Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Own An E-Commerce Business In Minutes

When it comes to choosing an e-commerce platform, there are hundreds of options - from Shopify to Mangento to Bigcommerce. Who's the latest player in this space?  Lucrazon and they claim you can start your online business in minutes with no developer needed.
Lucrazon Mission 
To continually achieve 100% client satisfaction in ecommerce by providing the best service available with the most advanced software and state-of-the-art technology to our national and international clients in the turn-key environment.
Hector V. Barreto, former U.S. Small Business Administrator and Chairman of The Latino Coalition is the new President of Lucrazon (4/24/14).  Read the news release announcing Barreto's appointment.

Discover Lucrazon Global

Note:  We were a little confused but according to the sites, Lucrazon serves as an Internet Payment Service Provider (IPSP), PCI DSS Level 1 and Lucrazon Global is designed for highly motivated individuals with an interest to become business owners specializing in the world of ecommerce and merchant services.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Technology Provider GoDaddy Goes Global

Technology provider GoDaddy, who is dedicated to small businesses, is expanding aggressively into international markets.
GoDaddy’s expanded global footprint offers products and support in 42 markets, 44 currencies and 17 languages. GoDaddy’s goal is to empower small businesses around the world. As part of this effort, the company recently hired new regional heads in EMEA and LATAM, developed a highly localized marketing and advertising presence, and is adapting appropriate products to international markets [4/28/14].
The reason for GoDaddy's global push?
GoDaddy’s global expansion is driven by industry veteran, James Carroll, who has delivered international platforms at Yahoo! and Microsoft. Carroll, who joined GoDaddy in March 2013, is leading the company’s effort to bring the company’s solutions and market presence to customers in 60 markets and 30 languages.
Learn more:  GoDaddy Continues Global Expansion with Launch into 21 New Markets and 14 New Languages

Note:  Most small businesses know of GoDaddy as one of the largest domain name registrars.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Global Market Insights From Euromonitor International

Confused over what's happening in your industry on a global basis? Look no further.  Euromonitor International makes sense of global markets.  EI is headquartered in London with offices all around the world and are considered a global business intelligence firm - providing market research, business intelligence reports and data to industry.

Visit:  Euromonitor International's blog

More posts concerning Euromonitor International

Saturday, April 26, 2014

There's No Place Like New Orleans

©2014 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
©2014 Laurel J. Delaney. All rights reserved. 
©2014 Laurel J. Delaney. All rights reserved.
©2014 Laurel J. Delaney. All rights reserved.
©2014 Laurel J. Delaney. All rights reserved.
©2014 Laurel J. Delaney. All rights reserved. 
©2014 Laurel J. Delaney. All rights reserved.
"I've been all over the world.  I love New York, I love Paris, San Francisco, so many places.  But there's no place like New Orleans.  It's got the best food.  It's got the best music.  It's got the best people.  It's got the most fun stuff to do." - Harry Connick, Jr.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Are You Hiring Globally?

Most global small businesses must collaborate across cultures and adapt to a workforce without borders.  Easier said than done.  Are you hiring globally?  How are you ensuring that who you hire is a good cultural fit and can increase the success of your company?
According to authors David Gartside and Colin Sloman, in their feature article, a different talent landscape will require local leaders "to be adept at responding to local business dynamics, embracing diverse ways of thinking, managing a multicultural workforce, and leading virtual teams across multiple time zones."
Going global very rarely equates to a one-size-fits all approach.

Read the entire article:  New Global Landscape

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Pay and Get Paid Globally

There are hundreds of ways to get paid globally.  Whether you want to accept payments locally or globally, Skrill is worth a look.  They have been moving money digitally since 2001 and their fee policy can be found here.
Over 36 million account holders already trust Skrill to send and receive money worldwide in 200 countries and 40 currencies, securely and at low cost, without revealing their personal financial details.
Learn more:  Skrill

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Big Social Following Can Be Both a Blessing and a Curse On the Global Front

The value of a company -- whether big or small -- developing its own powerful social media presence can not be overstated.  You literally make your own news.  But it can also serve as a curse if you are not careful.

Pete Blackshaw, Nestle's global head of digital and social media, has it right:  “What happens in the social world, is that if you get that right, you get disproportionally rewarded. If you get it wrong, you get disproportionally punished or outed. There’s a real cost to getting it wrong.”
For big social media-minded consumer-facing brands — from technology to automotive to CPG — having large social followings is a blessing from a communications and control perspective. No longer are they suppliant to the fifth estate to disseminate their news. What’s more, they can engage directly with their constituents using language and visuals of their own choosing.
Read the entire article:  The Pain & Pleasure of Branded Social Media

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

E-Retailers Are Staking Their International Claims Worldwide

E-commerce is picking up steam around the world with emerging countries seeing the fastest growth in activity.  India, China and Brazil are in the lead with double-digit expansions year over year.
This rise of global ecommerce has retail leaders staking international claims across nearly every global market. But what factors have facilitated this ecommerce growth worldwide?
What's facilitating this growth?  Find out:  Core Elements Flattening the Global E-Commerce World

Want a look at e-commerce powerhouses both here and abroad?  Visit:  E-Commerce Goes Global

Monday, April 21, 2014

How to Get Around Language Barriers the World Over

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock
No matter where you do business in the world, do your products speak for themselves?  How is that working for you?

In the case of Niagara-based Pillitteri Estates Winery:
“The way we try to get around the language barriers is with a lot of visuals,” he said, adding that he travels to trade shows and exhibitions abroad with price sheets, business cards, and other materials already translated to the local language, as well as a video display showcasing the ice wine harvesting process. “They see the price and taste the quality and from there the business can begin.”
Read the entire article:  Doing Business Abroad?  Here's how to get around language barriers

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Ray of Beauty

©2013 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"Flowers ... are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world." - Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1844

Friday, April 18, 2014

Eriksen Translations Helps Women-Owned Businesses Build For Global Growth

Photo courtesy:  Apress
We are honored and excited to be collaborating with Eriksen Translations. They are supporting women-owned businesses by providing complimentary copies of Laurel's new book, "Exporting: The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably," to attendees at the Women Presidents' Organization (WPO) 17th Annual Conference.
Delaney quotes Vigdis Eriksen, the founder and CEO of Eriksen Translations, in Chapter 15, "Web Design with the World in Mind," where she provides strategies for conveying cultural, linguistic, and business information to target audiences in a world that is becoming increasingly multicultural and multilingual. Vigdis Eriksen said, "To reach out to the world for business, your website should be flexible enough to adapt to other languages in the future. Build for global growth."
Read more about it:  Eriksen Translations Helps Women Business Owners Reach Their Audiences in the Global Marketplace

Both Laurel and Vigdis will be attending the conference in New Orleans (4/22-25) so look for them!  If you are not attending the conference, following them on Twitter is easy:  @LaurelDelaney @EriksenTrans and #WPOConf2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014

All Dressed Up and Ready to Go Global

Where are the current revenue-generating opportunities on the horizon?  E-commerce and apparel manufacturers.  Put them together and you have a perfect formula for global growth.  As stock analyst Bridget Weishaar writes for Morningstar:
We think modern technologies and consumer preferences demand an entirely different skill set from companies than in the past. In fact, we think current innovations have given companies an unprecedented opportunity to develop direct relationships with their customers [and the chance to expand in growing global markets] to solidify their intangible brand asset, as well as be creative in managing the supply chain to develop unrealized cost efficiencies, both of which are critical to developing an economic moat in this category.
Read what else Ms. Weishaar has to say at:  All Dressed Up and Ready to Go

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Franchising Has Gone Global

What's the big industry trend or hot topic these days at franchising conventions?  Take it global.  That's what Chad Finkelstein says at the Financial Post.  He adds:
I have no empirical evidence to support my position on this, but I think the appeal of international franchising is guided by one or a combination of the following: the cache and promotional benefits of being able to claim your franchise concept transcends borders; a strategic choice based on identified market trends; favourable economic and regulatory conditions that remove certain barriers to entry for a particular business; and/or someone from that country expressed an interest in being a franchisee.  
Read the entire article:  Is your franchise really ready to go global?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Accidental Exporter

Are you an accidental exporter?  You react to opportunities that come your way as opposed to preparing well in advance for them?  That's the difference between an accidental exporter and an intentional exporter. An intentional exporter does his or her homework, makes exporting a strategic priority and identifies overseas growth opportunities for the business.
"Despite the instantaneous exposure to global markets through the web, many small businesses are not prepared for dealing with customers overseas and are becoming ‘accidental exporters’, having not planned for or considered the practicalities or potential of selling abroad until an international order drops into their inbox."
Read the entire article:  Are you an accidental exporter?  For UK visitors, read the schedule on upcoming exporting events here.  The next one is July 5th.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Web Technology Enables Remote Coaching From Anywhere in the World

Web technology allows us to sell products and goods everywhere provided the customer has an Internet connection.  Take career coaching, a fast-growing and largely unregulated market. A decade ago the Kentucky-based International Coach Federation had 2,100 members; that number has since grown eightfold, to 16,600.
In 2004 the Harvard Business Review estimated that executive coaching alone was a $1 billion industry. Aided by Web technology that enables remote coaching from anywhere, the business is gaining ground in some unexpected corners of the world.
Read more:  An expat career coach's world without borders

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Embrace Spring

©2014 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
“Don't go fighting against the Spring.” - E.M. Forster, A Room with a View

(Photo taken on the 28th floor at 321 N. Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Guess Who's No. 1 in the World On Entrepreneurship?

No drum roll needed on this one.  The United States is the most entrepreneurial economy in the world, according to the 2014 Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index (GEDI).
The Global Entrepreneurship & Development Index was created to provide a more complete understanding of economic development by capturing the contextual nature of business formation, expansion, and growth.  It is based on analysis of comprehensive data sets from more than 120 countries that marshal information about the “3A’s” of development: entrepreneurial attitudes, aspirations, and activity.
Here's a look at the top 10, including scores:

No. 1:   United States - 82.5
No. 2:   Canada - 81.7
No. 3:   Australia - 77.9
No. 4:   Sweden - 73.7
No. 5:   Denmark - 72.5
No. 6:   Switzerland - 70.9
No. 7:   Taiwan - 69.5
No. 8:   Finland - 69.3
No. 9:   Netherlands - 69.0
No. 10: United Kingdom  - 68.6

Read more at:  GEDI Index | Global Entrepreneurship Development Institute

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Most Successful Export? Britain's Private Schools.

The children of the well-heeled flock to Britain's private schools, whether from China, Nigeria or Russia: the number of foreign pupils rose by 1.4% in the last year alone.  That's according to the Economist's article, "Overseas students:  How to ruin a global brand."  However:
Nick Hillman of the Institute for Higher Education says the [British] government has sent unclear messages about the sort of immigration it wants to restrict. An emphasis on holding down net immigration deters young Indians and Pakistanis in particular. Australia and America, which have more relaxed entry criteria for students, are becoming more favoured destinations. Colin Riordan, Cardiff University’s vice-chancellor, adds that Britain’s student-visa regime has become more onerous and fiddly overall.
Is Britain losing out to other countries in the contest for talent?

Read the entire article:  Overseas students:  How to ruin a global brand

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

There's a Mall for Everyone, Including Africa

Africa's largest shopping platform, MallForAfrica, allows African citizens to shop directly on U.S. and U.K. websites that previously wouldn't ship to them or accept their forms of payment due to logistics or security concerns. MallForAfrica provides U.S. and U.K. e-railers a new reach into the African economy in just 48 hours with zero liability. Their turnkey software application is built to ward off worries of fraud, logistics, foreign exchange and delivery.

MallForAfrica is co-founded by Nigerian-born siblings, California-based Chris Folayan and his Nigerian-based brother Tope Folayan. They serve as co-CEOs.  According to MFA's publicist:
There are 70 sites which have partnered with MFA, representing some 7.8 billion items.  After only two years in business, MallForAfrica does over 2 tons of merchandise/over 100,000 items/millions of dollars worth of transactions per year.  Their revenue has doubled over the past year, and this year they are on track to do 5x what they did last year.  They're expanding into two new African countries this year, and are expected to be in 16 countries by 2016. They have overcome the public's knee-jerk reaction to any mention of Nigeria immediately being associated with thoughts of cyber fraud. just named them one of the 5 African Tech Startups to Watch.
Pretty amazing and powerful stuff.  Pay a visit when you have time: MallForAfrica

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Adopt a Global Standard of Ethical Business Practices

While conducting business across borders, companies need to be mindful of ethics and laws, especially as they relate to exporting.  I should know because I practice it everyday in my global small business and devote an an entire chapter on the topic, "Global Ethics:  The Export World's Rules on Ethical Conduct" in my new Exporting book.

In the following article, "Ethics Must be Global, Not Local" published in Businessweek, Bill George says:
To build a truly great, global business, business leaders need to adopt a global standard of ethical practices.
Find out what else he has to say here.

Monday, April 07, 2014

OPIC Provides Tools and Support for Small Businesses

Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock
Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution.  OPIC works with the U.S. private sector, helping U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets, catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. Lately, they have been conducting Expanding Horizons' Workshops that educate participants on OPIC products and services - from accessing capital to opening up new markets.
“I know that as more and more U.S. small businesses engage in the global marketplace, you face new questions and unique challenges,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who along with fellow Minnesota U.S. Sen. Al Franken provided taped welcoming remarks for the conference’s participants.
Read more here:  OPIC Workshop for Minneapolis Area Draws 80 Small Businesses from 11 States

The next workshop is scheduled for May in Phoenix.

OPIC Small Business go here.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Dare to Think the Impossible

©2014 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
“Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." - Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

(Note:  Breakfast at Wolfgang Puck - Chicago O'Hare Airport)

Friday, April 04, 2014

Top 5 Expectations for Chief Global Marketing Officers

Based on a study conducted by Deloitte and the ExactTarget Marketing Cloud (part of entitled, Bridging the Digital Divide: How CMOs Can Rise to Meet Five Expanding Expectations, the report identifies five expectations for Chief Marketing Officers.

Here's the first one:  Take on top-line growth.
“Many CMOs find themselves with one foot in branding, one in the post-digital world and one hand on a compass trying to figure out what’s next. The role of the new CMO has changed, they are no longer just ‘cost centre’, but vital asset owners, who are responsible for driving business growth.” - Lee Hawksley, managing director of Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud, Australia.

Note:  The report is based on an online survey of 228 global marketing leaders.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

To Grow Successfully, Stick to Your Knitting Worldwide

Wife and husband team Laura and Doug Zander own Jimmy Beans Wool, a $7 million (2013), 37-employee, online yarn and fabric retailer with a brick-and-mortar store in Reno, Nevada.  They've been in business since 2002.

Their recent big challenge has been a drop in sales.  How do they boost sales and sustain growth without throwing a ton of money into it?

Here is one option:
They also considered simply continuing to build their brand online, possibly with a greater emphasis on international sales. Jimmy Beans could begin advertising internationally and form cross-border partnerships. But growing outside the United States would entail some of the same lifestyle choices as expanding domestically. In effect, Ms. Zander said, they would be starting a new business that would require travel and money to master.
My suggestion for the Zanders is to go back to basics and purely stick to their knitting.  Focus more on e-commerce and international expansion.  To do this, the Zanders do not need to advertise.  Rather, they need to pump up their social media marketing efforts and partner with e-commerce sites outside their own borders to sell their yarns.

Find out what their other options are and what other experts say.

Read the entire article:  Seeking Even Faster Growth, an E-Commerce Company Stumbles

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Keen On Entering India Via Ecommerce?

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock
Fashion retailer is in discussions with several different fashion brands that are keen on entering India via ecommerce and not through a traditional retail channel.  Two brands that will be available only online are:  UK-based fashion brand for the youth Dorothy Perkins and fashion label Miss Selfridge.

As the article states:
Jabong, backed by Germany’s Rocket Internet GmbH and the UK’s development finance CDC Group Plc, will for now import these products and sell them through a micro-site.
It's hard to work out the economics of the deal - pricing, distribution and profit margins, for example - but its worth a look if you can broaden your customer base and make money in the process.

Read the entire article:  Fashion brands taking e-commerce route for India entry

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Grand Prize Winner Fat Toad Farm Has a Mightier Chance to Go Global

Thanks to the second-annual FedEx Small Business Grant Contest, Brookfield, Vermont-based and family-owned Fat Toad Farm, a small business specializing in hand-crafted goat's milk caramel sauces, has been named the grand prize winner!

Fat Toad Farm will receive a $25,000 grant to put toward its business and growth plan.  They plan to use the grant money to improve their caramel production facility, upgrade their IT platforms, streamline their order intake, fulfillment and shipping services and - hopefully, take their business global.

Learn more:  FedEx Awards 'Fat Toad Farm' Small Business Grant

Check this out so you can appreciate how these awards and funds are put to good use:
The FedEx Small Business Grant Contest offers significant opportunity for small businesses to gain nationwide recognition, and encourages local communities to rally behind them at the same time. Last year's grant winner, Nicole Snow of Darn Good Yarn, said that her business (check out her blog!) has doubled since winning the grant contest and has allowed her to begin exporting as far as Australia.