Saturday, May 30, 2015

A Big Thank You to Silvia Torres at the IL SBDC International Trade Center in Edwardsville

Courtesy:  IL SBDC International Trade Center, SIU Edwardsville
On May 28th, I had the great honor to present at the Illinois SBDC International Trade Center, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville on a topic I am passionate about:  "Go Global in the Digital Age!"

I hope that as a result of my presentation, all participants are now able to take on the world with their business.  A big thank you to Director Silvia Torres for her fortitude in getting the program off the ground, marketing it like crazy and for continuing to help small business owners and entrepreneurs grow internationally.

Learn more about the IL SBDC International Trade Center here.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Hitachi Plans to Derive More than Half Its Group Revenues from Overseas in 2015

Hitachi, the nation’s largest maker of electric equipment and infrastructure systems is going global after painful reforms.  The company splurged on a pricey acquisition -- a railway vehicle and signal businesses of Italy’s Finmeccanica S.p.A., a deal estimated at over ¥250 billion.

This highlights Hitachi's accelerated shift in recent years toward global expansion.

Chairman and CEO Hiroaki Nakanishi, however, does not seem to be content, which is a good thing from the standpoint of continuing to drive results for Hitachi.
“We need to respond to a market that is getting all the more global or else we’ll end up going extinct,” he [Nakanishi] said in an interview in Las Vegas in late April on the sidelines of a corporate exhibition.
Read more:  Resurgent Hitachi goes global after painful reforms

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Internet is a Driver of Global Digital Trade

Thomas O'Toole, for Bloomberg BNA, writes a thoughtful and important article, "Breaking Down Legal Barriers to Global Digital Trade."

First, a little background on O'Toole:
Thomas O'Toole joined BNA in 1988 and has been managing editor of Bloomberg BNA's Electronic Commerce & Law Report since its founding in 1996. He has a BA in Economics and English Literature from the University of Michigan and a JD from Wayne State University Law School. 
According to O'Toole's article, which references the U.S. International Trade Commission's 2014 report, U.S. businesses sold $935.2 billion in goods and services online in 2012, of which $222.9 was attributable to exports.

He goes on to say that "Digitally intensive companies become global players more quickly than traditional multinational companies, and they are significantly reliant on overseas markets for revenue and growth."

But that's not all.  According to eBay's Public Policy Lab, online platforms allow small businesses to serve overseas markets on a scale that is unmatched by traditional exporters

There's one thing for sure, the Internet is a driver of global digital trade.

Learn more here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Stumped on Export/Import Procedures and Documentation?

©iStock/Wichai Leesawatwong
Whether you receive an international order by phone, in person at a trade show or via email, should you formalize the purchase and sale agreement in a written document?  Are preprinted forms from commercial stationers or available online forms worthwhile on your export/import activities?  Have you examined the contents thoroughly of a product you are about to import?

These and a hundred other items are discussed in the book “Export/Import Procedures and Documentation.”

Learn more here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

How to Achieve 70 percent of Your Sales from Overseas Markets

Do you wish you were doing more business overseas?  Could markets exist for you in other countries? According to the Department of Commerce, more than 300,000 U.S. companies exported goods in 2013, and nearly 98 percent of those had fewer than 500 employees.

But is going global really worth all the trouble?

Inventor, Co-Founder and CEO Adam Xavier believed his UK-based RoadLoK motorcycle anti-theft immobilizer was exactly what the American riding public wanted. And he was right, to a point.
"It wasn't until 2008 that RoadLoK realized we could do much more business working with foreign regions in addition to our customers in the USA, but are we ever glad we finally did. Today, more than 70 percent of our sales come from overseas markets," says Xavier
Read the entire article:  Ready to Take Your Business Global?

Monday, May 25, 2015

Today in Global Small Business: Bad News For Egg Lovers Worldwide

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

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Blossom in Nature

©2015 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature." Gerard De Nerval

Friday, May 22, 2015

Drafting a Contract in China? Choose Which Language Will Control

How do you draft a clear contract to be understood by all parties involved?  That was the seminar that Ken Adams was going to give in Beijing and Shanghai.  In preparation, he turned to the experts at the China Law Blog, long a landmark on the blogosphere. Below is the link to the exchange Ken had with Steve Dickinson and Dan Harris helping behind the scenes.  I've been a big fan of Dan's prolific work in China law for business for almost a decade now.

The first interview question:
Q: What proportion of contracts between Chinese companies (or government agencies) and non-Chinese companies are in English? If the contracts are in English, is it mandatory that the parties enter into a Chinese-language version too? If so, which controls?
Read the entire interview:  Using English-Language Contract in China:  My Q&A with China Law Blog

Thursday, May 21, 2015

In APEC Region, Services Make Up 67% of GDP

To widen the door for small business participation in cross-border trade and usher in improved job creation, growth and quality of life for people across the region, greater liberalization of the services sectors in Asia-Pacific markets is needed.  That's according to senior officials and private sector representatives at the APEC conference in the Philippines.
“Services make up approximately 67% of GDP in the APEC region,” says Ambassador Laura Q Del Rosario, Philippine Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs and 2015 Chair of the APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting. “Efforts to improve trade and investment in services will play a vital role in inclusive growth by creating new jobs and allowing people from all parts of the economy to participate in the economic and social mainstream.” 
Learn more:  APEC poised to lower services barriers to lift Asia-Pac small businesses

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Mighty U.S.-Japan Alliance Takes on the World

The rebalance to Asia is the signature feature of the Obama administration’s foreign policy, with the Japanese alliance at its center.  For this reason alone the public release of the revised Guidelines for Japan-US Defense Cooperation are of importance.
They also spell out a broader functional purpose and larger conceptual frame of reference for the bilateral relationship, which adds to their significance. But what signals do the Guidelines send about the strategic relationship and its purpose?
The alliance is now global in scope.

Read more here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Get Your Cross-Border Tax Education Fix: Attend the Global Tax Forum June 9th

Staying competitive in today's global business environment through international tax planning is not easy.  That's about to change.  Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP is hosting a complimentary global tax forum that brings together international tax leaders from around the world to share their insights on top taxation issues facing cross-border business ventures.

Participants will learn:
  • US economic environment and global competitiveness
  • Tax considerations when doing business in China, Singapore, and India 
  • Corporate tax inversions and the latest update on OECD’s BEPS initiative
  • Investment climates in key foreign jurisdictions 
Other benefits of attending:

Participants will have the opportunity to meet privately with tax partners from foreign jurisdictions by registering for country-specific, closed-door sessions that interest them.  Plus, they earn CPE credits.

Who should attend?

The forum is relevant for CFOs, tax directors, vice presidents of tax, directors of international tax, international tax managers, and international tax professionals.

Event details:

Tuesday, June 09, 2015, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. CST
Michigan Plaza Conference Center
205 N Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois

To maximize the educational focus of the forum, participation is not open to business advisors or service providers.

To learn more and to register for the event (space is limited), visit:  Baker Tilly 2015 Global Tax Forum

Questions?  Contact Regis Merenick

Monday, May 18, 2015

Today in Global Small Business: How to Find a Job in China

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

Saturday, May 16, 2015

i'm lovin' it

©2015 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
There have been many McDonald's advertising campaigns and slogans over the years, but "i'm lovin' it" is a favorite of mine because it focuses on an experience that anyone in the world can relate to.

Friday, May 15, 2015

The World Wants What America Is Selling

©iStock/Jeff Goulden
The new 107-page report, "United States of Trade:  50 Stories in 50 States that Show the Impact of Trade Across the Nation," presents the value of goods exports, the estimated jobs supported by those exports, and number of companies that export goods from each state and for the Nation. National data contain information on services exports as well as goods exports; services detail by state is unavailable and is therefore not included on state fact pages. It contains data from the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Agriculture.

According to the report, about 300,000 SMEs across the 50 states currently export goods to foreign destinations, supporting millions of American jobs through direct exports as well participation in supply chains.  The report estimates that 11.7 million U.S. jobs were supported by goods and services exports in 2014.

The inspiring collection of stories featured in the report illustrates how access to global markets is benefiting small businesses across our Nation.

Access the full report:  United States of Trade:  50 Stories in 50 States that Show the Impact of Trade Across the Nation

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Global Business of Fashion

In an increasingly interconnected market— thanks, in part, to the influence of social media as well as the globally attuned coverage of websites like Business of Fashion — some younger Indonesian designers are gradually stealing the limelight in the world’s fashion capitals lately.

These fashion designers, such as Surabaya-Indonesia born Biyan Wanaatmadja, an industry veteran of more than 30 years, draw inspiration from the wealthy trove of Indonesian culture.

As designer Toton Januar says, “The biggest challenge so far, thankfully, doesn’t come from our lack of creativity or failure to attract their [the world's] attention. Instead, it’s about how we can fulfill their demands, which means I have to expand my operational team. Quality is everything when it comes to the international market.”

Read more:  Local Designers Going Global

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Fabulous Five Small Business Cloud Service Providers

©2015 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
Who's putting the needs of SMEs first and foremost and creating excellent solutions that can be implemented in small offices?  Plenty of tech companies have broken into new markets with innovative cloud-based products. Discover five companies that have successfully taken on the small business Cloud.

5 Companies That Took On the Small Business Cloud -- And Won

Related articles:
  1. Why Cloud Computing Will Change The Way We Work
  2. 10 Benefits of Cloud Computing
  3. 10 Factors to Consider Before You Put Your Business in a Cloud
  4. Cloud Computing:  The Risks and rewards of moving your data offsite

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Believe in the Power of Entrepreneurship Worldwide

Remarks by the President of the United States at Global Entrepreneurship Event.
"We’re here today because we believe in the power of entrepreneurship -- the basic notion that if you’ve got an idea and if you really work hard and you’re able to pick yourself up if you stumble a couple of times, you can eventually turn that idea into a reality.  And this matters to us because encouraging the spirit of entrepreneurship can help us to tackle some of the greatest challenges that we face around the world." -- U.S. President Barack Obama (5/11/15)
Read the entire transcript here.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Today in Global Small Business: The Importance of Fair Trade

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

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Pulling Ourselves Up By Our Bootstraps

©2015 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody - a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns - bent down and helped us pick up our boots."  -- Thurgood Marshall

Friday, May 08, 2015

Join Me May 28th at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

To celebrate World Trade Month, please join me at the Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) International Trade Center (ITC) at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville on Thursday, May 28th where I will be giving a presentation, “Go Global in the Digital Age: Taking on the International Market” from 12-2 p.m.

Registration is required and seating is limited. The cost is only $15 per person. To register, email or access to download a registration form.

See you there!

Thursday, May 07, 2015

How to Disrupt the Online Pathway to Purchase

James Lenehan, founder of Donnybrook, Ireland-based Reep Rewards, tells how he quit his job as a corporate solicitor to become a high-tech entrepreneur.

Reep Rewards, established in 2013, is a mobile app that offers discounts and cash back to loyal customers.  It has already had over 80,000 downloads.

Here how the app works:
"Shoppers simply go to the Apple or Android app store and download the free Reep Reward app. This then allows them view a host of special offers which retailers - mostly supermarkets - from all over the country have uploaded. The app then entitles them to avail of savings on these promotional items which, in some cases, can be as much as 25pc-50pc off the original product price," explains James.
Welcome to the special-offer instant world of online and mobile.  Brands are now realizing they have an opportunity to disrupt shoppers on what is called their "pathway to purchase."

Read more ... Reaping the benefits of customer loyalty with sights on global market

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

How a U.S. Exporter Can Convert an International Sale into a Domestic Sale

New small business specialty lender ExWorks Capital has offices in Washington, DC and my hometown Chicago, Illinois, with a focus on export finance and they are expanding rapidly.  Take a look:
  • Hired the former Vice Chairman and COO of ExIm Bank in late 2013.
  • Approved as an ExIm Bank lender with “high” delegated authority level status.
  • Raised $82.3 million in equity and with leverage essentially have capacity to be a $500-$1 billion export lending platform focused on small to medium sized enterprises.
  • Acquired California-based, World Trade Finance, one of the largest users of the SBA's Export Working Capital Program.
Why is this news relevant to SMEs?
  • ExWorks expands trade financing solutions to underserved U.S. exporters and the international buyers with unique product offerings such as its ability to act as a trading company.
  • ExWorks can convert an international sale from a small U.S. exporter into a domestic sale. This outsourcing of export risk makes it easier for small businesses to participate in the global economy, where 95% of the consumers live.
How will SMEs benefit?
  • Able to outsource export sale, or provide a working capital (P.O. financing or asset-based lines of credit) through the U.S. Ex-Im Bank or through SBA programs depending on the best fit for the exporter.
  • ExWorks is also offering loans to qualified international buyers of small businesses.
Where can SMEs go for further information?

Visit the ExWorks Capital website:

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Laurel Delaney Makes the Top SMB Influencers 2015 on Twitter

©iStock/Kenneth Drysdale
In honor and support of National Small Business Week, Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. has named Laurel Delaney as one of the top small business influencers on Twitter!  Look through the categories and determine where you want to improve your knowledge and then start following and engaging with the chosen experts.

You can access the full list here:

Meanwhile, we are honored and humbled that Laurel made the list under the category of SMB Strategy for her contributions in global business.  If you are ready for serious (global) growth, follow @LaurelDelaney.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Today in Global Small Business: SBDC at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Hosts 5/28 Global Event

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

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Know the Rules Well

©2015 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
“Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.” -- Dalai Lama XIV

Friday, May 01, 2015

Lost in Anger Translation

Translation can take any form when you are trying to convey your point globally.  Some levity for the day.  US President Obama and his anger translator at the 2015 White House Correspondents’ Dinner (published 4/25/15).