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

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

How a Week in Entrepreneurship Became Global

Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock
In two weeks, Global Entrepreneurship Week kicks off with more than 40,000 events spread out over a seven day period in 123 countries with nearly 10 million fans across the planet.

As reported by Jonathan Ortmans for The Policy Dialogue on Entrepreneurship which brings to light various policies and initiatives to advance innovation and drive economic growth:
Above all, what excites me (from Jonathan Ortmans) about Global Entrepreneurship Week is how it has become truly global. While we know innovation itself is blind to national borders, Global Entrepreneurship Week is showing us that the innovators too seem to have more in common with each other than their own elders. They now form a gloriously messy cacophony of informal startup networks fueled by the challenges of a less predictable and more decentralized world. 
Are you involved?  Get going global here.