Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Impact On International Expansion Can Be Significant

According to The Motley Fool, in the first quarter of 2012, Netflix entered the U.K. and Ireland, and the quarterly international contribution loss spiked from $60 million to $103 million sequentially.  When Netflix began serving the Netherlands last quarter, it was accompanied by a sequential increase in the international contribution loss.

They go on to report:
While these numbers are "choppy," the impact of expansion on profitability is significant.
Can you still be profitable while you grow internationally?  I think so.
Netflix should not automatically shy away from international expansion just because it will be expensive. Indeed, if the company can secure a first-mover position in Internet video within its new markets, they should become quite profitable over time.
Netflix's International Expansion Will Be Expensive

Monday, December 30, 2013

100 Best Websites for Entrepreneurs: The Global Small Business Blog is On the List

Forbes brings you the first annual list of FORBES 2013 100 Best Websites For Entrepreneurs and The Global Small Business Blog made the list. Whether you’re seeking advice on going global, scaling your business or looking for general industry insight, these sites, according to Forbes, are worth reading.
There are websites to help market your startup (Duct Tape Marketing) and think about taking it international (Global Small Business Blog). There are news sources and newsletters, as well as a bunch of question-and-answer forums (Stack Overflow, Quora, Reddit) to address the most specific entrepreneurial demands. Present, too, are sites like Startup Lawyer, which can help founders address the legalities of starting up.
 100 Best Websites for Entrepreneurs - Forbes

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Holy Name Cathedral Chicago

©2013 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
World-famous Holy Name Cathedral Chicago.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Technology Is Changing the Global Landscape

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock
This year Google opened its first “Winter Wonderlabs” in six U.S. cities to showcase its tablets, laptops and other gadgets. Customers can try out the products but must buy them online. The showrooms will close at the end of the holiday season.

Learn what else is different for retailers who have both a brick and mortar and online presence, including Amazon, Bonobos and prescription eyeglass specialist Warby Parker.

Read the entire article: Online retailers build brands by opening showrooms

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Issuing a Commercial Import Invoice

In this article, I talk about why a commercial import invoice is important and how to prepare one.
A commercial invoice, signed by the seller or shipper, or his agent, acts as a bill of sale between a buyer and seller, describes what you are importing and references important transaction numbers. It also serves as a vehicle for the seller to get paid as well as a device for you to receive your merchandise in a timely fashion and in good order.
Read the entire article:  What's Needed on a Commercial Import Invoice

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Shine Bright This Holiday Season

©2013 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
May Your Holidays Be Bright
and Filled With Joy!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Santa All Year Round and All Around the World?

Is it possible to have a Santa all year round, all around the world, and one who generates business?  In Finland, they're trying to do something exactly like this.

Read the entire article:  Finnish Santa Claus wants to go global, all year round  

Monday, December 23, 2013

To SMEs in China, The Whole World Can Be Your Market

After China became a member of the World Trade Organization, twelve years ago, China claims "it’s fulfilled its commitments and made great strides in exporting its "Made in China" brand."

China promised to open the market by bringing down tariffs. The ensuing flood of giant multinationals put tremendous pressure on the country’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Yet, Li Mingliang, who runs a private fish processing company says:
"Today my products can not only be sold in China, but are exported to neighboring countries like Japan and South Korea. The whole world can be my potential market. We are all connected. A decade ago, that was unimaginable."
Read the entire article:  China makes great strides in exporting "Made in China" brand

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Purrfect Pet Food Store

©2013 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
This playful photo was taken at Urbanimal Chicago, the all natural pet food store owned by Daniel Irizarry where:
... [We] believe it's not enough for our furry children to simply survive. Instead we seek to educate and provide products and services that will allow them to thrive.
Pay a visit to Urbanimal to meet the biggest cat of all - and dressed up for the holidays!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Where Did Your Bacon and Eggs Come From This Morning?

According to Joel Backaler, a contributor to Forbes, Chinese companies go global because of government encouragement as well as business necessity.  He goes on to say, "However, it takes more than international ambitions alone to succeed in developed markets."

The article, the first in a six-part series, begins with:
What did you eat for breakfast this morning? You may be surprised to learn which country it came from…or at least who owns the company that made it. If you had bacon and eggs and live in the U.S., you likely ate Smithfield Foods’ bacon—now owned by China’s Shuanghui International after its $4.7 billion acquisition of the Virginia-based pork producer in September 2013. If you live in the U.K., perhaps you ate a bowl of Weetabix cereal, which was acquired in May 2012 by China’s Bright Food for £1.2 billion (approximately $1.9 billion).
Read the entire article:  Why Do Companies Want to Go West?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Exports Thrive in a New Facility for Madagascar Chocolate Company

The African island nation Madagascar had some of the best chocolate in the world, but didn’t export any of it.  That's about to change.  Two Peace Corps volunteers Tim McCollum and Brett Beach are on a mission to import and sell both chocolate and vanilla products that are entirely made in Madagascar.

Their company can be found by visiting:  Mad├ęcasse

Read the entire article:  Former Pfizer factory trades medicine for chocolate

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Facebook For Business Goes Global

Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock
Facebook for Business goes global; it will be made available in 11 more languages, as well as looking to publish regular content including case studies, tips and trends.

The site will be available in Korean, Japanese, Taiwanese, Chinese, simplified Chinese, UK English, German, French, European Spanish, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, and Latin American Spanish.

Read the entire article:  Facebook For Business set to go global following launch in 11 new languages

Monday, December 16, 2013

Digital SMEs, Let's Go Global with Unilever

Unilever's Go Global initiative started earlier this month and is open to digital marketing start-ups in the area of content, mobile or other connected devices.  The seven digital companies selected will be awarded $100,000 and their technology will be incorporated into a Unilever brand’s marketing campaign in the UK, US, South Africia, Indonesia, India, Brazil or Argentina.

The Unilever brands involved are: Magnum, Surf, Flora Pro-Activ, Hellmann’s, Vaseline and Clear.

Learn more hereApply here (deadline:  January 17, 2014Make your global dream come true in the new year!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Happy Holidays from The Global Small Business Blog!

©2013 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.

Wishing you a holiday season

filled with joy

and special moments.

Note:  Macy's Walnut Room Chicago, established in 1907, is one of Chicago's most beloved landmarks.

Friday, December 13, 2013

From Dishwashing Soap to Diapers, California Will Export it

Image Source/Thinkstock
The executive director of the new California-China Office of Trade and Investment, Diane Long, a veteran member of China's expatriate business community, plans to help California entrepreneurs navigate doing business in China.

Her mission:
 ... helping boost the Golden State's exports to the world's second-largest economy, now about $14 billion a year.
Read the entire article:  Diane E. Long helps California boost exports to China

Seven Social Media Global Career Killers

Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock
In the article, "Six Social Media Career Killers, Sylvia Pennington talks about blunders one can make while using social media platforms.

I've added one more misstep to make it seven:  Be culturally sensitive to your audience!  With the Internet, you now must understand, appreciate, and work with individuals from cultures other than your own so be aware, accept cultural differences and adapt accordingly.  (For example, would every person in the world identify with the photo shown above if you placed it on your LinkedIn account, a more business-oriented site?)

Read the entire article:  Six Social media career killers

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Is Yahoo! Truly Global?

Yahoo! has rolled out a new home page globally in the UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and South Africa.  But does this make them truly global?

Read:  Yahoo!'s New Homepage Starts Going Global

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Duty Free Model is Going Global

Qatar Duty Free is preparing to expand internationally, with Senior Vice President Keith Hunter saying the company will look at opportunities around the world.
“We’ll [says Hunter] be looking all around the world [for] any opportunities where it may be a business opportunity for us or a partnership or an association.”
Read the entire article: Qatar Duty Free Signals Ambitions For International Expansion

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Pack Light On Your Digital Devices When Traveling Internationally

Oh how difficult it is to leave our digital devices behind when we travel internationally for leisure.  But that does not need to be the case.  You can travel overseas and still stay connected with the world.  Here's how - with some tips on considering a lightweight digital device packing mentality.

What to do (and not to do) when traveling overseas with Apple gear

(Note:  In my new book, "Exporting:  The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably," I cover an entire chapter on international travel and security tips (Chapter 26).  The book will be published by Apress in nine (9) days!  

Monday, December 09, 2013

The Human Element to Website Translation

The human element to Web translations is crucial to entering global markets.  All too often ...
“Translating all but the smallest websites into multiple languages can be as grueling as producing original content,” said Henderson. “For one thing, translating web content is not as simple as translating print copy. The language is served live by host systems, and special inter-dependencies exist between multiple language versions for the sake of efficiency and accuracy.”
Read the entire article:  Website translation crucial to entering global markets

In my new book , "Exporting:  The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably," I talk about web translation considerations in Chapter 15.  You're gonna love it.  The book will be published by Apress December 18, 2013 - in nine (9) more days!

Saturday, December 07, 2013

New Kid on the Block in Chicago: OfficeMax in the Streeterville Area!

Photo courtesy:  OfficeMax
Photo courtesy:  OfficeMax
Photo courtesy:  OfficeMax
I had the great pleasure to connect with Kristin Muntean, vice president of Strategic Initiatives and Innovation at OfficeMax to discuss its new OfficeMax location in the heart of downtown Chicago. According to Muntean, the OfficeMax Business Solutions Center advances the third pillar in the OfficeMax “Road to Success” strategic plan—innovative and disruptive moves. As a leading worldwide supplier of workplace products, services and solutions that provides a seamless, multichannel network for delivering those solutions, OfficeMax is establishing a new way to partner with today’s growing businesses. Here’s an excerpt from our interview.

Laurel Delaney: Why did you open a location in the near North side of Chicago – Streeterville -- area?

Kristin Muntean: OfficeMax recognized the positive relationships that exist between the small business community and the city of Chicago. Chicago and OfficeMax both support small business, their growth initiatives and their innovation. With over 19,000 businesses within a one mile radius of the Streeterville location, there is a great opportunity for OfficeMax Business Solutions Centers to provide more focused support and solutions to the local businesses and the entrepreneurs in the area.

Delaney: Why the target on small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs)?

OfficeMax has a successful history of serving business customers of all sizes, which makes us uniquely positioned to introduce a retail format designed for local businesses and entrepreneurs. We understand that entrepreneurs have specific needs and the importance of providing a resource nearby that will work to understand and serve their business. The OfficeMax Business Solutions Center is a unique retail concept designed specifically to address the needs of local entrepreneurs and small businesses through a relationship-based service center focused on the services, products and solutions they need.

Delaney: Please explain your key differentiator at OfficeMax Business Solutions Center.

Muntean: Through this relationship-based retail service center, OfficeMax provides local businesses with a portfolio of specially tailored services and solutions. Key elements of the OfficeMax Business Solutions Center in Streeterville include:

1. Focus on small business customer: We understand the needs of small businesses and have services, products and solutions to help grow their businesses.

2. Services focused: The store has a wide array of services, specifically designed for business, including print and document services, computer repair and maintenance, hard drive recovery, 24/7 IT support, websites and web design, domain names, cloud storage, shipping, office space planning, payroll processing, credit card processing and more. In addition to services, the OfficeMax Business Solutions Center also has a full array of office supplies and technology products including laptops, tablets and printers.

3. Business Solutions Adviser: Our Business Solutions Adviser has an office in the store and partners with business customers to understand their needs and create customized programs and pricing specifically designed for each business.

4. Knowledgeable associates: Associates have received enhanced training to ensure the highest quality service to help connect entrepreneurs to the products and services they need.

5. Collaborative and technology enabled center: Business community space within the store includes free Wi-Fi that lets customers conduct informal meetings or simply bring in their laptop to plug in and work.

Delaney: What’s the biggest benefit to SMEs knowing about your Center?

Muntean: The OfficeMax Business Solutions Center provides local businesses and entrepreneurs with a relationship service center to meet their needs and help them grow. We are a “one-stop shop” that goes beyond office supplies and products and offers a full range of services and solutions to meet the needs of all types of businesses from start-up to those businesses that have years of experience. Every step of the process—from starting up and formalizing their business to setting up an office or website—OfficeMax can be their partner. Your readers can find out more about the service and product offering at the OfficeMax Business Solutions Center here: officemax.com/businesscenter.

So my dear readers, you want to grow your business?  Pay a visit to OfficeMax Business Solutions Center during the holidays!  The address is:  550 N. St. Clair Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, 60611, U.S.A. 

Note:  This is not a paid endorsement nor is it an advertisement.  This is merely our support to the great things OfficeMax is doing for SMEs in our neighborhood.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Gold Gems for Taking Your Business Global

Kunal Sarda, cofounder and COO of VerbalizeIt, a human-powered translation platform for businesses, crafts a good case for Forbes on taking your business global.
What was once a game reserved for multinationals [going global] is now open to anyone. Why haven’t small businesses gotten the memo?
The Secrets to Taking Your Business Global

Thursday, December 05, 2013

The Countdown Begins on the Release of "Exporting: The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably"

Photo courtesy:  Apress
We are getting closer to the publication date on Exporting:  The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably.  Meanwhile, here's a clip on an interview my esteemed colleague John Tozzi conducted with me for Bloomberg Businessweek:

What U.S. Entrepreneurs Should Know About Exporting Now

Here's a clip from the interview:
What made you want to write this [book] now?

Not enough entrepreneurs and small businesses really know how to export. The Internet has been a game changer for anyone who wants to do business internationally. How do you reach customers? What do you do as a small business owner to have the world find you? Once you find those customers, how do you get paid? Once you get paid, how do you get the merchandise or the service in the hands of a potential customer? Sign-up to be notified when Exporting is published!

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Stuck on Business Growth? Look Outside Your Own Borders!

Tom McGee, deputy chief executive officer at Deloitte LLP, writes a thoughtful article on why companies should consider going global and what questions you should ask beforehand.

One interesting quote from Mr. McGee:
With 95% of the world’s consumers residing outside the U.S., going global can be a pretty attractive option for many mid-sized companies. In fact, a recent Deloitte survey found that almost three-quarters of mid-market executives say global expansion is important to their business.
 Read the entire article:  Five Questions to Ask Before Going Global

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Global Mobile: Put It First in 2014

Want to go global?  According to Nic Newman's article for CNN.com, you should put mobile first.
Gartner, the market research firm, has predicted that by 2015, tablet sales will be higher than those of PCs and laptops combined. There are now more connected mobile devices on earth than there are people.
 Read the entire article here.

Note:  I devote an entire chapter to mobile business - the greatest challenge and greatest opportunity facing businesses today - in my new book:  Exporting:  The Definitive Guide To Selling Abroad Profitably (coming out this month!).

Monday, December 02, 2013

Seven Trends Supporting Global Small Businesses

Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock
The benefits to going global are unlimited.  With it, though, come some challenges such as how to go mobile, reach out to the world via social media and outsource to online vendors and contractors?  Fortunately, I address all of these issues and many more in my new book, Exporting:  The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably coming out by Apress December 18, 2013!  Meanwhile, read: