In several previous posts, we have discussed this reality – In today’s globalized economy your next business opportunity could be located anywhere in the world. Trade Agreements, Trade Financing, and Technology provide the doors for small businesses to take advantage of these international business opportunities. In this post we discuss how you can use technology to take your business global.

Visibility

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Courtesy of Wikipedia

In today’s world, if you have a website, you are a global company! Today’s technology allows a buyer across the other side of the world to use a cell phone to locate your company’s website and to make a purchase. As of 2011 there were 2 billion Internet users around the world. A significant portion of them use it to shop. As of August, 2013, it was estimated that e-commerce accounted for just over 5% of total global sales to the tune of US$1 trillion dollars. And it’s growing fast! This figure is a 20% increase over 2012, according to a 2013 report on global e-commerce. Furthermore, B2B (business-to-business) transactions account for 90% of e-commerce.

Marketing

Technology also facilitates access to information about where you may locate your next foreign business opportunity. Several such resources exist. Here are a few FREE resources with which I’m familiar and allow you to use technology to take your business global:

The SME Toolkit was created through a partnership between IBM and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and offers tools for starting and growing a business:

  • Accounting & Finance
  • Business Planning
  • Human Resources
  • Legal & Insurance
  • Marketing & Sales
  • Operations
  • Technology

An Exporting Portal introduces the basics of doing business internationally. The site also allows you to access local toolkits with information about the regulatory environment in specific countries or regions.

You can join the network to:

  • Find a Supplier
  • Find a Service Provider
  • Promote Your Business
  • Look for Partnership Opportunities

Alibaba connects buyers and sellers around the world.

Connect Americas  is an offshoot of Alibaba for Latin American and the Caribbean, funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and supported by Google, Visa, and DHL.

Getting Paid

Technology also facilitates payments across borders. Where would we be without PayPal or similar global service providers? And let us not forget the technology that allows goods to be transported around the world.

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Courtesy of Wikipedia

To Learn More

If you think that your business is ready to take the next step or to learn more about how you can use the three T’s — Trade Agreements, Trade Financing, and Technology — to take your business global, contact us.