Friday, July 31, 2015

Got an App That Boosts Your Global Small Business?

I put together this list of apps that I find adds efficiency and even enhances the way I conduct global small business.  I hope you find these useful too.  Have an app to share?  Send me an email (it's noted at the end of the article).  I'll feature your app in the next installment I write on great global business apps.

12 Apps that Add Efficiency in Global Business

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Building Products to Help Small Businesses Easily Launch Online

Since its was founded in 2012, Tictail has predominantly been focused on building products to help small business easily launch online. Tictail is a Swedish e-commerce startup -- think along the lines of less crafty than Etsy -- and has two aims.
The company wants to make it easier for new designers, independent brands, and emerging small businesses to have an easier way to set up shop online—and make it easier for the rest of us to shop for something trendy, new, and different, too.
According to research from eMarketer, e-commerce accounted for nearly 6 percent of all global retail sales in 2014, or more than $1.3 trillion. And those numbers are only expected to grow.  Ticktail wants to snatch and grab what they can of that market as fast as they can.

Read more:  Ticktail Wants to Be Your Global Marketplace By Going Local

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Can You Win a Go Global Award?

HP is shining a light on some of the country’s most dynamic, innovative and expanding SMBs, recognizing the achievements of those that have successfully entered the international export market and encouraging those looking to break into new territories.  Hence, the HP Go Global Awards.
The awards echo Go Global’s original principles – that small business owners should not shy away from international trade opportunities because of perceived language, currency, cultural and business barriers.
Categories are Breakthrough Exporter of the Year and Next Breakthrough Exporter of the Year.

Are you up to the task of going for it?  Apply here.  Questions?  Email here.  The deadline for submissions is 3:00 p.m. (not sure what time zone -- check) on Friday, July 31, 2015.

Original (6/25/15) post here.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

And the Winners Are: Global Small Businesses!

Mobile apps start with the people first and they improve the efficiency of everybody, everywhere, regardless of company size.  As David Barrett, founder and CEO of Expensify, states in Congress Can Help Put Mobile Apps in the Hands of Small Business:
Mobile apps have essentially leveled the playing field for small businesses, and have given them a fighting chance against larger companies that until now, would have blown them out of the water. 
He goes on to say, "Getting more and more small businesses to adopt these productivity tools to keep their business moving will lead to more efficiency, and ultimately greater economic development throughout the country and the world."

Read:  Congress Can Help Put Mobile Apps in the Hands of Small Business

Monday, July 27, 2015

Today in Global Small Business: Gender Roles Are Messing With E-Commerce Shipping in the Middle East

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

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Castaways: Great Food, Ice Cold Drinks and A Terrific View of the Lake

©2015 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
There's the movie that Tom Hanks starred in called Cast Away and then there is Castaways North Avenue Beach Bar and Grill in Chicago, Illinois (pictured).  Castaways is a more fun bet.

Friday, July 24, 2015

According to Edelman EVP Marisa Puthoff, Small Biz is Big Business

How do you reach and get a positive response from busy global small business owners?  I can speak from experience on what might be needed but Marisa Puthoff, EVP at Edelman, does a great job discussing what you should or shouldn't be doing when vying for the attention of the small business audience.

Here's a glimpse at one of her tips:
Leverage Influencers. SMB owners don’t think of themselves as small. They think of themselves as business owners. And they want what any business owner wants: Access to resources and tools to help them grow their business. Before you begin a campaign, first consider reaching SMB owners when and where they are already seeking information. 
Read more:  #SmallBiz is Big Business

Thursday, July 23, 2015

In Kenya, They Know Obama

Barack Obama visited Kenya nearly 30 years ago and was blown away by the fact that an airport worker recognized his last name.  It was a revelation for the future president.  This week he returns to Kenya as president of the United States.
Air Force One will carry Obama to a country where children, roads and schools bear his name — and he's seen as a local son.
Read more here: Obama and Kenya:  1st Trip to Father's Homeland as President

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Airbnb Launches Global Business Travel Program

©iStock/River North Photography
Starting 7/21/15, companies around the world can swiftly sign in to Airbnb, the world's leading community-driven hospitality company, and have access to a range of features to support business trips. The suite of tools provides visibility into employee travel itineraries booked through Airbnb, financial reporting data, and central billing to improve the business travel experience for travelers and travel managers.

The global launch of the Business Travel program comes on the heels of 700 percent growth that Airbnb's Business Travel program has experienced over the past year.

Read the entire article:  Airbnb Launches Global Product Suite for Business

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The First 90 Days for Wenig at eBay

Today will mark Devin Wenig’s second official business day as CEO of a now PayPal-less eBay, beginning a new, challenging chapter for the 20 year-old flea market turned shopping mall.  Wenig had been with Thomson Reuters since 2011, after spending 18 years at the business news giant.

After accepting now former eBay CEO's John Donahoe’s offer four years ago and learning the ropes as a sort of understudy to Donahoe, Wenig is now his own boss.

In the next 88 days, Wenig needs to show investors that without PayPal, its core marketplace business is still thriving by providing value for both buyers and sellers.

Read the entire article:  For eBay, a new chapter begins

Monday, July 20, 2015

Today in Global Small Business: Why Going Global Is the Only Way for Successful Companies to Keep Growing

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

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Don't Let Clouds Get In Your Way

"But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way" -- Joni Mitchell

Photos (Rogers Park, Illinois):  ©2015 Laurel J Delaney.  All rights reserved.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Why Scaling Your Global Business Matters

©Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
Why do business owners plateau after penetrating two markets?  How can you avoid the two-market plateau?  On June 25, 2015, I presented at the American Express Grow Global event held in Chicago at the Peninsula Hotel and addressed those two questions.

Here’s the drift on my presentation.

Screenshot courtesy:  Laurel Delaney for the American Express presentation

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

New Digital Property: CBS Small Business Pulse

©iStock/Mr. Vi
CBS recently launched CBS Small Business Pulse, a new digital property aimed at providing solutions for the issues and concerns small business owners face every day. The site,, is a cross-divisional effort across CBS Corporation being spearheaded by CBS Local Digital Media and features content from across the Company’s world-class editorial organizations including CBS News, CBS Radio, CBS Local, CBS Interactive and Simon & Schuster.

Content in CBS Small Business Pulse will be driven by many CBS divisions and include subject-matter experts and business leaders sharing their acumen through articles, interviews, video, podcasts and infographics.
CBS Small Business Pulse is advertising supported and offers partners native advertising opportunities where they can share their voice and expertise through sponsored content within relevant content verticals. Founding partners include First Data Corporation, which provides small businesses with the innovative technology solutions they need to reach their fullest potential; Bank of America Merchant Services, a leading electronic payments company providing a host of retail and ecommerce platforms alongside the latest innovative technology; and Office Depot, Inc., a leading global provider of office products, services, and solutions and parent company of Office Depot and OfficeMax. 
Let's hope CBS Small Business Pulse also focuses on helping business owners expand their businesses internationally.

Pay a visit:  CBS Small Business Pulse

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Chicago Ranks No. 3 as a Top Metro Area for Exports

©2015 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
Chicago goods exports increased by $2.4 billion, or 5.4 percent, from 2013 to 2014, helping Chicago to remain a top metropolitan area for exports in 2014.

According to Crain's Chicago Business:
A new analysis finds that firms in the Chicago area traded $657.69 billion worth of goods in 2010, making it the third-largest trading zone in the U.S. after the New York City and Los Angeles regions.
For more information on the impact of Metropolitan Statistical Areas on U.S. exports, including fact sheets for the top 50 exporting MSAs in 2014, visit:

Monday, July 13, 2015

Today in Global Small Business: Tap Into China's Fast-Growing Middle Class

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

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Aragon: Home of the So-Called "Monster Rock" Shows

©2015 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
The Aragon Ballroom (Facebook Page) is a ballroom in Chicago, Illinois and was completed in 1926.  It is located on West Lawrence Avenue, approximately 5 miles north of downtown, in the Uptown neighborhood.  In its heyday, the Aragon was considered the home of the so-called "Monster Rock" shows.  The photograph was taken from the Lawrence Avenue Chicago 'L' stop facing East on July 10, 2015.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Expanding Export Opportunity for All American Businesses

Omaha, Nebraska, home of Warren Buffett's residence and Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., is starting to feel the pinch on the future of Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank of the United States.  Congress last week refused to renew the U.S. Export-Import Bank’s charter.

Thus far, the following top five Nebraska companies have received financing from Ex-Im:
  1. Warren Distribution, Omaha: $13.6 million
  2. Preferred Popcorn, Chapman: $13.3 million
  3. T-L Irrigation, Hastings: $5 million
  4. Green Plains Trade Group, Omaha: $3.7 million
  5. Oxbow Enterprises, Murdock: $3.5 million
Source:  Export-Import Bank of the United States, as of July 6, 2015.

Rumor has it that lawmakers could reinstate the bank’s charter this month, but until then, companies like the ones shown above will have to go elsewhere for financing because they can't gain access to new Ex-Im funding.
How Ex-Im works:  For U.S. companies looking to expand abroad, sometimes banks deem certain countries too risky and won’t lend for an expansion. Private insurers also might require a minimum insurance premium, making it too expensive to insure shipments for smaller companies. That’s where Ex-Im has stepped in.
Read more:  Area companies anxiously watch future of Export-Import Bank

Related posts.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Branding Globally: Everything You Need to Know

Here's a sneak peak at the Brand Quarterly Issue 16 - Global Marketing Special Edition:

•  Why We Shouldn’t Translate Marketing ... And Why We Do It Anyway
Wayne Bourland

•  Social Media Analytics For Global Brands
Andrew Bruce Smith

•  A Guide To Globalization: Balancing Global Messaging With Local Relevancy
Paula Shannon

•  3 Steps To Tame Global Content
Andrew Lawless

•  Open Mic: Global Branding And Marketing
With members of the Brand2Global Advisory Board

•  Facing The Challenges Of Multilingual SEO
Gary Muddyman

•  Language Benchmarks For Global Content Campaign Management
Benjamin B. Sargent

•  Culture Plays A Vital Role In International Marketing Efforts
Spencer Waldron

•  Social Media Experiences: Building Brand Attachment, Globally And At Scale
Frank Durrell

Full access (added 7.14.15) here.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Get Ready to Trade With Cuba

Cuba is considered the new frontier for trade opportunities.  Learn from experts about the opening of trade and tourism with Cuba and what you will need to know to take advantage of these opportunities by attending a conference October 9, 2015 at the Sofitel in Miami, Florida.
The Conference is designed for anyone who wants to be one step ahead of the curve as the U.S. eases its trade embargo with Cuba. Every company or organization that could potentially develop business interests with Cuba should attend, including the tourism industry, transportation providers, ports, banks and law firms. Attendees will gain a better understanding of Cuba’s cultural and business climate at the leading edge of this momentous shift in relations.
For more information, including the conference agenda, and to register online, go here.  Note:  There's an early-bird discount if you register before 7/31.

Related articles:

U.S., Cuba Reach Agreement to Establish Full Diplomatic Relations

U.S. Companies Clamor to Do Business in New Cuban Market

Charting a New Course on Cuba

Monday, July 06, 2015

Today in Global Small Business: Why You Should Scale Your Global Business

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

Saturday, July 04, 2015

America Was Built on Courage

©2015 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
@2014 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"America was not built on fear.  America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand." -- President Harry S. Truman
Read:  22 Inspiring Quotes About What It Means to Be An American

Go Fourth America!

Friday, July 03, 2015

Chicago Goes Global Via the Metro Chicago Exports Grant Program

Screenshot courtesy:  Metro Chicago Exports.
Did you know that Chicago ranks fourth among U.S. metropolitan areas in total export volume ($66 billion in 2012), but lags behind the U.S. average in exports as a proportion of total output?  That is about to change.  JP Morgan Chase & Co. is generously funding the Metro Chicago Exports Grant Program to expand metro Chicago’s strong export base to meet rising demand in emerging markets.

Eligible organizations can apply for the Metro Chicago Exports Grant Program to help take their business to the rest of the world. The Grant Program will provide monetary awards up to $5,000 that will cover costs associated with the company’s next steps to going global.  Expenses up to $2,500 will be reimbursed 100%. Expenses over $2,500 and up to $7,500 will be reimbursed at 50%.  And there's more.

Learn more about eligibility and the number of companies that are able to receive monetary awards provided they pre-qualify.  Note:  The Wave 2 deadline is July 31st.  Act now.  Apply here.

Questions?  Contact Kelsey Schrenk, Program Manager, Metro Chicago Exports.

Related:  Illinois in the International Marketplace

Thursday, July 02, 2015

President Obama Says the U.S. Export-Import Bank Helps Small Businesses Go Global

Screenshot taken 7/1/15 from U.S. Export-Import Bank website
President Obama recently signed two bipartisan trade bills into law that will help level the playing field for American workers and businesses, boost our trade with lower-income countries, and give our workers the job training and support they need to succeed in a rapidly changing interconnected world.

Then why has authorization for the U.S. Export-Import Bank (also known as Ex-Im) expired?

Barack Obama says:
The Bank's sole mission is to support American jobs by increasing our exports. That's it.  It helps small businesses go global.  It helps American entrepreneurs take that next step.  Plus, it costs the taxpayers nothing – all its money comes from its own operations.  In fact, it actually generates money for the taxpayer. That's how cost-effective it is.
Read more:  Going grassroots:  Obama asks people in Alabama to push delegation for Ex-Im Bank vote

Related post:  Failure to Act on Ex-Im Bank Can Hurt Us All in the Long Run

For lapse information, go here.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Best 2015 Blogs on the Planet

Badge courtesy: (2015)
Hurray!  The Global Small Business Blog has been featured as one of the Best Small Business Blogs of 2015.  We are honored to be alongside peers such as Richard Branson (Virgin), Dr. Jeff Cornwall (The Entrepreneurial Mind) and Harvard Business Review.

Congrats to all who made the prestigious list.  A big thank you to for coordinating the list and including our blog.

(Are you saving the date for our Global Small Business Forum October 23, 2015 in Chicago?)