Monday, June 30, 2014

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Chicago: City of the Big Shoulders

©2014 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
by Carl Sandburg

"Hog Butcher for the World,
   Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
   Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;
   Stormy, husky, brawling,
   City of the Big Shoulders:

They tell me you are wicked and I believe them, for I have seen your painted women under the gas  lamps luring the farm boys.
And they tell me you are crooked and I ..."

Read the entire poem:  Chicago by Carl Sandburg:  Poetry Magazine

Friday, June 27, 2014

Hong Kong's Export Outlook 2014

With the challenging global economic outlook, Hong Kong’s exports are now not expected to grow by as much as initially predicted.
While the mild recovery of the European Union and Japan has more or less stayed on track, growth in the United States and China lost a degree of momentum in the early part of the year. This despite the fact the US economy is now showing signs of rallying, while China’s authorities are likely to provide policy support to ensure sustainable development in the near future. 
The upshot?  Hong Kong’s exports are forecast to grow by 4.5 percent in 2014, as opposed to the previously more optimistic figure of 5.5 percent.

Read the entire extensive report:  Hong Kong's export outlook: underlying optimism, despite temporary shortfall

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

How to Manage the Logistics of an Intercontinental Operation

How do you manage the logistics of an intercontinental operation - from hiring to travel, team-building to monitoring?  It's not easy. Here's what you can take away from the international learning curve.
  • Vet your overseas vendors
  • Require a U.S.-grade background check
  • Pay well - and appropriately
  • Invest in monitoring software
  • Make time for face-to-face team experience
Running a global operation can be key to your operation - and your best selling point.  Read the entire article:  Running a global small business - from Charlotte

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

You've Heard of the G20. How About the G20 SME Conference?

The G20 comprises of 19 member states plus the European Union and was established in 1999.  The purpose of the G20 SME Conference is to convene a meeting of local and international experts to discuss key challenges relevant to Australia’s G20 agenda for the SME sector in Australia and the wider international community.

The G20 SME Conference held June 20, 2014 drew together around 117 delegates representing a wide cross-section of the business, government and not-for-profit community with specific interests or roles in small business and entrepreneurship.
This enthusiasm for the G20 was evidenced on Friday 20 June at the “G20 Agenda for Growth: Opportunities for SMEs Conference."  The event was organised by the Australian Minister for Small Business, the Hon Bruce Billson and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI). It was held in Melbourne at the Victorian Parliament House’s Legislative Assembly Chamber.
Primary focus for the G20 SME conference:
  1. Role of SMEs in helping to meet the G20's target of 2% higher growth over the period to 2018.
  2. How to enable growth among SMEs.
Learn more:  Growing the global economy through small to medium enterprise:  The G20 SME conference

Monday, June 23, 2014

Today in Global Small Business: Skype Breaking Translation Barriers

What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Set The World On Fire With Your Ideas

©2014 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"Go forth and set the world on fire." - Ignatius of Loyola

Friday, June 20, 2014

Most Talked About Sporting Event Globally?

You don't have to have a big budget to market your business globally. Take, for example, The World Cup.  It's the most talked about sporting event globally. You can tap into this event in a number of different ways via Twitter and other social media platforms but first things first according to Russ Laraway (@russlaraway) who heads up small business at Twitter.  He says:  

"It's important for SMBs to know that only the official sponsors of the World Cup can reference the games in their tweets, per FIFA's rules. But, with a little creativity, SMBs can use Twitter Ads to take advantage of the huge marketing opportunity the World Cup presents on Twitter."

Find out Laraway's other BIG ideas for smaller businesses to use Twitter by reading:

Small Business Budget, Big Business Ideas for Twitter Advertising, World Cup Edition

Thursday, June 19, 2014

How to Successfully Leverage Social Media for Global Reach With a Franchise

If you are a big marketer with franchises across the country, online media can create a major challenge.
When it comes to extending a national brand presence at the local level, how does a company protect its national brand while giving the local franchise room to grow, and who takes the marketing reins—the national brand, the local franchise, or both? 
Learn more:  Global Brands and Local Lead Gen Challenges

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Does the Size of Your Business Matter for Global Scale?

TradeUp ( is a new equity crowd funding platform for globalizing companies that was founded by Kati Suominen who has deep expertise in international trade, economics and finance. Companies can raise $100,000 to $20 million in debt or equity through TradeUp.  It enables globalizing companies to connect and transact with a range of accredited investors (angels, superangels, VCs, PE funds, family offices, strategic investors, lenders, etc.).

I interview Kati below on why she started TradeUp, how companies can get on board and whether size matters for global scale.

Read:  Does Size Matter for Global Scale?

Related article:  Companies Don't Need to Scale to Trade Internationally; They Need International Trade To Scale

Monday, June 16, 2014

OP-ED: The Export Imperative

Note from Laurel Delaney:  I submitted the following OP-ED piece to several different major international newspapers and I am also publishing it here.

The Export Imperative
Small businesses are the driving force in job creation and economic activity
by Laurel J. Delaney

Job creation. Finding additional revenue streams. Tapping new customer bases. These are all top of mind in today’s world, and businesspeople are looking for a quick fix to address these challenges and opportunities. One answer that isn’t receiving a lot of attention—but should—is small business exportation.

Small- and medium-sized companies account for almost 97 percent of U.S. exporters, but they represent only about 30 percent of the total export value of U.S. goods. With 80 percent of global demand now outside of the United States, it is expected there will be $40 billion to $50 billion worth of export opportunity for the United States within five years.

The White House also sees value in boosting exports. The Obama Administration is pushing to get fast-track trade, also called Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), through Congress. Fast-track trade would make it easier for President Obama to negotiate pacts with other countries, which should also help exports expand, creating more opportunities for any size businesses to grow. Why is this important? Because, as Democrats and Republicans alike will I hope agree, free trade agreements (FTAs) improve foreign market access for exporters, promote economic growth and create jobs.

The trade agreements being worked on now—Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)—account for 65 percent of the world’s goods and services trade and would account for 69 percent of U.S. goods exports. The absence of FTAs can cause hurdles for a small-business owner entering into a new overseas market.

With TPA, the United States will be able to easily pursue trade agreements that support and create U.S. jobs while helping American manufacturers, service providers, entrepreneurs, small businesses, farmers and ranchers increase U.S. exports and compete in a highly competitive, digital global economy. TPA will open up access to millions of consumers around the world, bring down foreign barriers to U.S. products and services and boost innovation in the U.S. by better protecting intellectual property that is exported.

According to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker in announcing the next phase of the National Export Initiative, “the United States has had four straight record-breaking years of exports. We hit an all-time high of $2.3 trillion dollars last year [2013]—up $700 billion from 2009.  Nearly one-third of our economic growth since mid-2009 has been driven by exports. Nearly 30,000 businesses have started exporting for the first time.”

Further, the International Monetary Fund forecasts that nearly 87 percent of the world economic growth during the next five years will take place outside of the United States.

The explosion of US small businesses—more than 28 million—engaging in the world economy in the last few years is largely attributable to the Internet, the ultimate platform by which businesses can innovate through personalization and export around the world. This transition has taken place as businesses have sought new ways to grow and tap into the more than 96 percent of the world’s consumers and 73 percent of the world’s purchasing power that lies outside the United States. Surprisingly, less than 1 percent of these small businesses and individuals operate in the U.S. export marketplace, even though the amount of exporters has grown faster than the amount of nonexporters in terms of both goods sold and employment.

Whether you operate a business the size of Boeing or as a one woman-international shop and don’t want to be beaten by competitors, exporting is an absolute must for building and sustaining a successful future. Fast-track trade will get us there sooner and, if nurtured correctly, will enable thousands, if not millions, of businesses to grow into something absolutely amazing. That’s something Americans can all be proud to share overseas.

Ms. Delaney is the publisher of The Global Small Business Blog and the author of “Exporting: The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably” (Apress 2013).

Saturday, June 14, 2014

A View From Baker & McKenzie's Chicago Office

©2014 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
A view from the 50th floor - The Inns - of law firm Baker & McKenzie's Chicago office.  Chicago is the founding office of Baker & McKenzie. They have more than 200 lawyers who offer clients both local and global experience.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Foreign Markets Made Easy: Say "Hello" to PassPort

Passport to opportunity one country at a time.  Local style made global. Find new customers wherever they may be.  Foreign markets made easy.  Say "hello" to PayPal's new PassPort, a website designed to educate and empower small businesses with free tools to expand their global sales.
PassPort provides country-specific guidance on seasonal sales peaks, including holidays and events; cultural customs, taboos and trends; shipping and distribution logistics; currency exchange and fees; and customs procedures and taxes. - Source:  PayPal Launches PassPort to Help Small Businesses Around the World Increase Global Sales
Take a tour:  PayPal PassPort 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

What It's Like to Shop a Local Main Street Online

iStock/Thinkstock, a new U.S.-based e-marketplace owned by Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd., launched yesterday (6/11/14) with hundreds (okay ... possibly a thousand or two) boutiques designed to replicate shopping a local Main Street.  We reported on this March 14, 2014.

What is the key differentiator on 11Main?  You don't sign up on your own.  11Main finds, recruits and approves stores to sell on its site.  What does that protect or ward off?  Dishonest sellers.  Ouch or maybe Cool, depending on who you are and how you look at it.

Read the entire news article:  Alibaba launches in the U.S.

We've been reporting on Alibaba since 2005.  Review the history here, especially in view of the upcoming Alibaba IPO.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

An Interview With Web Globalization Expert John Yunker

I interview John Yunker (below) who during his professional career has helped thousands of companies and organizations take their websites global—or improve their existing global websites.

Here are the seven questions he addresses:
  1. What are two examples of the worst global websites and why?
  2. In terms of localizing a website, what’s the most challenging part of it? And is there a quick solution on how to overcome it?
  3. You recently wrote an interesting blog post about WhatsApp: Another “translation worthy” success story ( What’s the lesson for small-business owners who want to become big and global someday?
  4. GoDaddy is marketing the new top-level domain INTERNATIONAL. Do you recommend it or not?
  5. When a company is ready to translate its website, what factors should it consider before hiring a translation agency?
  6. You’ve often written about the danger of using flags on global gateways. Can you explain why?
  7. Looking into a crystal ball, what’s in store for the future on conducting business worldwide? What should we be paranoid about (disruptive changes ahead, for example) and what should we look forward to?
Read the entire interview:  Web Globalization Tips

Related posts over the years about John Yunker.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Be Better Everyday

©2014 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better." - Albert Camus

Photo courtesy:  @2014 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.  Taken at Crate & Barrel on Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Key to Global Business Success? Build Friendships.

Invest your liver's time.  Do karaoke.  Build friendships.  What do all three have in common?  It's Martin Graham's list of what brings you success in Russia.  Graham runs a wealth management fund -- Oracle Capital Group -- that owns a karaoke club in London.  Karaoke is not very popular in the UK, but Oracle Capital Group is focused on Eastern Europe's new rich, and Graham's Russian clients love it.

Graham says, "We believe in solutions rather than just selling products to people."  He claims it is about "just building friendships.  You also have to be able to do karaoke quite well."

Read the interview here which has been edited for length and clarity. Here's a snippet on one of the questions:
Q:  What's the secret to successfully managing people in Russia?

A:  It is the same as everywhere. It is about communication, clarity around objectives, proper delegation of authority. You need to give people responsibility. They need coaching. It does not happen overnight. The default mechanism is 'oh, I need to check with my boss.' But the principles are the same.
Related article:  How to Enter the Russian B2B Market

Thursday, June 05, 2014

What You Need To Do To Get Your Website Ready For International Visitors

Our highly esteemed colleague, Vigdis Eriksen, Founder and CEO of Eriksen Translations talks about what you need to do to get your website ready for international visitors.  Be sure to read both articles below for the complete interview (two parts).

Part I:  Why Web Translation is Critical For American Companies

Vigdis covers a lot of ground - from how technology has played a factor in the growth of her business - to why web translation is critical for American companies to consider and what steps you need to take to prepare.

Part II:  How to Get In the Ready-State For Translating a Website

In this article, Vigdis discusses a five-step process to get in the ready-state for translating a website, how to overcome challenges facing companies that are new to web globalization and what's in store for the future on web globalization.

Related article here.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

How to Boost Global Competitiveness Through E-Commerce Platforms

Yesterday (6/3) in Malaysia, representatives from 150 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) attended a one-day workshop in Kuala Lumpur, part of the US-Asean cooperation in boosting the competititiveness of Asean SMEs.

What did they learn?  How to boost their regional and global competitiveness by using e-commerce platforms and tools.
Leaders from large US firms such as Baker & McKenzie, eBay, Google, Paypal and UPS shared information focusing on leveraging e-commerce platforms and payment tools, maximizing international shipping and delivery services, the legal aspects of cross-border e-commerce, as well as strengthening global market presence through online marketing.
Learn more:  Building the competitive power of Asean's small business

Have you taken advantage of the e-commerce marketplace?

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

How to Get Paid When You Go Global: Twitter Chat USA June 5th at 2:30 p.m. EST

Stuck on how to get paid on your global deals?  Get unstuck and discover creative solutions at the Twitter Chat hosted by #TradeElite on "How to get paid when you go global," Thursday, June 5th,  2:30 p.m. EST w/@ARMalaket_OPUS, @LaurelDelaney, @RanyIbrahim and @edbmarsh.

See you at Twitter and I welcome your participation and questions!

Meanwhile, some CliffNotes in advance of the Twitter Chat 6/5:

An Insider's Guide to Making Payments and Getting Paid on Overseas Transactions

Monday, June 02, 2014

Are You Global or Born Global?

Photo courtesy:  Laurel Delaney's Zazzle's store
Aurelia Mitchell Durant, Esquire, Senior Managing Partner at AMD Law makes the case that "many companies go global, but that does not make them born global firms. What distinguishes born global firms from the rest of international organizations is that they originate internationally. Born global firms, from their beginnings, have a global focus and commit their resources to international ventures."

Read the entire article:  What is the definition of a "Born Global" firm?

Note:  We discuss this important topic in "Exporting:  The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably."  Refer to the section, Assessing an Export Start-Up:  The "Born Global" Firm where I say (page 13) "Born-global companies are run by individuals of a generation that only knows of communicating and transacting business via the Internet."