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.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Forecast for 2005: Lots of Exports From America


Economists from Merrill Lynch and Global Insight offer their predictions on what to expect in 2005 but instead of saving the best for last (as the author did in the article), I'll give it to you first:

"In general, I'm very optimistic about this year," Lekach says. "The euro (has been) very strong, so America can export a lot."

Thursday, January 06, 2005

"Stop Working" -- Create a Global Business!


I got the biggest kick out of the press release featured below. It announces the title of a new book, "Stop Working!" which claims to tell you everything you need to know on how to create a global business and leave the rate race. Sounds enticing, eh?

It gets even better. Here's the lead to the release:

"For the average working American, globalization represents layoffs and the loss of security. But for business owners, particularly new ones, globalization is an enormous opportunity. As author and veteran business consultant Rohan Hall writes in his new book, "Stop Working!," it is now possible for small and mid-size businesses to compete successfully and win against global corporations -- and "Stop Working!" tells exactly how."

Want to see how it's done? Go here:
"Stop Working!"

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Abridged Borderbuster 1/5/05

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. Little Global Giants*
4. Business Cultural Tips: Have Some Fun!*
5. Global Allies Better Watch Out For China
6. How I Went Global: Ongoing Series // Globalize Your Web Site*
7. A Reader Asks: Q&A*
8. Everybody Loves a Freebie -- repeat: FREE OFFER*
9. The IBM/Lenovo Deal: Victory for China?*
10. New Research on Canada’s Small Business Export Markets
11. International Council on Small Business*
12. Blogs Are Catching On!*
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*

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

• General Mills had two problems with one product. When it introduced instant cake mixes in the United States and England, it had the problem of overcoming the homemaker’s guilt feelings. When General Mills introduced instant cake mixes in Japan, the problem changed; cakes were not commonly eaten in Japan. There was no guilt feeling but the homemaker was concerned about failing. She wanted the cake mix as complete as possible. In testing TV commercials promoting the notion that making cake is as easy as making rice, General Mills learned it was offending the Japanese homemaker who believes the preparation of rice requires great skill.

• Existing perceptions based on tradition and heritage are often hard to overcome for the Chinese. For example, marketing researchers in Hong Kong found that cheese is associated with Yeung-Yen (foreigners) and rejected by some Chinese. The concept of cooling and heating the body is important in Chinese thinking; malted milk is considered heating while fresh milk is cooling; brandy is sustaining, whiskey harmful.

• Procter & Gamble’s initial advertisement for Pampers brand diapers failed because of cultural differences between the United States and Japan. A U.S. commercial that showed an animated stork delivering Pampers diapers to homes was dubbed into Japanese and the U.S. package was replaced by the Japanese package and put on the air. To P&G’s dismay the advertisement failed to build the market. Some belated consumer research revealed the consumers were confused about why this bird was delivering disposable diapers. According to Japanese folklore, giant peaches that float on the river bring babies to deserving parents, not storks.

Source: “International Marketing” (tenth edition) by Philip R. Cateora and John L. Graham.

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

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

The Public Forum Institute's (Inter)National Dialogue On Entrepreneurship

Every once in a while I stumble upon something I already know but refresh myself on just how valuable the information is. Such is the case with the Public Forum Institute's National Dialogue On Entrepreneurship (NDOE). Here you will find all sorts of things pertaining to entrepreneurship, including economic development and education, understanding and helping entrepreneurs, statistics, reports and my favorite: "Global Review."

Under "Global Review," you will see overseas news, regional efforts, data and statistics and global resources.

For example, two sites I visit frequently are featured in the Regional section:

Small Business Service (SBS) U.K. Championing the interests of small businesses and Enterprise Ireland -- with one of the first things I notice is a seminar put on by Ernst & Young on "Doing Business in the U.S.!"

For those of you who don't know a thing about the NDOE, this site is worth visiting. The United States is still considered the leading expert on kindling the "global entrepreneurial spirit" but many other nations around the world are also encouraging a climate of risk taking, innovation and new enterprise.

Visit: The Public Forum Institute's National Dialogue On Entrepreneurship -- Global Review