Saturday, March 23, 2019

Girl Power: Be the Heroine of Your Life

©2019 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"Above all, be the heroine of your life.  Not the victim." — Nora Ephron

Friday, March 22, 2019

Grow. Scale. Expand to U.S.A.

©iStock/Karolina Madej
Scaling internationally isn’t without its own risks, but the United States is one market European startups eye when they’re looking to go global.  Here are three tips for European startups with aspirations to grow, capital to scale and their sights set on expansion into the U.S.A.
  1. Know your market
  2. Build the right partnerships on the ground
  3. Hire the right talent in the U.S.A.
Read 3 tips for European companies to scale in the U.S.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

A Softening of Global Economic Conditions

Business Roundtable President Joshua Bolten said in a report, "As we encounter a potential softening of global economic conditions, it’s all the more important to advance policies that will promote American innovation and strengthen the U.S. economy for the long term."

What prompted that statement?
Optimism among chief executive officers of large U.S. companies cooled for a fourth straight quarter amid greater uncertainty about global economic growth, a Business Roundtable survey showed.
The lobbying group’s CEO Economic Outlook Index fell 9.2 points to 95.2 in the first quarter, the lowest since the third quarter of 2017 though still above the gauge’s historical average.

Read more about how U.S. CEO optimism cools as global uncertainty dims outlook.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

A Global String of Possibilities

Small businesses can make a major impact. Thanks to the Internet, small business owners have far-reaching opportunities to change both their immediate surroundings and places that are worlds away.  Head coach Rhett Power frames it as "individual connections on a global string of possibilities."

He offers ways to rev up your differentiation and satisfy your desire to give back, by adopting these three strategies.
  1. Work toward fair wages.
  2. Source materials responsibly.
  3. Weave your social mission into your story.
Read the entire article about how small businesses can make a big difference.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Today in Global Small Business: The Ultimate Freedom is the Freedom to Experiment with New Ideas

What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:
  • How to ease small business trade concerns; it starts with a financing and payments platform for businesses.
  • Quote of the week:  “The ultimate freedom for creative groups is the freedom to experiment with new ideas. Some skeptics insist that innovation is expensive. In the long run, innovation is cheap. Mediocrity is expensive—and autonomy can be the antidote.” – Tom Kelley, General Manager, IDEO
  • If your business is going global or has experienced challenges, consider these five tips.
  • 76 countries have agreed to negotiate new rules governing global ecommerce, creating an opportunity for governments to eliminate barriers that impede cross-border online shopping.  Here's what should be addressed.
  • Learn how to create a strong natural deodorant brand with worldwide appeal?
  • How to manage the risks of international e-commerce.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

I am Proud to Be Irish and Today is My Favorite Day of the Year

"There are two kinds of people in the world, Irish and those who wish they were." – Irish saying

Photos courtesy:  @2019 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Lack of Clarity Can Be a Stumbling Block for Franchises Going Global

Senior research analyst Ritwik Donde at FRANdata says that international expansion has opened numerous doors for small businesses looking to uncover new streams of revenue. But to succeed globally, business owners must successfully navigate the new territory of cultural divides.

A big stumbling block for franchises, for example, is lack of clarity for franchisors embarking on a rapid growth plan, often resulting in mistakes that can put the franchise at risk.
Among 480 small and medium-sized enterprises from 12 countries surveyed by the Economist Intelligence Unit in 2014, a majority foresaw expanding their business internationally as the future for their companies. However, very few understood the importance of finding the right advisory partner (or partners) to help them navigate the choppy waters of international growth.
Read more about the five common mistakes made by international franchisors and how to avoid them.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Free Trade Opens Doors to New Markets and Creates New Opportunities for Small Businesses

According to Hector Barreto, chairman of The Latino Coalition and the former U.S. Small Business Administrator, "for businesses of all sizes and types – from manufacturers to farmers and ranchers – free trade opens doors to new markets and new opportunities. New and better-paying jobs are created."  He goes to say:
International trade is actually incredibly important to small businesses. It is a little-known fact, but 98 percent of all U.S. exporters are small firms. Nearly 300,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are exporting to foreign markets every day; those companies support around four million American jobs as a result.
At length and with great passion, Barreto explains why international trade is incredibly important to small businesses.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

From Idea to Export Business

Everything we do today is potentially relevant to consumers anywhere in the world, provided they understand what we are doing. So if that is the case, how do we sell to the world?  Here’s an example of how the journey to exporting or launching an export business begins.

Read more about how an export business is born.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Today in Global Small Business: wegg® Workshop in Chicago 3/13/19

What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:
  • JOIN us March 13 in Chicago for an experiential learning session hosted by Associated Bank and wegg® for an on-the-ground workshop with Kiesque CEO Jacqueline Smith who will talk about how she started and runs a global personal care product company. Learn more and register (limited seating): 
  • Internet big-picture stats, get them here.
  • As the world is becoming smaller thanks to technology, people are becoming more interdependent and connected.  Here are some things to consider before you cross boundaries.
  • Quote of the week:  “The sidelines are not where you want to live your life. The world needs you in the arena.” – Tim Cook, Apple CEO
  • Digital marketing is becoming the mainstream tool of conducting marketing strategy. In today’s highly advanced and digitally accelerated world, traditional marketing is rapidly becoming obsolete.
  • This machine learning tool helps small e-commerce companies compete with Amazon and Walmart.

Saturday, March 09, 2019

Fuel Up With Dinocare™

102-year-old Sinclair Oil Corp. owns and operates more than 1,500 locations nationwide, including refineries and gas stations, plus hotels, a ski resort and a cattle ranch.

Photos courtesy:  @2019 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved. (Cassopolis, Michigan)

Friday, March 08, 2019

Billion Dollar Global Baby

This week Forbes named 21-year-old  Kylie Jenner -- makeup mogul, a reality TV star and mom --  the world’s youngest self-made billionaire in history.  In 2012, she invested $250,000 in launching her $29 Lip Kit (a matching lipstick and lip-liner combo) on the cosmetics market and since then has achieved stratospheric global growth.

Fueled in part by an Ulta expansion, Kylie Cosmetics’ revenue climbed 9% last year (2018) to an estimated $360 million. With that kind of growth, and even using a conservative multiple from the booming makeup industry, Forbes estimates Jenner’s company is worth at least $900 million.

Here's what Kylie had to say about it:

“I didn’t expect anything. I did not foresee the future.  But [the recognition] feels really good. That’s a nice pat on the back.”

She's a billion dollar global baby.  Learn more here.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

5 Successful and Impactful Social Enterprises

According to Lilach Bullock, a contributor to Forbes, below is a look at some of the world’s top social enterprises that you should keep an eye on in 2019.

First though, you need a definition of what constitutes a social enterprise.
Social enterprises and their networks are popping up all over the world; basically, they practice a hybrid model that uses business solutions to make a positive impact on the world.
Read more about 5 top innovative and impactful social enterprises for 2019.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Become an International Player in Dubai

If you are considering opening a new business in Dubai, or moving your existing operations there, now is a good time to start such a process and journey for Dubai in 2020 is the first city to host a World Expo in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia, increasing its presence as an international player in the business.
While we are already specialists in tourism, hospitality, and retail, the upcoming global exposure will boost other sectors as well. Not only at the Expo, but across the city, visitors will see us pushing boundaries in everything from construction, sustainability to finance and cutting-edge communications. And, they will get a feel for how we are uniquely positioned to host a truly global business.
Learn more about how Dubai is becoming a growth catalyst for global small businesses through Dubai's 2020 expo.

Monday, March 04, 2019

Today in Global Small Business: Market Yourself in a Digital World

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

Saturday, March 02, 2019

St. Patrick's Day is an Enchanted Time

"St. Patrick's Day is an enchanted time — a day to begin transforming winter's dreams into summer's magic." – Adrienne Cook

Photos courtesy:  ©2019 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.

Friday, March 01, 2019

What Is a Scale Up Business?

The scaling up of SMEs is key to boost productivity and achieve inclusive growth.  The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)-Eurostat Manual on Business Demography Statistics (2007) defines high-growth enterprises as “enterprises with an average annualized growth greater than 20% a year, over a 3-year period, and with 10 or more employees at the beginning of the observation period."

But what is a scale up business?

Learn more by reading a paper on Enabling SMEs to Scale Up.  This paper was prepared as a background document to the OECD Ministerial Conference on Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, taking place on 22-23 February 2018 in Mexico.

Key finding:  Start-ups that scale up provide a key contribution to job creation and key drivers of competitiveness.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

The Dynamics of Global Value Chains

As McKinsey's Global Institute indicates, globalization is in the midst of a transformation.  In its recent 132-page report, "Globalization in Transition:  The future of trade and value chains," the authors say:
Yet the public debate about trade is often about recapturing the past rather than looking toward the future. The mix of countries, companies, and workers that stand to gain in the next era is changing. Understanding how the landscape is shifting will help policy makers and business leaders prepare for globalization’s next chapter and the opportunities and challenges it will present.
Read on to learn more.

Note a key finding in the report:  Larger companies may need to help their small and medium-size suppliers upgrade and add digital capabilities to realize the full value.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Create an Open Space

©iStock/Selim Dönmez
Ingenuity founder and CEO Amy Wilkinson explains that there are many ways that opportunities can be recognized and she feels Elon Musk represents a great example.  Wilkinson is also a lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Business, and author of The Creator’s Code: The Six Essential Skills of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs. 
“Just like an architect who wants to build a building from the ground up, you're looking for an open space, a green field. An open space is often a problem, meaning problems are really great opportunities because people aren't tackling them. There's not a lot of competition, often, around solving problems.”
The idea, she goes on to say, is to look for a problem and reason by first principles.

Learn more about open space thinking and entrepreneurship (includes video).

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Monday, February 25, 2019

Today in Global Small Business: Access the World

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

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Really Good Deep Dish Pizza

Oh the fun places we go ... Giordano's in Rosemont, Illinois. Known for really good deep dish pizza – since 1974.

Photos courtesy:  @2019 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Align Your Goals With a Potential Partner Before Going Global

Rhonda Klosler, National chief operating officer at RSM Canada; office managing partner, Toronto, talks about what it takes to incorporate a good new partner that can take you global while still maintaining your identity.
Becoming part of a global firm offers many benefits: access to different talent pools, more opportunities for new business, extra resources and capabilities and, of course, international breadth to clients.
In her case, the Toronto office where she was a managing partner became a part of RSM, a global network of independent audit, tax and consulting firms.

To set up for success, they had to capitalize on their new-found advantages without losing the key differentiators that made their businesses so successful.  Here are three:
  1. Educate employees about "why"
  2. Maintain what makes you special
  3. Seek out relationships across the business
Read the entire article about taking your business global and making sure to tell your employees why.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Million-Dollar Growth Tips from Millennial Entrepreneurs Who Hit it Big Fast

Business and marketing coach Lena Elkins talks about how she coaches millennial entrepreneurs who feel defeated, burnt out and frustrated with their work largely because it’s harder than ever to stand out and scale an online business with confidence.

She asks four seven-figure millennial entrepreneurs to share their best insights on how they continue to grow and reach new milestones in their businesses against all odds.  Here's what came out of her discussions.
  1. Invest in the right team members.
  2. Stop overcomplicating your success.
  3. Always evaluate the quality of your product.
  4. Leverage the power of your local community.
As she suggests, use this advice to gain clarity, inspire action and think outside of the box to manifest massive change.

Read the entire article:  4 Million-Dollar Growth Secrets From Millennial Entrepreneurs Who Hit 7 Figures Fast

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

FedEx Seventh Annual Small Business Grant Contest

The FedEx Seventh Annual Small Business Grant Contest offers grants and services to ten U.S.- based small businesses, distributing a collective prize pool of $220,500—the largest sum since the contest was established in 2012.

Here's what is in store for the prize winners:
  • Grand prize: One (1) winner of $50,000, plus $7,500 in FedEx Office ®  print and business services
  • Silver prize: One (1) winner of $30,000, plus $5,000 in FedEx Office print and business services
  • Bronze prize: Eight (8) winners of $15,000, plus $1,000 in FedEx Office print and business services
The contest entry period is open from February 19 to March 25, 2019, with voting to take place from February 27 to April 1, 2019. Following a judging period, winners will be announced on April 29, 2019 at  Get going and apply here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Thanks to AI, Smaller Companies Are Rapidly Going Global

Thanks to advanced technology, smaller companies are rapidly going global, deploying a variety of technology-enabled solutions such as automated call centers, customer service bots, and digital marketing intelligence.

As small companies scale their operations, they can lose touch with their customers.
... the root of the problem: a lack of clear understanding of customer needs, what to do to satisfy them, and failure to effectively enhance the customer experience (CX for short).
With the advent of artificial intelligence (AI), companies can now improve CX by learning more about the customer and anticipating their needs.

Read more how, thanks to AI, smaller companies are rapidly going global.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Today in Global Small Business Business: "When" Shows the Importance of Timing in Life

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

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Breathtakingly Beautiful Views of the Chicago Skyline

©2019 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
360 CHICAGO observation deck, located 1000 feet above the famed Magnificent Mile in the iconic John Hancock Building, offers breathtaking 360 degrees views of the city skyline and Lake Michigan.  Plan your visit.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Questions to Ask Before You Global

Oh it is so nice to see our friend and colleague Dr. Jana Matthews, ANZ Chair in Business Growth, Professor, and Director of the Australian Centre for Business Growth at the University of South Australia’s Business School talking about questions you need to ask before you go global.

She says:
While there are many benefits to taking a company global, there are also many pitfalls. Answering these questions should help identify whether you have the people, processes and systems in place to successfully “go global."
Read the entire article to learn whether your product will be relevant in a different market, what pitfalls you are likely to experience, how much cash you will need to ensure success.

And for more on going global, visit the best of the best here.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Embrace a Digital Strategy to Thrive Locally

As much as this blog is about thriving globally, Chris Porteous has a different take on marketing for a small business. He says, "The first key to success when it comes to local business marketing is finding or creating your local niche and then exploiting it for all it's worth. Countless corporate empires have been spawned by clever CEOs who had an idea which succeeded locally, then regionally, then nationally, before spreading all over the globe."

Read more about how to transform your business with local marketing.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

College of DuPage: Become a Digital Rock Star on 2/19/19

©2019 College of DuPage.  All rights reserved.
Used with permission.
If you are in the neighborhood, please join us at the College of DuPage for an engaging, educational and fun time learning from Laurel Delaney on how to become a digital rock star on Tuesday, February 19 at 1:00 p.m. Central time.  For more information, contact Bev Carlson.