Thursday, March 31, 2016

How to Adjust to a World That Needs to be Everywhere and Anywhere the Customer Is

With the ease of connectivity largely driven by the Internet, Dutch company Philips is adjusting to a world where it needs to be "everywhere and anywhere the customer is" rather than trying to encourage them through a linear journey, according to the electronics brand's global head of digital and social marketing Blake Cahill.
"That’s a really big shift for everybody who used to, at least at our company, think of the development from the top of the funnel and you convert ‘here’. What we’re saying is the customer can start at Amazon and then go to a user review and then go to search and then go back to the shopping cart and then check something on their phone.
There are some really great questions addressed and insights shared in the article below.  Here's one example:

Question:  Does a company have to be on lots of platforms and how can that be balanced with making a profit?

Answer:  "You have to be where the majority of your customers are but also create a culture where you’re constantly experimenting with new platforms and you need to be able to quickly pivot if everybody decides to leave Facebook tomorrow and go to another platform," says Cahill.

Read more:  Traditional customer journey has been 'blown up' says Philips global marketing chief

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Is Amazon Competing With FedEx, UPS and DHL in the Package-Delivery Market?

When it comes to online activities, Amazon changed the way we shop, especially on books.  Just look at the state of Borders who turned over its online keys to Amazon back in the early days and Barnes and Noble who seems to operate only in big cities.  How are they fairing?  Now Amazon is not only opening brick and mortar bookstores but is changing the way we ship, or at least the choices we make when we buy from Amazon and have our merchandise delivered.
... Amazon has moved openly and aggressively to increase its reach, capabilities and capacity in the logistics and distribution arena. The Seattle-based company purchased thousands of trailers blazoned with Amazon logos in the U.S., registered as a non-vessel-operating common carrier to better manage the flow of goods from China to the U.S. and leased 20 U.S. domestic cargo planes from Air Transport Services Group.
Are we in for market disruption in the logistics industry?

Read more:  E-tailer Amazon reshaping logistics as we know it

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

How to Create a Global Slam Dunk With a Product

What do basketball and hot chocolate have in common.  If you are 11-year old Max Ash, that's an easy answer because he sees the world differently.

“I’ve come up with the idea of a mug with a basketball hoop to throw marshmallows into hot chocolate,” Max said.

So far Max has sold 44,000 of these mugs -- The Mug With a Hoop™ -- and made more than $1 million in retail sales.  But the truth of the matter is that Max is on a bigger mission beyond himself.  “That kids with dyslexia [which Max has] have good ideas but they learn differently."

Read more:  Weston Boy's Mug Business Is Global Slam Dunk

Related video:  Meet a Child Entrepreneur With Dyslexia and His Mom

Monday, March 28, 2016

Today in Global Small Business: How to Negotiate a Killer Foreign Distributor Agreement

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

Saturday, March 26, 2016

An Artsy Joint: The Heartland Cafe in Rogers Park, Illinois

©2016 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
The Heartland Cafe in Rogers Park, Illinois (USA) is a cultural icon in a diverse neighborhood that has been around since 1976. Known for its vegetarian dishes (although they do serve meat) and a quaint little general store that sells select items such as Newman's Own dark chocolate peanut butter cups and Kiss My Face body wash.


Friday, March 25, 2016

Should Britain Remain in the European Union?

UK Prime Minister David Cameron recently announced a referendum to take place Thursday, June 23, 2016 on whether Britain should remain in the European Union.

In the article below I cover why the vote is about to be held, who wants the UK to leave the EU and how the outcome of the vote might impact small and big businesses.

Read the entire article:  What Happens to SME Trade if Britain Leaves the European Union (EU)?

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Asia-Pacific Region Has Growth Potential in the Trade Service Sector

In the Pacific Rim area, keeping trade and investment barriers in check and taking next steps to enable more people and businesses to take advantage will be an important determinant of future prosperity.
"There is still considerable potential in the Asia-Pacific for growth in sectors like services trade and small business participation in supply chains," he [APEC Secretariat Executive Director Dr. Alan Bollard] continued.
Read more:  Pacific Rim has growth potential for services trade and small businesses

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Want to Be a Global Business Leader? Master These Skills.

Doing business across borders and time zones requires that you must look beneath the tip of the cultural iceberg — the more obvious nuances such as proper attire, etiquette and greetings, says Julia Kruse, an innovator in global education and strategy.

In the article below, she talks about seven skills you must master if you want to be a global business leader.  Here they are.
  1. Time orientation
  2. Individualism vs. collectivism
  3. Hierarchy and power distance
  4. Uncertainty avoidance
  5. Cooperative vs. competitive
  6. Low- and high-context
  7. Being vs. doing
Read the entire article:  7 skills you must master if you want to be a global business leader

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Which Presidential Candidate Will Step Up to Make the Case for Global Trade?

Interesting and spot on opinion piece by Morton Kondracke and Matthew J. Slaughter for The Wall Street Journal (3/16/16).  The authors talk about how the four leading USA presidential candidates are divided on so many topics yet stand united on one:  the assertion that trade hurts America.
Donald Trump blasts that “foreigners are killing us on trade,” while Bernie Sanders inveighs against “disastrous trade agreements written by corporate America.” Ted Cruz laments that “we’re getting killed in international trade right now,” and after flipping her position on the TPP and other trade agreements, Hillary Clinton now promises that America will never again “be at the mercy of what any country is going to do to take advantage of our markets.”
Read the entire opinion piece:  Make the Case for Trade

Monday, March 21, 2016

Today in Global Small Business: DHL Spurs Entrepreneurial Exports

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

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Post St. Patrick's Day: Binging On Irish Soda Bread

©2016 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
Post-St. Patrick's Day:  Binging on Irish soda bread from Mariano's.  Meanwhile, I'll leave you with a good Irish quote:

May your troubles be less
and your blessings be more
And nothing but happiness
come through your door

Friday, March 18, 2016

Helping America’s Small Businesses Succeed in the Global Marketplace

What are two initiatives that have a proven track record of success in helping America’s small businesses compete and succeed in the global technology marketplace?
  1. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
  2. Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)
Both of these programs are administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Learn more:  Reauthorize key small business programs | The Hill

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Take Globalization to the Little Guy to the Market

Demand for small businesses in the e-commerce sector has been growing.
“We believe we have to develop a product or suite of products that allows us to take globalization for the little guy to the market,” said Kushniruk [executive vice president of business development at Avalara]. “When these customers are selling across borders or across countries, they really have to worry about shipping it, with landed cost, duties, excise, and tax. They need to collect the right VAT or sales tax and most importantly pay the tax.”
Expanding internationally can be challenging.  Get your ducks in a row and be sure to consult with experts in the field who can guide you on taxation issues country by country.

Read more:  Removing the pain of sales tax compliance

©2016 Laurel J. Delaney
Separately, have a Happy St. Patricks's Day -- one of my favorite days of the year!

If you are lucky to be Irish ...
You're lucky enough!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

One Way to Grow? Find New Markets Globally.

How do you get companies to seize opportunities in the current global environment?  Singapore has some ideas and they focus on the external economy.
So, the renewed push [by the government] is not so much about Singapore not having done well in the internationalisation story. Rather, it is about getting the companies to seize the opportunities in the current global downturn.
We all know that finding new markets through globalization is one way for the companies to grow.

Read more:  Going global -- will more government help make a difference?

Monday, March 14, 2016

Today in Global Small Business: The Rise of the Global Small Business Economy

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

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Prepping for St. Patty's Day

Catch all the great activities in Chicago for St. Patrick's Day.

Photos courtesy:  ©2014-2015 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.

Friday, March 11, 2016

What's a Global Phenomenon?

What's a global phenomenon?  Some think it's the movie Star Wars.
In the weeks leading up to the premiere of the latest movie in the franchise, there was much discussion online about the different international trailers.
The article below talks about the five basic principles to building customer communities globally, and the widely available tools you can implement them with.

Read more:  Five Basic Rules for Building Customer Communities Globally

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Small Digital Businesses Tap Into Global Trade Routes

When it comes to the UK marketplace, eBay says that its Small Business Exports Index shows that of the 200,000 small digital UK firms trading:
  • "93% fulfilled overseas sales in 2015, with each exporting to an average of 20 different territories
  • This compares to just 28% of businesses without an online presence
  • These British online businesses have an annual growth rate of 12%."
Small digital businesses are keen to tap into global trade routes for growth.

The top five most popular destinations for British exports via eBay are:
  1. United States
  2. Australia
  3. Germany
  4. France
  5. Italy
In the article below, Kit Glover, Director of Professional Selling & Cross Border Trade at eBay, offers top tips for UK small online retailers exporting overseas.  Check them

Digital businesses vital in quest to it trade targets, says eBay

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

When International Expansion Doesn’t Go as Planned

(This post is sponsored by:  True Partners Consulting)

Despite your best intentions, hard work, and diligent planning, sometimes your expansion into a new territory doesn’t quite go as expected. You might find yourself with an operational footprint in a country that doesn’t reflect your current business needs. Perhaps you’ve outgrown your initial business plan (great!), or you’re facing a merger, acquisition or joint venture opportunity? Or, maybe you need to wind down operations completely and exit the country.

Whatever situation you’re facing, changing your operations on the ground in a foreign territory can often be more challenging than setting them up in the first place. There are many obligations and requirements that must be addressed, and they often have an impact on one another.  Here are four.

1.  Track your corporate footprint.

The corporate footprint you established initially may not be right for your current business needs. Be sure to understand what your corporate entity is approved to do before you start making changes to actual operations. You should also fully understand any obligations you have committed to with a development authority, or another government body authorizing your presence in the jurisdiction. Even if your proposed change in operations is not restricted, you will want to fully understand the new commercial flows in and out of the country before proceeding. Don’t get caught with an unexpected tax hit, import/export requirement, or treasury restriction after it’s too late to plan around the issue.

2.  Monitor your employment and human resource options.

With respect to personnel related complexities, note that new hiring, reductions in force, changes to responsibilities and reporting, and any other matter that affects an individual’s status of employment, will generally be governed by statute in some way. You should know what your obligations are, both financially and from a compliance perspective, well ahead of taking action from an operational perspective. Nobody wants to learn about requirements in an employment court.

3.  Plan your exit strategy.

Winding down and exiting from a country altogether can be an ugly procedural process that is often misjudged by executives when they enter a country initially. Unless your local business is working on a project with an expiration date, exiting was not part of your initial plans. Generally you can expect the process to take years, and not months, no matter how simple your operations in country are. Courts will generally not allow you to close your local entity until all governmental bodies have approved and issued you a clean bill of health. This includes tax authorities, labor governing bodies, development agencies, and a slew of other entities that must complete a due diligence process that will take time and effort on your part.

4.  Do your homework. 

As a general rule of thumb, you should do your homework and plan well ahead of taking action that will result in change to your foreign business operations. Not only should you understand your various obligations and compliance requirements, you should also understand how they interact, and make sure to take measured steps that are well thought out. Know your limitations and seek as much help and guidance as necessary to ensure a smooth change.

Note:  Don’t miss my Doing Business Abroad webinar series, beginning March 30, 2016. We’ll cover issues like these and dig deeper into the international challenges facing CFOs and their finance teams.

About the Author

Justin Smith is a Managing Director with True Partners Consulting and leads the firm’s Global CFO Solutions practice. Justin has managed a variety of advisory practices throughout his career and has nearly 20 years of experience assisting executives with their international operations.


“©2016 True Partners Consulting. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.”

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Honoring Women Worldwide

©2016 Women Entrepreneurs GROW Global.  With permission.
Today is International Women's Day (#PledgeForParity) and what that means is this:  We pay tribute to women worldwide who have changed the course of history, sometimes in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles.  Is that you?  If so ... share your aspirations with the world:  #OneDayIWill

At the same time see what Women Entrepreneurs GROW Global is up to as well.  They hope to change the course of history too.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Today in Global Small Business: Stripe Helps Global Entrepreneurs Incorporate in USA

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

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Best Pizza in Lemont, Illinois: Gelsosomo's Pizzeria

History on Gelsosomo's:
Born into an Italian family in Roseland, a South Chicago Italian neighborhood, Tom Gelsosomo has always loved great Italian food. As an aspiring young entrepreneur who had worked hard in restaurants in the late 1970’s, Tom wanted to share his love for Italian food with people through his Gelsosomo’s Pizzeria restaurant concept. Tom decided to open his first restaurant in Portage, Indiana in 1979.
I gave Gelsosomo's a try and it's delicious!  Learn more:  Gelsosomo's Pizzeria

Photos:  ©2016 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.

Friday, March 04, 2016

Facebook Woos Small Businesses Worldwide on Advertising

Facebook is making it easier for small businesses to show what they "bring to the world" with their new business tool called 'Your Business Story'.  Further, the number of advertisers using Facebook has doubled over the past two years, with more than 70 percent of businesses buying ads are from outside the US.  The largest increase in interest is from Southeast Asia.

Read more:  Facebook hits 3 million advertisers and reveals plan to woo small businesses

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Do Not Ignore New Technologies

Advancements in digital technology have disrupted traditional business models and leveled the playing field for small businesses, allowing them to go global at a swift speed.  Technology also lowers barriers to entry for start-ups, giving them opportunities to experiment with new business models.

The problem is small businesses are not seeking out these new digital solutions that they can take advantage of.  They take a wait and see attitude which can lead to a stall on growth.  Yet:
Professional services firm PricewaterhouseCooper estimated that businesses can unlock an additional $49.2 billion in the private sector over the next decade if technologies are used to their full potential.
Read more:  Report:  Small Businesses Losing Out By Ignoring New Technologies

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

GoGlobal GoDaddy

The impact of creating an online presence for small businesses can be significant -- oftentimes enabling SMEs to increase their business by 25 percent or more.  That's why GoDaddy recently launched in 11 Asian markets, bringing its suite of cloud-based products and expert customer care to millions of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across the region.

GoDaddy is now in a total of 10 languages and 14 markets across Asia.
Small and medium enterprises serve as the economic backbone in Asia. SMEs account for over 97% of all enterprises and employ over half of the workforce across APEC economies.  Source:
Read more:  GoDaddy Continues Global Expansion With Launch in 11 Markets Across Asia

Once you secure a domain name, how do you protect it further?  Find out here.