Are you engaged in Global Business? According to USLegal.com “Global business refers to international trade … a company doing business across the world.” With today’s technology, open access to information and contacts via Social Media, every business can engage in Global Business.
Looking back on history one can see how the lack of technology and relationship slowed an organization’s global expansion. Many companies were limited to their local geography to conduct business but today, most barriers have been removed or reduced. Let’s take a look at a few:
- Transportation – As the cost to drive, fly or ship people and goods decreased, more organizations could reach beyond their local borders.
- Communication – The Telecom boom of the 1990’s expanded capacity to talk and send data cheaply anywhere in the world. Then came Video, Skype, and Smartphone expansion. With our Smartphone we can access anyone, anywhere, anytime.
- Information Access – Thomas Freedman writes about the “Uploading” (flattener #4) of information in his book The World is Flat. We now have the information of the world in the palm of our hand. “Not knowing” is no longer an excuse.
- Relationship Access – With the development of Social Networks it is easier to identify, connect and build relationships with people of other lands. Prior to my last trip to the Middle East, I was able to set 5 meetings with new contacts from LinkedIn and Facebook. After meeting them in person, we continue to build our relationship through email, Skype and Facebook. See a related article by Alana Muller President of Kauffman FastTrac, created by the Kauffman Foundation.
- More ways to get Paid: EBay (Entrepreneur), Amazon (Wikipedia), PayPal (Overseas selling guide), and Square (comparison by HubPages) provide 4 additional ways to exchange value for currency and the cost of these transaction has decreased as well.
- Where is Value built: During the industrial revolution, value was built in the factory. Today, value is built with the licensing of Intellectual Property (Inc.), on-line, in the cloud, with virtual relationships, using technology and by knowledge workers.
- The Rise of the virtual organization: Co-workers no longer have to be in the same room, building, floor, city, county, country, or time zone. This means that your next great hire can come from anywhere and this may help you uncover global markets as well. Why not hire a developer in a country that you would like to expand? A good example of a virtual company is 37 Signals, maker of such products as Basecamp, Highrise, Backpack & Campfire (I like the outdoor names). They have succeeded as a virtual company where other non-virtual companies have struggled (i.e. Microsoft)
Still, with technology and access, you may be concerned about your own Cultural Awareness. Someone’s cultural awareness is their understanding of the differences between themselves and people from other countries or other backgrounds, especially differences in attitudes and values. Here are three ideas I have used to improve my own cultural awareness:
- Someone from there is already here – I look for foreign nationals, refugees, foreign dignitaries and others who have recently arrived from another country I am seeking to learn about.
- On-line help – Before traveling to the West Bank of Israel, I watched 28 videos from TEDxRamallah.
- Go and see – It is cheaper and easier to get to other countries than it used to be. Go and see for yourself.
- Get professional help – I have engaged university professors (Dr Robert Hunt) and other professionals (CI Cultural Intelligence) to help me overcome my own misconceptions.
My perception is that any business can have a global outlook if they choose. A hair salon can become globally oriented by saying so on their website, building relationships with global travelers and opening up communication channels such as Skype. What about your business; can you be a Global business today? Instead of a mammoth multinational corporation could you be a micro global business?
I look forward to reading your thoughts on the comment section of my blog (see below).
- The Next Decade’s Top 10 Growth Industries
- Companies Going Global
- CI Collaboration
- DFW World Affairs Council
- The International Business & Trade Help Center
- HOW TO: Build Your International Business Network Online
- Cultural Awareness
Events Worthy of your Consideration
- 5/2/12 – Biz Connections w/ the Irving Chamber
- 5/2/12 – TEDxSMU Wednesdays
- 5/5/12 – The Dallas Leukemia Cup Regattas
- 5/7/12 – Marc Lynch, the Arab Uprising
- 5/8/12 – Selling in a Social Media World
- 5/8/12 – Using Facebook to Market your Biz
- 5/9/12 – Using Facebook to Market Your Biz
- 5/9/12 – Dallas Biz Club Happy Hour
- 5/14/12 – Consul General of the UK
- 5/15/12 – Morocco & the Arab Spring
- 5/15/12 – Collaboration System Mgmt
- 5/16/12 – Success North Dallas
- 5/16/12 – DFW AMA – Chick-fil-A
- 5/17/12 – DFW Tech Cocktail
- 5/19/12 – Social Media can make a Difference
- 5/23/12 – Nobel Prize Winner Leymah Gbowee
- 5/29/12 – The Last Tuesday at the Ritz
- 5/30/12 – Career Pathing for 2012 & Beyond
- 5/31/12 – Membership in the Digital Age