Saturday, October 30, 2021

Where There Is No Imagination

All photos:  ©2021 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"Where there is no imagination there is no horror." – Arthur Conan Doyle

Happy Halloween! 

Friday, October 29, 2021

Do You Need to Think Small To Succeed?

No way!  After all, this blog is about going big and going big involves going global.

Executive creative director of IMA Simon Long says:

“Long ideas start to shape marketing post Covid-19.  Seeing the world as consumers do, they don’t just last – they live.  Designed to successfully balance short-term demands with long-term strategies.”

Marketers shouldn’t be thinking small – they should be considering how the Big Idea can be broken up to fit best among their international strategy, not discarded entirely.

One other thing.

A Big Idea can be aligned to a concept or feeling, but for it to be effective and relevant to local consumers, the execution should incorporate cultural nuances. This is why the main concern for marketers working with global brands shouldn’t be about the efficiency of standardization but about the effectiveness of cultural segmentation.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

6 Essential Components to an Export Sale

Below is an article I [Laurel Delaney] wrote to tackle the topic of what's needed on an export sale.  

It goes like this.  

How do you react to an email from a customer located thousands of miles away who wants to buy your product? 

To get the ball rolling every export sales transaction must contain information pertaining to product description, price, quantity and transportation, but within those confines lies a host of other details that can go wrong. The need for clear instructions on the terms used in negotiating the sales contract cannot be emphasized enough. 

Take a look at the six major components to an export sale. These may not be all that you need to pay attention to, but they are a good starting point.

Learn more about exporting here.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

How Digital Marketplaces Can Help Local Economies (TED Talk)

The growth of digital marketplaces like Uber, Airbnb and Amazon can sometimes threaten local businesses such as taxis, hotels and retail shops by taking away jobs or reducing income to the community. 

But it doesn't have to be this way, says strategy consultant Amane Dannouni.

Listen to his Ted talk.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

What Do Plumbers and Gen Zers Have in Common?

Both are spending money right now.  That is, plumbers and Gen Zers.

AmEx said that card acquisitions hit a record level in the third quarter for U.S. small-business and consumer Platinum and Gold cards. The company noted that goods-and-services spending by global small- and medium-size enterprises in the third quarter was 21% above the same period in 2019, before the pandemic, compared with a 4% currency-adjusted rise for billed business overall.

There is going to be a big race to capture spending and borrowing as travel bounces back, both among card companies and upstart rivals like installment lenders.

Read more here.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Today in Global Small Business: Shipping Containers in Parking Lots in Doctors' Offices

What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:
  • The latest thing in doctors' offices:  shipping containers in parking lots (subscription required).
  • Agreement reached at OECD to end export credit support for unabated coal-fired power plants.
  • Ensuring a strong recovery for developing countries.
  • Quote of the week:  "There is one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent threat of a changing climate." – Barack Obama on Climate Change, 44th President of the United States of America
  • Managing water and climate risk with renewable energy.
  • Realizing the ROI of future – digital capabilities top of list.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Blueberries Around the Globe

Trade and production of blueberries is expanding globally as product development boosts their profile in form and function. Hailed for their flavor, versatility, and health benefits, blueberry consumption has expanded beyond fresh, ranging from pureed to powdered forms. 

Global production and trade have seen the most dramatic growth between 2010 and 2019, driven ever higher by mounting consumer demand.

Read:  Blueberries Around the Globe – Past, Present, and Future (a report)

Friday, October 22, 2021

No Magic Solution

The Plymouth candy company Maud Borup has been around for more than 100 years.  Christine Lantinen purchased the company in 2005, when it had $100,000 in sales.  Today, sales at the privately-held company are up to $45 million.

Besides a worker shortage, Maud Borup is experiencing – as many importers and exporters are – higher shipping costs.

In August 2020, the cost to ship a standard 40-foot shipping container was approximately $4,300, she said. One year later Lantinen said that figure exploded to $30,000. She predicts the costs of goods could be 35 to 40 percent higher a year from now, largely driven by the worker shortage.

The problem is there is no magic solution.

“The world supply chains were simply not built to handle a near shutdown by early COVID followed by the rapid restart and the robust consumer demand that followed,” said Chris O’Brien, chief commercial officer of Eden Prairie-based C.H. Robinson, a global logistics firm.

Read on to to appreciate that workforce shortages are unattainable for business owners.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Gen. Colin Powell: He Was An Optimist to the End

Gen. Colin Powell is widely acknowledged by a grateful nation as distinguished and exemplary.  Indeed, for many years he has been recognized as one of the most admired Americans.

We [Roger B. Porter] last met in mid-July. He was characteristically cheerful, optimistic, engaging and positive. When asked how he was feeling he responded without hesitation: “Other than my multiple myeloma cancer and Parkinson’s disease, I feel fine.” Our discussion ranged widely, and his energy, quick mind and forward focus suggested that he did not expect an abbreviated future. He was an optimist to the end.

As Porter goes on to say, "For Powell people were as important as policies. For those of us privileged to work with him he inspired without hubris and did not allow the things that matter most to be at the mercy of the things that matter least."

Roger B. Porter is IBM Professor of Business and Government at Harvard University, and served as the assistant to the president for economic and domestic policy from 1989-93.

Note:  The flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset on October 22, 2021. 

May Gen. Colin Powell R.I.P.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Everything Shortage

Disruptions in global supply chains have generated the phrase "everything shortage."  But US imports are at record levels at some ports, and Americans are breaking shopping records, too.  Supply-chain professionals plan to alleviate the backlog container by container.

What's up?  

Yet claims that the country is running short on everything miss a key point. America has, in fact, imported an immense amount of stuff in the past eight months. And that's part of the reason we're in the midst of an epic supply-chain congestion.  

All of that means that the inventory to sales ratio isn't low because the US is short on stuff.  It's low because sales have gone completely nuts.

Read more about how Americans are running out of everything because Americans are buying so much stuff.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Build On Your Success

Many global small businesses have such interesting origin stories—and sometimes the challenges and hurdles they face are equally unique. The 'Business Card Chronicles' series embraces that insight.

A new film from dentsuMB can count on American Express business cards for dough—and other forms of support to global small business owners—to ensure their fortunes continue to rise.

Read on to see how startups are keeping their dreams alive.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Today in Global Small Business: [Go] Easy On Me (Music Video)

What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:
  • [Go] Easy On Me – Adele's new release (video)
  • Take My Breath – The Weeknd (video)
  • Love Again – Dua Lipa (video)
  • Quote of the week:  "Music is life itself." – Louis Armstrong
  • Lost – Maroon 5 (video)
  • Up – Cardi B (video)

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Just Relax and Have Fun Doing What You Are Doing

©2021 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"Relax.  Just relax and have fun doing what you're doing.  Don't worry so much about being results-oriented.  Just commit yourself to the moment." – John Goodman

Friday, October 15, 2021

A Global Wakeup Call to Social Media Influencers and Global Small Businesses

Is it time to diversify away from Facebook products and any legacy social media app where you’re making money on content, or using it as a shingle to your business?

Last week’s Facebook blackout serves as yet another reminder. It doesn’t matter where you are. These things go down, if you’re reliant on them for revenue, it’s a day off without pay.

Learn about the Instagram blackout and more.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Think Ahead Before You Go Global

Despite the challenges, plenty of firms sell overseas — and there are a ton of resources to help others follow suit.

Small businesses could be selling so much more internationally once they learn how to navigate the red tape of foreign regulations, tariffs and customs, as well as the complexity of collecting money.  Help is on the way.

International trade consultant Michael McCray says, “One of the biggest mistakes I see is when companies don’t think ahead.” he said. “Selling to foreign countries involves many different regulations and costs, and if you’re not prepared you can lose your shirt.”

Learn how to not lose your shirt when going global.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Today, Latino Artists Can Flourish Globally On Their Own

©iStock/Helena GH
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, artists like Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira ruled the pop charts.  But who was that so-called Latin Explosion actually for, and what were the business considerations behind it?

The great story about Ricky, for example, was that music executives decided to do this 'crossover' with him.  Crossover being:

"He was an artist that would sell out stadiums throughout South America and Mexico," says Leila Cobo, vice president at Billboard and author of Decoding Despacito: An Oral History of Latin Music. "But outside of the Spanish-speaking world, people really didn't know him."

Well that certainly changed thanks to streaming and technology.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Only 3 Days Left to Register for the 6th Annual Global Small Business Forum (Virtual)

©2021 GSBB Media LLC.  All rights reserved.
Only 3 days away from our 6th Annual Global Small Business Forum. Have you registered? The event takes place on Friday, October 15, 2021 from 8:00AM-11:30AM CT. 

Our theme this year is Reimagine Global Business: Organizing for the Next Normal.

With a virtual program anyone can participate from anywhere in the world provided they have an Internet connection. That said, we will have representation from all over the world:  New Zealand, Germany, Nigeria, France, Argentina, Uruguay – to name just a few of the countries where people have already registered from.

You will hear from:
  1. Lori Novak, VP, Foreign Exchange, Associated Bank
  2. Laurel Delaney, President, and Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global®
  3. Marc Schulman, President, Eli's Cheesecake
  4. Angie Kappel, VP, Foreign Exchange, Associated Bank
  5. Richard Paullin, Executive Director, International Trade Association of Greater Chicago
  6. Donald Lloyd, Senior VP, Foreign Exchange, Associated Bank
  7. Alexander Lans, Founder and CEO, FOAL LLC
  8. Karen Tinsley-Sroka, Founder and Creative Executive, My Scratch Offs
  9. Ellington Ellis, Co-founder, Global Battery Solutions
  10. Michelle Forrester, President, Beehive Botanicals
  11. Flemming Poulsen, International Sales Manager, Bisco
  12. Marshall Girtman, Domestic and International Sales Specialist, Special Mine Services
Speakers will share their experience reimagining global business and how they are preparing for the next normal. Discussions will cover dealing with cultural, regulatory and legal issues; sharing best practices; uncovering challenges and how they are resolved; wrestling with global supply chain issues; entering new overseas markets, finding new sources of supply, revealing lessons learned from the pandemic and more.

The program is brought to you by lead sponsor, Associated Bank, with assistance by supporting sponsor Foley & Lardner LLP.  Without their support, this program would not be possible.

You won't want to miss this – considered the Oscars for international trade.

Looking forward to your participation! To learn more and to register, visit:

Note:  We have some fantastic raffle prizes that we save for the end of the program (fun)! Must be present to win.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Today in Global Small Business: How Christopher Columbus Became an Italian-American Icon

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

Saturday, October 09, 2021

It Sings Because It Has a Song

©2021 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
“A bird does not sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” – Maya Angelou

Friday, October 08, 2021

New Book: Your Small Business Boom!

©2022 Steven D. Strauss.  All rights reserved.
Love the title of Steve Strauss's newest book, "Your Small Business Boom:  Explosive ideas to grow your business, make more money, and thrive in a volatile world."

Steve is USA Today’s senior small business columnist and is often called “America’s leading small business expert.”

Here's what I had to say about his book (on the back jacket):

"When you read Your Small Business Boom and apply Steve's tips, you too will be able to take your business to the next level." – Laurel Delaney, founder of and president of Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global®

Congrats to Steve – small business expert, mentor, strategist, advisor, and friend.  Steve is all those things and more.

Every small business owner needs this book right now.  Go for it!

Thursday, October 07, 2021

How to Manage Your Finances While Working Remotely Overseas

©iStock/Lauren Verhoeven
Thinking about pushing the envelope of “working remotely” by actually working abroad?  Many people have opted to do this, especially during the pandemic.

Banking and investing though can all be more of a challenge when you’re living in a foreign country. 

Here’s what you need to know – from which destinations still offer visas to which banks are best for working remotely – about handling your finances while working remotely overseas to make sure you’re prepared.

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

Steve Jobs Passed Away 10 Years Ago

©2011 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
Yesterday (10/5/21) marked the 10-year anniversary of Steve Job's death.  To this day, we feel his loss.  As Apple CEO Tim Cook says:

Steve was so many things: brilliant, funny, and wise, a husband, a father, a friend, and, of course, a visionary. He challenged us to see the world not for what it was, but for what it could be. And he helped so many people, myself included, see the same potential in ourselves. Not a day goes by that I don't think about him. 

Read the entire tribute that Tim Cook shared here.

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Building Unity on a Remote International Team (wegginar)

©2021 Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global.  All rights reserved.
Wonder how to find great candidates from around the world?  How to implement a communication and diverse work culture that keeps international employees engaged?  What tools and technology make it all work? 

Look no further because all of these questions and more will be addressed during our next wegginar®, "From Chicago to Cairo:  Building Unity on a Remote International Team," on Wednesday, October 6th at 11AM CT by founder and CEO Dr. Jill Bishop, Multilingual Connections and Production Director Katherine Baumann, Multilingual Connections.

To learn more and to register (free of charge), visit here

The wegginar is complimentary via generous and caring sponsors: APCO Worldwide, Associated Bank, EXIM Bank, FedEx, GlobalCare Clinical Trials,  Greensfelder, Multilingual Connections, Passport Shipping, Union Pacific and Plante Moran.   

Monday, October 04, 2021

Today in Global Small Business: The Benefits of Professional Networking

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

Saturday, October 02, 2021

It Was a Beautiful Day

©2021 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"To say it was a beautiful day would not begin to explain it.  It was that day when the end of summer intersects perfectly with the start of fall." – Ann Patchett

Friday, October 01, 2021

The Days of a $1,600 Shipping Container Will Never Return

According to Eamon McKinney, Ph.D., M.B.A., (sinologist) and an expert on China-related business, pre-Covid-19, the cost of shipping a container from Shanghai to Los Angeles was about $1,600. Today, if you are lucky enough to get one, it could cost you up to $20,000 to ship that container. The problem is mainly due to a chronic shortage of containers. 

The expert [a speaker from a major steel producer] that Eamon references in his article, predicted that by the end of the year, after the Christmas rush, it would see prices fall to around $5,000 per container for said route. He was, however, emphatic that the days of a $1,600 container will never return.

He ends the article with:  "Onshoring to an American supply base is the future for American industry. I hope U.S. OEMs recognize this before it’s too late to address the country’s manufacturing decline."

Read the entire article published at Industry Week.