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● T h e b a c k p a g e: border crossing

Lost in translation
Laurel Delaney recounts some cautionary tales
In one country the popular Frank Perdue
how To go global
For large- and small-business owners alike, going global
demands a new way of thinking and acting. Here are 10 ways:

Co. slogan, “It takes a tough man to make

a tender chicken,” read in local language 1. Discover why going global is important
something akin to “It takes a sexually excited The potential of overseas markets remains largely untapped.
In the United States, for example, only 10% of all businesses
man to make a chicken affectionate.” export, and most export to only one country. Thus, current
Japan's Olfa Corp. sold knives in the exporters could reap higher profits simply by selling to
United States with the warning “Caution: additional countries.
Blade extremely sharp. Keep out of children.” 2. Build your foundations
Or the hotel in notoriously polluted You have to have a positive attitude and an open mind so
Mexico City that proclaimed: “The manager you can develop and indulge in a powerful worldview – your
has personally passed all water served here.” prerequisite to taking on the world, and your foundation for
starting and running a profitable global business.
Even this savvy global traveller had
an embarrassing experience once when 3. Map out your global journey
presenting a gift to a Japanese businessman. Explore your territory, conduct market research, segment
your product and market, keep yourself on track and create a
I had picked up a snack gift pack on the
thoughtfully crafted strategy that forces you to take action.
way to our meeting. The precise number of
4. Develop sales and distribution
snacks in the sleeve was four. I thought this
Define your cross-border customer. Your objective is to initiate,
was an appropriate quantity to enjoy and cultivate, and maintain productive customer relationships and,
share with his colleagues. I didn’t realise ultimately, build a global empire with customers for life.
until later that anything boxed or presented 5.Make it happen
in the quantity of four means death to the Congratulations: You’ve got a customer! The next steps I have
Japanese. Needless to say, I conveyed to him labeled the six P’s: Price your product. Prepare a quotation. Pick
the “kiss of death” at the very beginning of a payment method. Pack it up. Put transportation to work. And
our business relationship. I never heard from plan to document everything.
him again. Live and learn. 6. Build your business
The relationship between you and your overseas customer
Source: shouldn’t end with a sale. Once you’ve completed the initial
transaction, expect to provide a broad spectrum of “free”
services to encourage repeat business. I call it the “care and
feeding” of customers, which keeps them coming back.

Any communication or marketing 7. Keep learning

The greater your commitment to expanding your cultural
professional needs cross-cultural research consciousness, the more comfortably and effectively you will
function within business and social environments beyond your

and communication skills to be able to country’s borders.

8. Create your future

succeed in the future As you take your business into the next decade, you’ll need

to use the Internet to boost your global reach. If you’re not
already online, get connected. You’ll soon be on your way to a

n d
spe s,
Marye Tharp, marketing professor competitive edge in the marketplace.

ists 9. Manifest new frontiers

special mpanie uistic Over the next five years, trade barriers will continue to fall, and

ntity other co nd a ling ot an

fresh opportunities will open. Stake a claim to your share of the

action now. Seek out alliances, partnerships, joint ventures and
ate tening earch a e is n
new markets in economies unlike your own.

p o r 10. Reap the rewards of global trade

Cor rechris legal s the nam Global customers are the most demanding customers you will

time ucting a ure that age

ever have. To service them, be smarter and produce faster than
r ever to keep up. Will it be worth it? You bet.

d s u utho
con h to en her lang e r a nd a
, rep
sear t in anot
a B elkin Laurel Delaney runs (http://www.globetrade.
Li s com), a Chicago-based global marketing and consulting

company. She can be reached at


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