Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Six-Step Entrepreneurial Process to Lean Exporting

I had the great opportunity to meet Cristina Hernandez, a part-time Professor at Tecnologico de Monterrey, Guadalajara campus in the department of International Business and the Department of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, at the recent Utah Global Forum (9/24/14).  She is also the founder of Managed Strategies, an international sales and market entry consultancy.

When I conducted a little research, I discovered that Cristina authored an interesting paper entitled, "An Entrepreneur's Guide To Lean Exporting."  In it, she talks about how to validate opportunities in a foreign market quickly and gain new sales sourced from abroad.

Read the entire paper here.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Today in Global Small Business: Time to Go

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

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Utah Global Forum 2014 Huge Success

©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 had the wonderful opportunity to serve as a lead speaker at the Utah Global Forum on September 24th talking about "Export Readiness." It was a fantastic experience.  I met so many incredible people - all interested in boosting international trade.

The photos above cover what the room looked like the night before (setting up) and during the program when my Exporting book was made available to all attendees and Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert spoke.

Here's the latest news on the program:

Utah Global Forum sees 7 billion potential customers

Friday, September 26, 2014

Embrace the World Through Localization

Connecting with customers all over the world is easier said than done. According to Heidi Lorenzen, "One thing is simple: speaking a customer’s language is the most fundamental and effective element of personalized communication."  She goes on to ask a key question:  "How can marketers overcome language barriers to excel at delivering all the right content, to all their audiences, in all the languages they speak?"

Bottom line:  It pays to localize.

Find out why:  It Pays to Globalize:  Why Marketers Must Embrace Localization

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Is Globalization In Retreat?

A growing number of business analysts have been arguing that we are entering a new era of global manufacturing, with the US at center stage.
... the Boston Consulting Group, following up on an earlier survey that suggested “reshoring” of factories back to the US was the new name of the game, issued a report that argued that the US had the lowest manufacturing costs among major exporters in the developed world and was nearly competitive with China.
What do you think?  Is globalization in retreat?

Meanwhile, read:  With manufacturing returning to US, is globalization in retreat?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Global Flows Are Robust

Global flows are creating new degrees of connectedness and to be unconnected is to fall behind.  As the McKinsey Global Institute noted in Global flows in a digital age, with the exception of cross-border finance, global flows are just as robust now as they were before the crisis.
One key to this rebound was that, in contrast to the 1930s, the global economy maintained existing conditions: trade barriers remained low, as did restrictions on foreign direct investment, and cross-border exchange continued to spread with the internet.
Read the entire article:  Why the global economy is stronger than you think

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Neiman Marcus Steps Up Its Efforts to Go Global

How do you cater to the wealthy around the world without opening physical stores?  You buy an existing successful online business.
The luxury retailer [Neiman Marcus], which only operates department stores and outlet stores in the United States, has announced a rare acquisition: a deal to buy the Munich-based Mytheresa.com online luxury business from founders Christoph and Susanne Botschen and Acton Capital Partners.
As part of the deal, Neiman Marcus is also buying Theresa’s flagship store in central Munich.

Look out Net-a-Porter and The Corner.  The competitive heat is on.

Read:  Neiman Marcus goes global thanks to an e-commerce deal

Monday, September 22, 2014

Today in Global Small Business: The State of the World According to Bill Clinton

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

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Being Ridiculous in a World Definitely Beats Boring

©2014 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring." - Marilyn Monroe

Friday, September 19, 2014

A California Firm Attests to the Impact of Ex-Im Bank's Export Financing Programs

Steve Wilburn, CEO of FirmGreen in California, can attest to the impact the Ex-Im Bank’s export financing programs has had on his company, allowing him to continue developing innovative energy solutions and expand internationally.

Learn more:  Uncertainty in Washington roiling small businesses

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Is Alibaba a Global Company?

In "A Short Course on Alibaba," I discuss some of the more prominent businesses within China-based Alibaba, but the questions posed today shortly before their IPO are these:  Is Alibaba truly a global company? Can it expand efficiently beyond China?

CNBC's Cadie Thompson writes a provocative take on those very same questions:  "For Alibaba, going global means new frontiers."

Related article:  Is Alibaba coming to America?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Getting Started in Exporting, a Webinar with Laurel Delaney (9/18/14)

Please join me for a complimentary webinar I am giving this Thursday, September 18th at Noon ET/9 a.m. PT on Getting Started in Exporting.  Are You Ready?  Here are the six things I will cover:

1.  Why this is the best and easiest time ever to export!
2.  What you need to do to get your business export ready
3.  How to craft a back-of-the napkin export business plan
4.  How to create a social media and networking presence
5.  How to market your business worldwide
6.  How to use e-commerce sites as stepping-stones to export success

To learn more and to register, visit:  Export NOW 110:  Getting Started in Exporting.  Are You Ready? – Women Impacting Public Policy

I look forward to connecting with you on Thursday and answering questions you might have.  Let's make it fun and engaging!  Have your team listen in too.  Share this post with anyone you think might benefit from the webinar - thanks!  And a special thanks to WIPP for hosting the webinar.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Let's Talk Global, Small Island Global

The United Nations (UN) came to Samoa for the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States, a four-day talkfest about sustainable development running from Sept. 1 to 4.   World leaders and delegations from 52 island countries were joined by international donors, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and civil society.
Behind the scenes of paradise, many small island states are developing countries striving for economic independence, employment growth, social development, resilience against climate change and disasters and a balance between conservation and exploitation of natural resources.  
Sadly, next year, only two of 14 Pacific Island Forum countries, Cook Islands and Niue, are expected to achieve all the Millennium Development Goals.

Learn more about some of the topics discussed that are impacting real people's lives:  Small islands talk global issues

Monday, September 15, 2014

Today in Global Small Business: Thinking Outside the Bottle, Globally

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

Saturday, September 13, 2014

An Inside Peak at Google Chicago

©2014 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
I had the amazing opportunity to participate in an event for the Women Presidents' Organization Chicago on September 11th that was hosted by Google Chicago headquarters.  Full disclosure:  I serve as the Chicago Chapter Chair for WPO.

At the event (meeting room as shown), Google experts talked about:

•  The importance of staying connected to the consumer - anywhere, anytime and on any device.
•  How Google's many tools can help grow your business globally.
•  Why mobile is an imperative to your organization's global growth.
•  Why Google Analytics and Google Adwords should be tracked, measured and leveraged constantly to better manage your global small business.

Google most certainly abides by their unofficial slogan, "Don't be evil."

For related posts on Google, visit here.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Technology and Globalization Have Changed the Way SMEs Do Business

Technology and globalization have changed the way small-to-medium size businesses operate across the world, creating opportunities as well as challenges along the way.  One such challenge is how to stay interconnected on a budget while traveling across borders.  These concerns, if not treated effectively, can have a direct impact on a businesses bottom line.

Read the entire article:  Business Productivity in the Spotlight

Thursday, September 11, 2014

UPS: Keeping a Pulse on The Future of E-Commerce

David Abney, UPS CEO on 9/9/14 at The Executives' Club of Chicago
(Photo courtesy Joe Gallo Photography.  All rights reserved.)
David Abney, UPS CEO (L) on 9/9/14 at The Executives' Club of Chicago
with Cody Phipps, United Stationers Inc. President and CEO (R)
(Photo courtesy:  Joe Gallo Photography.  All rights reserved.) 
I had the great honor to attend The Executives' Club of Chicago's The Changing Face of Retailing with UPS CEO David Abney giving his first speaking engagement as the new CEO of UPS.  Cody Phipps, United Stationers Inc. President and CEO, moderated the Q&A after David's talk.

A brief history on David ... he began his UPS career in 1974 as a part-time package loader so he knows a little something about the inner workings of the company.  He is the 11th CEO in the 107-year history of UPS. Prior to David's current position, he served as President of UPS International, leading UPS's strategic imperative to build global logistics capabilities.

A couple of key points from the event and David's talk:
  • The next five years will bring more change to retail than we've seen in the last 100.
  • UPS has moved from competing in the $60 billion market of package delivery to helping lead today's $3.2 trillion global supply chain marketplace.
  • Retail innovations are transforming traditional retail models - shifting control to consumers.
  • Growth in emerging markets with newly discovered buying power will challenge status quo.
UPS furnished a nifty infographic handout at the event where insights were provided by comScore via a study of more than 5,800 U.S. online shoppers:
Today's flex shopper has grown more demanding in pursuit of the best merchandise for the best price with the best customer experience.  The brave new world of multi-channels and multi-devices empowers them to seek more convenience from pre-purchase to purchase to post-purchase. - For more information on the study's findings, visit the UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper:  https://thenewlogistics.ups.com/retail/comscorestudy/
When I chatted with David at the end of the program, one other key point he emphasized is the power of small businesses operating in the global marketplace.  That we already know through this blog.

Photos are provided with permission to use by The Executives' Club of Chicago (Gina Chinino) with credit to Joe Gallo Photography.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

How to Get, Keep and Foster Top Talent In Our Interconnected World

Looking for ways to get, keep and foster new recruits at your business?
New recruits are no longer interested in being “acquired,” and top performers, regardless of age and experience, are looking to collaborate, contribute, and more than anything, feel inspired.
Have you got what it takes to make the grade with top talent?

Read:  5 Ways to Prevent Your Top Recruits From Jumping Ship

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

SME Confidence Has Grown on a Global Scale

According to the sixth annual Hiscox "DNA of an Entrepreneur Report 2014," small firms across the world reported a rise in profitability and hiring activity based on a survey that’s designed to offer an “insight” into the mood and financial stability of the SME sector.

As the report says, entrepreneurs are "turning the corner, but still a way to go."
This study was conducted for specialist insurer Hiscox by The Survey Shop. The sample was drawn from online panels contacted between 28th May and 6th June 2014. There is statistical accuracy of +/- 1% to +/- 2% for the whole sample of 3,500 [with less than 50 employees] and +/- 2% to +/- 4% for each country’s sample except the UK which is +/- 1% to +/- 3%.
One of the key points in the report is:
Despite the growth in confidence and overall business optimism, more than a third (34 per cent) of SME owners feared being unable to attract new customers, while 31 per cent were skeptical regarding the government’s ability to support small businesses.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Today in Global Small Business: What We Would Lose Without Collective Mourning

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

Saturday, September 06, 2014

The Glass Cube at Westfield Old Orchard

©2014 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
The Glass Cube is a statement building at Westfield Old Orchard in Skokie, Illinois, U.S.A.  The space is available for retailers to lease the space during peak times and times of new product launches.  When I was there, the lounge was used by patrons to relax and get away from the heat.

Learn more:  The Glass Cube

Friday, September 05, 2014

Take Another Look At TradeUp Capital Fund

A lot of small business owners suffer from lack of capital to grow their business.  If you currently run a global business, I strongly urge you to consider equity crowd funding to boost growth.

As Kati Suominen, founder and CEO of TradeUp says:
Crowdfunding is especially great for small business owners who are already stretched in working to bring clients in the door. The platforms open visibility and access to many more investors than you would ever get to on your own. 
Read the article:  Use Crowdfunding to Fuel Your Global Business

For more information on TradeUp, visit:  http://www.tradeupfund.com

Related articles:

Thursday, September 04, 2014

U.S. Small Business Administration Announces STEP Program Awards for 2014

SBA announced today that 24 awards will be made to states to support activities to increase exporting by small businesses.  The State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) Program was appropriated $8 million to award by September 30, 2014.
The STEP program has two objectives: 1) increase the number of small businesses that begin to export and 2) increase the value of exports for small businesses that currently export. 
Learn more here.

For a quick jump to the list of awardees and more information on STEP, visit:

Related articles:

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Getting Ready to Head Out to Spain?

Land that new business in Spain and not sure how to make the best of the trip when you meet with your new customer?  Look no further. Erica Mills writes "How I Fell in Love with Affordable Spain" for International Living and makes you want to travel there sooner rather than later.

What's to like about Spain?  According to Erica:
For a start, the people are wonderful: warm, friendly, passionate, and incredibly helpful. They’ve figured out what’s important in life in Spain, too. Nationwide, the country still takes a daily siesta—a mid-day break—to make time to eat well, have a nap, or see friends and family. And evenings are dedicated to friends and family, too: sitting in local restaurants or around a kitchen table, with everyone from the very young to the very old eating together.
More on Spain:
Have a safe and productive trip.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Today in Global Small Business: Rise of the Rest Road Trip

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