Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Celebrated Around the World

Halloween is one of the oldest holidays celebrated most commonly in the United States and around the world.

In the spirit of Halloween, here are two places to get spooked ... The 13th Gate Haunted House in Baton Rouge, La., and the other is in my home town Chicago: Dream Reapers Haunted House. Brace yourselves. They are both very creepy!

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Develop Intercultural Curiosity

People constantly ask me if you need to be culturally sensitive in the global marketplace in order to be successful interacting with individuals from other ethnic, religious, cultural and geographic groups and the answer is "yes."

How do you develop that knowledge, skill or characteristic?

It's easier said than done but you can start by reading this article:

How Intercultural Competence Drives Success in Global Virtual Teams

You will walk away with a better understanding of how intercultural competency works and what it takes to develop it. Hint: Having a positiveness towards other cultures sure helps along the way! Be sure to review the Intercultural Competence for Team Leaders chart within the article. It offers up some powerful tips.

Case in point: The picture above reflects 3 units which is a good thing in China. But how sensitive are we really? What do the colors red, white and yellow symbolize in China? Or the illustrations? Or if there are English words on the bottle? Or a white bottle without any words? That's what cultural sensitivity is about. Put yourself in the shoes of whoever it is that you are communicating with to fully understand how your communication is being interpreted.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Set Yourself Apart in the Global Marketplace

This fascinating article talks about how Colombia wants the world to recognize its passion. And it is not indicative of just Columbia (check out the Embassy of Colombia). A growing number of countries are using branding strategies to set themselves apart in the global marketplace.

No matter what you are passionate about -- whether it's a country, a service or a product -- don't forget to highlight its advantages.

And by the way, Columbia's new branding strategy is: Columbia is Passion.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Live Event: 10 Ways To Take Your Business Global

Live, from your desktop, it's Small Business Trends Radio. Join me today at 1:30 p.m. EST at: where I will talk about reasons for going global, ways to get started, and places to look for help.

Look forward to connecting.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Great World Star Count Goes Global

The Great World Wide Star Count helps scientists map light pollution globally while educating participants about the stars.
The event, which is open to everyone who wants to participate, is organized by the Windows to the Universe project at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) in Boulder, Colo., in conjunction with planetariums and scientific societies across the country and abroad.
Get a sense of how star visibility varies from place to place around the world here.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Re-imagining Global Trade

Americans feel most secure about global engagement when they are well equipped to compete and have insurance against economic risks. What is required? Vigorously enforcing the trade rules and investing in economic competitiveness.

Take a good look at this. Immediate PDF download here: Re-imagining Global Trade by Paul Blustein (pictured).

->>>>>>>>>> Separately, but related, be sure to dial-in and listen-up for 30 minutes at 12:30 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, October 28th at Small Business Radio where I will chat about ways to take your business global, including using Web 2.0 as a platform for discovery worldwide. Look forward to connecting.<<<<<<<<<

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Watch Your Global Intellectual Property

Source: Cool News of the Day® and
Switzerland exports 26 million watches a year, but counterfeiters ship 40 million, reports Christina Binkley in the Wall Street Journal (10/16/08). Even more troubling, "counterfeiters have been improving their technology faster than watchmakers," too. It used to be the fakes were easy to spot, but not always anymore. "The counterfeiters have learned all the things that people didn't know 20 years ago," says David Hendry, an expert. They'll make sure the watches weigh enough by using "sapphire crystal" and incorporating "other elements that can confuse even experts -- and they may charge many hundreds of dollars."

To combat this, "one Swiss watchmaker, Vacheron Constantin (pictured), has created a wristwatch that it says is impossible to counterfeit." Called the Qai de I'lle, the watch "can be customized in up to 400 combinations and will sell for between $29,000 and $60,000, depending on which features are chosen." Making the watch counterfeit-proof (or at least counterfeit-resistant) involves "highly-controlled money-printing materials like the polymers and inks." The polymer Vacheron uses actually "is monitored by the maker of Swiss passports."

Some of the words on the watch's dials are engraved, while others are printed using special inks. "Tiny texts on the dials of some models -- illegible without the aid of a magnifying glass -- reproduce parts of letters sent between 19th-century family members of the watchmaker, Jacques-Barthelemy Vacheron and Franchois Constantin." Certain images, such as a tiny sun, "can be seen only under a UV lamp," and even then only barely. Will this be enough to stop counterfeiters? Even the watch's designer, Roger Pfund, "an acclaimed painter and designer of the Swiss passport" doesn't think so. "They already have fakes of this watch," he says. "Of course the movement is wrong -- a lot of things are wrong."
You might also want to read this: Protect Yourself.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Executive Pay Restraints Go Global

Just when you think you have a handle on an executive compensation plan, the financial market goes crazy and now nations are putting limits on financiers' compensation as part of efforts to rescue their banking systems.

I wonder if this applies to us? As an entrepreneur or small business owner, do you curb your own pay as a result of what's happening in the global marketplace?

Read the article here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Do The Socially and Globally Responsible Thing

Low-literacy consumers (e.g., those who have trouble reading package labels or instructions) can be a profitable and loyal customer group if understood and treated properly. You might want to explore this notion further because the combined purchasing power of these shoppers is expected to surge as incomes in emerging markets improve.

Read more here.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Global Insights

I have been catching quite a few quotes in national papers from experts at Global Insight, an economic forecasting and consulting firm but much of it is all gloom and doom. Yet, if you need help preparing for the effects of the slowdown, and want to anticipate the timing of the recovery, and prepare for the opportunities that it will present, then pay a visit to GI.

They offer free trials here and there but the bulk of their work is subscription or consulting fee based. However, it does look as if their newsletter is complimentary.

Don't know much about the quality of their work ... you'll have to decide for yourself.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The World At Your Desktop

How in the world will you connect with your clients, employees, vendors and colleagues worldwide when money is tight? I have a cost-effective solution without ever leaving your desktop! It's called Citrix Online with their GoTo suite of products.

GoToMyPC is a unique remote access service that lets you access and control your computer from any Internet connection anywhere. GoToMeeting is the easy and cost-effective way to conduct online meetings. GoToAssist enables remote support of customers and employees via shared screen, mouse and keyboard control. GoToWebinar allows you to easily plan, present, record and analyze unlimited Webinars.

My theory is ... to expand your business internationally, there is no better time than now to collaborate like crazy online with like-minded folks!

Just like GlobeTrade, these unique tools make it easy to go and stay global! What are you waiting for? Try it on for size here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Globalization Project

The Harvard College Globalization Project (HCGP) is a student-run organization at Harvard College that intends to promote research and critical commentary on any and all topics related to globalization.

HCGP's work is performed exclusively by Harvard undergraduates, and it is published in a bi-annual review, each issue of which concentrates on an elected symposium topic.

Find out more here. They have a couple of country blogs worth checking out.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Just Export!

There's a saying, "No excuses, just results." Well, here's another one: "No excuses, just export." A new online course will help all of us here -- entrepreneurs and small businesses -- explore exporting opportunities in international markets. Global Enterprise: A Primer on Exporting is a free, self-paced course that provides practical guidance on exploring international markets. Look for it under New Courses on the right sidebar.

Course participants completing the 30-minute online training programs can earn a certificate of completion from the SBA, with their name, date and course title. The Export Primer course is one of nearly 30 online tutorials offered by the SBA on its virtual campus, the Small Business Training Network ( SBTN is part of the SBA’s Office of Entrepreneurship Education (OEE), which combines the agency’s online education programs, youth outreach, and outreach to underserved markets under a single umbrella.

The online training info page is here; selection of new courses is here and to register fast go here.

Go for it!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Smart, Full and Focused

This looks like someone we should follow: Paul Krugman, the Princeton University scholar and New York Times columnist. He won the Nobel economic prize for his analysis of how economies of scale can affect trade patterns and the location of economic activity.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences praised Krugman for formulating a new theory to answer questions about free trade.

"What are the effects of free trade and globalization? What are the driving forces behind worldwide urbanization? Paul Krugman has formulated a new theory to answer these questions," the academy said in its citation.

"He has thereby integrated the previously disparate research fields of international trade and economic geography," it said.
Read more about Paul's background, at least as a New York Times columnist, here.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Bust Barriers and Go, Go, Go!

I am no expert on the hard times we have fallen upon but I am most certainly an expert in helping you get through this and cross borders with a product or service.

Here's what I have been thinking about lately relative to what's going on in the global marketplace. It's an awful thought but when someone dear to your heart passes away and several months later you reflect back on it, what comes to mind? Most likely the people who gathered around to give you comfort, strength and support. For example, it may have been Joe who showed up at the memorial service; Mary who called; Keith who sent kind notes; Lynn who visited with a plate of specially prepared food or Bob who came to hold your hand. It's that kind of care that leaves an indelible mark in your mind.

Now, more than ever, you must show the same depth of care to all your employees, vendors and customers. Make lots of calls, send emails of substance, visit in-person, deliver simple things to show you are in business for the long haul and matter. Continue to provide the best possible service or product at the lowest possible price and keep providing it.

Above all else: Do not hide! This is a time to make yourself more accessible and valuable than ever. Buckle down and do your best work -- no if, ands, or buts.

Launch a new business! Start a blog that talks about what you do best and how you can help those who read it. Do a podcast that sings the praises of how great your clients are and why. Create a video that chats up three tips to win new clients during a tough time and smack it up on YouTube. Give a complimentary presentation on a topic you know everything about (going global :-)! so attendees walk away with new knowledge.

And, in your spare time, re-visit these three articles that were written several months ago for additional ideas on how to keep going and thrive during turbulent times.

6 Tips to Shock Your Global Customers

5 Tips to Recession-Proof Global Marketing

Is Your Business Recession-Proof?

Let's call this the go, go, go time! Think Super(wo)man and that we are all here to save the day ... or the global economy. Working together, we will!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Globally: Protect Yourself

Take these steps to legally protect your trademark in the countries in which you operate and you will keep other people's hands off your trademark when your business goes global.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Little Globes, Big Ideas

In view of what's going on in the world, we thought we'd lighten up and give you a day in the life of a Bohemian modern style San Francisco girl who just loves globes.

Visit sfgirlbybay

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Local Footprint, Global Reach

Here's my latest contribution over at the OPEN Forum by American Express. It's entitled, "McDonald's: Local Footprint, Global Reach."

Key objective:
To understand how effective the concept of local footprint, global reach can be in developing a successful global strategy for a company.
Favorite part: By surfing online, you can check out the Golden Arches in different parts of the world to see the differences in culture, food offerings and technology.

Take a look. And if you like what you see, click on the Found It Useful button. It helps me determine whether I am doing a good job or not with my posts. Many thanks.

Monday, October 06, 2008

A Farewell to Marty Duggan

We are sad to learn that Small Business Exporters Association (SBEA) founder Marty Duggan passed away on Sunday, September 14 after a long illness. He was 79. Our deepest sympathy goes out to his wife Mary Lou, his loving family members and all his fans worldwide.

Within four years of establishing (1990 according to Marty) SBEA, he had built it from a concept into an active and widely-respected association. He also played a major role in the development of several legislative initiatives to aid small American companies in international trade, and was a pioneer in increasing the visibility of small companies at international trade conferences around the world.

Marty was a wonderful and kind-hearted human being with an ambition to change the world. I had a chance to speak with him on several different occasions by phone. Our appointment would be booked for one-half hour and three hours later, we were still talking about what was needed to encourage small businesses to expand their businesses internationally. Several days later I received a package in the mail containing the following prepared by SBEA:

• Export Promotion: A G-7 Comparison (1995)
• Annual Awards Luncheon program (May 1997)
• Exporting as a National Priority
• Export Finance: How the U.S. Measures Up (January 1994)
• Exporting: Right or Privilege?
How U.S. Export Controls Impede Competition (August 1994)
• Two video tapes: SBEA Second Annual Awards Luncheon and Awards Presentation (1995)

I still haven't gotten through it all but now I will make a point to.

After retiring from SBEA in 2001, Marty maintained contact with his friends and acquaintances through an Internet blog he launched in July 2006 called SME Forum where he continued to publicly ask questions and discuss ideas. If you look back on some of his entries, such as this one, you get a glimpse of what a champion he was to small and mid-sized exporters.

We will deeply miss Marty, his zest for life and his passion for global small business. May he rest in peace in his new borderless world.

Man Shops Globe

Beginning at 9 p.m.(ET/PT) every Monday night from Oct. 6 through Nov. 3, the Sundance Channel will present feature documentaries and original series about the men and women -- and girls and boys -- who seek public office in the U.S., be it as leader of the free world or as leader of their middle-school student body.

The first in this series has given the green light to a new original series starring Keith Johnson (more on him here), the antiques buyer for the innovative specialty retailer Anthropologie (Anthropologie International).

One of the largest purchasers of decorative antiques in the world, Johnson globe trots six months out of the year on Athropologie's nickel to find unique and beautiful items. Johnson’s quest for the valuable and obscure, which takes him from flea markets in Paris to remote villages in India and art studios, will become the focus of the eight-part, half-hour series Man Shops Globe.

Read more about it here.

Friday, October 03, 2008

The Consummate Global Entrepreneur Paul Newman

Paul Newman died of cancer at the age of 83. He was a great citizen; great actor; great philanthropist; great gentleman and the consummate global entrepreneur. What an inspiration he was to us all. We will miss him dearly. May he rest in peace.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Think-tank About Entrepreneurship

I am honored to have been chosen to participate in the World Entrepreneurship Forum 2008 ( under the high patronage of Mr. Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France and to be held in Evian, France from November 13-15.

The World Entrepreneurship Forum is the first worldwide think-tank dedicated to entrepreneurship and its role in society. With what's going on in the world, we need this more than ever right now!

The forum brings together more than 70 participants of the highest level: entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs, political decision-makers and international experts.

Central theme: "Entrepreneurship as a creator of economic wealth and social justice," resulting in the definition of concrete recommendations in response to three questions:
  • How can we create a more favorable environment for entrepreneurship?
  • How can we assess the actions taken by entrepreneurs?
  • How can we better train the entrepreneurs of the future?
My motivation for participating is as follows:

More information can be found here. Media inquires from the United States ... feel free to contact me (refer to right side bar on blog) and I will pass your request along to WEF for handling.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Learn to Think Globally

How do you develop a global mindset? How do you run a business creatively spanning great distances, multiple cultures and different time zones?

Get a global education. It will allow you to experience the flavor of the world beyond what a book could ever offer.