Friday, June 29, 2007

Global Volunteer Groups

 Three of the most established volunteer groups:

Cross Cultural Solutions
works in 12 nations (800-380-4777)

Global Volunteers
has programs in the United States
and 18 other countries (800-487-1074)

Habitat for Humanity
sends teams around the world
through its Global Village Program (800-422-4828)

Perhaps you will come to believe in possibilities around the world.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Doing Business Across Time Zones

Low-cost technologies help an entrepreneur run businesses on two continents - and still get some sleep.
When I tell friends that I run businesses in both the United Arab Emirates and California, they assume that I never sleep. But technology makes it easy to bridge the time zones.

I run two public relations agencies - an eight-year-old firm called NettResults based in Dubai and an offshoot with different clients, headquartered in Irvine, Calif. I also own a consulting business in Irvine that specializes in change management.
Interesting ... on NettResults, the only inkling of globalization shows up in the pictures, not the words. The entire site is in English.

Read the article here.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Breaking Into the Market in China as a Startup

From the Wall Street Journal online:

Question: I have an idea that I would like to try and sell in China. I am a small business -- one man, one computer, one office. Do you think there is a chance for a one-man operation to succeed in the China market?

-- R.B., Fairport, N.Y.

Answer: China's 2001 entry into the World Trade Organization and its economic boom of recent years have made it somewhat easier for small U.S. enterprises to break into the market. But there are still many stumbling blocks that pose big, costly risks for businesses -- especially for a one-person operation with little or no experience dealing in China.

Read the balance of the answer here.

And don't forget that UPS did a good survey on what American products Chinese consumers desire the most. You can download it here.

This might help too.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Is the Promised Land Offshore?

As supply chain managers now operate in a global business ecology, including low-cost regions in today’s operations is a given. Determining which regions to access for a particular purpose and managing risks inherent to global sourcing, however, remain significant challenges.

Sourcing is no longer about trying to get it cheaper, whatever “it” is. Companies continue to leverage savings in various functions and processes in low-cost regions in the world, where they can be conducted at lower cost, either by third parties or by their own efforts. And they are doing so aggressively.

Read more here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

America Is Not All About Mega-Corporations

Guess who else is important? Small businesses.
4. America is not all about mega-corporations. What do you see as the role of small business in the American economy and in the global economy?

Until 1980, I don't think people really understood the role of small business in an economy. A study was done at that time that showed that if you really wanted economic growth as measured by jobs, new products and services, small businesses are the key. Around 70% of the new jobs and new products come from small businesses. So in the future if one wants to grow the economy on a sustained basis, it is going to be through entrepreneurial ventures. Five years ago, Germany looked at their education system and its contribution to economic growth. Most of the schools in Germany were government sponsored except for one private school which had a course in entrepreneurship. Up until then, Germany had thought that it is the Mercedes, Siemens, and Deutsche Bank that were the drivers of its economy. But they had a rude awakening, it was the role of the small business, typically the DM25 million to DM50 million business that had contributed to growth – be it growth in jobs, new products or overall economic development. Therefore, they instituted professorships in over 25 universities to teach entrepreneurship. I am sure that this is true of anywhere in the world, be it Europe or Japan or Africa.
How about that? And now universities are teaching global entrepreneurship instead of entrepreneurship. Read the entire interview with Dr. Robert Hisrich from Thunderbird School of Global Management here.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Go global

If your new small business is going to survive, you must sell your products or services around the world. The global marketplace is upon us, so every entrepreneur -- not just Canadian -- should be embracing opportunities to export.

Doing business in foreign countries is not as scary as it sounds. It's really just an extension (a branch) of your local market. To start thinking globally, follow these tips ...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Dragons at Your Door

This is an amazing book about how Chinese cost innovation is disrupting global competition and fundamentally changing the global competitive landscape.

To date, few authors have zeroed in on one of the driving forces of China's recent achievements: its companies (e.g., Haier, Philips, Lenovo and IBM). The secret driver of success is the strategy -- cost innovation -- of using Chinese cost advantage in radically new ways to offer customers around the world dramatically more for less.

How should executives prepare? Start by reading this book. At the very least, you will develop an understanding of the three faces of innovation and find your place (or role) in the global economy to survive and prosper.

About the authors:

Ming Zeng is Professor of Strategy at Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business China. He is currently on leave from the School and serves as president of Yahoo China.

Peter J. Williamson is Professor of International Management and Asian Business at INSEAD, the international business school in France and Singapore, and the author of Winning in Asia.

The book was just released and can be ordered here.

[Note to Michelle at Harvard Business School Press ... much appreciation for sending me a copy to review.]

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Going Global Facilitator Guide

There's something for everyone in this nifty Canadian guide. When you click on the link it downloads immediately to a 61-page PDF file entitled, "Going Global: Introduction to export marketing of cultural products and services." The project was funded in part by the Government of Canada's Sector Council Program.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Made in China

Watch James Fallows's Made in China video. He does a fantastic job narrating about China's dynamo manufacturing capabilities and has an accompanying article, "China Makes, The World Takes," in the current issue of The Atlantic online. Unfortunately it's only available to subscribers but that doesn't mean you can't go out and buy a copy. James is an Atlantic national correspondent.

A hat tip to Paul Barsch, Global Services Marketing, Teradata, a division of NCR, for turning me on to the piece.

Separately, but related, I'll be posting on, "Dragons At Your Door," in a couple of days. The fascinating book is scheduled for release tomorrow (June 12).

Photo credit: Michael Christopher Brown.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Globalization: The Future

Here's a look at the presentation I gave on May 24th in Chicago and hosted by IBM and Catwalk Consulting. Be sure to view it in fullscreen.

If you are interested in having the same presentation for your group or organization (which I am doing this month for several firms), you know where to find me!

By the way, the presentation offers ten disciplines to thriving in the global marketplace. The audience thought it was all pretty compelling. See what you think. Let me know.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Pepsi: Repairing a Poisoned Reputation in India

How the soda giant fought charges of tainted products in a country fixated on its polluted water.

A lesson for us all. But I wonder why Pepsi doesn't make the product elsewhere, where the quality of water is not an issue, and then export the finished goods to India?

Read the very comprehensive piece here.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Exporting Is a Big Step

By Steve Strauss, Special for USA TODAY

Q: What do you think of exporting? Generally, is it a good idea for a small business? How difficult is it to get started? How expensive? Lots of questions. Thanks. — Maggie

A: First, we need to define exactly what you mean by "exporting" because the Internet has changed it, along with just about everything else. You see, today it is much easier than ever before to sell your products to an international audience — via your website — but that differs than traditional exporting wherein you find partners and distributors overseas who agree to represent you and sell your wares.

When it comes to the traditional idea of exporting, you are looking at the proverbial good news and bad news. First the pros ...

If you want a shortcut to finding an Export Assistance Center in your area, go here instead of downloading, as Steve suggested, a PDF file.