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13 Replies Latest reply: Jun 18, 2009 2:57 PM by ldelaney RSS

Event:   Cost Effective Strategies to Go Global

CommunityTeam Novice
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Thinking of taking your business global? Laurel Delaney runs GlobeTrade, a leading management consulting and marketing solutions company dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and small businesses go global. Learn about the changing dynamics of global business in today's market, and cost effective strategies to expand into a global market.

Please welcome Laurel Delaney back to SBOC! Laurel was an expert guest speaker in March and gave advice on how to get started in global business. Laurel addressed questions like - benefits & risks with going global to the best way to establish international partners. Click on the link below to read the past event transcript:
Event:  Going global with your small business

In this session, Laurel will be addressing ideas on how to cost effectively expand or maintain your business abroad. Laurel will address questions like:
  • How do you leverage social media and networking platforms to grow a business globally?
  • What's the most effective way to hire and maintain (nurture) independent contractors worldwide while building a global empire during a tough economic time?
  • Is Twitter important? Can it help reach a global audience? If so, what should you be doing to tap into it?
  • What are some key elements involved to run a fit-for-fast-growth type of global small business?
  • Where do you turn to find out if an overseas market is ripe for your type of product or service offering?

About Laurel Delaney
Laurel Delaney runs GlobeTrade, a leading management consulting and marketing solutions company dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and small businesses go global. Her company's mission is simple: to make going global easy by giving you the tools, resources, and knowledge you need. And she feels very strongly that in today's fiercely competitive economy, it's the entrepreneurs and small business owners of the world who are turning to global trade, discovering accelerated growth and big profits, and reshaping the new world economy.

Laurel hopes that her session empowers you to take that first dramatic step toward starting your own business and taking it global from the get-go.

Post your question now, and then check back on June 18, 2-3PM EST for a response. Or join us during the event and post a question.* Note, you do not need to register for the event. You simply need to be a member of SBOC to post a question. If you don't have a user ID, join now, it's free.

Also, click here to learn about tips for participating in online events: Tip:  How to participate in SBOC Events
  • Re: Event June 18:   Cost Effective Strategies to Go Global
    CommunityTeam Novice
    Currently Being Moderated

    Please welcome Laurel Delaney, from Globe Trade. Laurel will be posting as user ldelaney. We're going to start off by asking Laurel some general questions. While we're doing this, if you have a question for Laurel please login and post now. If you don't see your question posted, you do not have to repost. We've received and will have Laurel respond when she gets the chance. Thanks!

     

    **don't forget to refresh your browsers often to see Laurel's latest reponse**
  • Re: Event June 18:   Cost Effective Strategies to Go Global
    CommunityTeam Novice
    Currently Being Moderated
    Laurel,

    Thanks for participating today. Can you please tell the Community how do you leverage social media and networking platforms to grow a business globally?
    • Re: Event June 18:   Cost Effective Strategies to Go Global
      ldelaney Newbie
      Currently Being Moderated
      Thank you for having me back! It is a pleasure to be here. I really enjoy the experience and being with all of you!

      Now, to answer your question ... the best way to leverage social media and networking platforms (such as a blog, wiki, Linked In, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) is to keep your audience (followers) as informed as possible on what you are doing with your business and why it matters to them.

      Recently, I caught a fabulous spread by Fast & Company entitled, “The Ten Commandments of Social Media,” and it’s about how social networks are more than networking. You might check it out to get a broader outlook on the importance of these platforms:

      http://tinyurl.com/m3dsr5

      The trick is to set up an overall corporate strategy, if you will, on social networking and social media. Appoint someone within your organization to be the champion (or CDE: Chief Digital Evangelist) behind it and get to work. Strive for consistency, continuity and robustness (meaning, substantial material or information shared with your constituency base).

      As you grow your platforms, people worldwide will reach out to connect with you. That’s a time to reach back at them and determine how you can do business together!
      • Re: Event June 18:   Cost Effective Strategies to Go Global
        SBC Team Master
        Currently Being Moderated
        Laurel, in your opinion, what's the most effective way to hire and maintain (nurture) independent contractors worldwide while building a global empire during a tough economic time?
        • Re: Event June 18:   Cost Effective Strategies to Go Global
          ldelaney Newbie
          Currently Being Moderated
          First of all, determine where the best places are to contract out (better known as “work for hire”) or outsource the work you need done on a global basis. Congratulations that you are in this position! It's a great place to be. A couple of places to look are:

          http://www.guru.com
          http://www.elance.com
          http://www.sologig.com
          http://www.virtualassistants.com
          http://www.odesk.com

          The last time I checked, Odesk, Guru and Elance guarantee payment after jobs are completed in return for commissions of anywhere from 6-10% of freelancers' fees; but many other sites hold individuals totally responsible for billing clients and collecting payments.

          How to nurture your hires?

          • Be specific about the skills and expertise you need when you fill out a profile (description of the work you need done) on a job site.
          • Set expectations right at the outset of project work. You don’t want anyone wondering if the work they are performing is adequate or not. In addition to an initial email contact, consider setting up a phone appointment to further discuss your needs. It’s an even better way to build trust and negotiate fair compensation. If the contractor is located in another country (that's what we hope for here ... to grow globally), consider using Skype to keep your costs down.
          • Research the rates that you are willing to pay so you don’t come across as too low (cheap) or too extravagant. After settling on a reasonable figure, stick to it and nurture the relationship from there.
          • Check in periodically with the contractor to make sure the work gets done, that it meets your expectations, is performed on time and within budget. You might set up daily, weekly or monthly check-in points dependent upon how long the project runs to ensure things are on track. Simultaneously managed global projects can be coordinated via Wikis (PBWorks -- http://pbworks.com/ or Wetpaint -- http://www.wetpaint.com/wiki, for example) to keep everything in one place.
  • Re: Event June 18:   Cost Effective Strategies to Go Global
    SBC Team Master
    Currently Being Moderated

    Is Twitter important for working globally? How can it help reach a global audience? What should you be doing to tap into it?
    • Re: Event June 18:   Cost Effective Strategies to Go Global
      ldelaney Newbie
      Currently Being Moderated
      Yes, Twitter is important for working globally. Yes, Twitter can help you reach a global audience!

      What should you be doing to tap into it? I am so glad you asked!

      I'll use my company as an example. Twitter me (you must request permission first to see my Tweets!): http://twitter.com/laureldelaney

      Or, Twitter (http://m.twitter.com/Bofa_Help) to see how BofA uses it (no plug intended ... merely my idea!)

      I use Twitter primarily to broaden my firm's constituency base (global indeed) and further set us apart as the ultimate global small business expert and management consultant. It's not about chatting endlessly; it's about promoting my company's expertise, service offerings, core competencies and capabilities. You should be doing the very same thing for your company.

      Interestingly enough, as yet, I have never sent a broadcast out to family, friends or business colleagues asking them to follow me on Twitter! Followers find me through my online published work and helpful forums such as this one. So you don't have to beg people to follow you. If you and your work matter, people will find you. But, again, tweeting of substance helps get you to the top of the Twitter charts in your sphere and the more you tweet, the greater the chance of corralling additional followers.

      Two great articles on Twitter that helped me develop a better understanding of what it is and how to use it:

      How To Twitter
      http://tinyurl.com/aklena

      The Twitter Revolution
      http://tinyurl.com/cgwpdb

      Hopefully these will help you too. See you in Twitterland!
  • Re: Event June 18:   Cost Effective Strategies to Go Global
    CommunityTeam Novice
    Currently Being Moderated
    Laurel - What are some key elements involved to run a fit-for-fast-growth type of global small business?
    • Re: Event June 18:   Cost Effective Strategies to Go Global
      ldelaney Newbie
      Currently Being Moderated
      You have to be in tip-top shape as a human being so I strongly suggest you get some sort of exercise routine in place that involves minimally, a daily half hour of walking, running, swimming or whatever it is you like to do that gets your heart rate moving swiftly. Health is more important than anything and to do a good job running your company, you have to be in the best shape physically and mentally!

      1. Create a plan that reflects where you want to go, how much you are willing to spend, how much time you will invest and how you intend to get there (steps you are going to take). It can be anything from "I want to sell my jewelry products to retail stores throughout the United States and Canada," to "I have U.S. $10,000 to spend and want to source a new jewelry product from Greece and have it ready for sale in the United States within six months." It's that simple. It can be one-page plan or on a napkin. The point is to get it down on paper so everyone, including you, knows your goal.

      2. Get the right people on board - whether you hire employees (with full benefits/perks) or independent contractors -- you want people around you who are as passionate about your company's prospects as you. In the beginning, it's about you, your people and company's capabilities. But as you grow, you will discover it becomes about execution.

      3. Learn how to communicate effectively and constantly. Keeping people in the dark about anything is a sure-fire sign of an ineffective leader. Don't be one.

      4. Delegate as much work as possible to others who can do it better than you. This will make your business life easier and your employees/independent contractors happy because you put trust and faith in their abilities. Don't over-burden them. Revert to the communication part above. If you stay in constant contact, you will learn more quickly about little bumps in the road and together can fix them as they arise.

      5. Stay nimble/flexible. Be willing to adjust fast to changing tides and times because the one thing we know to be true is this: Change is the only constant thing right now.

      A good article that covers more on business growth is:

      Fifteen Tips To Keep Your Company Growing
      http://tinyurl.com/cqortp
  • Re: Event June 18:   Cost Effective Strategies to Go Global
    CommunityTeam Novice
    Currently Being Moderated

    Laurel thanks for joining us today and sharing your expertise. Community if you want to learn more about going global please visit http://www.globetrade.com
  • Re: Event June 18:   Cost Effective Strategies to Go Global
    CommunityTeam Novice
    Currently Being Moderated
    Where do you turn to find out if an overseas market is ripe for your type of product or service offering?
    • Re: Event June 18:   Cost Effective Strategies to Go Global
      ldelaney Newbie
      Currently Being Moderated
      First, and on behalf of clients, we always look at markets that are similar to the U.S. For example, over 60 percent of initial exports from U.S. companies are originally sent to Canada or the United Kingdom. Mexico is also a frequent export destination because of the close proximity and the benefits of NAFTA (http://tinyurl.com/yq9zge).

      Next, we turn to:

      U.S. Commercial Service
      http://www.buyusa.gov/home/export.html

      You can find information by country with key people to contact )categorized by industry) - should you have questions.

      And then once we find a country that seems like a perfect fit for a client's products, we check in at The World Bank's "Ease of Doing Business Rankings" which provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement across 181 economies:
      http://www.doingbusiness.org/EconomyRankings/

      On food products, we look at:
      http://www.fas.usda.gov/ where they create economic opportunity for American agriculture by expanding global markets.

      If you still cannot find what you are looking for, revert to a Google or Bing search! You'll be surprised at how much you can learn online just by doing a little homework. Or, contact your local SBA office and ask for help.

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