Saturday, December 31, 2011

Key to Future Success For Small Businesses: Going Global

Whether you think small or big, you can still take your business global!  What's needed to make it happen is more support and education to show the value of exports to small businesses.
According to the UPS Perceptions of Global Trade Survey, 24 percent of small businesses are currently engaged in global commerce, and many of those businesses are experiencing a large return from global trade. Of businesses who are doing business overseas, 66 percent report that exporting contributes up to a quarter of their annual revenue.
Learn more here.

Laurel Delaney says:
"While it might seem counterintuitive for small businesses to expand internationally with the economic challenges in the U.S., now is the time for calculated risk. By connecting with companies that have already been successful exporting, companies new to the process can realize the benefits of engaging in global trade a lot faster," said Laurel Delaney, owner of small-business consulting firm Global TradeSource, Ltd. "The simplest way for SMBs to find a successful exporting lead is good old-fashioned word-of-mouth coupled with a great company website."
More news on the survey:  A Survey Conducted by TNS, MarketWatch and UPS Pressroom

Posted by:  The Global Small Business Blog

Friday, December 30, 2011

Great American Leaders

Digital Vision/Thinkstock
From Chicago Defender's Robert Abbott to Totino's Pizza's Rose Totino to Herman's Miller's Michael Volkema, these great American leaders are featured in a database that was compiled in an effort to identify and chronicle the lives of 20th century men and women whose (global) business leadership shaped the ways that people live, work, and interact. 

Visit:  20th Century American Leaders Database

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Why Brazil Is Booming

Brazil is now the world's seventh-largest economy, GDP in 2010 grew at a 7.5% rate. Over the next two years, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development predicts, growth will continue at a healthy 4% rate.

As the article states:
A burgeoning middle class is generating growing demand for automobiles, televisions, computers and other products that a generation ago were out of reach for many Brazilians.
Are you poised to take advantage of it?  Learn more here.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Importing Substandard Products: Don't Even Think About It

The Director General of Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), Dr Joseph Odumodu appealed to importers to stop the importation of substandard products into the country.
According to him, the fine for importing substandard products has been increased from N10, 000 to N2 million, in addition to seizing the goods, prosecuting and sending the importer to jail.

“Let me tell you one thing, SON has changed its strategy, when we catch you, we seize your goods, trail you and send you to jail.
Learn more here.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Hidden Benefit to Globalization

Below is an article on how globalization increasingly allows companies to avoid United States taxes and regulation.

The Benefits of Incorporating Abroad in an Age of Globalization

Monday, December 26, 2011

App Obsession Goes Global

The app obsession has gone global. App downloads grew this year but 2011 was a turning point: This was the first year that these mobile devices outsold desktop and laptop PCs.
We mobile consumers demonstrated this very clearly both in the U.S. and abroad: Apple this month hit 18 billion downloads total on its iOS App Store, and Google’s Android Market likewise hit 10 billion.
Find out why here and what to look for in 2012.

Illustration credit here.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Migration Makes a Connected World Brainier

Excellent opinion piece by Robert Guest for The Wall Street Journal.

First though, from the Partnership for a New American Economy (which is a snippet to the lead on the commentary):
I once asked the boss of Tata Consulting Services, a gigantic Indian IT firm, how many of his top executives had worked or studied abroad. He replied: "All of them."

The world's most talented people are exceptionally mobile. When they move to America, they make it smarter, and that's not just because they are smart. It is also because migration creates connections.
Read the commentary:  How Immigrant Entrepreneurs Turbocharge U.S. Trade

Robert Guest is the Economist's business editor.  His new book is Borderless Economics: Chinese Sea Turtles, Indian Fridges and the New Fruits of Global Capitalism

Friday, December 23, 2011

Green Standards For An Ever Changing Complex World

Walmart’s Chinese sales receipts account for only 2 percent of the company’s annual revenues or roughly $7.5 billion. Fortunately, its sales in China have risen substantially over the past decade. Not the case in the United States; they have been shrinking.

What does this mean? Is China changing Walmart or is Walmart changing China?  Looks like new green initiatives are in the works.
The world’s biggest corporation and the world’s most populous nation have launched a bold experiment in consumer behavior and environmental stewardship: to set green standards for 20,000 suppliers making several hundred thousand items sold to billions of shoppers worldwide. Will that effort take hold, or will it unravel in a recriminatory tangle of misguided expectations and broken promises?
Read the entire article here.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

5 Tips to Grow Your Export Sales

Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock
As one expert says, "Start small, but start."

Here are five tips to reduce risk, increase opportunities and grow your export sales.

Read: IndustryWeek: 5 Keys to Growing Your Export Sales

Posted by: The Global Small Business Blog

Monday, December 19, 2011

Select a Company Name That Reflects Happy and International

Why didn't I think of this company name?

Joy Global
Joy Global Inc. is a worldwide leader in high-productivity mining solutions. Through its market-leading businesses – P&H Mining Equipment and Joy Mining Machinery – the company manufactures and markets original equipment and aftermarket parts and services for both the underground and above-ground mining industries and certain industrial applications. Joy Global's products and related services are used extensively for the mining of coal, copper, iron ore, oil sands, gold and other mineral resources.
Global demand.  Global reach.  Learn more here.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

World: Experience the Mysterious

©Laurel J. Delaney 2011, "Beach Art"
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed." ~ Albert Einstein

Friday, December 16, 2011

Do Your Part to Change the World

Search, find your cause, change the world -- those are the words of Barton Brooks, founder of Global Colors, working to create self-sustaining grassroots projects for the common good of each community it serves.
Global Colors came after he took a trip to a small village in Cambodia. He says he was so moved by the people and their struggles that he decided to form his own organization to help get aid to people in need. To fund the first Global Colors projects, Barton sold his only asset at the time—a Shelby Cobra replica he built by hand. "It turned into education for kids and sustaining life for some widows in Kenya, so it's kind of hard to miss it that much," he says.
Read more here.

Posted by:  The Global Small Business Blog

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Exporting: Got a Marketing Plan?

If you are considering exporting, better get organized on the marketing front. This article might help.
Keep the research summary to one page, and break it into four manageable parts (refer to article below). The purpose of this exercise is to establish a broad scope on your research market analysis but not so broad that you overwhelm yourself. Try to begin with the end in mind: Where do you want to go and how will you know that you have arrived?
How to Develop an Export Marketing Plan

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Changing the World One Heart at a Time

What is Hearts For Hearts Girls?
Playmates Toys, the company behind Hearts For Hearts Girls, is among the most respected and innovative marketing and distribution companies in the global toy industry. Playmates Toys has a proven 40-year history in the creation of innovative and imaginative products as well as the development and management of profitable, long-term brand franchises.
Learn real stories from girls all over the world here.  And why it matters.  Visit World Vision as well.

Posted by:  The Global Small Business Blog

Monday, December 12, 2011

Nepal Trade and Export Promotion Center

The Government of Nepal established "Trade and Export Promotion Centre (TEPC)," a national trade promotion organization of the country in November 2006. They accomplished this by merging three organizations: the Trade Promotion Centre, Export Promotion Board and Carpet and Wool Development Board. The objective is to promote foreign trade with particular emphasis on exporting from the country.

Learn more here.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Tip for Global Small Businesses?

It's our monthly e-newsletter, Borderbuster!  You probably already know about it but just in case, go here to subscribe.

Tips for Small Businesses Going Global

And see what the Federation of International Trade Associations (FITA) says about Borderbuster.  They must like it because they featured it to more than 70,000 readers of their own newsletter!  They also mention The Global Small Business Blog and the Import and Export site.

We are grateful and thank FITA for their support.  Our social media platforms are buzzing!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

A New Type of Hyperconnectivity

Top Photo Group/Thinkstock
With technology, mass migration is changing the way that people do business
In the flat world of maps, sharp lines show where one country ends and another begins. The real world is more fluid. Peoples do not have borders the way that parcels of land do. They seep from place to place; they wander; they migrate.
Read the entire article: Migration and business: Weaving the world together | The Economist

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Global Distortions

How do you battle cheap and low quality imports and other 'global distortions' in your country?  See what Brazil is doing to combat these dumping woes by way of a lesson from tire producer Pirelli.

Read:  Brazil's Consumers Go To Ground

Pirelli Corporate

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Wake Up World: The Future of Computing Is Here

David Gelernter, Professor of Computer Science at Yale, offers his fresh and compelling view on future computing, including his new concept called "lifestreams." Worth a read.
The idea, though, of lifestreams has been catching on. A lifestream is a way of organizing digital objects—photos, emails, documents, Web links, music—in a time-ordered series. A timeline, in essence, that extends into the past but also the future (with appointments, to-do lists, etc.). Facebook, with its "wall" constantly updated with postings by you and your friends, is a lifestream. Twitter's feed is a lifestream. "Chatter," developed by for internal use by client companies, is a lifestream.
Rethinking the Digital Future

More on David at Edge and Wikipedia

Monday, December 05, 2011

How To Survive Running a Small Business In Egypt? Egyptology

Read Jane Akshar’s life story which has all the makings of a best-seller and a lesson on taking a small business global.  Fascinating.

Global Entrepreneurship:  Running a Small Business in Egypt

Jane and Mahmoud's business: Flats in Luxor.  Curious about the 'Egyptology' part?  Go here.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Hello World: Go Live Your Dream Today

©Laurel J. Delaney 2011, "Rogers Park, Illinois Lakefront"
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Friday, December 02, 2011

Is Asia's Export-Oriented Model Dead?

Stephen S. Roach, non-executive Chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia, lecturer at Yale University's School of Management and Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and author of "The Next Asia" has  word or two to say about whether Asia's export-oriented model is dead or not.

Asia's Wake-Up Call:  Is The Export-Oriented Model Dead?

Posted by:  The Global Small Business Blog

Thursday, December 01, 2011

The State of the World, According to OECD

In its report on the state of the global marketplace, the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) says:
"Trade growth slowed strongly in most major economies in the third quarter of 2011."
Learn more here.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Proof That a Shipment Is In Good Condition

When you place an order with a supplier located thousands of miles away, how do you protect yourself on the quality of the merchandise before it is released?

Request an inspection certificate.  Make it a condition (required document) within your payment arrangement.  Learn more here and here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thunderbird Global Business Dialogue 2011

Thunderbird School of Global Management launched an ongoing discussion about leadership in the 21st century with a signature business conference Nov. 10-11, 2011, at the Glendale Renaissance Hotel and Spa in Arizona.

The inaugural Thunderbird Global Business Dialogue drew more than 1,000 business, government and social sector leaders from more than 50 countries to explore the theme, “Redefining Global Leadership.”
The Thunderbird Global Business Dialogue is Thunderbird School of Global Management’s first attempt at holding a keynote international business conference in Arizona or globally, and was the largest event the school has held to date. Over the course of two days, more than 1,000 attendees including many Thunderbird alumni and 95+ world-class speakers and panelists from all over the world participated.
Learn more here.

Meanwhile, the next Global Business Dialogue will be held in Berlin, Germany in May 2012 and will focus on European Perspectives.  For more information, please visit:

Monday, November 28, 2011

Small and Medium Business (SMB) IT Spending Worldwide

IDC, considered the premier global market intelligence firm, also covers the SMB market.  Here's what they predict (2010):
In the next 12-18 months, IDC expects a variety of evolutionary and revolutionary changes to take place in the small and medium-sized business (SMB) technology market that will drive opportunities on both a worldwide and regional basis. Based on this, and with in-depth knowledge of key technology areas where SMB offerings are dominant, IDC has expanded its research and consulting capabilities around understanding the SMB opportunity.
Learn more here.  Be sure to also check out:  Exploring the Global SMB Marketplace

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011

How Collaborating Pays Off in the Global Marketplace

At a trade summit recently organized by the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, there was talk about the challenges for small and medium-sized companies entering growing and complex markets.

In addition, Cubex shares its story about how it collaborated with a key competitor, to fill a product void and to reach a global audience.

It's all here:  Going global all about strategy, timing

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks to You Dear Readers Round the World!

©Laurel Delaney 2011, "World's Largest Pumpkin"
Thank you for your readership and comments from time to time. Without you, this blog would not be nearly as lively or as much fun.   Have a Happy Thanksgiving (celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada)!

Posted by The Global Small Business Blog

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How to Rev Up American Exports

The Wall Street Journal's David Wessel moderates a discussion on the U.S. trade gap and how to fire up the export engines. Read the edited excerpts of the conversation below.

Building a U.S. export economy start with a new mind-set for companies

Here's one comment:
Only 1% of U.S. firms today are exporters. In a sense, U.S. firms have never had the export muscle—or to the extent that they had it, that muscle has atrophied over time.
And one of four recommendations:

To ensure growth, U.S. businesses should recognize the importance of developing foreign markets, including locally based products and services. They should set targets and goals for increasing participation in foreign markets and encourage more U.S. nationals to live abroad for a period. Government can help by providing support and education to smaller and medium-size businesses to increase their exports.
Related article:

Leading with a Global Mindset (1998) by Laurel Delaney

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

An Import/Export Business Is Born

See how Mary Smith and Tom Jackson got started in the import and export business.

by Laurel Delaney, Import & Export Guide

Posted by:  The Global Small Business Blog

Monday, November 21, 2011

Generate Additional Revenue For Your Business: Expand Internationally

The Institute for Chartered Accountants in Australia in conjunction with Ernst and Young has produced a thought leadership paper entitled "Business Briefing:  20 Issues For Businesses Expanding Internationally."

It covers:
  • Planning for expansion
  • Choosing your location
  • Conducting business overseas
Read the paper here.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Smile to the World

©Laurel Delaney 2011, "Skokie Art Center" 
"Start every day with a smile and get it over with." W.C. Fields

Posted by:  The Global Small Business Blog

Friday, November 18, 2011

How Students Can Prepare for the Global Marketplace

Studying abroad is all the rage these days because young people want to take on the world.  But where are the students studying?
And students are studying in less traditional destinations. Although the UK, Italy, Spain and France still top the list, China continues to attract with nearly 14,000 students studying there in 2009/10 compared to fewer than 3,000 in 1999/00. Fifteen of the top 25 destinations were outside of Western Europe and 19 were countries where English is not a primary language. There was a 44 % increase in U.S. students going to India, and Israel, Brazil, New Zealand and Egypt showed large percentage gains.  
Stacie Nevadomski Berdan has studying abroad for students covered in:

The Right Study Abroad Program Can Prepare Students for the Global Marketplace

Posted by:  The Global Small Business Blog

Thursday, November 17, 2011

ITA: International Trade Administration (U.S.A.)

Are you operating a business in the United States and need help with exporting and country and regional market information?

Have you looked at the International Trade Administration?  It's considered the bible of international trade information.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

LIVE From Washington Post: It's Exporting for Growth!

Everything you ever wanted to know about exporting and then some.  You'll hear from Terry LaRocca, State of Illinois, John Nevell, U.S. Small Business Administration, Tony Hoti, President, Intercom Ventures, Michael Howard, Export-Import Bank, Julie Carducci, U.S. Department of Commerce, Frank Lavin, Export Now (refer to our earlier post) and Stan Deans, President, Illinois District, UPS.

Go here to access videos where experts discuss how small businesses can efficiently export goods and services abroad.

Brought to you by:  Washington Post Live

Related article(s):

Starter Kit for Illinois Businesses Looking to Export
Small Firms Lead the Way In Illinois Exports

Posted by:  The Global Small Business Blog

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Where Can You Find Growth? You Must Go Global!

Good commentary by local columnist John Shoemaker for Wicked Local Wrentham about how to find growth for your business:  take it global!
It was the rallying cry for so many in small and medium size businesses: "We must go global!"
And it emphasizes how global commerce, the desire for individual freedom and the Internet are churning out more and more global entrepreneurs!

Read the entire opinion piece: When Business Goes Global

Monday, November 14, 2011

How China's Market Is Changing Fast

Find out how China is changing and leaving the companies who wish to do business there  - breathless.

You must register to access this article.

China's confident consumers

Posted by:  The Global Small Business Blog

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Wherever You Are: Is Your Head in the Clouds?

©Laurel Delaney 2011, "Clouds, Chicago lakefront."
"It is better to have your head in the clouds, and know where you are ... than to breathe the clearer atmosphere below them, and think that you are in paradise." ~ Henry David Thoreau

Posted by:  The Global Small Business Blog

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Rest of the World Awaits the iPhone 4S

Effective November 11th, Apple will be offering its iPhone 4S (pictured) to:
Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, El Salvador, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Malta, Montenegro, New Zealand, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Romania and South Korea.
Seventy (70) countries are expected to be selling the iPhone 4S before the close of 2011.

Read the entire article here.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Is Walmart Really Changing China?

Or is it the other way around?  Walmart wants to set green standards for 20,000 suppliers making several hundred thousand items sold to billions of shoppers worldwide. The question becomes:  Will that effort take hold, or will it unravel?
Although Walmart’s $7.5 billion in Chinese sales receipts account for only 2 percent of the company’s annual revenues, its sales in China have risen substantially over the past decade.  Sales in the United States, by contrast, have been shrinking.  And as China’s retail market—the world’s fastest-growing—expands by 18 percent a year, Walmart’s executives smell the intoxicating scent of more growth to come.  Equally important, if not more so, some 20,000 Chinese suppliers, or “partners,” reportedly provide Walmart with about 70 percent of the nearly $420 billion worth of goods that it sells globally each year.
Take a look here.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

How to Cultivate Global Clients Using the Web

With technology tools and the Internet, everyone realizes it's a lot easier to connect globally and cultivate clients from all parts of the world.

Here's a look at how a couple of small business owners are doing just that.

How Small Businesses Are Going Global - The Network:  Cisco's Technology News Site

Posted by:  The Global Small Business Blog

Monday, November 07, 2011

The Golden Dragon: China's Favorite Pen

When you travel overseas to meet with customers and suppliers, it's always a nice gesture to bring a gift.  It should never be anything too expensive.  Rather, it's the thought that counts.

Some of the items I have given to customers are Chicago (my home city) t-shirts or baseball caps from a winning athletic team (think the Bulls or the White Sox), special chocolates (e.g., Frango mints formerly produced by Marshall Field and Company and now Macy's) or a nice Parker pen.

If you are traveling to China, it's looks like the Parker Golden Dragon pen is the one to give.  The pricier the better.  And here I thought it was important to give a gift with the cache of America.  Live and learn.

Read:  In China the Pen Is Mightier When It's Pricier

Saturday, November 05, 2011

How We Learn Worldly Wisdom

©Laurel Delaney 2011, "Loyola University Chicago Lake Shore Library, Reflection"
By three methods we may learn wisdom:  First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest. ~ Confucius

Friday, November 04, 2011

Expand Abroad, Locally: It's Called Selling to An Export Trading Company

Digital Vision/Thinkstock
Frank Lavin, the U.S. Commerce Department’s former undersecretary for international trade and also a former U.S. ambassador to Singapore says this:
“The smaller the company, the less practical it becomes to learn a new language, deal with new tax codes and currencies and to take a huge global risk.”
Laurel here:  totally do not agree.  Think of it this way:

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." ~ Chinese Proverb

Laurel's version:

"So give a small business owner a local sale with a premium transaction fee attached and you allow them to increase their revenues for a day. Teach a small business owner how to export and you allow them to go global for a lifetime." ~ Laurel's export-related twist on Chinese Proverb

Lavin's solution?  Export Now (his new company).
Here is how it works: American businesses mail their goods, on consignment, to Export Now’s U.S. facilities. From there, items are collected and shipped by sea to a warehouse in China. Once the merchandise arrives in China, business owners are free to begin advertising and selling their items on, an online marketplace similar to eBay.
Catch or cost?
There is an annual fee of $3,000, plus a 10 percent transaction fee on each sale.  Ouch!
Anyone ever hear of the Export Trading Company Act (1982)?
The Export Trading Company Act (ETCA) was created by Congress to enable U.S. firms to collaborate with each other to reduce their exports costs, become more efficient at exporting, and, in turn, compete more effectively in the export market.
Another definition here.

Read the entire article about Lavin's new export trading company here.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Never Sell Globally on Open Account; Here's Why

What is open account?
Open account means you ship goods or sell services globally without any guarantee of collecting payment on a transaction.
Read more to find out why you should never sell on open account -- no ands, ifs or buts.

Blogs on Entrepreneurs | Crain's Chicago Business
by Laurel Delaney

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

LIVE From Singapore: The World Entrepreneurship Forum 2011

The 2011 edition of the World Entrepreneurship Forum takes place in Singapore from November 2-5, 2011 at the Shangri-la Hotel, Singapore -- where 150 members from 70 countries, mainly entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs -- will gather for three days to suggest recommendations on "Entrepreneurship -- a Driver For Innovation and Technology."
  • Opening session takes place Singapore time on November 2nd at 6.00 p.m.
  • "Entrepreneur for the World" Gala Ceremony on November 3rd in the evening
  • Closing lunch on November 5th at 12:30 noon
WorldEntrepreneurshipForum2011Presentation.pdf (Download PDF: 2.17 MB)

Watch LIVE here (look at left sidebar where it says DIRECT Access)

Related posts:  World Entrepreneurship Forum

Full disclosure:  Laurel Delaney is a member of the World Entrepreneurship Forum