Saturday, January 31, 2015

Fundamental Things Like Home

Photo courtesy:  Robert Marovich, Journal of Gospel Music
"The more one does and sees and feels, the more one is able to do, and the more genuine may be one's appreciation of fundamental things like home, and love, and understanding companionship." - Emelia Earhart

Photo courtesy:  Bob Marovich, Journal of Gospel Music (Riverdale, Illinois).  All rights reserved.

Friday, January 30, 2015

A World Without Borders and Boundaries

Alibaba founder Jack Ma has big plans to expand his company's global reach and become a global powerhouse.  What's his vision?
As technology spreads and lifestyles change, perhaps it is time to start thinking seriously about a trade architecture that supports global payments and logistics in online shopping. Ma, a man who knows a thing or two about e-commerce, is already mulling such a global vision. Maybe others should do the same.
According to the Global Times, "While the Internet has made the world smaller in many ways, online consumers and sellers are still very much stuck in a world of borders and boundaries."

Read:  E-commerce hemmed by national boundaries

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Chinese Companies to Watch: Tencent, Huawei and Xiaomi

Step aside Alibaba. There's bigger fish to fry in 2015 when it comes to Chinese companies looking to become as big or bigger than Alibaba and known worldwide.
Chinese tech companies are poised to make a huge splash this year as they push beyond their borders and invest heavily in international expansion.  
Here are three Chinese tech companies to watch in 2015.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Business Blogs to Watch in 2015

©iStock/Alex Skopje
We are honored that our Global Small Business Blog is one of the winners of the Business Blogs to Watch in 2015.  
Our goal [Broadview Networks] is to provide a comprehensive list, nominated by readers and staff, which will help our clients and partners glean the most knowledgeable and insightful analysis of business trends on the web.   We want everyone to succeed in 2015, one way that we can help is to make sure you’re on top of the latest news and trends, that’s why we’re looking for the Business Blogs to Watch in 2015!
Read:  Business Blogs to Watch in 2015

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Dream It. Source It.

©iStock/Maria 17
Are you dreaming about a great product idea that you'd like to import? That's 99 percent of the most difficult part of the import process - coming up with something nobody else has thought of yet everybody wants.  The other 1 percent involves sourcing it.  How do you find a manufacturer who makes the product you have in mind?

Here are some ideas that will inspire an import product revolution!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Today in Global Small Business: The Ford Mustang Is Officially Global

©iStock/Hayes Photography
What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Skate Your Troubles Away

©2015 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"Style is that which indicates how the writer takes himself and what he is saying.  It is the mind skating circles around itself as it moves forward." - Robert Frost

Pictured:  The magnificent new Maggie Daley Park Skating Ribbon in Chicago.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Is Going Global a Goal For You in 2015?

With 23 days into a new year, have you set going global as one of your top goals for your business?

Mark Murphy, author of Hard Goals: The Secret to Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be offers a great test to assess whether your goals are too tough or lame by asking the following five questions.  Think of each of these as it relates to taking your business global:
  1. Totally within my comfort zone. (“I could do it with my eyes closed.”)
  2. Pretty much within my comfort zone. (“My eyes are open, but I’m not excited.”)
  3. A little outside my comfort zone. (“I’m feeling a twinge of nervousness.”)
  4. Outside my comfort zone. (“I’m on pins and needles.”)
  5. Way outside my comfort zone. (“I’m so anxiety-ridden that I can’t even respond.” )
As Shelly Levitt says in Are Your Goals Tough Enough?  Or Too Tough?, you should aim for No. 4, a goal that takes you into uncharted territory but doesn’t leave you feeling hopelessly lost.

Doesn't that sound like going global?  Go for it!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

International Trade Plays a Key Role in Small Business Success

©iStock/Lee Yiu Tung
Why does trade matter for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and for our country?
While many think trade is the domain of big business, 98 percent of the 300,000 American companies that export are small and medium-sized businesses. These firms account for one-third of U.S. merchandise exports, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. The number of small and mid-sized companies that export has nearly tripled over the past two decades.
The fact of the matter is that international trade plays a key role in small business success.

Read the entire article:  The little-noticed role of trade in small business success. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

In 2015, Having a Strong International Presence Will Be Essential For Success

According to Sissy DeMaria for The Miami Herald, to form an international network, you have to have skin in the game. You must spend time researching, traveling, interviewing companies, and getting to know people to ensure that their business culture and vision mirrors yours.

She also expects globalization will increasingly play an important role in the growth of small to midsize businesses.

Read the entire article:  The importance of globalization for local businesses in 2015

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

By 2016, the Richest 1% Will Own More Than 50% of the World's Wealth

The the anti-poverty charity Oxfam said it would use its high-profile role at the World Economic Forum to demand urgent action to narrow the gap between rich and poor.
The charity’s research, published on Monday [1/19/15], shows that the share of the world’s wealth owned by the best-off 1% has increased from 44% in 2009 to 48% in 2014, while the least well-off 80% currently own just 5.5%
Oxfam says that on current trends "the richest 1% would own more than 50% of the world’s wealth by 2016."

Read the entire article:  New Oxfam report says half of global wealth held by the 1%

Monday, January 19, 2015

Today in Global Small Business: How to Nip Ethnocentrism in the Bud

©iStock/Ray Tango
What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Know What You Are Gonna Do Tomorrow, and The Next Day, and The Next Year ...

George Bailey: "I know what I'm gonna do tomorrow, and the next day, and the next year, and the year after that." - from It's a Wonderful Life

Photos courtesy:  ©2014 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.

Friday, January 16, 2015

What Is a Micro-Multinational?

According to The Globe and Mail, a micro-multinational is a small to medium-sized company that uses technology to do things like export and off-shore in a way that was once limited to large corporations.

Find out what a Canadian business owner did to turn his mindset and business from local to global and into a micro-multinational.

Read:  Entrepreneur turns side project into thriving micro-multinational

Thursday, January 15, 2015

How to Make Money On Your Bike When You Are Not Using It

You've heard of Airbnb, Uber and NeighborGoods.  Now say hello to global bike-sharing company called Spinlister.

Here's how it works:
In 90 seconds or less, anyone can list their bike on through the app or website, set a rental price and select accessories to include with the rental.
Worldwide, Spinlister already has 15,000 people who use the site to rent bikes.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

2015 a Breakout Year for Small Businesses

The National Federation of Independent Business reported that optimism among small businesses in December reached its highest level in eight years.
Considerably more small business owners said now is a good time to expand, NFIB reported, with capital investments and hiring both on the rise. Some 60% reported capital outlays, with 42% reporting spending on new equipment, 23% acquiring new vehicles and 16% expanding or improving their facilities.
Let's hope 2015 is a breakout year for small businesses.

Read the entire article:  NFIB Reports Small Business Optimism Grows in December

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Hungarians Want Successful Companies With Global Clout and the Ability to Speak English

Hungary has some work ahead.  Only one in seven Hungarians speaks adequate English.  As a result, people having difficulties expressing themselves in English, which can be perceived as less capable than the self-confident communicators with a good command of English.

Here's what else the article below says:
This may all sound trivial but still, Hungary is one of the laggards in foreign language skills not just in Europe as a whole but in the Central and Eastern Europe region as well. The latest (2012) Eurobarometer survey showed that merely one in five Hungarians is able to have a conversation in English with 40% of those prepared for the most basic situations only. 
Read the entire article:  Only one in seven Hungarians speaks adequate English

Monday, January 12, 2015

Today in Global Small Business: Going Global Means Going Local

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

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Outside the Frost Will Bite

©2014 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"We shall achingcold be here
Not singing.
Outside, the frost will bite, thaw, then return;
Inside, the candle will burn." - Philip Larkin

Friday, January 09, 2015

Which Country Is Filled With Optimism About the Economy?

©iStock/Jeremy Richards
Grant Thornton’s global survey indicates business confidence across the world has fallen at the start of the New Year but businesses in India are the most optimistic.
The survey shows 98% of India Inc is optimistic about the economy, which is well above the global average of just 41%. The global average is low because there is lack of optimism in the United States where business confidence has dropped to 59% and in China it’s even lower at 22%, while in Japan it’s in the negative.
Read more at:  Global business optimism falls but not in India

Thursday, January 08, 2015

10 Steps to Localizing a Website

©iStock/Michael Jay
Are you targeting international customers with your website?  Then you better learn how to localize your website, as well as translate it.

How to localize a website in 10 easy steps

Another good article by the same author, Christian Arno, is:

Localization Is the Key to Going Global

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Adopt Globalization As a Key Driver For Business Growth

According to findings of an in-depth study conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) on behalf of DHL Express, the majority of SMEs see growth opportunities internationally and expect to derive up to 50 percent of their revenues internationally in five years’ time.

What else was discovered?  Those SMEs that trade internationally are likely to perform better than their single market counterparts.
The study also reveals that severe obstacles remain for smaller businesses with global aspirations, these challenges include political instability, cultural factors, different market environments and inadequate infrastructures.
Learn more:  The importance of global connectedness for SMEs

Download report:  Most SMEs planning to be global by 2019

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

In the World of Food, Some Like It Hot!

No matter where you travel in our world, one thing remains constant in the cuisine area:  some like it hot (spicy)!
And food cultures across the world have come up with countless ways to dry, crush, smoke, pickle, brine, and confit chilies into condiments, developing hot sauces that give dishes extra dimension and heat. In the U.S. alone, hot sauce is a $1.3 billion industry.
Below is a global history on hot sauce along with an illustrated tour region by region that spans Asia, the Caribbean, Europe and the Middle East and Africa.  In some examples even recipes are provided to make your own hot sauce.

Around the World in Hot Sauce:  An Illustrated Tour of 18 Varieties

Monday, January 05, 2015

Today in Global Small Business: See Why There Will Be Exports Aplenty in 2015

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

Saturday, January 03, 2015

David Bowie Is (Chicago)

David Bowie Is
Tomorrow, January 4th, is the final day of the Museum of Contemporary Art's extraordinarily popular exhibit "David Bowie Is."  I went to see it this week but couldn't really cover every single exhibit detail in the suggested 90 minute timeframe - there was just too much, which happily exceeded my expectations a hundred times over.  The exhibit presents a completely new perspective on Bowie's creative work and collaborations.

What I saw was absolutely amazing, including a richly illustrated catalogue edited by Victoria and Albert Museum curators Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marsh, which includes contributions from leading experts in musicology and cultural history.  I'm a huge Bowie fan and the MCA doesn't let you down on offering Bowie's music either. You are loaned a headset upon arrival to listen to Bowie tunes and hear historical perspectives provided by a number of people who worked with Bowie.  I highly recommend the exhibit.

Visit:  David Bowie Is | MCA Chicago

Photos courtesy:  ©2015 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.

Friday, January 02, 2015

What's in Store for World Trade in 2015?

Who knows what's in store for world trade in the new year.  A lot depends on economic factors, your will, your way and other wildly speculative factors.

But somebody has to come up with something that leads the way to our future.  So I curated a couple of pieces that make sense and I even threw in a couple of my own forecasts for 2015 as they relate to global trade.

The Year Ahead:  From Laurel Delaney, Import and Export Expert

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Happy 2015 Global Small Business Readers!

"Wishing you a year filled with joy, peace, good health, prosperity and global ambitions." - Laurel Delaney, Founder, The Global Small Business Blog