Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy 2017 from The Global Small Business Blog

©2016 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them." ~ Walt Disney

Friday, December 30, 2016

The American Spirit of Entrepreneurship Around the World

Maria Contreras-Sweet, the 24th U.S. SBA Administrator, has been recognized for the Award for Global Impact which “recognizes a government official or policy expert who has created a strong ecosystem to support diverse entrepreneurs in his or her country.”

She said in a statement:

“I am deeply honored and grateful to GEN [Global Entrepreneurship Network] for creating this award that recognizes SBA’s groundbreaking work to export the SBA model and infuse the unique American spirit of entrepreneurship around the world. It is among our most important and enduring legacies."

Learn more here.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Sometimes It Pays Not to Ship South of the USA Border

Montreal, Canada-based Nancy Gervais started repairing American Girl dolls two years ago after her daughter received one as a gift and has now turned it into a small local business.  There's a reason she's not global, yet.
She [Gervais] explained there are other ways to repair the dolls, but that requires shipping the toys south of the border.
To avoid the extra costs, Gervais has learned how to fix the dolls herself by watching YouTube videos.  See what has worked for Gervais here.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Your Cross-Cultural Communication Fix For the Day

Even something as simple as a dog can mean different things in different cultures.  That's why anyone who has worked in a global team setting has likely witnessed firsthand how communication problems are much more than inconveniences.  They can be embarrassing, costly and damaging.

How do you fix cross-cultural communication issues?  First, it starts with talking about it and considering it regularly -- not just in a one-off sort of manner.  Second, the strength of cross-cultural communication lies in having the right attitude, experience, perspective, and insight.

The bottom line is that understanding how to communicate across cultures is an absolutely indispensable skill.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Look Internationally for New Market Opportunities

A recent report by HSBC found that three quarters of small businesses would like to expand internationally but said they are held back because they lack “international business experience and knowledge.”

Yet in the case of UK SMEs, they are increasingly being encouraged to look internationally for new market opportunities.

Where do SMEs trip up?

Find out here.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Today in Global Small Business: What's Ahead in 2017

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

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas from the Global Small Business Blog

©2016 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"Santa Claus is anyone who loves another and seeks to make them happy."  -- Edwin Osgood Grover

Friday, December 23, 2016

Take Your Business to The Next Level: Global

If entrepreneurs are to take their businesses to the next level, they need to get informed, especially if they are Rwandan entrepreneurs.

For example, the Export Growth Fund (EGF) managed by the Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) is under-utilized.  The Fund was established to help exporters get around obstacles.
If a bank gave an entrepreneur a loan at a 17 per cent interest rate, for example, he [François Kanimba, the minister for trade, industry and East African Community affairs] said, the Fund would chip in 6.5 per cent to ease things for the entrepreneur.
Learn more here.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

How to Become the World's Best At Anything

Even if you don't have a lot of bucks, you can still make your product, service or business into a global brand.  And a strong brand is one of the most valuable assets a company owns (think Coca Cola, for example).

In the case of Nigerian-based Access Bank, they aspired to become a solid brand, not just a cool logo or advertisement, that would command respect in many sectors.  And they achieved it.
"While innovation, excellent risk and corporate governance framework might be the advantage we have over our competitors, the [Access] Bank is propelled by a vision of becoming the world’s most respected African Bank, and this requires us to do things differently to standout. He [Access Bank Group Managing Director, Herbert Wigwe] thanked the bank’s stakeholders for their support and assured them of improved performance in the years ahead."
Read more about Access Bank's story here.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Entrepreneurs Will Face No Shortage of Opportunities for Success in 2017

According to Jim Squires, director of market operations at Instagram, entrepreneurs will face no shortage of opportunities for success in 2017.

He shares insights with Small Business Computing.  Here are five key points:
  1. SMBs Will Act on Their Global Ambitions
  2. Mobile Will Matter More than Ever
  3. Creativity Will Be Democratized
  4. SMBs Will Deepen Customer Relationships
  5. Lower Barriers to Entry Will Pose Challenges
Squires emphasizes that choosing platforms that help your global small business stand out will be essential in 2017.

Read more here.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

How to Maintain Your Company's Global Goals While Building A Remote Workforce

Team building efforts that maintain open communication lines and that push critical information to remote employees can improve that engagement and keep remote employees from losing focus on a company’s global goals, one being to create an environment where people worldwide will flourish regardless of where they are based.
Small businesses with global operations can have one or more virtual offices at remote geographic locations with employees who work out of their homes or through a mobile technology platform. Remote employees can feel less engaged than their colleagues who are in the office.
What's the work around?  Develop team-building exercises. That's according to this article -- especially if you are participating in international markets.  If you want to gain a competitive edge in global markets, team-building exercises might be the answer to address certain challenges that come with international expansion (e.g., cultural differences, time zone complications and currency fluctuations).

Monday, December 19, 2016

Today in Global Small Business: Why Brexit Will Make It Difficult for UK SMEs to Go Global

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

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Oh Holy Night

©2016 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
A star is brightly shining.  Peace.  Joy.  Hope.  Merry Christmas. Happy 2017!

Friday, December 16, 2016

A New Innovation Center to Help Small Companies Go Global

The establishment of a “Joint Innovation Center” in Luxembourg by Vodafone and Technoport S.A. (50/50 basis ownership) was announced by the Prime Minister and Minister of State, Xavier Bettel, and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy, Étienne Schneider.

Says Ninian Wilson, CEO of Vodafone Procurement Co SARL:

"The innovation centre creates a unique platform to help small companies go global. The environment in Luxembourg is ideally suited to supporting such activities in the ICT space.”

Learn more about this exciting platform here.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

New York School Forges National and International Connections

At Brooklyn-based Medgar Ever College’s School of Business, entrepreneurship and international "experiential learning" go hand in hand.
“The point is that they [the students] see a world beyond them,” [Business school Dean Jo-Ann] Rolle said. “To do that, you have to understand culture and market niche.”
Learn more about ways in which Evers students are making inroads into the global business world here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

How to Use Periscope For Your Global Small Business

There are so many ways to use Periscope for your global small business but let's take a look at 30 that Small Business Trends put together.  And one, I like the best:
Reach a Global Audience

Transitioning to a global economy may not be an easy task. One of the biggest challenges would be a way to connect with foreign customers. Periscope however removes that barrier. You can now communicate with your customers from all around the world in a cost effective way.
Find out about the other 29 ways here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Bolstering Small Businesses in 2017

Here are three ways the new SBA Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon plans to bolster small businesses in 2017:
  1. Upgrade technology.
  2. Build stronger networks for women (we'll take it :-)!
  3. Expand access to capital.
Read more here.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Today in Global Small Business: Cuban Entrepreneurs Expect Faster Economic Reforms

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

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Road to Christmas

©2016 Laurel Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"At Christmas, all roads lead home."  -- Marjorie Holmes

Friday, December 09, 2016

Boots on the Ground Make Going Global Easier

A lot of small businesses have the philosophy that driving international sales has a lot to do with getting closer to your customer.
But [the Australian Federal Government's Export Finances and Insurance Corporation (EFIC)] executive director Andrew Watson warns that getting the right corporate structure, business partner and making sure you’re meeting all the regulatory and compliance obligations of overseas markets is the key to success. “There’s a real need to make sure that you’re managing the risks that you’re taking by entering that new market,” he says.
Are you ready to take the risk and invest?  Read more here.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

America First for Global Small Business Fighters!

President-elect Donald Trump has selected Linda McMahon, the co-founder of the pro-wrestling enterprise World Wrestling Entertainment, to head the Small Business Administration.

Trump says:
"She [Linda McMahon] helped grow WWE from a modest 13-person operation to a publicly traded global enterprise with more than 800 employees in offices worldwide. Linda is going to be a phenomenal leader and champion for small businesses and unleash America's entrepreneurial spirit all across the country."
Read more:  Trump Tags Former Wrestling Magnate To Head Small Business Administration

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Indian SMEs Are Taking Advantage of the Digital Boom

Indian SMEs are figuring themselves in the bigger picture and taking full leverage of a digital boom in the industry.

Take a look at the top five initiatives by global giant brands that are helping promote Indian SMEs and catching up on technology here.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Today in Global Small Business: Why There's a Globalization Backlash

©iStock/Gang Zhou
What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:
  • How to stay on track with the right marketing message.
  • What's in store globally in 2017; join me at a webinar I am giving 1/4 (n/c).
  • See how the Hilton Worldwide is going global, taking advantage of the booming lodging industry.
  • If small businesses are going global, why not drones too?
  • To meet continued e-commerce growth, DHL is rapidly investing in its U.S. operations in 2016-2017.
  • Why there's a globalization backlash.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Tree Ornaments From Macy's Chicago

"Christmas is a box of tree ornaments that have become part of the family." ~ Charles Schulz (1922-2000), American cartoonist 'Peanuts'

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

Friday, December 02, 2016

For the First Time, NetSuite Becomes Truly Global

By itself, NetSuite, offering a range of productivity tools, including ERP (enterprise resource planning) and CRM (customer relationship management), couldn’t tap into foreign markets the way a giant like Oracle can.

NetSuite has mostly limited itself to the English-speaking world (and Japan).  Now that Oracle has acquired NetSuite, it plans to localize its products for many more countries while expanding its data-center capacity, sales operations, partner channel and other assets to reach customers in those new areas.
“We were beginning to globalize, but we didn’t really have the resources or presence to be able to do so,” said Zach Nelson, former NetSuite CEO, who will run the new business unit.
Read more:  NetSuite's Going Global Under Oracle's Flag