Laurel Delaney of The Global Small Business Blog was on blogtalkradio the other day talking about 10 ways to take your business global. Ms. Delaney is one of the foremost experts on taking small businesses global and she shares a lot of good information in her thirty minutes here.
Ms. Delaney then summarized and added to her talk on her blog, as follows:
Reasons for going global (not covered on the show):
• Increases sales and profits.
• Augments competitiveness.
• Earns a greater return from a set of core competencies.
• Generates economies of scale in production.
• Enhances local competitiveness and opens up the way to larger, more lucrative customers.
• Create jobs, productivity growth, and wealth.
• Enlarges the pie of potential investors.
• Insulates seasonal domestic (local) sales by finding new foreign markets and selling excess production capacity.
• Cuts costs through global outsourcing.
• Reduces dependence on existing markets.
• Capitalizes on tax advantages.
Ways to go global:
1. Build a website.
2. Create a blog (Blogger.com, WordPress, Typepad).
3. Start a wiki (PB Wiki or Wetpaint).
4. Launch a social media platform similar to Facebook but outside of Facebook (try Ning.com)
5. Offer lots of free stuff — meaning, best practice PDF files, white papers or articles covering what you are good at — and place it on all your media platforms.
6. Start communicating with business reporters (WSJ, NY Times, International Herald) who cover your business beat.
7. Join like-minded social media platforms (Small Business Trends blog or OPEN Forum by American Express or here!) and comment wherever and whenever you can in areas that touch on your expertise.
8. Work-it. You have to really work-it as they say. Nothing comes easy. Dedication breeds passion, enthusiasm and people wanting to connect with you to buy whatever it is you are selling (books, products, services, etc.).
9. Partner with the big guys. Once you are established, think of ways to partner, or form a strategic global alliance (SGA), with a business that has already penetrated an overseas market you want to enter.
10. Look to your customers for referrals to other parts of the world. After all, without them, there is no global business.
Places to go for help:
Also important but not mentioned:
Before you go global, establish a BOGA: Board of Global Advisors who comprise of:
International tax accountant
International logistics expert