapters on the social networks of African used-clothing entrepreneurs.

Source: ICEVED

Friday, August 12, 2005

A Real Chinese Entrepreneur

In Forbes

HANGZHOU, CHINA -- Chinese entrepreneur Richard Wang is one of only a handful of businesspeople in this country to know firsthand what it's like to try to acquire businesses located in the United States.

Four years ago, his Holley Group bought a mobile phone chip-design business with operations in San Jose, Calif., Dallas and Vancouver, British Columbia, from Dutch electronics firm Philips. The business has been downsized and consolidated in Canada, but Wang considers himself successful because he obtained key CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) technology.

Read the balance of article here.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Laurel's new ebook is ready: GODZILLA Global Marketing!

Get ready. Get set. Get going. Get GODZILLA global.

I make growing global so easy you won't want to miss this and it only costs U.S. $8.95 -- "GODZILLA Global Marketing!"

Or, forget the intro and just buy it now.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

From outsourcing to worldsourcing

In International Trade Forum

“Worldsourcing” — global outsourcing — is benefiting a number of developing and transition economies. It is also fundamentally changing the structure of firms.

Some developing and transition economies have recorded local improvements in living standards by supplying the industrial world with products and services that are no longer profitable in high-cost labour economies. Current trends are for firms in industrial countries to move from outsourcing to “offshoring”, even to “worldsourcing."

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Country Correspondent Report: Japan

Welcome from Japan  ...

In this month's Japan Inc. magazine, we have a story about a Japanese property manager. Nothing special about that, you might think, until we tell you that he manages temple cemetery plots and sells the tombstones that go in them. Apparently the headstone business alone is worth more than JPY300 billion (US$2.7 billion) annually, and with the current Japanese death rate, the nation's 75,000 temples receive about 40% of the funerary interments (ashes, not bodies), or about 200,000 customers a year -- all with little or no marketing cost.

The subject of our story is one Itsuro Mizukami, a 56-year old Chiba businessman, who has built a mini empire out of buying stone slabs from China, importing and finishing them into tombstones, then placing them in family plots old and new at Buddhist temples. He has assiduously developed a strong personal network with head monks of temples around Japan, and as a result is being asked to supply other services, such as property management and sales, temple repairs, craftsman dispatch, and a host of other related activities.

Mizukami got started in the headstone business after being assigned a project while in his previous job as a city government inspector. He discovered that there are probably about 30,000 headstone suppliers in Japan, but the sector is consolidating rapidly and most of these small family operations are dying out (pun intended). He felt that one problem is that the headstone business is a cottage industry, and that he could systemize it.

23 years later, he has done just that and is now starting to gain traction in both headstones and property management. Last fiscal year, ending March 2005, Mizukami's IM company had 16 branches nationwide, producing revenues of JPY1.5bn (US$14MM) and profits of around 15%. In the next 24 months, he expects sales to climb 25% annually, and within 3 years he plans to have seized 5% of the temple funerary business.

An IPO will come sometime in 2008-2009.

Mizukami's temple-related building maintenance business is quite interesting, and is a good reflection of how he has turned his inside knowledge of temple operations and personal network of head monks into win-win revenue. Many of the wooden temples in Japan are quite ancient and the building techniques needed to support such large structures using traditional means are both complex and arcane. Unfortunately, as renewal schedules fall due, temples around the country are finding that the expertise to repair and renew their buildings is in drastically short supply. Against this background, Mizukami has launched a specialist carpenter dispatch service, which sends skilled tradesmen all over Japan to work on venerable buildings. Not just temples, the tradesmen are also in demand by private building owners as well.

Back to the family cemetery plots, in case you're interested, Mizukami says the procedure for getting one is quite simple. Providing space is available at your local temple, you simply visit the temple's management office and negotiate directly to buy a plot. They're sold, not leased. Out in Nishi Funabashi, where Mizukami lives and operates, the Nichiren sect's Hokekyo Temple has a going rate for one square meter plot of about JPY1.3MM, then about JPY1,000 a year to get the plot maintained by temple monks -- although this second charge is not compulsory.

A cemetery plot can stay with the family for generations, and because people understand its permanence, they tend to want long-lasting memorials, hence the healthy business for the IM company in producing elaborate and expensive headstones. Mizukami says that his customers are buying an art object on which to focus their family's emotions when they pass away. As such, who would want a second-grade effort? Mizukami sells between 20-30 headstones a month, at prices ranging from JPY2-JPY4MM each … An amount which is sufficiently painful to be spiritually purifying!

Reported by Terrie Lloyd, where you can visit his website here.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Chair of Senate Committee Comments on China Revaluing Its Currency

U.S. Newswire

WASHINGTON, July 21 /U.S. Newswire/ -- U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe, Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, issued the following statement in response to China's announcement today that it is upwardly revaluing its currency, the yuan, by 2.1 percent and that it has replaced its practice of a fixed dollar peg, for a system based on a basket of currencies:

Snowe: 'More Remains to Be Done to Address China's Currency Manipulation'; Senator Believes China's Actions on Currency Are a Step in Right Direction, But More Must Be Done

Friday, July 22, 2005

Selling Abroad Without the Pain

In Inc. magazine

Ignoring more than 1.3 billion potential customers isn't easy. Yet the thought crossed Dharmesh Shah's mind when he learned how expensive and complex cracking the China market would be. He wouldn't even have tried it if two things hadn't happened. First, Pyramid Digital Solutions Inc. (PDS), his $10-million software-design business based in Birmingham, Ala., received an additional $6 million in funding. Second, PDS was deemed a "partner" by $6-billion SunGard Data Systems, a monster in PDS's market of 401(k) plan software. Without SunGard's existing relationships, PDS wouldn't have had the wherewithal for an international debut, Shah says.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Small businesses tap outsourcing

In Journal Gazette

Many small-business owners have begun to follow a trend set by their larger corporate counterparts and outsourcing personnel tasks such as hiring and firing, measuring staff performance, payroll and benefits.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Gals Going Global!

In BusinessWeek

Women represent a powerful force both in the traditional and the new global e-business marketplace. Read "Gals Going Global" to find out why.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Country Correspondent Report: China

Welcome from China ...

Be a local Chinese company in China.

China is a strange country and market to enter for most foreign companies. If your company is seriously interested in China mainland market, you should dispatch some high level executives to work in China.

If your company does not have any office in China mainland, it is hard for you to know what is happening in China, and how to deal with your Chinese partners and customers. Sometimes your distributors will exaggerate their marketing investment, they may have some special discount with advertising media and exhibition organizers, and if you agree to share the marketing cost with them, you have to pay more than you should.

Chinese customers have different requirements from American customers, and if you do not understand and cannot meet their special requirements, you will not get the deal. One friend of mine works at an American company's Beijing sales office. After she negotiates with customers, her U.S. team leader always believes the contract items are ridiculous. He will ask her to talk with the customers again to let them reconsider their requirements. But of course, they will not modify their requirements. Then, he will fly to China to negotiate in person with the customers -- trying to encourage acceptance of U.S. business rules in vain.

If, by chance, the China office or company representing the U.S. firm is not authorized to run their business in China independently and operate like a Chinese local company, it is hard for them to compete with their local competitors in China. In turn, they are far from achieving success.

Dong Wang reporting from China.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Take Your E-Business Global

In Entrepreneur magazine

In spite of the risks, there are lots of great reasons to start thinking about going global.

[Up next week: Country Correspondent Report from China]

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Country Correspondent Report: The United Kingdom

We checked in with our U.K. correspondent first thing this morning to make sure he survived the "London terror" which he has, thank goodness. He recommended that if you want the best source of news on the situation to listen to BBC Radio Five Live through

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Country Correspondent Report: India

Welcome from India ... from Jayanthi Iyengar

Small refers to smallness of investments.

Going global is a great option. Yet, what needs to be remembered is that just because one is successful at home does not necessarily mean that one would be equally successful overseas. This is because markets vary. So do the norms. Nothing bears this out as well as the small sector. For instance, if you are a Western company, you’d assume that an SME in the US is the same as one in Europe or in India. Yet, this may be a fallacy.

In many Western countries, an SME includes small and medium units. In a country like India, the tiny and small units are categorized separately and are referred to as the small scale industry (SSI). Hence, the division effectively becomes small and tiny units versus the others (that is the medium and large units).

The SSI categorization is relevant primarily from the following two angles:

• Tax concessions
• Exclusive rights to manufacture reserved items

In India, the government promotes the small and tiny sector through tax concessions, primarily excise concession, also called SSI concessions. This by itself is not new since many countries do promote their SME sector through fiscal and non fiscal incentives. India further protects its SSI units from competition by reserving certain items for manufacture, exclusively by manufacturers in this sector.

That sounds attractive -- tax concession as well as protection to boot. However, in order to draw tax benefits and receive protection, a unit has to meet the SSI norms. Under these norms, a tiny unit is defined as one where the maximum investment is Rs 2.5 million (US $ 57,405.31 ) while it is Rs 10 million ($229,621.76) for a small unit. This threshold has been set in rupee terms and hence the amount, when converted into US dollars may vary marginally, depending on the rate of exchange. Norms are also detailed on the manner in which the value of capital investments is arrived at. It goes at length into details such as whether fresh or second hand machinery imports would be included or excluded for purposes of arriving at the capital investments in the unit or not.

Reading between the lines, however, the message is simple: the Indian government does not limit the number of people employed in a small or tiny unit for purposes of drawing SSI benefits. However, it does limit the capital employed in order to regulate the size of the unit.

This limitation, which restricts growth through higher capital investments, must sound confusing to a foreign investor. However, it is easier to understand the genesis of such a norm, when one recalls the fact that India is a capital-deficient but labor-surplus nation, and the concept of SSI protection dates back to the socialist era, when creating and preserving jobs was a far more important than the efficient deployment of capital.

Such mind-set is undergoing a change in India and there is a greater understanding of the fact that limiting investments is tantamount to stifling the growth of the unit, as it cannot modernize, grow and compete by inducting costly but cutting edge technology.

That brings us to the crucial issue of whether foreign investment is allowed in the SSI sector, and why a foreign small business may want to come to India despite such restrictions on size.

The issue will be discussed in the forthcoming blogs, which would make it clear that though these restrictions exist, they become relevant only if a global business wants to enter the country as an SSI and qualify for the benefits. Otherwise, the field is open to foreign direct investors.

Some useful links:

Resource No. 1
Resource No. 2

Jayanthi Iyengar's backgrounder

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Global Trade, Zero Angst

In Inc. magazine

International trade without the stress.

As business becomes increasingly global, many small companies are navigating the perilous waters of importing goods. For a small business that buys products from foreign suppliers, especially those in Asia, making payments can be tricky. Asian manufacturers typically require either payment in advance or a letter of credit from a bank. Neither option is great for cash flow. To obtain a letter of credit, importers put up cash as collateral or take out a line of credit so that their bank will guarantee payment. Bank fees for letters of credit usually run from several hundred to several thousand dollars, and the interest on credit lines can run even higher.

How do you manage the collection process on an overseas transaction without losing your shirt and pulling out your hair?

[Up tomorrow: Country Correspondent Report from Jayanthi Iyengar in India. Watch for it.]

Friday, July 01, 2005

Wharton's Globalization Forum: Looking At The Market's Successes and Failures

The Wharton Global Alumni Forum 2005, held in London earlier this month, brought together participants from all over the world to debate the impact of "250 Years of Globalization," the Forum's theme. While globalization has indeed changed how we allocate resources, settle disputes and sell products abroad, there are ways in which globalization has failed sizeable constituencies within the worldwide community, as Forum speakers pointed out.

They also discussed the uncertainty swirling around global financial markets, the inability of many companies to derive real value from investments in technology, and the potential fall-out from protectionist trade policies, such as those currently advocated by the U.S. and European Union.

Here are the five topics covered in Wharton's Special Globalization Forum. Be sure to check them all out. You'll have plenty of time to do so over the holiday. Enjoy and back with you next week!

1. From Trade Inequities to the 'Do-It-Myself' Customer: Globalization's Uneven Impact

2. Euros, Dollars, Sukuks and Yuans: Uncertainty Reigns in Global Financial Markets

3. Cosmetics and Steel: How Two Companies Defied Conventional Wisdom by Going Global

4. Why So Many Big IT Investments Do So Little for Shareholder Value

5. The WTO: A "Fragile" Body under Attack by Protectionist Policies in the U.S. and EU

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Will China Float the Yuan?

In Graziadio Business Report

The yuan floats! On Friday, April 29, 2005, foreign exchange markets were rocked as the Chinese currency -- the yuan -- appreciated in value against the dollar. The climb took place over a 20-minute period and the movement was not spectacular. Instead of 8.276 yuan needed to buy a dollar, only 8.270 was needed -- an appreciation of 0.07 percent! Such a small movement in the exchange rate between two currencies would not normally be noticed, and certainly would not cause so much discussion and reaction. The dollar immediately fell in value against the euro and yen, and the price of gold increased. It should be noted that market watchers are not even certain what caused the appreciation. Was it a test of China’s ability to control a rising yuan, or a mistake by the Chinese central bank?

Read this fascinating paper written by two professors on whether China will float the Yuan.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Country Correspondent Report: China

Welcome from China ... from Doug Wang

When going global, Chinese SMEs prefer B2B websites.

Hundreds of thousands of Chinese SMEs want to become global players, but, after years of effort, most of them have made little progress. Are Chinese products qualified for the international market? The answer is: "no."

At present many Chinese products are well accepted in international market. I have to say though that many Chinese companies are not ready for international market. Let me tell you what they are doing now to sell their products abroad. Most Chinese SMEs depend on B2B websites, like and, to go global. They also believe that if they obtain business leads from B2B websites, they will succeed. But they ignore the fact that business leads do not guarantee orders and that product performance, support and service are also very important to customers.

What's more, many buyers on B2B websites only want to buy cheap products from China. In general, they bargain with dozens of suppliers at the same time to get the cheapest products. Even though you may get the order, you make almost no margin. And the websites of many SMEs are terribly simple and rough. If I were the international customer, I would doubt the strength of the company, the performance of the product, and the service of the company, and would not risk buying their products at all.

What's worse is that some companies do not even have independent websites. They have only a couple of pages on a B2B website to introduce their company, products and service. It is a pity that, at present, most Chinese SMEs have no idea how to perform international market research, how to build an international distribution channel or how to compete with international competitors.

Dong Wang reporting from China.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Instantly International

In Inc. magazine (Page 44)

John Buckman had never run a global business. But that didn't stop him from launching one -- right out of the box.

[Laurel here ... Up next week is Country Correspondent Report from China -- watch for it! Have a good weekend and stay cool for in Chicago it is a blisteringly hot -- 95 degrees F.]

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Country Correspondent Report: India

Welcome from India ... from Jayanthi Iyengar

When Laurel first invited me to blog on India for Global Small Business, my immediate reaction was one of being overwhelmed. However, now that the first piece is done, I do wish to thank Laurel for making it happen. Writing on modern India and the new business environment in which the small businesses have to survive is a challenge. Had it not been for this blog, I would not have paid the subject the kind of attention that it merits.

The main reason why I felt overwhelmed when asked to write about India is the vastness of the subject. However, if I were asked to summarize India, I would describe the country as “unity in diversity”. This is not necessarily original. Yet, understanding this Indian trait could make a difference between success and failure while dealing with India.

Simply explained, it means that India is many countries rolled into one. This is the way that experts describe China too. However, there is a difference. China is held together by a cogent glue called socialism. With 1 billion population, India is the world’s largest democracy. That makes it move ahead at its own pace, unlike the disciplined march of Leninist China.

India has 28 states and 7 union territories. One would assume these are administrative divisions, which are irrelevant to global companies wanting to do business in the country. However, that is not the case. Each of these states is a country by itself. It has a distinct language, religion, culture, cuisine, dress code, and an administrative structure, which is independent of the Central or the federal government for purposes of governance.

To an outsider, this should sound both formidable and confusing, particularly if one comes from a country with a single government, or one with a single language. However, this is where the unifying factor comes in. Despite such diversity, what holds India together is a federal democratic structure, a 50-year legacy of a single party government, despite the existence of a strong Opposition, the English language, once consider the yokel of the British, but a major unifying factor today, which makes it possible for foreigners to navigate through most parts of India without mishap, a friendly people, who are used to outsiders and demonstrate a high level of comfort working with them, a young population, an affluent middle-class, a strong bureaucracy committed to modernization and globalization as well as educating the political leadership, and of course, the now-so-famous pool of skilled manpower.

I have intentionally not mentioned small businesses yet. The main reason is that the word itself needs an involved explanation, which will be taken up in the forthcoming pieces.

Jayanthi Iyengar

Some resources for general reading on India:

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

ICSB 2007 World Conference

International Council for Small Business (ICSB)

The ICSB 2007 World Conference was awarded to ECSB and will be hosted by the Turku School of Economics and Business Administration in Turku, Finland.

The School and especially its team working on entrepreneurship and SME issues -- Small Business Institute -- is excited about the opportunity and will do it utmost best to organise an interesting and entertaining event in June 2007! Mark your calendars now.

The theme for the conference is: "At the Crossroads of East and West: New Opportunities for Entrepreneurship and Small Business."

[Note from Laurel ... tomorrow we will feature our Country Correspondent Report from India -- watch for it!]

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Country Correspondent Report: Australia and New Zealand

Welcome from Australia & New Zealand ... from Stuart Ayling

It’s great to be part of the Global Small Business Blog. Thanks Laurel for making it possible.

This is my first post. Future posts will look at a range of issues important for small businesses in Australia and New Zealand.

Recent statistics show that home-based businesses made up 67% of all Australian small businesses. And over recent years the credibility of home-based businesses has increased dramatically.

I think this has a lot to do with the availability of easy-to-use technology. Now any business can present themselves professionally and communicate globally.

To think that only a few years ago a small business owner would feel ashamed to admit they were working from home. But not any more. In fact, after many years of corporate life, I have been running my marketing consulting business from home for the last 5 years. It’s great!

Here in Australia one of the key export assistance agencies is Austrade (the Australian Trade Commission).

The Austrade web site has stacks of good information -- especially mini-case studies about successful exporters. Most of these stories feature small businesses. Make sure you sign up for the Trademark newsletter. Follow the “newsletters” link from the Austrade home page.

On the financial front the Australian dollar is set to fall against the US dollar. This will make things a bit easier for exporters, although the domestic economy shows signs of slowing. For current financial news check out The Australian Financial Review.

Stuart Ayling
Marketing Nous

Monday, June 20, 2005

Country Correspondents: China, India, Australia & New Zealand, U.K. and Japan

We are about to launch a country correspondent feature to our blog. Five correspondents, found through Borderbuster readership, will report on practical and relevant global small business information from their respective countries: China, India, Australia and New Zealand, U.K. and Japan.

There’s no set schedule as yet but first up is our Australian and New Zealand correspondent Stuart Ayling. Watch for his report tomorrow.

If you are interested in serving as a country correspondent, please email us (see right side panel) and submit information about yourself along with a brief description on why you are qualified to serve as a country correspondent on global small business.

This is our way of broadening The Global Small Business Blog's coverage, making it more vibrant and sharing more powerful knowledge with the world. Let us know how you like it.

Many thanks,

Training, Trig, Teriyaki: What Do They Have In Common?

Going Global. And they are all franchises.

The hardest thing about franchise training for Kathy and Michael Serls of York, Pa., was getting there. Last May, the new franchisees of Cartridge World spent 21 hours on airplanes to reach the company’s headquarters and training facility in Adelaide, Australia.

To read the complete article, visit:
Training, Trig, Teriyaki: Franchises Go Global.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Fight Against China's Currency Manipulation

U.S. Newswire

U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship said: "Small business owners in Maine and across our nation are fighting to remain competitive with countries such as China that often disregard international laws established to ensure fair trade. Unfortunately, unfair trade practices are exacerbated by illegal currency manipulation, which keeps Chinese goods at artificially low prices, distorting the marketplace and threatening the ability for American goods to be sold at a competitive price. Now is the time for Congress to act to put a stop to China's currency manipulation -- without a response, American jobs will continue to be in jeopardy."

[Laurel here ... Rather than focus on how many American jobs are lost to exports, I am inclined to agree with C.K. Prahalad, Harvey C. Fruehauf professor of Corporate Strategy at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan who stated so eloquently in his June 8, 2005 Opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal: "We are not exporting jobs, but importing competitiveness."]

To read the brief U.S. Newswire release, visit Snowe Continues Fight Against China's Currency Manipulation.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Abridged Borderbuster 6/6/05


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

1. Welcome From The Publisher
2. Feedback From Our Readers
3. Thomas Friedman on Globalization*
4. Business and Cultural Tips: Have Some Fun!*
5. A Show of Support*
6. How I Went Global: Ongoing Series //*
7. A Reader Asks: Q&A*
8. Everybody Loves a Freebie -- repeat: FREE OFFER*
9. Managing Brands in Global Markets
10. Think Global: Bio-prospecting*
11. A Global Good Neighbor Ethic for International Relations*
12. On Foreign Soil*
13. Laurel’s New e-Book: “GODZILLA Global Marketing!”
14. Take A Walk On The Wild Side (TAWOTWS)*
15. Wind Behind Your Sail*
16. Miscellany*

*Indicates exclusive to Borderbuster subscribers only.

Sample section:

*Subscriber Exclusive*

Globe-trotting In Tunis
By Laurel Delaney

I am honored to have been invited to serve as a U.S. Envoy for The Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), a Presidential initiative founded to support economic, political, and educational reform efforts in the Middle East. The three-day forum took place in sunny Tunis, Tunisia (North Africa) from May 24-26, 2005 featuring practical business training for more than 200 women entrepreneurs from 16 countries and territories in the Middle East and North Africa. My role was to lead an expert roundtable discussion on [global] Internet Marketing.

The U.S. delegation also included Assistant Secretary of State for Education and Cultural Affairs Patricia Harrison; Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Elizabeth Cheney; and Vice Chair, Export-Import Bank, April Foley. The American businesswomen provided training under the auspices of WE, Inc., an American nonprofit business association advocating policy solutions that encourage business ownership by women, and assist entrepreneurs at all stages of their business development. I serve as the Global Markets Advisor for this organization and report directly to the CEO and President Karen Kerrigan, who is a remarkably gifted and passionate global entrepreneur.

The forum organizer was The Beyster Institute at the Rady School, University of California, San Diego, which continues to implement the Middle East Entrepreneurship Training in the U.S., also a Middle East Partnership Initiative. Dr. Ray Smilor is the Executive Director of this enterprise and also a passionate advocate to entrepreneurs worldwide.

The purpose of the forum was to build peer networks, learn from regional and American experts, and find new venture partners. As business owners and executives, attendees had an opportunity to recognize their leading role in economic reform through business expansion, entry into international trade, and dynamic joint ventures to take advantage of the opportunities offered by reformed economic systems and trade agreements.

I strongly believe the forum will help reshape the economic, political, educational and cultural landscape for businesswomen worldwide.

Internet Marketing plays an instrumental role in global expansion for small business owners. Why, just look at this e-newsletter! It accelerates the process of globalization as people worldwide research products, look for new markets, seek customers and manage their international supply chain. If a business is successful on the home front, then it is ready to become borderless. Any business today with a web site or blog is instantaneously global.

One of the goals I had set for myself during the Summit was to make going global accessible to everyone. In that vein, the mission was accomplished. I’ll explain how.

Within 48 hours after returning to Chicago, I received an email from Doaa Saber, a businesswoman from Qatar, who sat in on the Internet Marketing workshop. She proudly announced she had created her very first Information Architecture World blog. How’s that for progress? How’s that for pure entrepreneurship? I’d say it’s awesome. And in case she is reading this, “Congratulations Doaa!” We need more entrepreneurs like you in the world.

It’s clear to me that American women entrepreneurs are held in great respect and admiration by women throughout the world and that we have much more to offer in terms of advice and counsel. But I also believe the same holds true for the extraordinary and soulful Middle-Eastern and North African business women on what they can teach us. Let us not forget that it is not our similarities but dissimilarities -- and the sharing of those dissimilarities in a meaningful and productive manner -- that provide our greatest challenges and growth opportunities, both personally and professionally.

As I write this, there is a steady stream of messages flowing through my e-mail inbox with names popping up like Ahlem, Najwa and Sameera. And they all say the same thing: What a wonderful Summit and I am honored to have met you and so many other vibrant businesswomen. I feel exactly the same. The women (and men!) I met were generous, kind, and smart – all characteristics that lead to success. Serving as role models for one another and working together, we make a powerful difference in the world of business. See for yourself: The Global Small Business Blog.

All the very best to you, my readers, and all my new friends through the MEPI.

P.S. For more information about women’s rights in the Middle East and North Africa, please visit the work of the Freedom House.

Ms. Laurel Delaney is CEO and founder of, and can be reached at 773-381-1700 or


-> Got a story to share? We’d love to hear from you. Email and put “Got a story” in the subject line and then let us know what you have in mind. We cannot guarantee your tale will be published, but we’ll do our best!

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

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Going Global: Photos from Tunis!

A night out with the MENA conference attendees:

Photo courtesy and with permission:  Ahlem Ben-Othman
(L-R above): Sarian Bouma, Principal, Bouma's Consulting Services, Laurel Delaney, CEO & Founder,, Beverly Holmes, Senior Vice President, Retirement Services, Strategic Relationship Management, Mass Mutual Financial Group, Sheila Liao, President, Pointe International, Mary Cantando, President, Cantando & Associates, LLC and Julie Lenzer Kirk, President & CEO, Applied Creative Technologies.

Breakfast with a MENA attendee and U.S. Delegation:

Photo courtesy and with permission:  Ahlem Ben-Othman
(L-R above): Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO, Women Entrepreneurs, Inc., Ahlem Ben-Othman, Chief Executive Officer, World Network (Consulting Services), Mary Cantando, President, Cantando & Associates, LLC, Julie Lenzer Kirk, President & CEO, Applied Creative Technologies and Laurel Delaney, CEO & Founder,

Photos are complimentary of MENA attendee Ahlem Ben-Othman, Chief Executive Officer, World Network, Tunisia (

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Going Global: MENA Business Women's Summit 2005 a HUGE Success!

Greetings everyone!

I am back from the Summit totally refreshed and reinvigorated from connecting with more than 200 vibrant Middle-Eastern, North African and American businesswomen in Tunis. We shared best practices, exchanged business ideas, networked like crazy and enjoyed each other's company immensely. All in all, I had an extraordinarily good time hanging out with people who are concerned about women's empowerment.

I wish to take a moment to thank all the wonderful people and organizations behind the summit: The Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), Executive Director Dr. Ray Smilor from The Beyster Institute (located at the Rady School of Management, University of California at San Diego) and President and CEO Karen Kerrigan of the American business women's association, Women Entrepreneurs, Inc (WE-Inc.). Without their tireless efforts and support, the Summit would not have been made possible. In addition, a special thanks to all the U.S. administration and experts who participated in the panel and workshop discussions. Lastly, a BIG thank you to all the participants for exchanging their wisdom, warmth and stories about what it is like to live and do business in the region.

Now, let's sustain our connectedness by continuing to share skills, contacts and knowledge with each other through this blog. If our reaching out is powerful enough, we will create a new blog that channels our energy and supports our collective interests. By working together, we can have a voice and openly challenge inequality on women's rights in the Middle East and North Africa.

I will be sending out a personal email to each and every one of you who were so kind as to turn over your business card to me during the Summit. When you receive it, please take a brief moment to post a comment below. That way, we can demonstrate our desire to expand the rights of women worldwide.

I look forward to hearing from you.

All the best for now,
Laurel Delaney

P.S. When you post a comment, be sure to use the "Other" selection so you can provide your name, affiliation (web site) and country.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Going Global: Reporting from Tunis

"10 Traits Women Entrepreneurs In The Middle-East and U.S.A. Have In Common"

I had the incredible opportunity to have lunch with a number of Middle-Eastern and North African women entrepreneurs during the conference out here in Tunis. One of the exercises we participated in was a discussion about what we had in common at our table. Here's the list we came up with:

1. We are all women!
2. Intelligent.
3. Smart.
4. BOLD.
5. Passionate.
6. Highly stylistic.
7. Pro-active.
8. Internationally-minded (speak English).
9. We never give up.
10. Have a vibrant, fighting spirit.

Can all of you women entrepreneurs round-the-globe identify with these special traits that enable you to take on the world with your business?

Monday, May 23, 2005

Going Global: In Tunis!

I wanted to let all of you know that I made it to Tunis and I am already enjoying this beautiful place. However, culture shock has hit as I type this because the keyboard I am using not only is not the same as ours but has Arabic symbols too! That sentence should have taken 45 seconds to type and instead, took 8 minutes and most likely will cost me 10 U. S. dollars!

Back with you later.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Going Global: Traveling to Tunis tomorrow (5/21/05)!

Just a reminder to all that I will be leaving for Tunis tomorrow for a business conference and hope to blog about my experience while there. Here is additional press information for your review:

Women Entrepreneurs from U.S. and MidEast/North Africa Region to Connect in Tunis to Build Networks, Participate in Business Training Founder To Serve On U.S. Delegation For Summit In Tunisia

Talk to you from Tunis soon!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Managing Brands in Global Markets: One Size Doesn't Fit All

In Knowledge@Wharton

Theodore "Ted" Levitt of Harvard Business School set the marketing world abuzz in 1983 with a bold prediction: Globalization had arrived, and before long global companies would be selling products and services in the same way everywhere on earth. Levitt's forecast was compelling -- and more than a little daunting for executives wondering how they would go about adapting to this brave new world of monolithic brands.

More than 20 years later, however, Levitt's prediction [Laurel here ... the name of Ted's powerful essay is "The Globalization of Markets" and even before Ted (1982), professors Thomas Hout, Michael Porter and Eileen Rudden wrote an equally dynamic case study called "How Global Companies Win Out"] has not come to pass, according to Wharton marketing professors George S. Day and David J. Reibstein, who note that only a handful of truly global brands exist today, despite the increased globalization of markets.

Which global brands are most valuable? What are the various levels of being truly global? Is it achievable or desirable to go global? Do you have to adapt your product or service to the local marketplace? Find out here.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Going Global: Tunis Conference To Provide Business Training For Arab Women

In Policy News

How exciting to participate in the Middle East Partnership Initiative for a three-day forum -- Leading Growth Companies: Business Women's Summit -- in Tunis May 24-26, 2005 featuring practical business training for almost 200 women entrepreneurs from 16 countries and territories in the Middle East and North Africa. I serve as a U.S. envoy member and what an honor to be selected. The invitation-only program has been developed by the Beyster Institute at the Rady School of Management, at the University of California, San Diego. It is sponsored by the Middle East Partnership Initiative at the U.S. Department of the State, and supported by WE, Inc., a leading businesswomen's organization in the U.S.

I am seeking reporters or journalists who are interested in conducting an interview or writing an article about how this program will help shape the direction for future activities that support women entrepreneurs and executives in the region.

My departure date for Tunis is Saturday, May 21st. If you are interested in exploring this global media "story" opportunity, please get in touch with me before then. I can be reached at 773-381-1700 or email me at, thank you!

Looking forward to hearing from you soon!

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Global Marketplace (China) Puts Pressure On Local Businesses

In Winona Daily News

If anyone understands how rapidly the world is changing, it's the small business person. Steve Hiatt, who owns Hiatt Manufacturing of Winona, gave listeners at the Winonate State University-hosted Economic Summit on Thursday some insights into the struggles he has faced in the past two years.

One struggle: There's a big difference between providing competitively priced steel to make motorbikes ...

vs. automobiles ...

How has he dealt with it? Find out here.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Abridged Borderbuster 5/5/05


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

1. Welcome From The Publisher
2. Feedback From Our Readers
3. Small and Global: Germ Warfare*
4. Business and Cultural Tips: Have Some Fun!*
5. Small Companies Take On The World*
6. How I Went Global: Ongoing Series // ProfitGuide (Canada)*
7. A Reader Asks: Q&A*
8. Everybody Loves a Freebie -- repeat: FREE OFFER*
9. Kwintessential Country Profiles*
10. Overcoming the Challenges in China Operations
11. The Return of Japan, Inc.?
12. Don’t Blow the Negotiations With Your Outsourcing Firm*
13. Laurel’s New e-Book: “GODZILLA Global Marketing!”
14. Take A Walk On The Wild Side (TAWOTWS)*
15. Wind Behind Your Sail*
16. Miscellany*

*Indicates exclusive to Borderbuster subscribers only.

Sample section:

*Subscriber Exclusive*

These days it seems if you’re not global, you’re missing all the action. Small- to mid-sized companies without the resources of mega brands face an uphill battle. Or do they? Here’s how underutilized companies use savvy supply chain strategies to stand out and compete with the big boys in the global marketplace.

To read the complete article, visit here.

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

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Globalization is here and it's good.

But succeeding takes work, forethought, and resistance to "idiots" who say borders protect us (could he be referring to Lou Dobbs?).

In CIO Insight

A well-worn map of the world stretches the entire length of one wall in Thomas Friedman's Washington, D.C., office. Friedman, a foreign-affairs columnist for The New York Times, has marked the map with star-shaped stickers of red, gold and blue to indicate the myriad places he's traveled during his Pulitzer Prize-winning career, but, lately, he has fallen behind. "My daughter and I have to update that," he says.

Friedman's map needs updating because he has just spent the past ten months circling the globe anew, researching and writing his forthcoming book, The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, April 2005).

A follow-up to Friedman's best-selling The Lexus and the Olive Tree (his first attempt and a good one at that I might add -- because I read it twice -- to understand globalization ... he argued that economic interdependence equals prosperity and peace), The World Is Flat delves even deeper into the phenomenon he believes is reshaping the economic, cultural and political landscapes of the world.

Here's another mind-opening Friedman remark, "First of all, we need leaders who will dare to describe the world to us as it really is and make us smart, not make us stupid."

For anyone serious about going global, this is a brilliantly crafted must-read interview.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Are You a GODZILLA Global Marketer?

No? Then get going!

To become a GODZILLA global marketer, you must build a living global brand, understand the importance of local and global strategic alliances, develop a high global business IQ, create an export dream team, consider global marketing as a career and more. YES -- you can do it! Right here. Right now.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Dialogue on Global Entrepreneurship Policy Takes Place June 15

In SBA's Office of Advocacy

This year, the International Council for Small Business (ICSB) will return to the United States for its annual meeting, having held the previous two in Northern Ireland and South Africa. In cooperation with this event, the Office of Advocacy, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Research Foundation, and the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) are co-sponsoring a pre-conference session, Global Perspectives on Entrepreneurship Policy, which will focus on public policy issues as they pertain to entrepreneurs around the world.

In the sessions, participants will learn about the costs of entry for a new firm, workforce challenges, regulatory burdens, the importance of technology transfer and innovation, and small business financing issues from a wide variety of global experts. The full pre-conference program can be found here.

Local Success on a Global Scale


Much of the debate about global branding has centered on the question of whether global brands should attempt to speak with one voice around the world, or whether they should adapt to local cultures. A popular strategy for many brands has been to globalize logos, brand names and trademarks, while introducing product variations at the local level. But a few global brands have gone the extra mile and achieved what must be the best of all possible world -- acceptance as local brands nearly everywhere they do business.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Go global and win!


How wonderful to see that the "Going Global" panel I moderated in Toronto earlier this month at the Women Presidents' Organization's annual conference received such nice coverage in Canada's Read the global tip sheet here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The Conundrum Over Compliance With Global Privacy Laws

In Darwin

If you're an international company, you've got a global headache (Laurel here ... at least that's what the article's author, Dr. Larry Ponemon, purports).

When their customer and employee data travels around the world, global companies must be in compliance with complex privacy and data protection laws. Not only do they have to understand differences in the regulations -- they also must have an appreciation of the cultural differences that shape these laws.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Four How-To Ideas For Global Directors

In High-Impact Business English Training for Executives

This site provides a plethora of interesting information -- from a crash course in (global) communication to accessing global markets through language. Although some of the material is a couple of years old, it is still relevant for today's times. Pay a visit when you can. You won't be sorry you did.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Case Study: Following Business When It Moves Overseas

In Startup -- The Wall Street Journal Center for Entrepreneurs

Miller Centrifugal Casting, in Cecil, Pa., is one of many small metal forgers that sells to BIG industry, particularly steel companies. By using a centrifugal process, it creates big machine parts with complex shapes and strengths. But times are tough for old-school manufacturers like this, as steel production shifts increasingly to China.

The PROBLEM that exists for Miller Centrifugal: Customers withering away.

Find out what they did here: SOLUTION.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

The Return of Japan, Inc.?

In Knowledge@Wharton

Japan's economy, a powerhouse during the roaring 1980s, has been in the dumps since 1989. Today, however, signs are starting to appear that the world's second-largest economy is waking up again. In this special report (available in English or Japanese), Knowledge@Wharton presents insights from the Wharton Fellows program in Tokyo as well as an excerpt from "The Next Global Stage: Challenges and Opportunities in Our Borderless World," by Kenichi Ohmae.

Dr. Ohmae -- who many describe as Japan's leading management (global) guru -- has been a tremendous influence on my career in global trade starting in the mid-eighties when I first read, "The Borderless World." Never, had a book dominated my total being the way that book did. It taught me how the world is your market. My next all time favorite is "The Invisible Continent" where I think he did his best work ever (and I said so -- "This is the work of an awe-inspiring business genius" -- in my Amazon review).

I have had the good fortune to meet Kenichi and listen to his brilliant insights on our brave new economy. He's truly a global visionary. In addition, he was so gracious as to send me a copy of "The Invisible Continent" when it was first published (2000) and autographed it with a wonderful passage that sticks with me to this day on all the work I do on a global basis.

When I read Kenichi's new book "The Next Global Stage: Challenges and Opportunities in Our Borderless World," I will let you know what I think of it. It's a given though that he will, as always, open my mind to unlimited opportunities in our brave new world.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Exports Set To Rise for India

In Financial Times

India will double its share of world trade ahead of its target date of 2009 as its integration with the global economy accelerates. It has been one of the star performers of the global economy since its reforms began in 1991. Yet India's share of world trade remains less than 1 per cent and it lies in 31st position in rankings of world exporters, far behind fourth-placed China.

To read the entire article, visit:
Exports Set To Rise Ahead Of Target As India Upgrades Trade Policy

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Abridged Borderbuster 4/5/05


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

1. Welcome From The Publisher
2. Feedback From Our Readers
3. International: Opening Up An Overseas Operation*
4. Business and Cultural Tips: Have Some Fun!*
5. Should Global Brands Trash Local Favorites?*
6. How I Went Global: Ongoing Series // China Never Stops*
7. A Reader Asks: Q&A*
8. Everybody Loves a Freebie -- repeat: FREE OFFER*
9. Pecking Order*
10. Don’t Blame Trade For US Job Losses
11. Dollar’s Fall Helps Some
12. Fifth Graders Tour International Industry*
13. Laurel’s New e-Book: “GODZILLA Global Marketing!”
14. Take A Walk On The Wild Side (TAWOTWS)*
15. Wind Behind Your Sail*
16. Miscellany*

*Indicates exclusive to Borderbuster subscribers only.

Sample section:

*Subscriber Exclusive*

Twenty-one years ago, Professor Theodore Levitt of Harvard Business School dropped a bombshell on the international marketing community when he published "The Globalization of Markets" in the Harvard Business Review. In his paper, Levitt argued that technology had created a world in which consumer preferences were converging, and that successful businesses would do well to market globally standardized products. Central to Levitt's argument was the idea that globalization was leading to the extinction of traditional differences in national tastes.

To read the complete article, visit here.

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

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Offshore Lessons

In E-Commerce News

Four lessons are highlighted in Offshore Lessons: The Touchstone Case Study. They are:

1. Market positioning.
2. Put American trainers on the ground.
3. Quantity always follows quality.
4. Export American business culture.

The experiences shared in this study are relevant for any U.S. firm interested in establishing a customer service operation offshore, whether in a standalone facility or through a contractor.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Liberating Your Art To The World


With today's Internet it is much easier to market your work, including art, on a global level.  There are some steps that can be taken to assist in creating awareness for your name and art. By following these steps you will not only meet folks in the same field but will be able to create the strategic alliances required to sell your work to the world.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Ask The Experts: How Can I Get Started Exporting?

In NY Enterprise Report

In the Report's Ask The Experts column, I share an answer to the following question but be sure to read the first two paragraphs of my answer very carefully because that part was edited out due to space constraints:

Q. I have been in the cosmetic business since 1993; we buy surplus products from various U.S. manufacturers. In the past we have sold to some locals who send these goods back “home” to their own country for resale. How can I get started exporting cosmetics to such countries as Africa and South America, and to whom else in these related fields can we offer these types of goods?

Morris Schlesinger
President, F.I.E. Merchandising Corp.

A. Buying closeouts and surplus items from American manufacturers with the understanding that you will not resell the goods within the same market has been around since the beginning of international trade. Some refer to this as parallel imports or “gray market” transactions. Although it appears you trust the “locals” you are selling to, it is in your legal best interest to document the fact that all merchandise purchased from you must be exported from the United States and never be resold within the U.S. This should be done to protect the investment you have made in working with the local manufacturing companies who so willingly put faith in you to sell their products overseas.

American products have always held a certain allure to consumers worldwide. It is not surprising that women from other parts of the world jump at a chance to buy American goods at deep discounts. Men and women alike enjoy novelty, and they love to feel that they are buying into a trendy, cutting-edge lifestyle.

To find an appropriate market niche in a specific overseas market, do your homework.

Segment Your Market

Since cosmetics can encompass many different kinds of products, segment the market to determine the best place for your products. For example, consider the type of cosmetics you are going to export. Men’s? Ladies’? Color cosmetics like lipstick, cheek color and eye shadow? Perfumes? Colognes? Under each product segment, list the categories of likely customers until you reach the end user for your product.

To read the rest of the answer, visit NY Enterprise Report March/April 2005.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Across The Globe: Everyone Is Irish On Saint Patrick's Day!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! It wouldn't be fitting if I didn't highlight the importance of this day considering I am third-generation Irish (my family's from Ballyhaunis, County Mayo -- a place where I have visited with the warmest of memories).

So for all you readers who don't think you're Irish, I'll entice you to reconsider:

Have some fun and if you laugh, then you have Irish spirit!

Learn about Ireland and feel as if you were born there!

And I will leave you with this fine Irish blessing:

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face, the rain fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Foreign-trade zone could be established in Southern Wisconsin, USA

In Wisconsin State Journal

Southern Wisconsin could see an increase in foreign business if the federal government approves the county airport's proposal to create a foreign-trade zone.

Designating "foreign-trade zone" property gives businesses special customs procedures to either defer or avoid duties on imported goods.

"The purpose is to enable small business to better compete in the global market."

To read the entire article, visit: Foreign-trade zone could be established in Dane County.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

New GEM Report: Women Entrepreneurs Are Poised To Take On The World!

New Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Report On Women's Entrepreneurial Activity Released Today (3/8/05).

Forty-one percent of entrepreneurs are women, according to a cross-national study of thirty-four countries. The first Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report on women’s entrepreneurial activity was released today by The Center For Women’s Leadership at Babson College.

The GEM 2004 Report on Women and Entrepreneurship provides an in-depth global look at women’s entrepreneurship and highlights the important role that women play in developing and developed economies.

”The GEM study on women’s entrepreneurship emphasizes the critical role women have in new venture creation and provides insights to inform policies focused on increasing and extending the scope and reach of their entrepreneurial activities,” said Dr. Nan Langowitz, Director of the Center for Women’s Leadership at Babson College. “These findings support our goal of understanding, featuring and supporting the entrepreneurial efforts of women worldwide. ”

To download the powerful report, visit:
The First GEM on Women's Entrepreneurial Activities (3/8/05)

Friday, March 04, 2005

Abridged Borderbuster 3/4/05

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


1. Welcome From The Publisher
2. Feedback From Our Readers
3. Anti-Globalization Movements*
4. Business Cultural Tips: Have Some Fun!*
5. Opening Up Overseas*
6. How I Went Global: Ongoing Series // Twenty Factors …
7. A Reader Asks: Q&A*
8. Everybody Loves a Freebie -- repeat: FREE OFFER*
9. Global Trade, Zero Angst*
10. Going Global: Study Your Markets, Develop a Strategic Plan*
11. How China Will Change Your Business
12. Employees Face New Challenges*
13. Laurel’s New e-Book: “Godzilla Global Marketing!”*
14. Take A Walk On The Wild Side (TAWOTWS)*
15. Wind Behind Your Sail*
16. Miscellany*

*Indicates exclusive to Borderbuster subscribers only.

Sample section:

*Subscriber Exclusive*

Go global before a foreign competitor steals or marginalizes your business. Not only will you expand your market, but you will also access a diverse revenue stream that is more stable since you will no longer be as vulnerable to periodic downturns in any one economy. Global companies outperform domestics, growing twice as fast with significantly higher returns.

To read the complete article, visit here.

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

Friday, February 25, 2005

How China Will Change Your Business


Fourteen things every entrepreneur should know about the capitalist explosion heading our way. But don't assume that conceding China's rise means conceding to China.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Taiwanese students study global entrepreneurship in Motown

In Detroit Free Press

Students from Taiwan are visiting Detroit this month as the first cohort in a unique master's of business administration program offered jointly by University of Detroit Mercy and Fu-Jen Catholic University in Taipei, Taiwan. Why is this happening? Here's a snapshot of what the
article reveals:

--> One big attraction of the joint MBA program is its focus on global entrepreneurship. China's emergence as a global economic superpower, contrary to popular belief, is not simply the result of orchestrated plotting by the central government in Beijing. Rather, it's been the unleashing of a remarkable entrepreneurial zeal -- in Taiwan and Hong Kong, as well as in the mainland People's Republic of China.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

What small businesses do wrong when entering an overseas market

In LeaderValues

Author Gretchen Glasscock indicates the following in her article "Going Global: Study Your Markets, Develop a Strategic Plan:"

So going global in your ecommerce efforts makes good sense, but with the understanding that serious thought and preparation are required. Deirdre Mendez, PhD., President of Foreign Business Management Consultants in Austin, Texas says: "Small companies enter international markets without a clear strategy, and without adequate preparation. They don't research foreign markets, perform due diligence on foreign partners, protect their intellectual property or understand the customer culture of their overseas operations. They create partnerships that don't work and must be renegotiated or terminated. All of these mistakes take time to rectify and cost money. Some of them cannot be undone. But all of them can be avoided by strategic planning."

Mendez identifies the key issues you need to look at, some of which are the following:

• Point of Entry - the most strategic market for your launch.
• Distribution - if you're marketing a physical rather than a digital product.
• Partnerships - this can be the make or break decision in any business.
• Product Localization - usually a minimum of some form of translation is required, even if it's just translating the packaging.
• Customer Support - Expectations vary by country and long distance supervision is challenging so this is a particularly thorny issue
• Cultural Issues - riddled with landmines. Assume nothing. Get a trusted local to guide you through this and don't expect your local partner to carry this whole burden.

I don't necessarily agree with Dr. Mendez's comments because entrepreneurs and small businesses tend to make things happen in a BIG way. Granted we might not do everything perfect the first time but we do know how to get things done and if done wrong, we also know how to correct a situation mighty quick. For small businesses, I believe the simplest approach to going global is to find a reputable customer, determine how to get your product to him or her and secure payment! Sound familiar? It should because that's exactly how you start a local business.

If you want additional information on how to quickly get up and running on the international front, read the press release we issued 2/15/05 on "Global Guru" manifesto which tells you everything you need to know about going global. Need help? I'm always around to bounce ideas by. What are you waiting for? The world is at your door step.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Local small Australian businesses are exporting their heads off

In The Australian News

It doesn't matter where you are based, going global can be done anywhere and it usually begins with baby steps and then gradually increases to export intensity where export revenue as a share of total revenue becomes significant.

In this article, Australians tell us a thing or two about exporting and in particular, how women (who run one-third of Australia's small businesses) have become creators of great global brands.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Go For It: Let The Year of the Rooster Wake You Up!

In Small Business Advocate

Last year was the Chinese Year of the Monkey -- a year filled with movement, discussion, and the exchange of ideas. But we are about to turn out the lights on the Monkey. Wake up on February 9, 2005 to the Year of the Rooster! The Eastern zodiac is the oldest known horoscope system in the world, and can reveal amazing insights into your character, lifestyle, and emotional makeup. But even if you don't believe that your destiny is written in the stars, be open to the possibilities that the New Year of the Rooster brings. Wake up to the business potential around you (hint: globalization). Let the Year of the Rooster be the year you go for it!

Friday, February 04, 2005

Abridged Borderbuster 2/4/05

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


1. Welcome From The Publisher
2. Feedback From Our Readers
3. The Link Between Price and Profit Margin in a Global Market*
4. Business Cultural Tips: Have Some Fun!*
5. The Magazine Of The International Trade Centre*
6. How I Went Global: Ongoing Series // Go For It!
7. A Reader Asks: Q&A*
8. Everybody Loves a Freebie -- repeat: FREE OFFER*
9. Women In The Global Economy*
10. Future Trends In Offshoring*
11. Seven Steps To Protecting Reputation Abroad*
12. Why There’s No Escaping the Blog*
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*

*Indicates exclusive to Borderbuster subscribers only.

Sample section:

*Subscriber Exclusive*

The vacillation in the exchange rate of the dollar against foreign currencies creates a climate of uncertainty for managers buying and selling in the global marketplace. In spite of these fluctuations, there are ways to hedge business exposure to changes in the value of the dollar.

Two scholars teamed up to write this magnificent article. If you had hired them to present their findings, it would have cost you thousands of dollars. Here, you have free access. You won’t want to miss it.

To read the entire article, visit Graziadio Business Report, Pepperdine University, Graziadio School of Business and Management.

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

Thursday, January 27, 2005

SBA Tooting Going Global Bell Loud and Clear

In SBA's January Solutions Newsletter

Here's a sample question posed in the newsletter:

"How can the Internet help my business get into exporting?"


Watch for future postings on this same subject. Also, be sure to check out our Top Ten list (right side panel) of great global business resources featuring SBA's International Office of Trade as No. 6.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

If Craig can do it, you can too: Go Global

In E-Commerce News

A motor scooter in Manchester, an apartment in Amsterdam, a poster in Paris. All are obtainable via Craigslist, an online bulletin board -- available only in English for now -- that presents a new challenge to the established players in the estimated US $100 billion global marketing for classified advertising.

Find out what Craigslist is doing on the international front here: "Craigslist's Global Expansion Could Threaten Big Players"

Friday, January 21, 2005

Weak Dollar, Strong Sales

In The Wall Street Journal, 1/20/05 (subscription only but available through 1/21/05)

There was a great article in the WSJ yesterday, "Weak Dollar, Strong Sales," and it covered how declining currency allows small U.S. manufacturers to reap profits from exports. Look out world! Small businesses, if they haven't already, will soon be knocking at your doors for business.

Here are a couple of highlights from the article:

• Given the weak dollar compared to the euro, having parts made in USA is a bargain compared to what it costs in Europe.

• A company based in Cleveland claimed, "Without currency shifts, our international business would have grown, but not like this." The small company -- U.S. $8.7 million in sales -- indicates they do business in half-dozen different countries, including Mexico, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada and soon will be looking at opportunities in Asia.

• Currency fluctuations also expand business for the larger companies that buy parts from smaller companies. Yeah!

• There are no stats out right now to measure the volume of exports from small businesses since the dollar tumbled but the article indicates that small businesses are moving swiftly to capitalize on the opportunity.

• Although what is seemingly an ancient stat, the article claims between 1987 and 1997, exports by smaller U.S. producers grew by 169% from $74 billion to $198 billion. It gives you a good indication of the power behind small businesses when they set their minds on going global!

• The last part of the article, which offers excellent advice, finishes up with this: "Foreign business is important to our future," says Mr. Mottinger, but he adds that it isn't a quick sell. Superior worked on expanding its Mexican business for five years, but sold almost nothing in that country. It finally broke into the market in 2002 and last year had over $47,000 in sales in Mexico, making it Superior's third largest market after the U.S. and Canada.

While he says the lower dollar has opened new markets -- and he hopes it stays at favorable rates -- he doesn't count on currency changes to carry his business into the future. "It's dangerous to bet on the dollar," he says. "You need to be low-cost and very efficient, no matter where the dollar is, and that's what we're doing."

Well said.