Saturday, January 30, 2016

Joy Every Day

©2016 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"My cat is the Christmas in my life; he brings that kind of joy every day."  -- Anonymous

Friday, January 29, 2016

Small Businesses Are the Building Blocks For the Global Economy

Entrepreneurs and small business owners are tough.  They are bold and fearless with their actions but that doesn't protect or insulate them against failure.

In Malaysia, for example, SMEs constitute 99.3 per cent of all businesses in the country, are a vital component and contribute significantly to the nation’s economy. Yet many of them cannot sustain themselves over the long haul, particularly with making it successfully to a five-year mark.  What are some of the problems they face?  Here are five:
  1. Leadership failure.
  2. Lack of strategic planning.
  3. Failing to effectively market online.
  4. Failing to listen to the core customers.
  5. Poor financial management.
Yet as the article below states:
Many countries have accepted the fact that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the building blocks of their economies. 
The bottom line:  Success for Malaysian SMEs or any global small business owner depends on strong leadership.

Learn more:  Five deadly sins of small business failure

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Asia Pacific SMEs Need to Unlock Global Growth Potential

According to "Why small business is missing out on a world of opportunity," published by SMBAsia:
In Asia Pacific, small- to medium-size enterprises – or SMEs as we often refer to them– make up 98% of all businesses, employ 50% of the workforce and generate 42% to GDP, so it is important that they continue to succeed and grow.
But are most SMEs leveraging international trade to help boost their revenues and profitability?  Everyone knows, or should know, that there is a correlation between exporting and achieving rapid growth, for example.  Further, exporting, in this case, helps SMEs achieve economies of scale, reduce risks and balance uneven growth cycles.

The trick is to unlock SME global growth potential.  How do you do it?  You can find some ideas here.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Re-Invent Your Business Model To Grow Global

In 2016, small businesses should plan to take a leap and bargain in good faith with destiny by reinventing their business models to grow beyond U.S. borders. Small businesses have just as much potential as multi-national companies to embark on the adventure of being part of a global economy and creating a positive impact to the bottom line.

Here's why.  International trade consists of 30 percent of the U.S. economy. Exports of products and services reached a record $2.3 trillion in 2014.

Growing your business across borders is no easy feat, and yet more than 95 percent of the world’s customers are living outside of the United States and they are thirsty for everything American.

Learn more:  Small Business in International Market

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

How Do You Know If Your Business Is In the Decline Stage?

Whether you run a PR consultancy, manufacturing enterprise or international trade company, there are early warning signs that get ignored yet indicate right in your face your business is moving toward the slow road to deterioration.

What are the signs?  You know it when you experience it:  Customers complain, everyone focuses on the past and so forth.  See if I'm right.  And if I've missed any, send me an email and I'll add to the post!

The 7 Signs of Import/Export Business Deterioration

Monday, January 25, 2016

Today in Global Small Business: Global E-Commerce is the Great Equalizer

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

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Too Much Winter?

©2014 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"You can't get too much winter in the winter."  -- Robert Frost

Friday, January 22, 2016

How Do We Avoid a World of Joblessness, Low Productivity and Inequality?

How do we avoid a world of joblessness, low productivity and inequality?  The answer is by empowering global small businesses and entrepreneurs to create jobs and wealth in their communities.

We must always leave a space at the table for global small businesses.
Yet small businesses have no voice at Davos. That means that their issues are not on the agenda, despite the sacrifices entrepreneurs make to grow their countries’ economies and their vital part in unlocking a more prosperous world. Thus, Sage aims to draw the attention of the world’s political and economic leaders to the small business sector.
Read more:  Ivan Epstein:  Small business jobs saviour yet voiceless at Davos

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The World's Most Innovative Economies

Which country is putting a lot of money into developing new technologies?  In the world of ideas, it's South Korea, lifting itself up from their bootstraps through a combination of government support and private enterprise.  Surprise, surprise.

Germany, Sweden, Japan and Switzerland rounded out the top five in the 2016 Bloomberg Innovation Index, which scored economies using factors including research and development spending and concentration of high-tech public companies.
South Korea's almost six-point edge on No. 2 Germany — and outpacing of neighbors Japan (No. 4) and China (No. 21) — also might understate the degree of economic competition felt among those in the Asian nation. 
Read more:  These are the World's Most Innovative Economies

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Instagram Looks Outside Borders for Growth

In order to strengthen its advertising operations, Instagram is going global.  It will focus on small businesses and users outside the US, as its sales operations rely more extensively on those of Facebook, its parent.

Ms Levine [chief operation officer Instagram; Facebook VP] added that international expansion was a priority, with 75 percent of its more than 400 million users based outside the United States.

  • Brazil:  29 million (second largest market outside United States)
  • Germany:  9 million 
  • UK:  more than 14 million
Read more: Instagram to ramp up efforts to lure small businesses

Monday, January 18, 2016

Today in Global Small Business: How to Make TPP Work For Everyone

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

Saturday, January 16, 2016

America Is Built on Courage

©2016 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." -- Harry S. Truman

Friday, January 15, 2016

How to Make Interactions With People Count

In the article below, I talk about why interactions matter with people and how you can become a much better leader by using your head and a tender heart to fully engage those you lead.  This article was originally prepared for where I serve as an Import-Export Expert.

Twelve Tactics for Creating Powerful Global Leadership Connections

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The American Dream of Global Small Business Ownership

I'll start with the ending of this Forbes article by Rohit Arora, Contributor for Forbes, because it pretty much sums up his take on President Obama's work on small business initiatives through the course of his presidency:
Naturally, the current economic climate is not without peril. However, the past few years of the Obama Administration have been prosperous ones for entrepreneurs on a number of measures. It is why Americans continue to dream big and why foreigners seek to come here to pursue the American Dream of business ownership.
Rating the Obama Years For Small Business Growth

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Grow Aggressively Both Domestically and Internationally

Gerry David, CEO and President of Celsius Holdings, Inc., the makers of the Celsius healthy energy drink, says:  "Aim for balance in all of your business endeavors to maintain a strong brand image at home as you begin to establish yourself globally."

He goes on to say that before you start the process of internationalizing your business, make sure that your business is ready to go global and that you have all of your resources in place.

He provides seven pointers on how to go about it.  It boils down to growing your business aggressively both domestically and internationally.

Read:  Small Businesses Go International

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

David Bowie: Strung Out in Heaven's High

©2015 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
David Bowie, global rock star and most influential musician of his era, dies of cancer at age 69.  From the song:

Ashes To Ashes

"Do you remember a guy that's been
In such an early song
I've heard a rumour from Ground Control
Oh no, don't say it's true

They got a message from the Action Man
"I'm happy. Hope you're happy, too.
I've loved. All I've needed: love.
Sordid details following."

The shrieking of nothing is killing me
Just pictures of Jap girls in synthesis
And I ain't got no money and I ain't got no hair
But I'm hoping to kick but the planet is glowing

Ashes to ashes, funk to funky
We know Major Tom's a junkie
Strung out in heaven's high
Hitting an all-time low" ...

Read more:  David Bowie Lyrics - Ashes to Ashes

Past post about David Bowie, find here.  Some videos of interest. Condolences to his family and friends.  May he R.I.P.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Today in Global Small Business: What CanExport Do for Canadian Exporters?

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

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Bravery is Freedom

©2015 Laurel Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"He who is brave is free." -- Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Friday, January 08, 2016

TPP Tackles E-Commerce As We Know It Today

©iStock/Massimo Merlini
As the leading ecommerce platform for businesses of all sizes, eBay Canada applauds the government’s support of SMEs with the launch of a $50-million fund designed to help Canadian small and medium businesses (SMEs) export their products, which will help them compete in a global marketplace and also recognize their capacity for international trade.
According to Industry Canada, SMEs employ 90 per cent of the total private labour force, and small businesses alone (up to 99 employees) generate 27 per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Interesting fact:  "On eBay, for example, 99.8 per cent of Canadian commercial sellers exported in 2014 with 99.5 per cent of those sellers exporting to Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries."

TPP not only updates much of the North-American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), it also promises to improve access to global markets for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).

Unfamiliar with TPP?  Go here for more information.

Read more:  Why the TPP is the right direct for e-commerce

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Unstable Global Economy?

According to a survey of small business-owners by Manta, the top concerns for global small businesses finishing up 2015 and entering into a new year are as follows:
  • Lack of capital.
  • Competition.
  • Lack of talented employees.
  • Taxes.
  • Health care costs.
  • Unstable economy.
Manta's survey indicates:
... most of the small business owners surveyed (83 percent) expected to grow in 2016, and 39 percent said they had plans to hire in the first half of 2016, indicating they'll be looking for talent that can grow into higher-level jobs down the line.
It seems as if a lot of business owners have a roll of the dice global strategy in place for 2016.

Read more:  Health Care Costs, Lack of Capital Worry Small Businesses

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Facebook Readies to Globalize Its Awards

In 2016, the Facebook Awards will institute a regional bracket system that will crown winners for each category in four regions — North America, Latin America, EMEA and Asia-Pacific — then pit those local winners against one another to determine overall honorees.  Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted October 4, 2012 that the next billion Facebook users will come from regions outside North America.  This gives everyone who uses Facebook in the world a fighting chance to come out a winner.

Not surprising, Facebook will also feature a new category in the awards:  Small Business Award.

What is your best practice on Facebook?  Maybe you should apply for the award!  More details:
The submission period for the 2016 Facebook awards runs from Jan. 8 through April 1. Awards will comprise five categories: Best Use of Facebook Family of Brands (the overall winner for best use of Facebook and Instagram), Innovation, Small Business, Social for Good and Integrated. Awards can be given to any work that appears on either Facebook, Instagram or both. Global winners will be selected by a global judging panel in June.
Facebook ran a news release but I can't seem to track how we can apply (2015 winners featured here).  We might have to wait until January 8, 2016 for more information.

Last Call to register for export webinar that Laurel Delaney is giving today (1/6/16) at 11:00 a.m. Central time over at WEGG!

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

The New World Order: Innovation

As research and development programs become more global, a geographic footprint of innovation is changing dramatically.
An overwhelming 94 percent of the world’s largest innovators now conduct elements of their R&D programs abroad, according to the 2015 Global Innovation 1000 study, our [PwC's Strategy&] annual analysis of corporate R&D spending.
Where are innovation dollars going?  To countries in which their sales and manufacturing are growing fastest, and where they can access the right technical talent.  Markets like China and India are booming (no surprises there).

Bottom line:  Firms that favor a more global R&D footprint outperform their less globalized competitors on a variety of financial measures.

Read more:  Innovation's New World Order

Monday, January 04, 2016

Today in Global Small Business: Steve King's Predictions for 2016

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

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Off to a Healthy Start in 2016

Off to a healthy start in 2016 -- ran the New Year's Day 5K Run in Lincoln Park (Chicago), Illinois, U.S.A.  I hope your new year is filled with good health, joy and much global success!

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