When we hear or read about globalization, we often think of medium to large companies that have the right products and financial resources to either export, set up factories in foreign countries, or hire salespeople or outsourced workers overseas. As micro entrepreneurs who own small businesses with 0 to 10 employees, we may not think globalization has much to offer us. We don’t equate the power of our websites and internet marketing with going global.
If that’s how you’re thinking, you’re missing a golden opportunity and an emerging trend. Although you may not be set up to export large quantities of products, you can export knowledge. No matter what business you’re in, you undoubtedly have some level of expertise that’s of interest to others. And the internet is the tool you can use to sell that expertise to a global market.
When I started my small business growth consulting and business coaching practice, the internet was just catching on as a business tool. Now of course, it’s indispensable. Although my practice is still largely focused on the Triangle, I have clients and subscribers from all over the US and the world, especially the UK, New Zealand and Australia. Technology has allowed me to go global.
Yet so many small business owners or solo entrepreneurs I work with hadn’t even begun to utilize this untapped market. We wear so many different hats and get so bogged down sometimes with daily operations, that we fail to “see the forest for the trees”. Tactical concerns eclipse strategy and what I call “multiple streams of income planning” never gets off the ground.
I could write a book on all the ways you can take your small business global through your website and the internet, but let’s start with just a few suggestions for what you could market globally:
* Tele-seminars (low international rates and VoIP make this affordable for customers)
* Online video workshops or “webinars”
* E-books or downloadable knowledge products
* Detailed reports and survey results * For profit internet radio shows and podcasts * Multi-media E-courses (including downloadable audio and video)
* Books and CD’s (can be easily shipped or sold through a source like Amazon)
* Any easily shipped products that can be purchased online
* Affiliate sales–here you have two choices
– You sign up as an affiliate for another company’s product or service that would interest your target market. Each one you sell pays you a generous commission without the hassle of dealing with payment of delivery
– You create a knowledge product and create and market your own affiliate program. When others sign up to sell as your affiliates they essentially become your virtual sales team
* E-bay auctions or online stores
* Joint ventures with other complimentary businesses who have a large database of hungry customers who would love your product or service. Pay a great per sale commission, do all the legwork and benefit from your JV partner’s huge database. I’ve done several of these and they can be a great profit generator. Plus, many of your JV partner’s customers who buy your product, will end up on your mailing list as well.
You don’t have to be a savvy internet marketer or webmaster to learn how to create a global market for your business. Much of the set-up can be outsourced. Even if you sell a service that relies on a local clientele, like for example, interior design, personal training, real estate, or staffing, there’s a way to add a global component and a new income stream to your business.
Make it a priority this year to aggressively pursue globalization and you’ll be very happy with the bottom line results for your small business.© Copyright 2007 Janis Pettit