Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Global Internet Fire Walls

As reported in Foreign Policy, "The List: Look Who's Censoring the Internet Now."

China and Iran have always had strict built-in fire walls for their Internet. But now, the following countries have also made the list:

• France
• India
• Argentina
• South Korea

Find out why here.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Weakening Of Other People's Currency

The new silver lining is that American travelers, if they have the money to spend, can strike a bargain with other people's currency.

In Iceland, for example, the krona has tumbled as much as 45 percent (refer to graph). A South African safari costs some 30 percent less than it did last year. And in Estonia and the Ukraine, Americans can vacation like kings and queens.

Take a good look here.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Globalization Is Here To Stay

Globalization is much, much more than international trade and investment. It's about connectedness and global activities.

Quick quote:
Still, the current wave of globalization has many unprecedented characteristics. As Internet access penetrates the most remote corners of the globe, it is transforming the lives of more people, in more places, more cheaply than ever before—and the pace of change is accelerating faster than we can hope to chronicle it.
Read the interesting essay (that includes the above quote) about this notion in Foreign Policy, "Think Again: Globalization."

Thursday, March 26, 2009

How To Enforce Intellectual Property Rights On a Global Scale

When it comes to global trade, intellectual property rights is a hot topic that causes great concern because it can slow down development efforts. It boils down to this question: How do we regulate our global knowledge economy?

Read how Carsten Fink thinks we should handle this at the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) under:

The Global Debate on the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights and Developing Countries.

Or go straight for the gold by downloading PDF report (1.05 MB) here.

Note: I had a problem attempting to download report ...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Thinking Of Taking Your Business Global?

You've come to the right place! Just finished the LIVE event for the Small Business Online Community (powered by Bank of America). Here are some of the questions I addressed:

• Can you talk about tips related to container shipping? Also, sometimes I do not have enough merchandise to fill one container, how can I find a partner to share costs?

• How do you go about establishing a relationship with an international merchant? I was traveling and came across some innovative products that would do well in the U.S. Also, what legal or tax related issues are there with shipping goods from overseas to the U.S.?

• When do you know if it's right for your business to expand into other countries? What advantages are there?

• I would like to start a small business. What’s your advice?

• How does globalization impact neighborhood businesses? Do small neighborhood businesses like restaurants, barbershops, local retailers, etc. need to be aware of globalization? How does international trade affect those kinds of businesses, and how can an awareness of global issues make them more successful?

• Are there certain countries that are easier to export to? Why?

Find out the answers here.

Facebook Makes the World Smaller

International growth for Facebook has been organic, especially when users are willing to do the translation. Read more here.

Monday, March 23, 2009

USA Scores High on Entrepreneurship

The United States of Entrepreneurs still leads the way on entrepreneurship. Read the special report in The Economist.

Small Business Can Be Borderless

Remember when E.F. Schumacher wrote the classic Small is Beautiful? I think about that all the time now with small businesses going global. One of Schumacher's philosophies was: "Why use the computer if you can make the calculation on the back of an envelope."

If he were to revise his book today, he might offer this: "Why remain local with a business if you can easily go global?"

Apparently Dan Brutto thinks along the same line with his commentary over at Forbes entitled, Small Business, Big World. which is about how international clients can keep a company buoyant in tough times.

Here's one of his comments:
Clearly, entrepreneurs are recognizing the benefits of trade, and we should do what we can to help them harness the power of trade to grow their businesses.

Going Global With Your Small Business

Please join me tomorrow, March 24, from 1:00-2:00 p.m. CDT for an open, online global small business "live" forum, on Going Global With Your Business.

I will address questions like:

• What is the single biggest stumbling block to taking a business global?
• How do I find the right international partners?
• Why should I go global?
• How do I evaluate the benefits and risks with expanding my business abroad?
• What advice would you offer to those of us considering expanding our business internationally?

My intent is to empower you to take that first dramatic step toward starting your own business and taking it global from the get-go. And we hope to make going global easy.

Register (complimentary) here and post your questions now or "live" during the event.

Hope to connect with you there. Look forward to it!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Waiting For The Fed To Boost Global Small Business

The Fed's long-awaited program to revive consumer and small business lending, the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF), got off to a slow start.

Learn more with the appropriate title of: Global Markets: Dollar rebounds as markets see-saw on the Fed move.

More on small business boosts here.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Share What You Know With The World

Here at our blog (borderbuster.blogspot.com), we do a lot of sharing about what we know on going global but maybe you need a special place to strut your stuff to get more business worldwide.

Have you tried Moontoast -- where the world comes together to share knowledge, experience and expertise by actually talking to each other?

I haven't tried it yet but the concept sounds interesting. Check it out and let us know what you think.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Global Entrepreneurs Lead The Way

Can our world problems be solved by global entrepreneurs? I'd like to think "yes." The dean of EMLYON Business School, in Lyon, France explains the importance of entrepreneurial leaders and the 10 pitfalls they must avoid.

Read all about it here.

Full disclosure: The reference to the World Entrepreneurship Forum at EM Lyon is the forum I attended in November where I had the great pleasure to meet Johan Stael von Holstein, founder of the global business incubator, IQUBE.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Top Of The Morning To Everyone Worldwide

This is one of my favorite days of the year (my Dad is Irish -- from Ballyhaunis, County Mayo, Ireland -- and my Mom is Dutch/Swedish). The first thing I did this morning was to call my parents and wish my Dad his best day ever (85 years young and he said he was wearing the "Kiss Me I'm Irish" cap I gave him over the weekend; my Mom has her work cut out for her!).

Celebrate your global entrepreneurial and fighting-Irish spirit with the following Irish blessing:

May all the days
of the rest of your life
be the very best
of your life.

Enjoy and Happy St. Patrick's Day!

And Twitter me at http://twitter.com/laureldelaney to let me know how you are celebrating.

Born to Innovate

Latest findings from Intuit and Emergent Research on Defining Small Business Innovation indicate, among many things, that key characteristics play a role in truly innovative companies:

• Small business owners are born (natural) innovators and their inspiration or motivation is driven by three needs: necessity, opportunity and ingenuity.

• Six innovation enablers that allow small businesses to more readily identify opportunities, quickly react to changing conditions and remain competitive. They include personal passion, customer connection, agility and adaptation, experimentation and improvisation, resource limitations, information sharing and collaboration.

• A small business’ ability to innovate is also amplified by use of technology, access to capital, fostering a culture that values experimentation and building market knowledge. Government regulation can also spur or rein in innovation.

What happens when small businesses innovate? It not only improves the business and lifestyles of small business workers, it can also alter the overall marketplace through two types of outcomes:

1. Market-sustaining -- improvements to existing products or business processes
2. Market-changing -- shift in competitive landscape

Our friends and colleagues over at Emergent Research write these reports with support from Intuit and the research is filled with insightful ideas.

Read the latest Intuit Future of Small Business Report (part of an ongoing series) here. And we can't help but mention in our Global Small Business Trends 2009 report that "disruptive innovation" will be both the coolest and hottest new growth strategy in 2009 because it will transcend all boundaries and transform businesses.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Travel Smart With A Girls' Guide To The World

Sure, it is called the Girls' Guide to the World (www.girlsguidetotheworld) but that doesn't mean that everyone can't get something out of it.

Girls' Guide to the World is a cool boutique travel site connecting like-minded travelers around the globe that provides unbiased and insightful tips from a travel community with high expectations and a craving for fashionably experiencing the world.

At the same time, they support Women for Women International’s effort to help change the lives of women who are survivors of war, civil strife, and other conflicts.

Get involved. Make a trip. Sign up for their newsletter. Check it out here.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Everyone Is Irish On St. Patrick's Day

In celebration of St. Patrick's Day Tuesday, Chicago traditionally dyes the Chicago River a bright emerald green (as pictured) which they did this morning.

The annual parade is taking place as I write this (3/14/09 at 1:25 p.m. CDT) and rest assured, with a name like Delaney (from Ballyhaunis, County Mayo, Ireland) ... I am wearing every green item I own.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Promoting Entrepreneurs In Emerging Economies

Endeavor focuses on High Impact Entrepreneurs (HIE) which are entrepreneurs with the biggest ideas and the most ambitious plans.

The impact could be social, economic or environmental, and Endeavor usually looks for a combination of these in a business they select. HIEs have the potential to create thriving companies that employ hundreds or even thousands of people, and generate millions in wages and revenues.

Learn about who they are currently promoting here. redBus is one company.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Word-of-Mouth Global Marketing

Getting customers to spread the word about a new product through their global social or professional networks is a hot strategy in the marketing world.

But how do companies find the right individuals to deliver the message? New research by Wharton marketing professors Raghuram Iyengar and Christophe Van den Bulte finds that traditional targets may not be so influential.

The global buzz starts here.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sweet Deals Are Being Done Globally

Hershey Co. agreed to buy Barry Callebaut AG's Van Houten consumer chocolate business in Asia (Singapore), an acquisition that would give the U.S. candy maker a greater presence overseas as its seeks to diversify its mainly domestic operations. Barry Callebaut is considered the world's leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate products
The deal with Barry Callebaut may also signal a willingness by Hershey to continue to grow abroad via similar pacts
Read more here. Barry Callebaut news release here.

Monday, March 09, 2009

China to Open Up Role in Trade

China may soon allow Chinese trading companies to buy and sell merchandise internationally using yuan, a step that would move one of the world's largest trading countries closer to having a fully convertible currency.

Read more here.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Peregruzka, er, Perezagruzka

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton experienced a global gaffe when she presented a gift to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that was intended to display the Russian word for "reset" -- having to do with Vice President Joe Biden's light-hearted comment that the U.S. wants to "reset" relations with Russian.

The gift read "peregruzka." Mrs. Clinton said, "We worked hard to get the right Russian word. Do you think we got it?"

Lavrov answered, "You got it wrong." Peregruzka means "over-charged," he explained. "Reset" is "perezagruzka." Needless to say, the U.S. officials said they would correct the gift.

Now, my advice to all of you who are in the translation business? Contact the White House and get to work!

Read more here.

Friday, March 06, 2009

The Wisdom of Bloggers on the Economy

The first-ever Economics Bloggers Forum at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation was held last week. The experts shared perspectives on the business of blogging and the most pressing topic of the day: the economy.

A couple of the questions asked:

What is your blog's business model?

What has been the personal impact of your blogging?

What 1-3 blog posts have you written of which you are particularly proud?

Learn more (immediate download of 40-page PDF file):

Read The Wisdom of Economic Bloggers: Blogger Survey Summary

And here's a good listing of all the people who contributed to the report along with their blog links. Not too much of a global focus but it's a start.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Doing Business in the U.S., Canada or the U.K.

It's not too early to starting thinking about how to move or store product during the holiday selling season (as noted in picture) -- especially if you decide to sell in the U.S., Canada or the U.K. Here's a success story shared by a reader:
Shipping and warehousing is one area that is essential to accelerating business growth, and simultaneously can be a drain on financial and time resources. The time-suck and hassle of shipping takes away from the other roles that business owners are more adept at—such as marketing, sales or business development. By re-evaluating shipping and logistics processes and leveraging Web-based innovation, businesses can take a hands-off approach, encourage sustainable growth and uncover hidden savings.

Marc Blaiwes, co-owner of car seat cover e-commerce company SeatGlovers, did what many smart entrepreneurs in today's climate should--he found a niche product with an untapped market and focused his energies. However, the sales success that followed was too much to handle. Marc needed to expand his warehouse, but the added costs threatened his profit margins and would have required product price increases. "Large companies play the expansion game all the time by building out storage and inventory and eating the added costs until business catches up," said Blaiwes, "Small businesses just don't have that luxury. That's why we needed Shipwire--to help us manage the double-edged sword of business growth."

"Shipwire is granting us immunity to all the flux in the market," said Blaiwes. "Shipping was a huge hassle for years, and it prevented me from growing my business. Finding Shipwire was as big for my business as selling on eBay and sourcing with Alibaba. We're growing exponentially and I'm realizing the true potential of my business. All of this at a time when many other merchants are just trying to stay afloat. Talk about a competitive advantage"
And Shipwire CEO Damon Schechter believes the way to scale and grow a business internationally is to get the product warehoused closer to local buyers.

More on Shipwire here (they offer a free, no obligation trial). Locations and shipping calculator that demonstrates cost advantages here.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Thanks to UPS, eBay PowerSellers in Hong Kong Get Even More Muscle

What do UPS and eBay in Hong Kong have in common? More than you realize. They just announced a partnership to offer enhanced shipping solutions to select eBay users in Hong Kong. eBay PowerSellers based in Hong Kong can now use a UPS proprietary online shipping solution (http://go.ebay.com.hk/shipping) that improves business efficiency and enhances their reliability as vendors.
According to a 2008 global survey conducted by The Nielsen Company, over 85 percent of the world’s online population shop online, up 40 percent from 2006. More than half of all Internet users are regular online shoppers who make online purchases at least once a month.
Visit the shipping solution here (available in English and Chinese). Go connect with customers worldwide and transform your desktop into a virtual shipping centre.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Lead Fearlessly Into the Future

Just posted, "For Advice That's Never Stale, Pick Up a Classic Business Book," over at the OPEN Forum by American Express OPEN.
During a time of such unprecedented economic turmoil and change, lately I find myself visiting my trusty (and dusty, I might add) in-home library of business books, looking for answers and timeless wisdom from influential authors who just might be capable of leading us fearlessly into the future.
Out of hundreds of books to choose from, here are five that deserve a spot in any collection of business classics. I’ve summarized the insightful advice I took away from the authors, all business visionaries who helped transform the world with their genius. You will find that most of the advice is more timely, practical and relevant than you could possibly imagine considering today’s global economic climate.
Check it out.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Are You To Be Found on the Web?

If you are trying to get and keep customers worldwide, you better have a global Web presence. After all, 95 percent of the world's population resides outside our North American borders and only about 17 percent percent of the world's Internet users live in North America. The balance of online folks are overseas.

Take a look for yourself (above) and right here at the World Internet Usage and Population Statistics. The greatest concentration appears to be in Asia with Europe following .