Monday, October 31, 2016

Today in Global Small Business: Local Payments, Global Reach

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

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Sweet Home of Chicago Cubs

©2016 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"I would want to go to the future, 25 years in the future, and see if the [Chicago] Cubs ever win a World Series." -- Jake Johnson

Friday, October 28, 2016

Get Your Boots On the Ground

Oh there are so many ways to reach out to the world for business, especially if you have an Internet connection and know how to do a good job with online marketing.  But at some point, as we all know it based on our "local" experiences, you have to meet face-to-face with people you intend to do business with.

Think of the notion of getting married without ever dating the person.  Not going to happen.  The same principal holds true with developing a customer relationship.  You've got to meet in person, get your boots on the ground, to experience the real deal.

Think I'm wrong?  Read on:  6 Tips For Expanding Your Startup Internationally

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Global Small Business Blog Is a Top Tech Blog Winner in 2016

©2016 Broadview Networks.  All rights reserved.
The Global Small Business Blog is proud to be amongst the prestigious group of winners at the Top Tech Blogs 2016.  Broadview Networks (BN) chose 37 Top Tech Blogs from almost 300 nominations.  Do we need to mention that choosing winners for BN gets more difficult every year?

Take a look at the winners here and their answers to three questions.  The blogs mentioned, including The Global Small Business Blog, have demonstrated an inside knowledge of their industry, and they offer readers legitimate, detailed analysis.  Congratulations to our peers.  We are in good company!

And thank you to BN for pulling this together!  We are proud and humbled to be named a winner.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Global Expansion at QuickBooks

©iStock/Jacob Ammentorp Lund
Intuit, the developer of QuickBooks, cited a study of small businesses in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia that shows a dramatic increase in cloud, app and mobile usage amid small businesses over the past few years.

Findings from the study:
  • 62 percent of small businesses operate in the cloud, up from 37 percent
  • 68 percent use apps, up from 50 percent
  • 63 percent run their business with a smartphone, up from 43 percent
Intuit's strategy is to expand globally by focusing on developer input and at the same time help developers improve app user experience.

Learn more:  QuickBooks Online drive developer outreach to fuel global growth

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Ex-Im Bank Reduces Risk

If an American small business can’t find some way to cover financial risks (e.g., getting paid), typically they won’t bid on the projects, and the buyer will purchase their goods from another nation. Sad but true.  Although that's where Ex-Im Bank comes in handy.
“We reduce the risks,” [Fred] Hochberg [president and chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States] told a packed room of Inland business leaders Monday [10/24/16]. “If you sell goods abroad you have to think about the financial risks.”
Ex-Im Bank was responsible for more than 52,000 American jobs in 2015.

Read more:  Ex-Im chair touts global trade to Inland leaders

Monday, October 24, 2016

Today in Global Small Business: Why Going Global Is An Important Goal for Australian Startups

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

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Tree House's Black Cat Ball

©2016 Laurel Delaney.  All rights reserved.
I'll be attending the Black Cat Ball, will you?  It is put on by Tree House and honors volunteers, supporters, staff and 45 years of companion animal rescue and adoptions, life-saving services and programs.

The event takes place today, October 22nd.  It's not too late to grab your ticket.  To learn more and to register, visit:  Black Cat Ball

Friday, October 21, 2016

There's a Lot More Opportunity Outside the United States

When the going got tough for PureFit, a three-employee, just under $10 million Irvine, California-based company that makes nutrition bars, they took their business outside the United States. Why not?  There's plenty of room for growth outside your own borders.
Today, PureFit exports to 20 countries from Switzerland to Singapore. Foreign sales rose 53 percent in two years, accounting for a quarter of revenue and making up for domestic losses.
Find out how international business saved PureFit.  See how it can save or grow your business too.

Read more:  How hard is exporting?  Here's how one small Irvine business went global

Alert:  Watch Twitter's Hashtag:  #MakeTheWorldYourBusiness to see what's up at the 2nd Annual Global Small Business Forum!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

What's Driving Global Payment Ecosystem Innovation?

With the Internet opening up new buying and selling avenues, SMEs are now expanding their business outside their national boundaries.  So it only makes sense that SMEs will drive the payment revolution.  The biggest reason being that the new global SMEs are being run by tech-savvy young generation entrepreneurs and secondly that the business model allows for global scalability.

Read more:  Small and Medium Enterprises to Drive Global Payment Ecosystem

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A Sense of True Accomplishment When You Open Your First Overseas Office

When do you know it's time to take the leap and open an overseas office?  It can be an exciting thought but also a challenge to implement.  So why do it?
Well, imagining the payoff is as simple as spinning a globe. "The siren song of being in another market that's twice the size of your current market can be really strong," says Greg Schott, CEO of MuleSoft, which provides application networks for enterprise companies. MuleSoft earned its "unicorn" $1.5 billion valuation in part by making the leap abroad early on: Today the 10-year-old company has eight international offices, stretching from Hong Kong to Amsterdam to Buenos Aires.
Oh, and that's not all.

Read more:  What to Do Before You Open That First Office Overseas

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Only 3 Days Left to Register for the 2nd Annual Global Small Business Forum in Chicago

Discover how you can make the world your business at the 2nd Annual Global Small Business Forum held in downtown Chicago on Friday, October 21st from 7:30 a.m. -- 4:30 p.m. Central time. Here's what you will get out of the program:
  • Listen to more than a dozen experts and business owners talk about what they have done to expand their business internationally.
  • Network, learn and have fun with more than 75 entrepreneurs, small business owners and service providers on what strategies and methods you need to put into place to be successful in the global marketplace.
  • Receive a copy of the 2nd edition of my Exporting book endorsed by best-selling Good to Great author Jim Collins.
  • Enjoy a continental breakfast and box lunch.
  • Win an iPad Mini or a MIO Global health watch
Can't wait to see you there! 

To learn more and to register, visit:

Illustration credit:  ©2015 GSBB Media LLC.  All rights reserved.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Today in Global Small Business: Jack Ma's Future of Commerce

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

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Second Spring

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower." -- Albert Camus

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

Friday, October 14, 2016

Trade Is the Foundation of Peace

When John R. Kasich, governor of Ohio, talks about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), he believes there is only one path to take in order to keep the United States a global leader:

"For me, the only common-sense direction is forward, because trade is the foundation of peace. Not only will the TPP promote peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, but also it will help maintain the United States’ essential strength in that hemisphere at a time of increased Chinese and Russian assertiveness."

Read more:  Refusing to ratify TPP risks America's role as the world leader

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Is World Trade Growth Slowing?

According to The Economist:
On September 27th the World Trade Organization slashed its forecast for growth in trade of goods from 2.8% in 2016 to just 1.7%, implicitly predicting that for the first time in 15 years, trade would grow more slowly than GDP. 
With anti-globalization sentiments heavy in the air, it's hard to see where this is headed.

Read more:  The Economist Explains:  Why is world trade growth slowing?

Related:  Economists worry that a new wave of protectionism in the digital age is hurting global growth

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Exporting Provides a Ticket to Growth for America's Small Businesses

As Maria Contreras-Sweet, head of SBA, says:
“Exporting provides tremendous opportunities for America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs. Two-thirds of the world’s purchasing power can be found outside of the United States, but only about 1% of America’s 28 million small businesses are reaching customers beyond our borders. Exporting is an important growth opportunity for our small businesses that are ready to expand their reach into new and increasingly borderless global markets.”
The US Small Business Administration (SBA) has provided US states with a total of US$18.85mn to support regional SME export growth.  The funding is part of SBA’s state trade expansion program (STEP), which was created to increase the number of small exporters in the country.

Exporting provides a ticket to growth for America's small businesses.

Read more:  US small businesses get trade boost

Note:  Only 9 days left to register for the 2nd Annual Global Small Business Forum held in Chicago October 21st.  See you there!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Today in Global Small Business: WTO Proposes Agreement to Support E-Commerce for SMEs

©iStock/Ali Kerem Yucel
What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Before the Grand Opening: The New Hampton Inn Chicago North-Loyola Station

A peek at the new Hampton Inn Chicago North-Loyola Station, 1209 N. Albion Avenue, before it officially opens late in October.  The hotel is across the street from Loyola University.  It's always a treat to catch progress in motion.

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

Friday, October 07, 2016

Has Brexit Dampened SME's Appetite for Global Expansion?

Research in the aftermath of the EU referendum has found small businesses are more upbeat about their international growth prospects than their domestic expansion.
Almost half (47.8%) of more than 1,000 businesses believe they will see growth in international trade activity and only 5.5% think it will deteriorate, according to a survey by East & Partners on behalf of Western Union Business Solutions.
What this really tells us is that a new, nimbler UK might be benefiting from being cut loose from the EU -- having a greater sense of optimism about the future on business opportunities.  Only time will tell how it all nets out.

Read more:  Small businesses buoyed by global possibilities after Brexit

Thursday, October 06, 2016

The New FedEx Global Trade Index Shows Revenue Growth For SMEs

©iStock/Louis Loizou
Small Business Trends reports:
A new FedEx (NYSE:FDX) survey has found 65 percent of small businesses trading internationally see revenue growth versus 46 percent of businesses that haven’t gone international yet.
What does this mean?  Going global is an easy and big growth avenue for small businesses.

Read more:  Small Businesses Trading Internationally See More Growth, Says FedEx Index

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

How to Develop a Global Presence

Businesses interested in expanding into international markets look for benefits such as growth – including increased revenue and profitability, enhanced exposure and brand recognition, global partnerships and a more diversified product and/or service offering.  Yet, at the same time, they also face challenges in making that expansion occur successfully.

Whether you are a gigantic or small company, developing a global presence takes time and happens gradually.

Read more:  Colocation Strategies To Expand Business Across Borders

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Netflix Launches in More Than 130 Countries

The Wall Street Journal interviews Neil Hunt, chief product officer at Netflix Inc., who discusses Netflix’s ever-evolving algorithm for a global audience and its challenges in developing markets.  Mr. Hunt is responsible for making the service behind the buzzy shows work without hiccups, which has become more complex.
In January, Netflix launched in more than 130 countries: a host of developing markets with new cultures and languages, different states of internet infrastructure and varying levels of consumer comfort with credit-card payments.
Here are edited excerpts of the interview.

Read more:  What's New on Netflix:  A Big Push to Go Global

Netflix has been talking about expanding internationally since 2010.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Today in Global Small Business: Essie Spice Owner Takes Her Business Global

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

Saturday, October 01, 2016

The Legendary Pump Room in Chicago

As Chicago Magazine says, "Dazzling," and that's what I thought too when I recently visited the Pump Room (established in 1938), now housed in the Public Chicago Hotel, formerly The Ambassador East, in Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood.  Worth a visit.

Photos courtesy:  ©Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.  Taken September 24, 2016.