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

Global Superstars Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper Perform "Shallow" at the 2019 Oscars

When you have one chance to create a great song, you better get it right.  In this video, two stars are born.

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.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Where to Turn for Global Trade Help

I [Laurel Delaney] have prepared a list of 15 places to look for help in taking a business global.  Check it out here.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Today in Global Small Business: Embrace Free Trade

©2019 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:
  • To beat Trump, former chairman and president of Exim Bank USA Fred Hoch says "embrace free trade."
  • Are the United States and China heading for a new Cold War?
  • Quote of the week:  “Differentiate yourself! Why are you different? What's important about you? Why does the customer need you?” – Sara Blakely, founder and CEO of Spanx
  • Brits are already feeling the impact of Brexit -- and it hasn't even happened yet.
  • Global horse racing calendar for 2019.
  • Uruguay's attempts to enter the global cannabis market fall flat as marijuana shortages abound.

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Get Back to the Polish Style

©2019 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
Chicago-based White Eagle offers Eastern European and American comfort foods in an old-school carpeted space with booths, tables and a nice little bar.  The delicious Polish food, especially the desserts, is worth a visit.

Thursday, February 07, 2019

Smaller Can Be Better When it Comes to Business and Personal Happiness

The allure of building a BIG business can seduce even the most grounded person.
In spite of this, Paul Jarvis [a designer and writer who deliberately kept his business small over the span of two decades because of the personal freedom it gives him] wants to change the narrative with his new book, Company of One. He challenges the belief that bigger is better and offers a smarter, smaller solution that replaces the hustle with happiness — while still being highly profitable as a business.
Jarvis goes on to provide five pointers:
  1. Embrace the “company of one” mindset.
  2. Value what’s important to you.
  3. Choose how you prefer to engage with your audience.
  4. Teach everything you know.
  5. Know the difference between more and enough.
Read more about how one entrepreneur built a big career by staying small .

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Once a Small Business with Only Five Employees and Now a Global Behemoth

It's hard to imagine that Generac Power Systems was once a small business with only five employees, especially when you drive past its sprawling, newly remodeled corporate headquarters off Genesee and Hillside roads southwest of Waukesha, Wisconsin.
Today the company employs 5,600 — 3,800 at plants in Jefferson, Eagle, Whitewater, Berlin and Oshkosh, and its headquarters in Waukesha.  The rest of its employees can be found in plants in Mexico, Brazil, Poland, Italy, Germany, India and China.
Read more about how Generac Power Systems went from small business to global player.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

There is Money in Global Podcasting

Podcasting may be a relatively small industry in the U.S, but if anyone had to guess, Spotify has bigger ambitions than that.
Spotify is in advanced talks to acquire Gimlet Media, the Brooklyn-based narrative podcast company, for more than $200 million in cash, according to Recode.
The U.S. podcasting industry brought in $314 million in ad revenue in 2017. Yet the global picture is much different.

Read more: no, podcasting is not a small business.

Oh, and check out the ultimate guide to the best business podcasts here.  They forgot one:  The Worldly Marketer.

Monday, February 04, 2019

Today in Global Small Business: Taking a Personal Care Company Global (weggchat™)

©2019 Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global™.  All rights reserved.
What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Tell the World About Your Product

©2019 Laurel J, Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"We have spent more than $20,000,000 to tell the world about our product. I believe in advertising all the time. There is no such thing as getting a business so established that it does not need to advertise. Babies who never heard about you are being born every day, and people who once knew you forget you if you don’t keep them reminded constantly. Dull times are the very times when you need advertising most." – William Wrigley Jr.