Saturday, February 27, 2010

J. Crew Spreads Its Global Wings

The classic American outfitter, J. Crew, currently available only in North America and Japan, has plans to spread its global wings through a new agreement with Net-A-Porter that will take them first into Canada and next into the U.K.

Hard to believe:
"We're not capable of shipping outside of the United States," Lyons explains. "We have received an overwhelming request from our customers to be available overseas."
Jenna Lyons serves as J. Crew creative director.

Read more here.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Global Granola

Sometimes you have to take time out to ... well ... mix your own granola!

Design your custom made organic, all natural cereal mix from over 75 healthy ingredients and enhancers. You can even add a custom picture to the mix!

Technology takes you where you want to go -- and that can be across the globe.

Learn more at MixMyGranola.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Rev Up Your Export Engines: Global Expansion Is Where It's At for Small Businesses

The light at the end of the tunnel is ... exports that take your business global.

By the way, you'll catch this in the article but ... vital day-to-day business survival techniques can include exporting.

Read more here with this thoughtful primer on how it's time to go global.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

News You Can Use From Our Foreign Trade Division

Working on strategic global marketing plan for your business? Trying to figure out how many of your particular widgets are sold in a specific overseas market? Finishing up a term paper for school that requires the latest foreign trade balance? Just curious as to where the numbers are at and what it means? Look no further.

1.) Press Release: December 2010 Trade Data

"The Nation's international trade deficit in goods and services
decreased to $380.7 billion in 2009 from $695.9 billion in 2008."

a.) GET THE BASICS from the "U.S. International Trade in Goods
and Services - Highlights"


b.) GET MORE DETAILED DATA from the full "U.S. International
Trade in Goods and Services Press Release"


c.) GET TRADE BALANCES with specific countries
(as far back as 1985 for most countries!)


d.) GET PRODUCT TRADE INFORMATION. What do we trade with
specific countries?

- General (1-digit SITC)

- More detailed (3-digit SITC)


- Release dates are set through statistical month December 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Where and How to Compete Globally

An old research document (11 pages) by Michael Porter that is still relevant to our times. Porter is generally recognized as the father of the modern strategy field. He shares where and how to compete globally.

New Global Strategies for Competitive Advantage

Alliances are a tempting solution to the dilemma of a firm seeking the home-base advantages of another nation without giving up its own.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Wanted: UPS to Help Double SMB Exports

What a great job to have! The U.S. has asked UPS to help double exports for small and medium-sized U.S. businesses. UPS will use shipping data to identify those SMBs.
President Barack Obama set a goal of doubling exports to more than $3 trillion over the next five years to help create or support 2 million American jobs.
Less than 1 percent of America's 30 million companies export, which is significantly less than in other developed countries, the Commerce Department said in a statement.
Of those that do export, 58 percent export to only one country, providing what U.S. officials see as a big opportunity to expand exports.
A lot of the above stats can be found at UPS Business Monitor.

Read more here.

Another interesting piece: Export volumes: Is it possible to double exports in five years? ~ The Economist

Friday, February 19, 2010

Global Mobile "R" Us

How mobile are you? What kind of global tech user are you?
Is Facebook your window to your social world? Is your mobile device the last thing you put aside before shutting the light out at night? Or does the deluge of digital information leave you flat and the ring of your cell phone leave you cranky?
Find out what kind of user you are at Pew Internet by taking a quick quiz here. The range is:
  • "Digital Collaborators"
  • "Media Movers"
  • "Tech Indifferents"
  • "Off the Network"
When you press the 'Calculate My Results' button, a new page will tell you in which group you fit, along with a description of the general characteristics of that group.

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

How To Craft a Successful Russia Strategy

The Joseph C. Wilson Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, Rawi Abdelal (), is the author of Capital Rules: The Construction of Global Finance (Harvard University Press, 2007). He pens this piece as well:

The Globe: The Promise and Peril of Russia’s Resurgent State

Short snippet here:
After Putin became Russia’s president in 2000, Goldman Sachs predicted that Brazil, Russia, India, and China would soon be among the world’s most important economies and coined the term BRIC. However, Russia’s economic growth, which averaged a healthy 7% from 1998 to 2007, has been undermined by the global economic crisis. Russia’s economy was projected to contract by 6.8% in 2009, according to the OECD, and Brazil’s by 0.8%, while India’s and China’s were projected to grow by 5.9% and 7.7%, respectively, despite the global recession.
Is Russia in danger of falling out of the BRIC grouping? Would companies be better off entering other emerging markets, particularly given the complexities of doing business in Russia? How do companies craft successful Russia strategies?
More here but you must subscribe or buy a single copy PDF to read the entire piece.
Another good resource is: Doing Business in Russia by the World Bank Group.
And this might be helpful too:

[PDF: Immediate download]

Doing Business in Russia

Monday, February 15, 2010

1,000 Posts at The Global Small Business Blog

Since July 20, 2004, we have posted more than 1,000 times at The Global Small Business Blog ( We hope you will follow us for another 1,000 posts! Many thanks.

And here's an article indicating global data continues to reinforce the idea that the world business cycle has bottomed and that growth is starting to advance.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Can We Double U.S. Exports Over the Next Five Years?

Some folks don't think so.
The administration’s National Export Initiative calls for a 20 percent increase in next year’s budget for the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, bringing it to $534 million. This would enable ITA to hire up to 328 trade experts to help U.S. companies find customers in foreign countries, with a particular focus on high-growth markets like China, India and Brazil.

The ITA aims to help 23,000 businesses to start exporting or grow their international sales next year. Over the next five years, the agency is shooting for a 50 percent increase in the number of small- and medium-size businesses that export to more than one market.

The administration also wants the Export-Import Bank to increase the financing it makes available to small- and medium-size businesses from a record $4.4 billion last year to $6 billion next year.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that provides loan guarantees, export-credit insurance and direct loans to finance sales of U.S. exports.
Read more here.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Socialgraphics: A Customer Centric Approach to Global Social Strategy

According to The Altimeter, like demographics or psychographics, companies must now understand socialgraphics, which answers five key questions:
1. Where are your customers online?

2. What are your customers’ social behaviors online?

3. What social information or people do your customers rely on?

4. What is your customers’ social influence?

5. How do customers use social technologies to learn, make decisions, and support your products and services?
What is socialgraphics?
Socialgraphics is how to measure how customers use social technologies, where they are online, and how it influences them in the context of the customer life cycle.
Learn more here. This piece might be helpful as well.
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Thursday, February 11, 2010

LIVESTRONG Goes Global to Spread the Message of Hope and Perseverance to New Markets All Over the Globe

Lance Armstrong's philanthropic organization, LIVESTRONG, is taking its product line global. His company creates the iconic yellow bracelets (pictured) and other goods such as clothing and accessories.

The global push begins in July.
“We’re excited to embark on this new phase for LIVESTRONG and Nike,” said Lance Armstrong Foundation President and CEO Doug Ulman. “Lance’s return to cycling drew the eyes of the world to the fight against cancer and Nike’s support is allowing us to spread the message of hope and perseverance to new markets all over the globe.”
Read more here.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

World Population

Since 95 percent of the world's population resides outside the United States, I thought you'd like to know what you are missing out on if you run a only a local business.

World population:
6, 692,030,277 (according to Google in 2008)

That's a mighty big pie.

Look at the United States relative to the world here (very cool tool)!

Another look at population again powered by Google Docs (2008).

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Ten Reasons Why Going Global Is Advantageous To Your Company

Technology is shrinking our world into a smaller, easier place to do business and is fundamentally reshaping our lives. Here are ten reasons why going global is advantageous to your company.

1. Increases sales and profits (especially if fixed costs are tied to domestic operations) = bigger chunk of growth gain.

2. Earns a greater return from a set of core competencies.

3. Generates economies of scale in production.

4. Enhances local competitiveness and paves the way to larger, more lucrative customers.

5. Create jobs, productivity growth, and wealth.

6. Enlarges the pie of potential investors.

7. Insulates seasonal domestic (local) sales by finding new foreign markets and selling excess production capacity.

8. Cuts costs through global outsourcing.

9. Reduces dependence on existing markets.

10. Capitalizes on tax advantages.

The knowledge you gain from learning the ropes of international business will make you open to new ideas, new approaches, new marketing techniques, new customers and new confidence to take on the world!

Posted by: Laurel Delaney, The Global Small Business Blog

Monday, February 08, 2010

Oreo Odyssey

With Kraft's recent acquisition of Cadbury (take a visit, it's fun), will all the world love the Oreo, especially in emerging and other international markets Kraft is not in?

Cadbury gives Kraft an entrance without the expense (sans, of course, the acquisition itself) of breaking into such markets on its own. They might have to do a little tweaking (called adaptation) of the Oreo ingredients to meet the taste buds of consumers in markets they select to enter.

Read more here.

Also, refer to our post May 5, 2008, "Reformulating the Oreo to Sell to the World." Looks like they anticipated what was ahead.

Friday, February 05, 2010

New Phase of Economic Recovery: Tech World Rising

As the global economy mends, business spending on technology goods and services is returning -- at least that is what Ben Worthen and Don Clark claim in "Tech Spending Bounces Back as Profits Rise," published in the Wall Street Journal.

The tech world according to Cisco:
The economy has entered a new "phase of the recovery," said John Chambers, Cisco's chief executive, in a call with analysts, adding that he planned to hire up to 3,000 workers in coming quarters. "This is one of the most robust positive turnarounds I've seen in my career," he added.
The tech world according to Google:
Before he (Google CEO Eric Schmidt) got into the nitty-gritty of this year’s outlook, Google announced that revenue was up 17 percent in Q4 2009 ($6.7 billion) and up $23.65 billion for all of 2009 (for a net income of $6.5 billion).
The tech world according to NetSuite:
Having had a dreadful start to 2009, NetSuite announced record earning for the fourth quarter and year ended 31st December, 2009. From the release:
“Total revenue for the year was $166.5 million, a year-over-year increase of 9%. Total revenue for the fourth quarter was $43.0 million. Revenue from the Americas for the fourth quarter of 2009 was $35.0 million, while revenue from international regions was $8.0 million. NetSuite added approximately 295 new customers in the fourth quarter.
The tech world according to IBM:
Moreover, IBM's full-year 2009 earnings of $10.01 per share were up 13% year over year, and net income of $13.4 billion rose 9% from fiscal year 2008. Earnings for the year were a record, despite the worldwide recession. Full-year earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $9.88 per share, as well as the company's own guidance of $9.85 per share.
The company's spectacular amount of new services contract signings and a pick up in corporate IT spending figured into the improved guidance for fiscal 2010. Historically, IBM has raised its guidance for almost every quarter in the last two years. For fiscal year 2010, the company again raised its EPS guidance to $11 per share, up from a previously expected $10-$11 per share range last month.
The tech world according to Microsoft:

Microsoft posted a bigger-than-expected 60 percent increase in quarterly profit on Thursday, helped by strong sales of Windows 7, and said it expected business technology spending to recover this year.
The company said net profit came to $6.7 billion, or 74 cents a share, up from $4.2 billion, or 47 cents a share, a year earlier.
The tech world according to Apple:
For the three-month period ending Dec. 29, 2009, Apple posted earnings of $3.4 billion, on a revenue of $15.7. Compared to the year-ago figures of $11.9 billion, that amounts to $2.3 billion in net quarterly profit.
Apple shipped 8.7 million iPhones — more than double compared to the year-ago quarter — and 3.4 million Macintosh computers, up 33% from a year earlier.
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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Explore Opportunities Outside Your Local Market

Lots of good tips here on how to grow your business in a flat economy but we particularly like Tip No. 2:

Explore outside the local and domestic market. When it comes to horse racing, for years the leading buyers destination was Dubai thanks to the wealthy investments by the Royal Family. With Dubai in flux, many investors have backed off. Finley has been exploring Ireland now instead. “We were one of the first to buy and bring back horses from Ireland,” says Finley. “Now we have Irish investors interested in us.”
Read more here.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The World Wide Web Through Language

Why is it so hard to learn a foreign language?
Learning a language sometimes seems as difficult as dieting. The solution is to figure out how to stay interested after the novelty wears off.
For an option, go here.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Online Tutorial in Global Marketing

Our friends and colleagues over at globalEDGE have put together a neat little online tutorial on Global Marketing.

Test it out or get smart (direct link ... sound and all) here.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Global Game Changer

Apple's new iPad (pictured) is here and we most certainly will have to wait to see if it becomes another global game changer. Read more here.

Apple's motto which we can all learn from: Think DiFfeRent.

About Steve Jobs. One more here.

Our post about the much anticipated new product launch here. And another post October 9, 2009 on: "Who Has The Global Edge On Wireless Readers?"

Related topic wise ... watch for upcoming post to the American Express OPEN Forum on "bold innovation." Follow us on Twitter to capture it @LaurelDelaney.