Friday, May 31, 2013

The Middle Class Is On the Move All Over the World

According to Milton Kotler, the middle class is on the move all over the world.  What does that mean?  We need to open our eyes to the reality of the vast urban middle class in the East, and other parts of the so-called developing world. He illustrates his points (trends) in a comparative view of two great cities, one new and one old: Shenzhen, China and Chicago, Illinois (the latter where I live - pictured).
The second purpose is to open Western eyes to the economic dynamism of BRIC countries and their emerging and developing market cohorts in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. The Middle Class in on the move all over the world, and is moving at a faster pace in the Developing and Emerging global sector than in the Developed sector.
Learn more over at Milton Kotler's China blog (fascinating material).

Photo courtesy:  ©2013 Laurel Delaney.  All rights reserved.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

3 Lessons To Learn About Unifying, Localizing and Laying a Foundation for Global Growth

What role has IT played when taking a company global?  The CIO Executive Council talks to CIOs about that question and more. Here are three lessons you can learn about unifying, localizing and laying a foundation for growth.

One CIO's point of view:

Build a Platform for Growth

Peter Weis, VP and CIO, Matson: For more than 120 years, Matson focused primarily on the Hawaiian market. Nearly 10 years ago, we expanded internationally into China, and we knew then that our IT strategy needed to enable global expansion. We've embedded globalization into all four components of our IT strategy: applications, organization, architecture and governance.
 Read:  3 CIO Strategies for Going Global 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


What does global-first mean?  It means starting a business with the intent to go global first - before ever conducting local business.

So your back of the napkin strategy would look like this for your new business:

1.  Go global first.
2.  Go domestic (local) later.

It's that's simple.  Read the entire article:  How To Go Global and Win Big With your Startup

Lead paragraph to article:
The US is a global leader in Internet and smartphone penetration and use, but the rest of the world is catching up fast. With a good part of the growth for consumer products happening abroad, the question isn’t if you should go global with your startup, but how and when.
Related post (1/30/13):  Startups Going Global

Monday, May 27, 2013

Modifying Products to Meet the Needs of Consumers in the Global Marketplace

Modifying your product to meet the needs of an overseas market is a considerable undertaking and will likely require a substantial investment of time and money. You might do it to gain an export marketplace or a parallel market or to introduce a new product. No matter what your motivation, if the anticipated international sales will outweigh the expense, why wouldn’t you do it? You’ll need to know how to adapt a product for export, and what important factors you’ll need to consider before making the leap. 

Read the entire article that I wrote for MasterCard Business Network Blog:  Going Global:  Adapting Your Products to Meet the Needs of the Marketplace

Photo courtesy:  ©2013 Laurel Delaney.  All rights reserved.  "Chicago Treats da Sport Mix" (Note:  If a consumer overseas cannot read English, a photo on the label shows what is in the can.)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Seize the Moment

Seize the moment.  Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.  ~Erma Bombeck

Photo courtesy:  ©2013 Laurel Delaney.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Small Businesses Doing Cross Border Business in 2013

Image Source/Thinkstock
The World Bank Group publishes the Doing Business 2013: Smarter Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises which assesses regulations affecting domestic firms in 185 economies and ranks the economies in 10 areas of business regulation, such as starting a business, resolving insolvency and trading across borders.

The report marks the 10th edition of the Doing Business series. Over the past decade, these reports have recorded nearly 2,000 regulatory reforms implemented by 180 economies.

One key finding out of several:
•  Besides Poland, nine other economies are recognized as having the most improved ease of doing business across several areas of regulation as measured by the report: Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Burundi, Costa Rica, Mongolia, Greece, Serbia, and Kazakhstan.
Learn more here.

(Download Full Report Now)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

What Exactly Is Globalization?

We had The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy where an economist, Pietra Rivoli, examined the markets, power and the politics of world trade - sorting through and encouraging us to understand how free trade and protection have most certainly changed our world.

In the commentary recently published in The Wall Street Journal, The Economics of a $6.75 Shirt, Rubana Huq (managing director of the Mohammadi Group, a garment manufacturer and exporter in Dhaka, Bangladesh.), provides a detailed analysis of the economics of a $6.75 shirt made in Bangladesh and as it relates to Bangladesh's minimum wage.
The recent tragedies at several Bangladeshi garment factories have claimed hundreds of lives—and focused international attention on this important but often overlooked industry. Yet greater scrutiny has not led to greater understanding, raising the prospect that any proposed solutions will have serious unintended consequences for this industry and the four million people it employs. 
Read the entire commentary here (be sure to read the comments - very telling).

Photo courtesy:  ©2013 Laurel Delaney.  All rights reserved.  (Go global t-shirt - made in USA).

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Raising Kids Who Are Global

The Ruff Ryders' first lady emeritus Eve, who recently dropped her first album in 11 years, Lip Lock, gets candid about the downside of fame and also mentions how she wants to raise her kids.
I’d rather raise my kids globally than exclusively in the U.S. There is so much culture and history in Europe. We have culture in the U.S. but you have to look for it. A lot of the kids I’ve met in Europe are more mature because they’ve gotten to travel. In an hour, you can be in a different country. I’m going to be one of those crazy parents who wants her children to speak three languages. They’re going to hate me, but they will love me for it in the end.
Read the entire article:  "Eve:  The "Women Are Complex, Too"

Photo courtesy:  ©2013 Laurel Delaney.  All rights reserved.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Global Tilt by Ram Charan

I'm a big fan of Ram Charan (my favorite book of his is Execution:  The Discipline of Getting Things Done).  He has a new book out, "Global Tilt," and he doesn't let us down in continuing to offer great insights and solutions in the world of business.

Click here to purchase.

Photo courtesy:  ©2013 Laurel Delaney "Global TILT"

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Tiptoe Through the Tulips

"Life isn't a tiptoe through the tulips." ~ Shannon Hoon

Photo courtesy:  ©2013 Laurel Delaney.  All rights reserved.

Friday, May 17, 2013

A Guide to Landed Pricing in Global Trade

In my first blog post for Pitney Bowes (client), I explain what a landed price is, why it is essential in global trade and how you can put it to use to increase your profits.

What Is a Landed Cost and Why it's Essential in Global Trade

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Avoid These 10 Going Global Mistakes At All Costs

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock
Conducting business in the global marketplace is not the same as it is at home in a local market. Here are 10 common mistakes that occur when going global and how you can avoid them.

Note:  I wrote the article below for the MasterCard Business Network and it is based on experience.

Going Global:  The Top 10 Mistakes Many Small Businesses Make (and How to Avoid Them)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Live Discussion: How to Do Business in BRIC Countries

Join the Guardian Small Business Network between 1:00-3:00 p.m. today, May 15th, for tips on exporting your products to Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC).

Sign up here for details.

During the discussion you'll find out:
• The benefits of trading with the BRIC countries.
• Country-specific business culture, practice and regulations.
• What support is on offer to help your company.
• Experiences of small businesses who already export to these regions.
• Any other advice you'll need to get started.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

China and the United States Both Want to Maintain An Open Global Trade Regime

Li Zhongzhou, former director general of MOFCOM and former UNCTAD division director writes the following commentary:

Seeking a win-win scenario in trade between China, US
Editor's Note: US exports to China significantly outperformed export growth to the other top 10 US trading partners including Brazil by 180 percent, but US primary interests still lie in securing access to potential Chinese markets. The US-China Business Council looks at China as a $250 billion market for US companies with still greater potential for further growth.

Monday, May 13, 2013

A Sign It's Time to Go Global

It's never just one sign telling you to "go global!"  So how do you know when you are in the ready state?  It starts with a rapid growth stage with your business–doubling sales weekly over the past year, for instance–and then you’re ready to model that success into continuous growth through global expansion.

Here's an article I drafted for the MasterCard Business Network Blog.  See if your business is ready to take on the world.

6 Signs Your Small Business is Ready to Expand Globally

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Be Patient. The Storm Will Pass. Spring Will Come.

Photo courtesy:  ©2013 Laurel Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come." ~ Robert H. Schuller

Friday, May 10, 2013

Selling Around the World Is Not Easy

Selling around the world is not easy but largely thanks to technology, it's doable.  In this article, "Going Global At Launch," Gary Whitehill (on the board of advisors for the Dell Center for Entrepreneurs) talks about how launching a micro-multinational business is a complex endeavor and with a few critical best practices, the path can be smooth.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

The Fuqua School of Business: Embedded and Connected Globally

Image Source/Thinkstock
The Fuqua School of Business is pushing the limits of global education and in doing so, sets itself apart in its pursuit of establishing full degree programs abroad.

Dean of the business school, Bill Boulding, hopes to continue the focus on global expansion, coining the catchphrase “embedded and connected” to describe the school’s aim to understand a region’s economic needs and unite international perspectives.
“If you want to be a great business school, you have to be global,” Boulding said. “And if you’re going to be global, you need to be in all parts of the world that really matter in our future.”
Read the entire article here.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

How To Expand Your Business In New Countries

What does it take to expand your business internationally?
As Dylan Thomas once said, “Do not go gentle into that good night.” My take on that is “Do not go gentle into that international market.” Go fiercely, but prepare! 
Here's an article I wrote for Mastercard Business Network Blog that covers six factors to consider before you land your first international customer.

Expanding Your Business in New Countries:  What You Need to Know Before You Start

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Somebody Tell Me How Justin Timberlake's World Tour Is Global

Here's the headline:  "Justin Timberlake Is Going Global!  Announces Fall Dates for the 20/20 Experience World Tour!"

When I scan the dates and locations, I see all North American locations.  Is that global?  Someone needs an education on what truly makes for a going global initiative.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Smartphone Tips While Traveling Internationally

When it comes to using your smartphone internationally, plan ahead, or -- according to the article below -- it will cost you dearly.

Going Global With Your Phone

Related article:  6 Precautions to Take When Traveling Overseas

Saturday, May 04, 2013

World Star Diana Krall

Photo courtesy:  ©2013 Laurel Delaney.  All rights reserved.  "The Chicago Theatre"
I had the great pleasure of seeing jazz pianist and singer Diana Krall on Saturday, April 27th at The Chicago Theatre and what a brilliant performance she gave.  I highly recommend her adventuresome entertainment style whenever the opportunity presents itself.  And did you know?  She is married to Elvis Costello.

Have a good weekend!

Friday, May 03, 2013

Biggest Overseas Market For Tupperware?

Where is Tupperware Brands selling the most product?  If you thought China, guess again.  It's Indonesia -- a booming consumer sector.
Indonesia last year replaced Germany as the biggest market for Tupperware Brands Corp., which sells plastic containers for leftover beef stew and baba ganoush at house parties world-wide.
Read the entire article:  Indonesia Provides a Tasty Dish for Tupperware

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Understanding China's New Leadership

What role will China play in the future in global trade and financial markets?  Where is China's economic policy headed?
A useful starting point is to examine the key appointments that have been made since President Xi Jinping assumed office.
Read the commentary:  China's New Path by Martin Feldstein

About Martin Felstein:

Martin Feldstein, Professor of Economics at Harvard University and President Emeritus of the National Bureau of Economic Research, chaired President Ronald Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers from 1982 to 1984.  In 2006 ... read more

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

How to Handle Crappy Product Samples From Overseas

Don't shake your head at the thought.  Most experienced international traders have been down the path of working with a new supplier, setting terms and conditions, providing specs on desired product, establishing pricing, waiting for samples and voila, the samples arrive and they are crappy -- really awful quality!  What do you do?

As a primer, read:

Where to Source Products and What to Do if You Receive Crappy Product Samples from Overseas