In the next month we will begin a new series of conversations regarding channel strategies, personal improvement and others. We appreciate your continued support.

I recently read this article and contacted all of our clients who do business in Canada to be aware of the risks. Read this link and check with your attorney to determine your liability.

Find the original article here:     http://www.lawyersweekly.ca/index.php?section=article&volume=32&number=42&article=3


“In 2010, emerging markets represented 36% of global GDP; these markets already account for the majority of the world’s oil and steel consumption, 46% of world retail sales, 52% of all purchases of motor vehicles and 82% of mobile phone subscriptions. With two-thirds of global growth coming from these markets, in a decade they will account for the majority of the world’s economic value. Yet U.S. companies derived less than 10% of their overall revenues from emerging markets: about as little as 7%, according to HSBC estimates for 2010.

For the full article go to “The Big Mac Mirage”: America is actually terrible at globalization”.
So if this is accurate all of the Federal initiatives and money being spent is doing little to promote real growth in US exports. Why do we think this is the case? Or is it simply another view of the markets that lacks true analytical justification. It will be interesting to read the published paper when it is released.  Personally, I know a number of business successes that are growing primarily due to their international business strategies.

For me, when I read these types of articles I struggle to understand the true motivation. Just my perspective.

ZD Net recently ran an article about how the U.S. and U.K. differ in the rate of cloud adoption.  ZDNet found that 35% of UK businesses are adopting cloud technology vs 58% in the US. What has the experience been for other companies. We are finding an aggressive adoption rate among UK businesses that would say this isn’t so. I would be interested as to what other companies working in the UK are finding

It is always interesting when speaking with companies about their global business that they seem to think going global is a part time activity. Many businesses tend to allocate resources on a part time basis. That is, the individuals or group tasked with managing the international business has this responsibility as a part time job. They have their normal duties and managing international is a part time endeavor.

The successful companies recognize the value of doing business globally and commit the proper resource, people and budget, to do the job right. That being said it isn’t just about resources. I thought this article in Fast Company really spoke to what it takes to be a truly global company. It’s a culture and a thoughtful planning process that also contributes to the success. Click here to read the Fast Company article.

Companies considering moving into an international market are often focused on the revenue and profit associated with such a move. But what are some of the intangibles to putting together an international strategy?

Consider the impact on the employees. Everyone wants to be associated with a company that’s going places. What better than to work for a company that is selling in countries through out the world. It’s a great boost for morale and employee self confidence.

My experience is that companies that are international have a much better chance of discovering new opportunities that weren’t a part of the original export plan. The saying that one thing leads to another is a trueism when a company is selling its products internationally.

The company itself will benefit from being associated with selling internationally. Vendors will view it differently, banks will often be more willing to partner with a company that has true international business and it will be easier to hire top of the line employees when you can demonstrate an international sales presence.

So going international is much more than profit and growth, although both of those are the real motivation to expand into new markets around the world.

Another Wisconsin ExporTech program begins this week in Eau Claire. Craig is coaching two companies to develop their international export plans and strategies. The program runs for 3 months and is a great tool for companies who have either not sold internationally or are just dabbling. There is still room for a couple of additional companies to participate. If interested register at http://www.uwstout.edu/profed/exportech/ or contact Joni Geroux gerouxj@uwstout.edu

The global workforce is going through a change. In developing countries there are more workers joining the work force then there are jobs for them. As an example, a recent TV spot highlighted Chinese reality shows where young adults highlighted their work skills and ambitions in an attempt to “win a job” from some of the employers participating in the show. Because of the lack of jobs many Chinese job seekers take positions in other countries in order to earn a living. We need to attract the best and brightest to the US.

In the US we aren’t doing our part and taking advantage of the shifting global workforce. We educate students from many parts of the world and then we drive them away by not making it easy for them to stay here.  As the global workforce changes, business needs to continue to adapt. And, the US government needs to find ways for our business’ to compete and keep the brightest and hardest working individuals within our companies. We also need to attract workers from other parts of the world who are looking for a place to go.

This country was built on a foundation of bright, hard-working and creative immigrants. We need to continue those policies and business strategies that have brought us success in the past.

Minda Zetlin wrote an article recently in Inc. that I think anyone starting a small businesses should read. The article was “Starting a Business? Think Global Right From The Start”.  Here is an excerpt;

It may sound silly: You don’t even have your first customer yet. But considering a global strategy from the moment you launch your business can set you up for greater flexibility and much faster growth. Even a corner pizza shop might have global reach–just ask the place adjacent to Zuccotti Park that took orders from all over the world for pizzas to be sent to Occupy Wall Street protesters.

Here are four good reasons to create a global strategy from the very start:

1. You already have a huge advantage.

2. You’ll design it right the first time.

3. You can be a global customer as well as seller.

4. You can grow very fast.
The full article can be found at  http://www.inc.com/minda-zetlin/starting-a-business-think-global-from-day-one.html

It has been interesting to watch the pendulum swing back to the US when we look at US manufacturers. it wasn’t that many years ago outsourcing was the rage and production for many US companies was moving outside of the US. Now, we see it coming the other way. US manufacturers are adding jobs and making investments in their business.  Along with that as they look at how to expand their business many are looking to expand internationally. Opportunities in Europe, South America, China and many other countries are everywhere.

If a company, and not just manufacturers, isn’t looking to better understand their value in other parts of the word they are missing the boat and leaving money on the table.

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