Saturday, March 31, 2012

Swing Away World

 ©Laurel Delaney 2012, "Swing Away" (Disneyland, Anaheim, CA)
“Enthusiasm is the yeast that makes your hopes shine to the stars. Enthusiasm is the sparkle in your eyes, the swing in your gait. The grip of your hand, the irresistible surge of will and energy to execute your ideas.” ~ Henry Ford

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Value Of a Face-To-Face International Business Meeting

Yes -- you can start and solidify a business relationship via telephone, Skype or email, but nothing cements it better than an in-person (face-to-face) visit with your international customer.  It's essential.

Find out why here.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

U.S. Export Funding Help

Will Ex-Im Bank's loans, loan guarantees, and insurance to American exporters and foreign buyers dry up at the end of May?
Fred Hochberg, Ex-Im’s chairman, says that 87 percent of the bank’s transactions and 20 percent of its financing dollars go to small businesses. 
Find out more here.  And another viewpoint here.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

J. Crew Scouts Global Opportunity

J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler will start selling online orders to 107 countries, spanning 41 currencies.  This is an about face for a CEO who at one time called overseas expansion a "distraction from domestic operations.”

There's a trick (I call it 'deep strategic thinking') to going global that fast.  Find out what it is here.

Illustration credit:  J. Crew homepage

Related article:

J. Crew Spreads Its Global Wings (2/27/10) -- looks like it has taken them two years to get this new international initiative off the ground.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Best Option in a Challenging World Economy: Self-Employment

Big Cheese Photo/Thinkstock
At last, a site on everything you wanted to know about self-employment and then some.

World:  Go live your dream!

Your Job Just Got Easier

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Spring Fever in Chicago!

©Laurel Delaney 2012, "Spring Has Sprung in Chicago."
"It's spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.  And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!" ~ Mark Twain

Friday, March 23, 2012

Grow Small Business, Grow Through Exports

Air Tractor, with 270 employees, is the largest employer in rural Olney -- population 3,000.  They manufacture agricultural and forestry firefighting aircraft.

For more than 15 years, they have been increasing their exports with the assistance of Export-Import Bank of the United States.  
But this overseas business and these new jobs could disappear if Congress fails to reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank before it expires at the end of May, ending the financing that makes these exports possible.
Learn more here.
Read more here:

Read more here:

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Look Who's Entering Global Markets!

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, more than 70 percent of the world's purchasing power is outside of the United States.

So, what are you waiting for?  Small Business:  Getting Into Global Markets says, "if your business isn't taking advantage of global markets, you could be missing out on some big opportunities."

Read the entire article here (and we are delighted to be quoted).  Hat tip to author Jamie Herzlich.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Perfect Global Growth Plan

To achieve success running a global small business, you must prepare!  To start, put a plan in place for the future.  Think of it as a global road map.

Try this on for size.  See if it fits or works for your business.

6 Ways to Execute a Perfect Global Growth Plan For Your Business

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Done Deal: UPS Buys TNT

UPS just boosted its logistics power.  It bought TNT for 5.2 billion euros (U.S. $6.85 billion).

Learn more here.

A marriage made on this planet.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Embracing Going Global

Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock
According to "Expanding Internationally:  How to Go Global," even small businesses can take advantage of e-commerce platforms, including global fulfillment solutions and transaction processing capabilities that are designed to enable rapid online expansion outside of the domestic market.  

Review the guide for getting started.  And you might revisit this article as well.

Posted by:  The Global Small Business Blog

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Have Yourself the Sweetest St. Patty's Day Ever

©Laurel Delaney 2012, "St. Patty's Day Cookies"
My favorite day of the year:  St. Patrick's Day.  Even if you are not Irish, pretend you are.  No one will know the difference and you will be all the more happy for the stretch!  Wish I could say I made these sweets.  Didn't.  Photographed them though.

Enjoy and Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Past Irish posts here ...

Friday, March 16, 2012

SBA's International Trade Loan Program

As a small business owner, do you plan to bring your production to the United States? Then the U.S. Small Business Administration’s International Trade Loan (ITL) program can provide you with capital to finance your fixed assets, including real estate, and working capital needs.

The program offers private lenders a 90% guarantee on loans as an incentive to encourage lending to growing small businesses.

You can use the ITL program two ways:
  1. On-shore to strengthen exports.
  2. On-shore to counter import competition.
Learn more here.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Customs Matters: World Customs Organization

In case you are unfamiliar, the World Customs Organization is the only intergovernmental organization exclusively focused on Customs matters.
It is particularly noted for its work in areas covering the development of global standards, the simplification and harmonization of Customs procedures, trade supply chain security, the facilitation of international trade, the enhancement of Customs enforcement and compliance activities, anti-counterfeiting and piracy initiatives, public-private partnerships, integrity promotion, and sustainable global Customs capacity building programmes. The WCO also maintains the international Harmonized System goods nomenclature, and administers the technical aspects of the WTO Agreements on Customs Valuation and Rules of Origin.
Harmonized System Explanatory Notes and Commodity Database On-line
The new on-line version of the Harmonized System Explanatory Notes and commodity Database offers the possibility of searching by keyword or by using an HS code number to retrieve the information you are looking for. The on-line version offers high speed solutions at little expense, and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Subscriptions are for 1, 2 or 3 years from 1 to 50 users.
To learn more about the service above, click here.  To learn more about the work of the WCO, visit here.

WCO news is published three times a year. Access:

... latest edition (ebrochure)
... latest edition (PDF)
... previous editions
... subscribe

Posted by:  The Global Small Business Blog

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Books to Nurture a Dream World

Kyobo Bookstore in Korea is known to have a large number of foreign-language books and other interesting unrelated items (e.g., music and accessories).

Check it out here but for those who only speak English, use the Google translate button.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The History of Global Small Business (Part 3 of 3)

Final thoughts for now on the evolution of small businesses expanding internationally. This is Part 3 of 3 installments and covers growth opportunities and expansion tips for global small businesses.

Small Business Globalization Through the Years (Part 3 of 3)
Opportunities and Expansion Tips

Small Business Globalization Through the Years (Part 2 of 3)
Key Growth Drivers and Challenges

And don't miss: Small Business Globalization Through the Years (Part 1 of 3)

Posted by:  The Global Small Business Blog

Monday, March 12, 2012

Women Worldwide Excel At Entrepreneurship

The U.S. Department of State asked me to write the lead article "Women Entrepreneurs Energize Economies," as part of the current eJournal USA issue "Enterprising Women, Thriving Societies."

May it inspire all individuals -- men and women alike -- to pursue their dream of becoming an entrepreneur.  There's a section tips on how to start a business -- you won't want to miss it.

Immediate download: PDF version (6.5 MB). The design and photos in the PDF file are worth a look.

Posted by:  The Global Small Business Blog

Saturday, March 10, 2012

We're Fun and We Cover International Business

According to Adam Wooten, under the global small business category, we are one of his favorite international business columnists and bloggers.
Galileo was right; the world does not revolve around me or anyone like me. By a long shot, mine is not the only column on international business, marketing, language and culture. In fact, I would like to share a list of seven of my favorite global business columnists and bloggers who write fun and informative articles on these topics.
Learn more about all seven here.

A big thank you to Adam for including us!

Friday, March 09, 2012

Meet Global Superstar Sophie, The Giraffe

Sophie la Girafe is a 7-inch-tall rubber teething toy (pictured with baby) made in Rumilly, France, created in 1961 and priced at U.S. $25 in the U.S. market.

The toy has achieved success outside its home country.

"What difference could there be between a Chinese, American or Russian baby?" he thought (referring to Mr. Jacquemier who is a minority shareholder in the company). He set out to understand why Sophie was such a hit in France—aside from the fact that most French mothers had once had their own giraffes.

The CEO hired a psychotherapist, who concluded the rubber chew toy tapped into all five senses: sight with its strongly contrasting colors; hearing with its easy squeak; taste because it is easy to chomp on; and the touch and smell of the natural rubber. The toy's petite size made it easy for babies to grip.
Find out how the producers of Sophie determined it could sell overseas and what they did to make it happen here. Fascinating story.

Sophie is made by Vulli.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Biggest Driver On The Planet: Entrepreneurship!

I've written about my involvement with the World Entrepreneurship Forum, now I wish to turn you on to a fantastic 2011 White Paper, proceedings of the fourth World Entrepreneurship Forum held in Singapore November 2-5, 2011:

To download the 56-page PDF-file report, first complete a five-second form ... it's worth it! 

Quote from Page 4:
If you think you are too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito in the room. ~ Dame Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop
Watch the video here.   Learn more about the World Entrepreneurship Forum here.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Can Social Media Influence Global Socio-Economic Change?

Can social media influence the global perceptions that bring about socio-economic change in poor rural areas with bad Internet connections?

The Organization for Youth Empowerment (OYE) is going to find out. 

Read:  Going Global on a Shoestring and a Smartphone

Review the case study in NGO social media from Honduras:

The Organization for Youth Empowerment (OYE)
the OYE social media project

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

The History of Global Small Business (Part 2 of 3)

Some additional thoughts on the evolution of small businesses expanding internationally.  This is Part 2 of 3 installments and covers the challenges and growth drivers for global small businesses.

Small Business Globalization Through the Years (Part 2 of 3)
Small Business Globalization:  Key Growth Drivers and Challenges

And don't miss: Small Business Globalization Through the Years (Part 1 of 3)

Posted by:  The Global Small Business Blog

Monday, March 05, 2012

Defining the Risks Foreign Companies Take When Doing Business In China

Over time, a series of lawsuits will take place in the Chinese courts that could define the risks foreign companies take when they try to make money in China’s booming markets.

Will Chinese courts finally protect foreign IP?

Read:  A Test Case for Intellectual Property in China

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Friday, March 02, 2012

Embracing Complexity: China

Wharton is helping China embrace complexity and take the next logical step in economic development.
The Year of the Dragon seems destined to be an inflection point in the dramatic history of China’s economic development. Yes, there is the familiar question: Is this the year that China’s extended period of remarkable economic growth will finally be supplanted by a slower rate? But there is another transition underway as China’s position as the world’s low-cost producer is steadily challenged by increases in wages and other costs.
Read the entire blog post here.