Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Are There Negative Consequences of a British Exit from the European Union?

Europe is in a fork in the road.  And if the British exit the European Union (EU), the rules to prosperity may change for many.
“While respecting the decision of the people in the United Kingdom, we [the members of the European Round Table of Industrialists] believe that a Europe without the UK would be weaker, just as the UK itself would be weaker outside Europe,” they wrote. “We believe the case for Europe has never been stronger.”
Read the entire article:  Executives warn of negative consequences for Europe of Brexit

Monday, May 30, 2016

Today in Global Small Business: Does Your Country Export What It Should?

What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:
A day to remember: Be sure to honor fallen soldiers on this Memorial Day.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Summer Is Here: I Feel Happier

©2016 Laurel Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"Summer has always been my favorite season.  I feel happier."  -- Zooey Deschanel

Friday, May 27, 2016

Lockheed Martin's Top Small Business Suppliers

It's the outstanding performance of small business partners that has helped Lockheed Martin produce superior defense systems and advanced technologies that protect allied warfighters around the world.

Here are 19 of the top small business suppliers who have worked with Lockheed Martin in 2015 and have had a chance to take their business global by virtue of the relationship:
  1. Avans Machine, Scottsboro, Alabama
  2. KCA Electronics, Inc., Anaheim, California
  3. One-Way Manufacturing, Inc., Anaheim, California
  4. Gulf Marine of Clearwater, Clearwater, Florida
  5. Powell Electronics, Inc., Coral Springs, Florida
  6. Sunshine Aero Industries, Inc., Crestview, Florida
  7. The Bernd Group, Dunedin, Florida
  8. Orion Industries, Inc., Ayer, Massachusetts
  9. Production Engineering Corp., Minneapolis, Minnesota
  10. Marotta Controls, Inc., Montville, New Jersey
  11. American Products Company Inc., Union, New Jersey
  12. PLX, Inc., Deer Park, New York
  13. General Tool Company, Cincinnati, Ohio
  14. Cera-Met, LLC, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
  15. Container Research Corporation, Glen Riddle, Pennsylvania
  16. Schmiede Corporation, Tullahoma, Tennessee
  17. Holleman Construction Company, Inc., Dallas, Texas
  18. Mill-Tech Industries, Inc., Grand Prairie, Texas
  19. JEVAC Machine, Magnolia, Arkansas
Learn more:  Lockheed Martin Names JEVAC Machine Among Its Top Small Business Suppliers

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Set An Export Goal: Start With One Country

According to Jay Taylor, general manager, Torklift (http://www.torklift.com) experienced tremendous growth when the recession hit in 2008, in large part because people in the U.S. and around the world rediscovered camping as a low cost vacation option.

Torklift fabricates precision crafted trailer hitches, related RV towing equipment, and powdercoat and sand blasting.  Sales have increased about 20 to 25 percent each year since 2008, and in 2011 Torklift moved to a new 52,000-square-foot facility in Sumner, Washington to meet growing demand.

In 2015 the company set a goal of increasing export sales, starting with Australia.  The rest is history.

Read more:  Torklift expands exports with global market research

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Small Business Exporters Are Optimistic About the Future

©iStock/Michael Garner
Of the 800 plus exporters that Sydney, Australia-based Efic, an export credit agency, interviewed as part of their latest SME Exporter Index research, just over 40 per cent expected an increase in their overseas sales over the next 12 months, with one in five intending to launch new overseas operations within the next six months.
SME exporters continue to be optimistic about the future, with 37.6% of exporting SMEs either positive or very positive about growth in the next year, easily outweighing the 26.7% of combined negative and very negative SMEs.
Read more:  Helping small business exporters overcome financial barriers

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Establishing Gender Parity Worldwide

The HeForShe campaign, launched in 2014, has now seen 10 universities sign up from around the world as part of its 10x10x10 pilot initiative that brings together education, industry and government to work toward gender equality.

The universities in the initiative have already made transformative commitments to increase female representation in both administration and academia, end gender-based violence on campus, and create centers for gender equality.

“There are cases in this country [Africa] in institutions where there isn’t a single African woman professor in the entire institution. And that’s a serious indictment on our society and our higher education institution," says Adam Habib, principal and vice-chancellor at the University of the Witwatersrand.

Learn more about this positive movement:  Going Global:  Universities Key to Gender Equality

I am #HeForShe @HeForShe

Monday, May 23, 2016

Today in Global Small Business: Is Britain Better Off in the EU?

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

Saturday, May 21, 2016

3 Great Finds in Evanston, Illinois

©2016 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.  La Principal.
©2016 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.  Wine Goddess. 
©2016 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.  Tratoria D.O.C. 
©2016 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.  Main train stop.
Oh what a charming visit to Evanston, Illinois, that is, if you take the train, get off at the Main Street stop via the Metra system and visit:
  1. La Principal restaurant -- Mexican street food.
  2. Wine Goddess -- shabby chic by design shop with great wines (love their Cheap N' Good Wine List). 
  3. Trattoria D.O.C. restaurant -- Italian food.
Main Street stop in Evanston, IL -- from downtown Chicago to the three great finds.

Friday, May 20, 2016

A Three-Peat: The Global Small Business Blog is Named Best Small Business Blog 2016

©FitSmallBusiness.com; with permission
We are honored and humbled to be included in the list of "Best Small Business Blogs of 2016."  This is our third year in a row -- a three-peat -- to earn this award.

The big question becomes:  What is it like to be peer-to-peer with Seth Godin, Richard Branson and Harvard Business Review, to name just a few of the people and organizations that write great blogs?  Awesome!

We are the only blogger mentioned operating in the global small business space.  Meaning, many may write about small business but no one, I mean no one, covers going global as a small business owner the way we do (since 2004!).

Thank you to Fit Small Business for including us and thank you to all of you for your continued readership.  It means the world to us.

Read more:  Best Small Business Blogs of 2016

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Worried About Whether You Need to Set Up an Overseas Distributor Agreement?

Every business owner who wants to expand internationally through a distributorship relationship faces these questions:  Why is it important to have a written agreement with a party you are about to conduct business with? What language should a business owner draft her contract in? Does a business owner have to give away the farm to get a distributor to sell his product in an overseas market?  How long should you set up an agreement with a distributor?

These and many other questions are addressed in an interview I conducted with international trade expert Doris Nagel, who runs Chicago-based Blue Sky Consulting Services.

Read the entire interview:  Best Practices For Setting Up a Winning Overseas Distributor Agreement

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Utah Company Takes the World Stage

Kaddas Enterprises, run by CEO Natalie Kaddas, is a woman-owned, family business specializing in thermoform plastic manufacturing.  Kaddas has leveraged her business acumen, Utah trade missions and programs like STEP to grow her business globally and establish the company as a trade mission success story, tripling international sales since 2013.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and USA President Barack Obama reached out to Kaddas in April to represent small business interests in international trade during a special White House event for some of the world's top political and business leaders. Here's what she said about the opportunity:
"As a small business, breaking into the global market can feel intimidating, but there's a need and a place for us, too. Through trade missions and programs like Utah's State Trade and Expansion Program (STEP), Kaddas Enterprises is able to showcase its strengths and, hopefully, inspire other small businesses to do the same."
Read more:  A Small Utah Company Stands Out on the World Stage

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Disruptive and Transformative: Diane Wang

Who is Diane Wang?  Recently I discovered she is the founder of China's largest business-to-business e-commerce site, DHgate, a platform for small to medium sized businesses to find international buyers.  DHGate.com is dedicated to enabling SMBs access to global markets through e-commerce and has nearly 10 million global buyers from 230 countries and regions.
Ms Wang has been a champion of small business and women in business in the wider APEC region and will bring [to ExportNZ’s annual national conference Go Global held 5/16/16] valuable insights into e-commerce opportunities for New Zealand businesses.
Learn more:  Huge line-up of talent to help Kiwi exporters - Go Global

Monday, May 16, 2016

Today in Global Small Business: Google Maps Appears to Be Going Global

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

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Women of Vision: A Major Force

I had the great privilege to attend the Women of Vision, National Geographic Photographers On Assignment exhibit at the Chicago Field Museum and sponsored by PNC and the PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.  What you see are some of the photos I captured during my visit -- from the outside and inside.  The venue runs from May 18 - September 11, 2016.  Definitely worth a trip.  And as Ansel Adams says, "There are always two people in every picture:  the photographer and the viewer."

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

Friday, May 13, 2016

Why An International Approach May Be More Strategic Than You Thought

Jason Popp, executive vice president of international at GES, a global event marketing company, says, "Going global can offer your business more than you might think, including a larger network of potential customers and more resources. What’s more, a global focus can still allow you to give back on a local level — and reap many other benefits for your company as a whole."

He provides five reasons why an international approach may be more strategic than you thought.
  1. You have access to a wider market — and more investment opportunities.
  2. Global products and services reflect a sum of their parts.
  3. More choices mean a more diverse market.
  4. When you focus on what you do best and most cheaply, everyone wins.
  5. You can still support local business — and on an even bigger scale.
Read the entire article:  Why 'Going Global' and 'Supporting Local' Don't Have to Be Mutually Exclusive

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Business Funds Quickly But With a Catch

Meredith Wood, Head of Content and Editor-in-Chief at Fundera, an online marketplace for small business loans, writes about three (3) global giants that lend to small businesses but with a catch.
  1. PayPal -- the catch?  "As long as you’ve been using your account to accept payments for three months or longer and have processed $20,000 in sales within the past 12 months, you’ll be eligible for a loan."  More here.
  2. Square Capital -- the catch?  "With a Square Capital Loan, your eligibility is determined by your processing volume, account history, and payment frequency. Again, this means there is no credit check to determine your loan eligibility, but you must be a current customer."
  3. Amazon Lending -- the catch?  "To qualify for a business loan through Amazon, your inventory needs to be stored in their FBA warehouse, and you must have about a year of sales history. You are essentially borrowing against your inventory and future sales.  The caveat, however, is that financing through Amazon is invite-only, so simply having an account with them is not enough to warrant a loan."
Read more:  The 3 Global Giants that Lend to Small Businesses

And for globalizing companies, there's TradeUp Fund, which helps export-driven companies raise flexible financing (not a loan company) that accommodates each company's unique aspiration. Let's not forget Kabbage either.  And the latest news on money-lending practices.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Laurel Delaney: Make a Digital Dent

©2016 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
At the Global Small Business Blog, we know that growing a small business is hard, especially when it comes to taking it global. Here’s some help from us (global small business expert Laurel Delaney) and other top small business experts from across the country.

You can download a free copy of this new eBook, "80 Easy Ways to Supercharge Your Business Growth," from Microsoft Community Connections, curated by Carol Roth and Catherine Morgan.  Laurel's tip, #50, is featured above.  Register and download the eBook here:  https://info.microsoft.com/CO-SMB-CNTNT-FY16-05May-02-80EasyWayseBook_RegistrationPage.html.

Enjoy the great tips that will help improve the way you conduct business and get you on the path to success a lot faster.  Please share it with other global small business owners in your network.

Screenshot from "80 Easy Ways to Supercharge Your Business Growth"

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Make a Date to Innovate in International Trade

Here's an article I wrote for the About.com Import/Export site where I serve as their expert.  It's on "Learning to Innovate in International Trade," where I talk about what companies do wrong on innovation, what companies do right, and how to ensure your ideas are worth pursing.

Read more:  Learning to Innovate in International Trade

Want to spread the good word?  T-shirts available for purchase here.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Today in Global Small Business: Shake It Up Baby

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

Friday, May 06, 2016

Are There Side Effects to Imports?

There is little attention paid to the relationship between U.S. firms’ innovative activity and the level of competition they face from abroad.  What does this have to do with imports?

There's a new study that attempts to address this correlation by exploring the innovation behavior of U.S. companies whose product lines are affected by imports.

Learn more:  A Side Effect of Imports:  They Encourage Homegrown Innovation

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Are We In a New Mediocre or Just a New Norm?

Digital transformation is here to stay so it really is a case of navigating a path forward with our global small businesses.

According to the World Bank, global economic growth slowed to 2.4% in 2015 and in 2016, has so far shown volatility in global stock markets, a decline in oil prices and growth in emerging economies plateauing amid troubling economic data from China.
At this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos many reported the mood being subdued in the face of stubborn macroeconomic headwinds. The head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, called the global economic prospects we now face the “new mediocre”. But is this the new norm?  If so, how will countries be able to spur growth in the future?
Read more:  Digital transformation is here to stay, so how do we navigate a path forward

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

America Will Lead the Way on Global Trade

Which country will lead the way on global trade?  According to USA President Barack Obama, if the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) becomes a reality, the United States will lead the way.

Learn more:  The TPP would let America, not China, lead the way on global trade:  Barack Obama

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

WEGG Webinar 5/4: 7 Ways to Turn Your Cross-Cultural Understanding Into a Competitive Advantage

©2016 WEGG/Laura Fairman
Ever wonder how to turn cross-cultural understanding into a competitive advantage?  We've got your back.  Attend an upcoming webinar hosted by nonprofit Women Entrepreneurs GROW Global (WEGG) on May 4th at 11:00 a.m. Central time and presented by expert Sophie Lechner.  Sophie's talk is on: "7 Ways to Turn Your Cross-Cultural Understanding Into a Competitive Advantage."

Here's what you will learn:
  • How cultural differences impact cross border business 
  • The stages of your global expansion where cultural differences play a key role 
  • What you can do to gain an advantage over your competitors 
  • Tips for successfully navigating different cultures when doing business globally and having fun doing it 
The event is no charge but you must register to attend:

I'll [Laurel Delaney] see you there because I will be moderating the webinar!  Full disclosure:  I [Laurel Delaney] serve as the Executive Director of WEGG.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Today in Global Small Business: Becoming a Truly Global Business

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