Thursday, September 30, 2010

Acting Globally

In this case, a state helps small, midsized companies target the China market.
Local small and midsized companies have experience and technologies that can be attractive to Chinese companies, but a lack of resources to explore the international market can hold them back. That's why the state is taking a role in helping these companies identify the right market and find the right partners.
Read all about it here.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Can China Move Into the Exclusive Club of High Per Capita Income Countries?

The 1992 Nobel economics laureate Gary Becker -- professor of economics at the University of Chicago and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution -- writes a magnificent opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal, "China's Next Leap Forward."

Quick insightful snippet here:
Global markets allow poor countries to grow rapidly for a while, but it is far more difficult to grow beyond middle-income levels. Much has been made of the fact that a month ago China's aggregate GDP surpassed that of Japan. But all that means is China's per capita income is about 10% of Japan's, since China's population is about 10 times that of Japan. Despite its great economic advances, China still has a long way to go to become a rich country.
Don't overlook it. Blog is equally fascinating.

Posted by: The Global Small Business Blog

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What Makes French Country Guesthouses So Charming?

Take a break. Dream of your own year in Provence. It's the rooms, gardens and breakfast tables that make a difference.

Be our guest here (be sure to click on full screen).

Related piece: French Connections

Monday, September 27, 2010

America's Export Goals Target Small Businesses

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock
Only 4 percent of U.S. small businesses export, according to the Small Business Administration. Fortune 500 firms dominate exports, even though they comprise a small percentage of U.S. businesses.

Our friend, esteemed colleague and foreign correspondent, Josh Kurlantzick (check out his book "Charm Offensive"), writes a good piece on:

Obama's Export Goals Target Small Business for

One of my comments was:
What’s more, she says, history suggests small companies respond to these initiatives: As the Commerce Department has expanded its Gold Key program, which helps exporters connect with potential buyers overseas, demand for Gold Key has increased steadily among small companies. And once these entrepreneurs stick their toes into exporting, they learn that they can manage some of the risks. Besides Gold Key, entrepreneurs who work with the Export-Import Bank can get credit insurance that steps in and pays exporters when customers don’t. “Once you have that security,” says Delaney, “exporting doesn’t seem so scary.”
Read the entire article here.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Bird's Eye View of Downtown Chicago

Photo credit: Laurel Delaney,
Have a great weekend everyone!

When I took this photo, I was standing on a pier that extended out over Lake Michigan near Fullerton Avenue beach while looking South at downtown Chicago.

Posted by: The Global Small Business Blog

Friday, September 24, 2010

Why You Need a Website In Our Wired World

Here are six reasons why you need a website.

No. 1 of 6:

Stand out from the crowd. Taking the easy, cheap route rarely wins new clients or influences prospective customers. If anyone can start a blog or be on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, what distinguishes one company from the millions of others? By having a traditional website, you show you have a little investment in the game. Sure, creating new digital marketing channels can boost your business star power online, but these social media platforms should not stand alone.
Read my entire contribution over at Verio, a world-class web-hosting company for SMBs around the globe:

Why SMBs Need a Website, Not Just a Free Facebook Account

Full disclosure: Verio is a client and we are a happy customer of Verio's at

Posted by: The Global Small Business Blog

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Becoming An Export Country

With its, "Export Nation" article, MyBusiness Magazine (NFIB) tells you what you need to know about the government’s ambitious export initiative—and whether your business can profit.

Be sure to catch the following part for a glimpse at a powerful learning lesson that a small business owner experienced on an export deal:
Earlier this year, Sheridan O’Brien, an NFIB member and owner of industrial products convertor, manufacturer and distributor CS Hyde Co. in Lake Villa, Ill., received a large Internet order via credit card from Germany—close to $20,000 worth of tape and film. The customer kept adding to the order, requiring CS Hyde to pay the freight forwarder—a third-party company that arranges overseas shipments—several different times. This made her suspicious. She called the credit card company and sure enough, the card was a fraud, even though it initially showed up as approved. CS Hyde ended up paying a fake shipping company $7,000 out of its own coffers.
See how it ends up here.

At this blog or elsewhere online, we've covered how critical it is to arrange a secure method of payment (refer to "Methods of Payment" by Laurel Delaney) on international transactions. It doesn't have to be complicated. Don't let the notion of how to get paid scare you away from exporting. You just need to consult with your trusted banker (that's how I learned the ropes). Hopefully, they have a strong international division to walk you through your options. If they don't, find a bank that does!

As for "Export Nation," happy to be quoted in it. Special thanks to Christina Galoozis for writing it. Over time, the topic will become even more relevant and only grow in importance.

Posted by: The Global Small Business Blog

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How to Plan To Go Global

Inc. published a feature, "9 Tips For Doing Business Globally (nice slide show!)," offering some basic, general tips on how to get started in taking your business across borders.

I am not so sure hiring a guide is critical to conducting business internationally. Interpreter, yes, if needed, to translate conversations but a guide is not generally necessary unless you plan to do an awful lot of sightseeing in a market you are unfamiliar with. Most small business owners don't spend gobs of time dilly-dallying on business trips. They line up appointments with key people, get the business done and return to running their business.

Posted by: The Global Small Business Blog

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The New National Export Initiative Web Page

Ingram Publishing
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) launched a new web page dedicated to USTR's work on the President's National Export Initiative (NEI).
As President Obama announced in his State of the Union address, agencies across the federal government are teaming up under the National Export Initiative to create jobs by expanding exports. This page will serve as a one-stop shop for updates on USTR's NEI work and connections to the entire NEI effort across the Obama Administration.
Visit here.

Posted by: The Global Small Business Blog

Friday, September 17, 2010

How to Work the World Efficiently: Love Logistics by UPS

UPS is making the world a better (and easier) place to conduct global business and celebrating in a big way (watch video).

They've launched their first global business-to-business campaign, “We Love Logistics,” to emphasize its breadth of services. The campaign includes direct mail, print, TV, digital, social media and out-of-home and targets business decision-makers.

Read more about this:

UPS delivers first global b-to-b campaign, ‘We Love Logistics

UPS delivers 'amore' -

upside, the UPS blog

Visit the most powerful force in business today:

UPS: The New Logistics

Posted by: The Global Small Business Blog

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The World Has Changed

International Business Times reporter Hao Li writes, "Global Demand Shifting to Emerging Markets," about how the world has changed with more businesses looking to emerging markets for growth.

According to Ding Yifan, an economist from a Chinese think-tank (reported via Reuters), the U.S. would be the loser in a trade war with China partly because U.S. exporters would lose access to Chinese customers.

I was honored to speak with Mr. Li about how small businesses factor into the grand scheme of emerging market opportunities. Here are a couple of my quotes:
Laurel Delaney, president of GlobeTrade, said the lack of capital and education is indeed two main reasons that small businesses aren't exporting, so government export programs are probably on the right track.

Delaney said the Internet is another reason exporting is increasingly feasible for small businesses because it dramatically reduces the cost of contacting customers. She said the recent emergence of social media makes connecting with prospects globally even more realistic.

Moreover, U.S. businesses should keep in mind exporting doesn't only involve goods, but also services. For small businesses, services exports will become increasingly important, said Delaney.
Read the entire article here.

Comments? We welcome them.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Will the USA Small Business Owner Exporting Civilian Aircraft Please Claim Their Prize?

Census Bureau's Global Reach blog says:

Last month (June 2010) saw a $7.9 billion increase in the deficit despite a 3.3% drop in petroleum imports. This month, the trade deficit improved despite petroleum imports holding steady at $26.8 billion. A drop of $0.7 billion in crude oil was offset by increases in fuel oil and other petroleum products.
And, they go on further to say:
The increase in exports was driven by civilian aircraft, up $1.4 billion to $3.6 billion in July.
If you are a small business owner (with less 500 employees) exporting civilian aircraft as noted above, please let us know so you can claim your prize.

We wish to honor you here with a special feature story and will definitely let the Obama administration know that their National Export Initiative, which encourages small businesses to export, is working!

Posted by: Laurel Delaney, The Global Small Business Blog

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Untouchable Subjects Now Within Reach and Free to Anyone, Anywhere in the World

MIT OpenCourseWare

Get going. It's free. To anyone. Anywhere.
Watch. Listen. Learn.

Read self-learner Physicist Wendy Ermold's story here on how she learns new concepts and ideas in her rare off hours. You can too.

Monday, September 13, 2010

It's Smart to Sell Your Products Abroad

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock
My fellow colleague and good friend Steve Strauss, a USA Today columnist, builds a strong case on how any sized business with an Internet connection can become global provided they do their homework.

And we thank him for including us in it!

Follow Steve on Twitter at @SteveStrauss.

Taking a Business Global Isn't Easy, But It Can Pay Off

Posted by: The Global Small Business Blog

Thursday, September 09, 2010

An Opportunity to Grow Your Business Internationally

How can an entrepreneur or small business owner pass this up? British Airways (BA) offers U.S. entrepreneurs and small business owners the critical tools for building business relationships abroad and stimulating growth Face-to-Face.
As part of the Face-to-Face campaign, BA will award 250 small businesses the opportunity to travel to London and beyond through the British Airways Face of Opportunity contest. Any entrepreneur or small business owner with a clear business need for international exposure should visit for the opportunity to compete for and win a free flight.
British Airways strongly believes face-to-face interaction with global stakeholders is a critical tool to help entrepreneurs and small businesses build ongoing, mutually beneficial business relationships abroad, effectively supporting U.S. economic growth and global expansion and exports.
To learn more and apply, go here. Jump straight to contest here and good luck!

Posted by: The Global Small Business Blog

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The Global Citizen Sector

Citizen sector is defined by Bill Drayton, CEO of Ashoka and Valeria Budinich, founder and chief entrepreneur of Ashoka’s Full Economic Citizenship Initiative, as:
... the term we use to define the millions of groups established and run by mission-minded individuals across the globe who are attempting to address critical social needs—has long been regarded as understaffed and inefficient. But that has changed. We work with some 3,000 social entrepreneurs worldwide, and over the past 30 years we’ve seen the citizen sector catch up with business as it has increased its productivity, size, and reach. Its organizations are attracting talented and creative leaders, and their work is changing the game in critical industries and areas such as energy and health care.
Read more about this at "A New Alliance for Global Change," but you cannot access the entire article without first subscribing or purchasing a single copy PDF over at Harvard Business Review. And once there, you might also pick up a copy of, "Can Entrepreneurs Save the World?"

Related piece here (blog post by Ashoka).

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

A Sense of Globalization Is Very Important

Foreign Policy Contributing Editor Christina Larson talks with Google Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt about what makes a city smart, how not to lose $1 trillion -- and the one place he's never been. Very interesting read.

How is information technology changing the world?

When I was growing up, an elite controlled the media. And the majority of the world was very, very poor, both in a resource sense and an information sense. Since then, a set of things have occurred: the digital revolution, the mobile revolution, and so forth -- of which I am enormously proud because they are roughly the equivalent of lifting people from abject poverty and ignorance to a reasonable ability to communicate and participate in the conversation.

Information empowers individuals. And it has a huge and overwhelmingly positive impact on society. Think of someone who can now get information about finance or technology, or they're in school and they can't afford textbooks but access information online. Or imagine medicine -- I mean there's just issue after issue.

Globalization has clearly been responsible for lifting at least 2 billion people from abject poverty to extremely low levels of middle class. As a result, they have greater access to education and opportunity; they are much less likely to attack you, and they're busy trying to fulfill their low-cost version of the American Dream. They're trying to buy a car.
Read the entire interview: "Googlopolis"

Posted by: The Global Small Business Blog

Monday, September 06, 2010

How to Push Your Business to Get Growth From Developing Markets

In a recent Wall Street Journal Article, "Philips's CEO Urges Local Strategies for Emerging Markets," reporter Paul Glader interviews Philips Electronics NV Chief Executive Gerard Kleisteriee.

Kleisteriee shines a magnificent light on his firm's global strategy. The company aims to boost emerging-market sales from 30% to 50% by 2015 by focusing on China.

An interesting snapshot:

WSJ: What do companies have to do differently now in emerging markets?
Mr. Kleisterlee: It does not suffice to serve only the metropolitan areas. In India and in China you need to have good rural distribution.
Increasingly we, and also our competitors, develop products in these emerging markets for the emerging markets. So it is not a European or a U.S. concept that gets sold in China or India but things that we have designed, engineered and manufactured locally for the local market.
Read the entire interview here.

By the way, I did not know Philips has an online store.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Friday, September 03, 2010

Take Part in the Global Economy

Expanding internationally (for example, exporting or importing) is a great way to grow your business faster, generate greater profits and take part in the global economy.

Here's a sample of what you need to know provided by, the official business link to the U. S. government, which shows a BIG initiative to help SMBs export:

Thursday, September 02, 2010

World: Work Past 100

Wishing one of my favorite global execs, Warren Buffett, the best ever 80th birthday.

Forbes on Warren Buffett

Posted by: Laurel Delaney, The Global Small Business Blog

P.S. I still keep thinking that Bill Gates will take over Berkshire Hathaway someday!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

The World According to the U.S. Census Bureau

Countries and areas ranked by population in 2010, 2020 and 2030. Interesting. What are your thoughts about this? Two decades from now, India rules. The United States can't seem to alter its No. 3 position.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, International Data Base