Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Should Every SME Become a Global Business?

We sure hope so. Yet according to Brendan Murtagh, speaking at the 28th annual Caribbean Accountants Conference, he said:
"I'm not suggesting every SME needs to become a global business, but to be the best they can be, they have to understand that there are going to be opportunities out there in the current climate whereby they can get together and leverage what they have together with other partners, and actually make a stronger, better business that's going to add to the economy as a whole. We are saying if you are going to recognize these opportunities, you have to step back and ask how are we going to do it?"
Read more here.

Note: IASB Issues Accounting Standard for SMEs

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

P&G Extends Reach to Some of the Most Populous Countries in the World

The U.S. and Europe are in a slump so Procter and Gamble plans to target India -- where consumers remain a tough sell -- for its international expansion push.

Read more here.

P&G India here. P&G India: brands.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Qatar Airways Sets Its Skies Overseas

Guess who's flying the skies with big global expansion plans? Qatar Airways, considered the world's 5-star airline.

Over the next three years, Qatar Airways will be expanding its global network of destinations from 89 to 120, beginning with this week’s launch of new routes to Sao Paolo and Buenos Aires and new routes to Phuket, Hanoi, Budapest, Bucharest, Brussels and Nice beginning this fall.

Full press release on these last six destinations can be found here.

Win a trip business class ...

Enter here.

CEO Akbar Al Baker's message: here.

Posted by: The Global Small Business Blog

Friday, June 25, 2010

Most Liveable Cities in the World

Wednesday we posted about the top two most desired destinations adults prefer to live worldwide. Today we look at the Global Liveability Report.

According to the GLR, Canada (Vancouver) and Australia (Melbourne) are considered the most liveable in the world.

More comments about the ranking here.

Posted by: The Global Small Business Blog

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Learn Who's Doing What in One of the World's Most Populated Countries

My latest installment for Small Business Trends/American Express OPEN Forum: Global Sophistication: Selling in China is All the Rage

2. Starbucks. Big plan at the moment: Step up expansion into huge markets in China. Why? When you over-expand locally and entrench the marketplace, there’s nowhere else to grow but outside your own borders. China is it for Starbucks. Their plan is to open thousands of cafes in China and achieve great success in one of the largest markets in the world.

Tip for small businesses: When local sales begin to weaken, retrench and take steps to rejuvenate sales with a global strategy.
Posted by: The Global Small Business Blog

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Top Two Most Desired Destinations Among Adults Worldwide?

The U.S. and Canada are the No. 1 and No. 2 desired destinations among adults worldwide who would like to migrate -- in other words, relocate -- permanently to another country if they could, but each nation attracts potential migrants from different backgrounds.

The United States and Canada attract potential migrants for various reasons -- personal, political, or economic -- but opportunity is the common, overarching theme. People may see moving to these countries as a chance to reunite with family members who have already moved, to find jobs, or to provide better lives for their children. Immigration policy and migrant policy, too, could play a role in the talent each nation attracts. Health and social services available to them as newcomers, and their future benefits as citizens, may be yet another factor.
Young, Less Educated Yearn to Migrate to the U.S.

Posted by: The Global Small Business Blog

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

ISO 9001 for Small Businesses: The Essential Tool of the World Economy

A new edition of the handbook, "ISO 9001 for Small Businesses," has just been jointly published by ISO and the International Trade Centre (ITC).

Its aim is to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to understand and implement the standard which gives the requirements for quality management systems.

ISO 9001 is used in some 176 countries by businesses and organizations large and small, in public and private sectors, by manufacturers and service providers, in all sectors of activity.

Learn more here.

Posted by: The Global Small Business Blog

Monday, June 21, 2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Develop a Structured Export Strategy

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock
Here's what U.K. based Dawson Precision Components (DPC) practices:
“There’s no point in competing on price with the Far East. We do get offered some ridiculous things where you couldn’t buy the material for the price of the job.” While it did lose one contract recently to a low-cost rival, he says it quickly won the work back based on the inferior results produced by the competitor. “We’re happy to focus on precision and quality."
Read more about this company's experience in the export market here.

Posted by: The Global Small Business Blog

Friday, June 18, 2010

Enter China With Eyes Wide Open

Insightful piece with James McGregor (not pictured) of APCO Worldwide. He's a journalist turned consultant, and has been following the China story for 20 years.

Take a look at his interview, "Q&A: Doing Business In China," conducted by Emily Rauhala at The New York Times.

Check out his book, "One Billion Customers: Lessons From the Front Lines of Doing Business in China."

Posted by: The Global Small Business Blog

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Global SMEs Drive Innovation and Competition

Did you know?

Small and medium enterprises (also SMEs, small and medium businesses, SMBs, and variations thereof) are companies whose headcount or turnover falls below certain limits.
More importantly:
In many sectors, SMEs are also responsible for driving innovation and competition. Globally SMEs account for 99% of business numbers and 40% to 50% of GDP.
The term small and medium businesses or SMBs is predominantly used in the USA.

Read the official Wikipedia definition of an SME here. I like the global flavor to the piece.

Posted by: The Global Small Business Blog

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Internet Picture Show

More than 26 percent -- 26.6% percent to be exact -- of the world's population is now online. There are more than 1.8 billion Internet users. Online growth has been 399.3% from 2000-2009.

Learn more about the history and growth of the Internet here.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Power of Entrepreneurship Spreads Globally

For those who missed the World Entrepreneur of the Year awards ceremony in Monaco recently:
The 42 countries represented at the event included China and several former Soviet-bloc nations - places where starting a private business was illegal not so long ago. In other countries, the weakening of traditional business structures, such as Korean chaebol, have created opportunities for smaller players. Tax and regulatory reform, the lowering of protectionist barriers, technological advances and the rise of the Internet, all have made it easier — though certainly not easy - to create and build a business.
Ernst & Young started the competition in the U.S. in 1986 and expanded it worldwide 10 years ago.

Read more here about how entrepreneurship goes global.

And don't forget about the World Entrepreneurship Forum (full disclosure: I am a member) which is the first international think-tank devoted to global entrepreneurship.

Posted by: The Global Small Business Blog

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Improving Community Health on a Global Scale

Meet 19-year-old social entrepreneur Bianca Griffith, who is taking time out from college to build a tiny six cottage eco-hotel along the west coast of Africa, in The Gambia.

She got started by using $600 from her nonprofit, and 40 men from the village. From start to finish, the project took only four days.
The company name is half french (Sante which means health) and half English, to not only emphasize the organization’s commitment to a natural and sustainable approach to community health care but, to represent a cultural bridge between the US and Senegal.
Read more here.

Posted by: The Global Small Business Blog

Friday, June 11, 2010

Love of Languages

Very inspiring little story. I'll let you be in awe. It can start at such an early age.

Language-loving teen wants to go global

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hello World: The Superior Hockey Team Wins

Congratulations to the Chicago Blackhawks for winning the Stanley Cup (last time was in 1961!).

Story here.

Posted by: The Global Small Business Blog

International Footprints Matter

Have you considered forming a strategic alliance to take your business global?

Maybe you should consider what the Arab World is doing: 30 to 40 per cent of family businesses have an international footprint or are in the process of going global. There is a trend of acquiring or entering into strategic alliances to accomplish the "go global" goal. There's also reference to a term called "open innovation concept."

Read it for yourself here.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

VCs Are On the Hunt to Go Global

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock
According to this article, it doesn't matter if a company is located in Chicago, Dublin, or Tokyo, VCs are looking to fund great ideas anywhere in the world. Some are even opening offices overseas in an effort to find the next big international thing.

Read all about it here.

Posted by: The Global Small Business Blog

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

A Global Entrepreneur's Perspective: Calm down. Have a cup of coffee. Relax. It's cool.

Here's what happened. Ian Mount interviewed me for a special small business (exporting) guide he penned for The New York Times. In talking with him, I found his back story so fascinating that I turned around and asked if I could interview him for The Global Small Business Blog. What follows is the result of our conversation.

What were you doing before you started your free agent writing career/blog?

Mount: I’ve had a pretty roundabout journalism career, to be honest. I’d always been interested in writing, but more from the fiction writing side. Not surprisingly, when I graduated college in 1992, just after the recession we had at the end of Bush I, I couldn’t find a job for the life of me. And so, while working construction in my home town (a small town in Pennsylvania) that summer, I decided that if I was going to have a less than ideal job, I’d have it in a fun place. One twenty-eight hour Amtrak trip later, I ended up in New Orleans.

There, I worked at everything from a factory shipping manager to a museum guard to a party motivator to … a freelance journalist. After returning to Philadelphia in 1995 for a masters degree in creative writing, I decided I had to find a real job and ended up at the Philadelphia Inquirer as an editorial assistant and freelance writer (before the newspaper business disappeared).

Then after two years there and four years in New York and San Francisco as a technology and business staff writer at various publications (, Business 2.0), I decided I wanted the freedom to decide what I wanted to write about (and get rich or poor doing so). That was 2003.

Two years later, after writing for everything from New York to The New York Times to Maxim, my wife and I decided that, with a small sum we’d made buying and selling our apartment in New York, we’re try living and working abroad. We decided on Buenos Aires, Argentina. Work and life have gone well, and we haven’t looked back.

Delaney: Why did you move to Argentina (history on where you are from originally).

Mount: It was really a combination of factors:
  • The price—for such a lovely place, it was fabulously cheap in 2005 and still has a good cost/quality of life ratio.
  • Language—if you’re going to learn one other language, Spanish seemed like the one.
  • Class structure—there’s a large middle class here which means you can blend in and not have to decide between gated community and ghetto.
  • Café culture—you can always find a great café with good espresso within two blocks, and see theater/music/etc. seven nights a week.
  • Time zone—one hour ahead of New York: you get to sleep late and still get to work on time.
Delaney: How is your current global entrepreneurial venture working for you?

Mount: I have no complaints at all. Really. The low cost structure allowed me to take risks, so I learned radio journalism and started doing stories for public radio programs, which is amazing fun. Right now I’m working on a book on Argentine wine I recently sold to W.W. Norton. If I were in New York worrying about my next mortgage payment, I don’t know if I would have taken those risks.

Delaney: If we lived in a perfect world, what would you want more of? Less of?

Mount: In terms of what? Ha. The first thing that comes to mind is that my broadband has been out for 10 days. I really want more broadband that works. But seriously, as someone who is self employed I really enjoy living in a country with accessible health care. Argentina has a two-tier system—public for everyone, and private if you want to pay more for more personal care—and while that isn’t totally egalitarian (not that the U.S. system is), it means that everybody can go to the hospital without fearing bankruptcy.

Delaney: What is the single greatest adjustment you have made since you moved to Argentina while working with, I would imagine, a lot of North American folks?

Mount: As in many parts of the world outside the U.S., things sometimes don’t work here. That can either be stressful, or it can calm you down. I’ve learned to calm down. Have a cup of coffee. Relax. It’s cool. It’s amazing (and difficult) to learn that lesson. Of course, explaining to your U.S. colleagues why you’re not able to do everything right away can be difficult, but you deal with it …

Delaney: Any global/technology tips for success you can share with our readers?


1. Skype/Vonage/etc. are incredibly useful so that your U.S. clients can call you at a U.S. number and reach you wherever you are. It makes you seem closer, and that’s important.

2. Get a bank account with an international bank, like HSBC. It does make a difference.

3. Don’t gauge your experience by comparing it to the U.S. Nothing is more irritating to a local than hearing someone say, “What a disaster! In the U.S., what we do is …” Usually there’s a reason why things are like they are. Learn it before you try to change it.

4. Learn the language!

Thanks Ian.

To learn more about Ian's work, visit the following:

He can be reached at:

Ian Mount
Thames 2220 "B"
C1425FIF Buenos Aires, Argentina
Arg. (+54 11) 4774-0716 / Arg. Cel. (+54911) 3675-7575
US +1 215-253-3522 / US Fax +1 501-640-6804

Monday, June 07, 2010

SEZs Will Help Chinese Companies Go Global

According to Martyn Davies, Beijing is rolling out SEZs -- special economic zones -- in targeted African economies. There are six such zones currently operating in Africa, with more to come. It is hoped that these hubs for Chinese capital investment may prompt broader market reforms and stimulate growth in their recipient economies in the same way they did in China more than two decades ago.

The SEZs are expected to assist Chinese companies to expand into new markets on the African continent. But in addition to the economic rationale, there also exists a political motivation. These zones will create jobs and export earnings for local citizens.

Read more here.

Note: Michael E. Porter, was big on zones or critical masses for global competitive success.

Posted by: The Global Small Business Blog

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Start Making Horse Sense

Photo credit: Laurel Delaney, park near Chicago Avenue and Water Tower Place, 5/30/10
For my women readers (fans), I unearthed this article just for you.

Making Horse Sense: Eight Lessons for Businesswomen Racing to Build a New World

I wrote it because of my genuine love of horses. Enjoy! Have a great weekend.

Posted by: The Global Small Business Blog

Friday, June 04, 2010

Multicultural Communications

A blogger (fellow Chicagoan) who is yearning for meaning.
A hope that in finding the intersection of professional and personal, of conscious and subconscious, of equal and human rights and continuing segregation and access to resources, that there’s a way to tie it back to social evolution, less prejudice, and a more just, creative and prosperous world for all.
Visit her blog here.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Demand for Global Outsourcing Market Expands

Competition will increase -- a global race for market share. Growth in legal services outsourcing anticipated to be strong (especially in India) -- according to Duke University's Offshoring Research Network and PricewaterhouseCoopers survey.

Other survey findings:
  • 70 per cent of outsourcing deals in 2008 were renewed at the expiration of the first contract, down from 72 per cent in 2007.
  • Unrealistic client expectations and the lack of a client outsourcing strategy were the top reasons for contract terminations.
  • "Near-shoring" has gained momentum among companies using or considering outsourcing services.
Read more here.

Posted by: The Global Small Business Blog

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

What's In Store for the U.S. Dollar?

When safety is paramount, global investors continue to turn to the U.S. dollar. Find out why here:

The Future of the Dollar
by Charlie Slack
Merrill Lynch Advisor

As the global economy evolves, the dollar’s role will continue to shift. Even as the greenback maintains its position as the world’s reserve currency, the forces acting on it will inevitably be more global and less tied to a single economy, even one as powerful as that of the U.S.
Posted by: The Global Small Business Blog

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

iPad Goes Global

Photo credit: Laurel Delaney, 5/29/10, Apple store downtown Chicago
iPad, an Apple product, made its global debut. The rollout included the U.K., Germany, Japan, and six other countries.

Read more here.

Another: iPad Makes Foreign Debut

See our previous posts about the iPad here, here and here.

Posted by: The Global Small Business Blog