Saturday, December 31, 2022

Happy 2023 from the Global Small Business Blog!

"Wishing you a new year filled with joy, possibilities, good health, prosperity and a global mindset!" – Laurel J. Delaney

Friday, December 30, 2022

Franchise Brands Wrap Up 2022 More Global Than Ever

International businesses have learned to adapt and continue to expand into new countries despite nearly 3 years of a business world forever changed by Covid.

This month our international deals roundup reports on expansion from Costa Rica to Eastern Europe, the U.S., Uruguay, Dubai, Canada, Mexico, and more. 

From Arby's to Domino's to Wendy's, find out who's doing what, where.

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Map Your Supply Chains!

©iStock/Tinnakorn Jorruang
Products can contain numerous parts sourced from across the world and are subject to complex supply chains.  This recognition cannot cause the United States to compromise its fundamental commitment to upholding human rights and U.S. law.

“Serious violations such as forced labor could result in termination of the contract with the supplier if mitigation measures fail,” the company said. “That is why we review and actively use our existing processes and seek new solutions to prevent forced labor in our supply chain," says Volkswagen AG.

Learn more here.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Women Business Owners Have Drastically Changed the World of Business

Women entrepreneurs have numerous opportunities to kickstart their businesses in different regions all across the globe–one of them being in Canada.

The North American country is ripe with advantages for aspiring businesswomen, such as its stable economy, low corporate taxes, equality and multiculturalism, and its access to the United States and Latin American countries.

And if you are a female entrepreneur in Canada, here are some ways to grow your business.  If you are a female entrepreneur in USA, here are some ways to grow your business outside of USA.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Post Christmas: The Sales Will Follow

With the current economic climate and biting inflation, shoppers worldwide desperately seek the slashed prices and mass discounts offered in the infamous after-holiday and January sales.

Given the exponential growth of internet traffic within the e-commerce space, retailers should expect sales to skyrocket during the busy sales season.

Sounds like a good time to prioritize customer experience capabilities.

Monday, December 26, 2022

Today in Global Small Business: Turning Uncertainty Into Opportunity in 2023

©iStock/Man As Thep
What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:

  • Is your organization ready to turn uncertainty into opportunity? Here's how you prepare.
  • Are we in a prolonged sideways trend?
  • Quote of the week:  "Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, 'It will be happier.'" – Alfred Lord Tennyson
  • The big opportunity behind global small businesses.
  • The World Bank tells it like it is – 2022 in review.
  • The White House looks back on 2022.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Honor Christmas In Your Heart

©2022 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year." – Charles Dickens

Friday, December 23, 2022

An Electronic Bill of Lading (eBL) Would Save $6.5 Billion in Direct Costs and Enable $40 billion in Global Trade

Trade finance can be a huge booster to global trade—to make it accessible by ensuring that importers receive their goods and exporters receive their payments. But the core ecosystem—exporters, importers and banks—is complicated with multiple parties involved in a single transaction.

But according to a CEO of a global trade finance network, there are three factors at play that he thinks will reshape the future of trade finance. 

1.  There are still huge opportunities to digitize trade finance.
2.  Integration between financial institutions and fintechs will be key to future growth.

For example, one area is digitizing documentation and the bill of lading (BL). According to McKinsey, an electronic bill of lading (eBL) would save $6.5 billion in direct costs and enable $40 billion in global trade.
3.  The next wave of innovation in trade finance is in digital assets.

Read more here.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

'Tis the Season To Global Travel

AAA estimates 112.7 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more away from home from December 23 to January 2. That’s an increase of 3.6 million people over last year and closing in on pre-pandemic numbers. 2022 is expected to be the third busiest year for holiday travel since AAA began tracking in 2000.

For purposes of a forecast, the year-end holiday travel period is defined as the 11-day period from Friday, December 23 to Monday, January 2. This period is the same length as the 2021/2022 year-end travel period.

Safe travels.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Global Rock Star Dolly Parton

©2022 Unsplash
Look out world!  Now that Dolly Parton has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, she wants to prove she is worthy of the award.  Somehow thinks she isn't.  Well in 2023, proof will be in her output.

Parton's upcoming album, Rock Star, will include covers of famous tracks from the genre's most beloved acts, including Lynyrd Skynyrd, Prince, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin.

Go get'm Dolly!  Can't wait.

Monday, December 19, 2022

Today in Global Small Business: Why Study Global Business?

©iStock/Matthew Skubis
What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Enjoy Every Idle Hour

©2022 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour.” – John Boswell

Friday, December 16, 2022

McDonald's Global Menu Restaurant in Chicago

©iStock/Antwon McMullen
A former New Yorker's take on the McDonald's Global Menu Restaurant in Chicago, covering where it is located (e.g., positioned right near its Hamburger University), when it was opened, what it offers, and what her favorite selections are.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Calling All Female Founders Based in Africa

Are you a female founder or co-founder of a business based in Africa?
Do you want your business to reach the next stage? Do you aspire to grow your business reach? Do you aspire to achieve substantial growth? 

If so, the Female Founder Program is the right place for you! You've got until today, December 15th to apply.  Go for it!

The program aims to help you to develop your entrepreneurial mindset, acquire adequate skills, understand the market, grow your reach, and pitch your business to investors.

In addition, the program is designed to holistically support African female founders in their entrepreneurial journey, using the lean and agile methodology as a driver, focusing on running experiments to facilitate growth, and allowing a safe space to fail and to learn along 3 months.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Birdwatch Becomes Community Notes and Goes Global

Twitter's Community Notes, which was previously known as Birdwatch, is the social media giant’s crowdsourced fact-checking system and now visible around the world. 

The feature allows users to add context to tweets and takes an open source approach toward debunking misinformation. Moderators who are part of the program can add notes to tweets to add context and users can then vote if they determine the context to be helpful. Prior to this global expansion, Community Notes were only visible to users in the U.S. Twitter plans to add moderators from other regions soon.

If Elon Musk is correct, he says it "is a gamechanger for improving accuracy on Twitter."  We'll see.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Do the Benefits of Globalization Outweigh the Geopolitical Problems It Has Helped Create?

©iStock/Nuthawut Somsuk
Economic Counselor and the Director of Research of the IMF Pierre Olivier Gourinchas’ warning from the IMF’s World Economic Outlook in October 2022 underlined the significant slowdown in the global economy – and the reliance on global trade to function.

It raised questions about whether the many benefits of globalization outweigh the geopolitical problems it has helped create.

Read on to learn more.

Monday, December 12, 2022

Today in Global Small Business: The Big Opportunity Behind Global Small Businesses

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

Saturday, December 10, 2022

A Gift of Love

©2022 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"Some Christmas tree ornaments do more than glitter and glow, they represent a gift of love given a long time ago." – Tom Baker

Thursday, December 08, 2022

Global Small Businesses Are Essential to American Supply Chains

Global small businesses are essential to American supply chains, but they lag in productivity and technology adoption. If government and industry can help these smaller supply chain firms upgrade their technology, it would make supply chains significantly more resilient by enabling data-sharing and collaboration. 

Read more about how global small businesses play a big role in supply-chain resilience.

Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Slowing Global Demand and a Strong Dollar Pushed U.S.A. Goods Exports to a Seven-Month Low

Slowing global demand and a strong dollar pushed goods exports to a seven-month low, suggesting that trade could be a drag on economic growth this quarter (fourth quarter 2022) if the trend persists.

The recent report from the Commerce Department, which followed on the heels of recent upbeat news on the economy ranging from consumer spending, the labor market to the services industry, did not change perceptions that the economy had got off to a solid start in the fourth quarter.

Read more about how the U.S. trade deficit has widened.

Tuesday, December 06, 2022

What's Holding Businesses Back on Sustainability? (wegginar® 12/7/22)

©2022 Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global®.  All rights reserved.
Devry Boughner Vorwerk is a well-known global C-suite food executive and corporate officer, having served as Chief Communications Officer and Global Head of Corporate Affairs at Cargill and as Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Grubhub. 

More importantly, she is also a sustainability global entrepreneur, founding DevryBV Sustainable Strategies, her own strategy and advisory company; serving on the Advisory Board of Culinary Sciences, Inc.; and co-founding PermanentFarming, a company focused on closing the energy gaps in the animal protein supply chain.

She has also served in roles at the U.S. International Trade Commission, the Office of the US Trade Representative, the World Bank Group and as a member of APCO Worldwide’s International Advisory Council.

Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global will be hosting Devry in their upcoming wegginar, "Enhance Revenue By Growing a Sustainable Global Business," on Wednesday, December 7th at 11AM Central Time.

Devry will help you adopt sustainable business practices and understand the "why" behind it.

To learn more and to register, visit here

Monday, December 05, 2022

Today in Global Small Business: Scaling Up For Global

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

Saturday, December 03, 2022

Sun Shines In the Hearts of the People

©2022 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"We may have bad weather in Ireland, but the sun shines in the hearts of the people and that keeps us all warm." – Marianne Williamson

Photo taken in Ireland  – November, 2022.

Friday, December 02, 2022

Embrace the New Way to Work Globally

Technology has enabled collaboration across borders and time zones, and workers and companies alike are embracing remote work like never before. 

In fact, according to Gartner, by the end of 2022, 31% of all workers worldwide will be fully remote or hybrid. The U.S. is leading the way, with remote employees accounting for 53% of the U.S. workforce.

Read on to learn more about the new set of challenges for leaders.

Thursday, December 01, 2022

Rolling Stone's List of the 100 Greatest TV Theme Songs of All Time

The Rolling Stone (RS) says theme songs are a crucial part of the TV-watching experience. The best ones put you in the right mindset to watch each episode of your favorite, and can be just as entertaining in their own right as any great joke, monologue, or action sequence. 

That said, RS decided to pick the 100 best theme songs of all time — technically 101, since there are two as inextricably linked as peanut butter and jelly — and attempted to rank them in order of greatness.

Discover some all-time greats – from Seventies sitcoms with expository jams to modern prestige classics with experimental scores, from 'Sanford and Son' to 'Succession,' from 'Match Game' to 'Game of Thrones.' 

Letting the world know what moves and grooves Americans when it comes to TV-watching.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Global Trade Surprisingly Strong Despite Recent Shocks

The recent DHL Trade Growth Atlas, which maps the most important trends and prospects of global trade in goods, is published by DHL and NYU Stern School of Business.  The report covers 173 countries, providing valuable business intelligence for policymakers and industry leaders. It shines a positive light on the resilience of global trade – despite recent shocks and market pessimism.

Read more to better understand global trade and its opportunities. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Japan Airlines (JAL): Ready for Takeoff Post Pandemic

When the pandemic hit, the global marketing team at Japan Airlines (JAL) saw its budget disappear overnight.  They saw the whole thing disappear.  Poof.  There wasn't a whole lot to promote during the pandemic – back then JAL was operating between the US and Southeast Asia, routes without any stops in Japan itself.

Back in 2019, the airline’s plan was to streamline its global marketing efforts across regions, develop a more integrated approach to marketing, introduce new marketing-related skill sets and break down internal department silos.

Discover what they did, and how they are now ready for takeoff.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Today in Global Small Business: Carbon Neutral Shipping For Ecommerce Merchants

©iStock/Sakorn Sukkasemsakorn
What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Eat Chocolate

©2022 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"Stress out and eat chocolate." – Anonymous

Friday, November 25, 2022

Retailer's Huge Holiday Wish?

Retailers’ biggest holiday wish is to get rid of all that excess inventory.  As some of the nation’s largest retailers report quarterly earnings and revenue, Wall Street is paying close attention to another number, too — inventory levels.

Who isn't carrying a great deal of inventory lately?  And who isn't experiencing issues with goods ordered pre-pandemic that are finally arriving now?  Yes, you read that right.  It's been one helluva ride for many companies.  

Whether it be Walmart, Target, Gap or Kohl's, they are all trying to sell through a glut of extra merchandise piling up in store backrooms and warehouses.

All retailers want for Christmas is diminished inventory levels.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving 2022 From the Global Small Business Blog

We thank you for your readership since 2004.  Have a day filled with gratitude and beautiful blessings.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Respect For the Individual

One of the basic beliefs upon which Sam Walton founded Walmart is “respect for the individual.”  His strategy was built on an unshakeable foundation: the lowest prices anytime, anywhere. 

Walmart conducts retail and/or e-commerce operations in 24 countries around the world and sources product from more than 100 countries, each with its own unique cultural, economic, social, and political institutions and practices.

Learn more about Sam's basic beliefs (and history of Walmart) here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

What Drives Globalization?

The author of "De-globalization – Myth or reality?" sees three forces that drive globalization. 

The first is the ability to shorten distances in both transport and communication. The second is the commitment of nation states to establish and adhere to rules, standards and safeguards that ensure that goods, services, capital and labor can move relatively freely across borders. The third is the incentive of firms and consumers to push the boundaries of what is possible in the ever-present quest for profits and pleasure.

Drill down on all three points to learn more, especially about what drives globalization.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Today in Global Small Business: Gratefulness Edition

©iStock/Olga Beliaeva
What's affecting me, my clients, my colleagues and other global small business owners:

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Her Angel's Face

©2022 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"Her angel's face, As the great eye of heaven shined bright, And made a sunshine in the shady place." – Edmund Spenser

Friday, November 18, 2022

Taking a Trip Abroad? Get Some Foreign Cash Before You Land

©iStock/Dilok Klaisataporn
Taking a trip abroad?  It’s wise to get some foreign cash before landing at your destination. And while currency exchanges at airports are convenient, you’ll get less bang for your buck due to their poor exchange rates.  To exchange your currency more affordably, skip the airport kiosk and look for another foreign currency exchange nearby. 

Here’s how to find one.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Globalization's Next Phase is a Rewiring

©iStock/Sofiia Potanina 
According to a new report from consulting firm McKinsey, globalization is changing course — that much is clear.  But don’t call it a retreat, it’s just “reconfiguring," or "rewiring."

Today, international businesses are confronting the “complexities of an increasingly contested global order” where war, national security, supply-chain disruptions and technological change are all driving a shift in global trade flows.  The result of this shift, according to McKinsey, is that some supply chains could “shorten and become more regional” in the coming years.

Read more about globalization's next phase of rewiring.  Read the full McKinsey report, "Global flows:  The ties that bind in an interconnected world."

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Has Globalization Impacted the Legal Profession?

How has the globalization of economic activity and the movement of a significant amount of that activity from the traditional centers in the Global North to the emerging economies in the Global South, impacted the legal profession?

Discover more here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Global Supply Chains Have a New Bottom Line

The endless drive to reduce costs by relocating production facilities has resulted in a globalized, vertically integrated, and highly specialized manufacturing model that benefits specific countries and regions. Willingly and consciously, we have created unbridled globalized supply chains that focus on maximizing value.

From economic value to social and environmental values, global supply chains have a new bottom line.  Find out why.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Today in Global Small Business: TikTok Shop Launched Invite Only In-App Ecommerce Feature

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

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Life Is Like a Cocktail

©2022 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"Life is like a cocktail, made up for the most part of sweet things, and tinged with a dash of bitters. We must drain it to the dregs to get at the cherry, just as we must live a full and rounded life to know all its pleasures." – Edgar Guest

Friday, November 11, 2022

Don't Overestimate the Staying Power of the Pandemic’s E-commerce Boom

©iStock/A stockphoto
During the pandemic, businesses of all sizes, from mom-and-pop shops to big box retailers, invested heavily in growing their digital footprints — including through advertising on social media — to reach the rapidly expanding online customer base.

Instead, the digital shopping revolution appears to have stalled.

Meta chief executive Mark Zuckerberg made a startling admission on Wednesday during a private Zoom call for the 11,000 workers his company had just laid off: They were losing their jobs partly because he overestimated the staying power of the pandemic’s e-commerce boom.

Don't make the same mistake.  Focus on your core business and think now, more than ever, about innovation.  How to make your core sing.

We salute all veterans today, 11/11/22.  

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Is Bad Customer Service Killing Your Brand?

What steps can companies take to make sure that they have a strong customer support strategy? How does it impact a company's growth?  Do you think selling via marketplaces such as Amazon has changed customer support?  Is there is a generational divide when it comes to expectations around customer satisfaction?  

Those questions and more are addressed in the interview with CEO of eDesk Ray Nolan and conducted by Gary Drenik.  Access it here.  Also pay a visit to a recent wegginar®.

Wednesday, November 09, 2022

Without Internet Connectivity, Global Small Businesses Miss Out

Digitalization opens new possibilities to connect, engage and share with others, to earn, learn and socialize, to find solutions that can reduce our climate impacts.

Without connectivity people miss out on access to education, jobs and social activities, while micro, small, and medium businesses lose their competitive edge. 

The B20 Digitalization Taskforce will focus its message to G20 leaders on universal connectivity, digital skills and the digitalization of businesses of all sizes. To accomplish these goals, networks need to be put in place at scale, fast and affordably.

Learn more on why we must drive universal connectivity and extend digital to global small businesses, without delay.

Tuesday, November 08, 2022

What Would a One-Party America Look Like?

Paul Krugman has been an Opinion columnist since 2000 for The New York Times and is also a distinguished professor at the City University of New York Graduate Center. He won the 2008 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his work on international trade and economic geography.

Here's what he has to say about a one-party America.

Monday, November 07, 2022

Today in Global Small Business: How CSR and ESG Can Fuel a Strong Company Culture

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

Saturday, November 05, 2022

The Year's Last, Loveliest Smile

©2022 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"Autumn ... the year's last, loveliest smile." – William Cullen Bryant

Friday, November 04, 2022

Globalization's Next Phase

Globalization is not over. There may be retrenchment in some areas such as critical technologies and reshaping in others such as onshoring or regionalization.

But this new globalization is also a unique opportunity to rethink the current framework where we maintain the benefits garnered from an open flow of trade, people, information, and culture. It is a chance to reestablish the partnership between the private and public sectors to ensure we achieve the optimal balance between efficiency and risk mitigation, corporate profits, and income equality. And prioritize social concerns such as human rights, climate change, and workforce prerogatives.

Read the entire article about globalization's great reboot.

Thursday, November 03, 2022

Companies Combating Climate Concerns Benefit With Additional Revenue Growth and Earnings

The EY organization announced the release of the 2022 Sustainable Value Study, a survey of over 500 chief sustainability officers and equivalents representing companies worth more than US$1b around the world.

The survey finds companies taking decisive action to combat climate concerns are benefiting from unexpected financial value in areas like revenue growth and earnings, with 7 in 10 seeing financial benefits that exceed their expectations. 

Those companies taking the boldest steps are also seeing unexpectedly positive benefits in areas like staff retention, recruitment, brand perception and customer purchasing behavior.

Read more on how businesses are finding unexpected benefits from climate initiatives.

Wednesday, November 02, 2022

Figuring Out Financing on U.S. Exports

Finally, a guide to help navigate all the options available for collecting money from customers overseas.  Yes!  

This particular edition spotlights commercial trade finance instruments as well as U.S. government export financing resources available through the U.S. Export-Import Bank (EXIM Bank), U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). 

Best part of the whole report?  The following:

Tips for Exporters

  • Be mindful of emerging trends that could reduce the complexity, cost, and processing time of trade finance transactions.
  • Inquire with your current trade finance provider about available or planned digital options that could enhance efficiency and reduce costs.
  • Explore trade finance options, including consulting new fintech-based trade finance providers about both traditional instruments and innovative offerings.
  • Be cautious of potential fraud and cyber security risks that may accompany new technologies and online trade finance platforms.

And there’s plenty more as outlined in the 17 chapters!  Access the Trade Finance Guide (PDF) here.