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Why 2020 Should Be The Year You Go Global 



how to take your business global
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According to a recent survey by Gartner, Inc., growth was the top priority for CEOs in 2019, and it will continue to be in 2020. Along with growth, cost and risk management will be the areas that industry-leading executives will focus most of their energy on.

But, next year, with “clouds gathering in the horizon”, as distinguished analyst Mark Raskino said, we shouldn’t put all our eggs in one basket. Regardless of the size of our business, we should be planning for growth. Especially, for the sort of growth that diversifies our risk.

Expanding abroad is one of the most potentially rewarding paths we could take to grow our business. It diversifies our risk, mitigates the effects of negative changes in our home market, and breathes new life into our products and into our company.

When the market you’re in is starting to feel way too small, it might be the right time to look for opportunities away from home. Expansion might also be a great move if your products are seasonal, or if you’ve found a clear market gap in a neighboring and/or thriving economy.

Of course, be careful. The importance of research and ongoing analysis can’t be overstated. Several experts fear of a global recession, so you’ll need to plan for the unexpected.

Is Your Company Ready? 

Whether international expansion is the key to growth for your particular business will depend upon several factors. Some have to do with your industry. Other factors are fully internal, and determine your success in particular. For instance, your business’ current financial conditions and your management style.

First and foremost, carry out extensive research. Find a country that’s culturally, politically, or regulatorily similar to yours — or just one that has a clear market gap that your products could fit right into. Conduct deep market research, take a sober look at country risk, and look for foreign partners who can advise and support you through this process. Remember that success is always driven by amazing human resources.

“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” – Napoleon Hill

Your Competitors Are Your Greatest Teachers

Take a close look at what your competition is doing, both locally and in your target market. Learn from their mistakes and reaffirm (or reconsider) your competitive advantages. Nowadays, and especially in the coming year, expanding your business won’t necessarily be about expanding its physical presence. You can expand from the comfort of your home country. 

Digital Expansion vs. Traditional Expansion

As coach Kev Martin recently wrote, we should invest in our people, not only our stakeholders. But the tools we use and the platforms we take part in are as important as the talent we employ. We need good tools to operate and grow, and we need a proper setting where we could make the most out of them.

When you’re planning to take the exponentially regarding leap of expanding your business to a foreign market, you can rely on a booming B2B sector, to support you. Hunt for innovative, tech-driven solutions to facilitate and optimize all aspects of expansion: From logistics to proper customer service, localized digital marketing, interpreting services,  and website localization.

Expanding a business in the digital age is not about expanding your physical presence. This lowers the cost and risk of expansion, but it doesn’t erase cultural or regulatory differences between your home and target countries.

Even if your expansion will be purely digital, think of it as if you were opening a new physical store. For instance, let’s say your brand is based in New York, and you’re opening a Parisian location. Your storefront should be recognizable as one of your brand — but you wouldn’t make a detailed reproduction of your American storefront. You need to find the common ground between your brand and the preferences of your new customers. 

When you enter the store, the distribution and presentation of the products might be the same, but you’d expect the employees to communicate with customers in their own language — Right? Well, it’s exactly the same for your new online presence. It should be clearly yours, well-branded and consistent with the visual identity of your brand, but it should be localized for your new target audience. 

The internet has reshaped all aspects of our life, especially through social media and the Internet of Things. Businesses now have an ever-growing kit of amazing tools to drive growth. Meanwhile, globalization and dynamic cultural exchange might lead us to believe that expanding digitally will require no major adaptation or learning process. But, globalization doesn’t fully erase cultural differences. And, there are some timeless principles to enticing customers that globalization hasn’t changed: People like to feel that brands understand them, and talk to them in their own terms. 

“100% of customers are people. 100% of employees are people. If you don’t understand people, you don’t understand business.” – Simon Sinek

Engaging International Customers

Now, we can access precise, real information about our target demographic, know what they’re interested in, what they like about our product, and what aspects we should improve. We know where our customers hang out, we know what they’re talking about, and we know how to make them feel closer to our product. And, we have the tools to act accordingly, in real-time.

We can also learn how customers behave on our website, test conversion strategies, and adopt a multichannel approach to marketing and selling without breaking the bank. Gathering this information, learning from it, and using it to constantly improve our processes is key to establishing a robust international business.

Thanks to the increased dominance of e-commerce, and the overpowering and refinement of a data-driven approach, the costs, and risks associated with international expansion are lowering, becoming easier to control and easier to calculate. Analytic tools have also made it possible to get to know our customers before ever interacting with them.

Growing your business in the digital age is a multifaceted creative endeavor. And, in 2020, the most technologically advanced, effective resources to grow, operate and scale an international business will be available to businesses of almost all budgets. So, expanding abroad in 2020 isn’t only highly convenient, it’s also highly comfortable. Today you can operate an international company, without ever setting foot on an airport. Make the most out of it, and good luck!

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20 Ways You Can Become a Powerful Communicator



Emile Steenveld Speaker and Coach

Some people seem to naturally know how to effectively communicate in a group setting. They can express themselves clearly and listen attentively without dominating the conversation.

Being a powerful communicator is important for several reasons, including building and maintaining relationships, achieving goals, resolving conflicts, improving productivity, leading and influencing others, advancing in your career, expressing yourself more confidently and authentically, and improving your mental and emotional well-being. Effective communication is an essential life skill that can benefit you in all aspects of your life.

But, don’t worry if you don’t naturally possess this skill, as effective communication is something that can be developed with practice, planning and preparation.

1.  Listen actively: Practice active listening by giving your full attention to the speaker and responding to what they are saying.


2. Use “I” statements: Speak from your own perspective and avoid placing blame or making accusations.


3. Avoid assumptions: Don’t make assumptions about what the other person is thinking or feeling.


4. Be clear: Express your thoughts and feelings clearly and concisely by getting to the point and avoid using jargon or overly complex language.


5. Show empathy: Show that you understand and care about the other person’s feelings.


6. Offer valuable insights: When speaking in a group, provide a valuable takeaway or actionable item that people can walk away with.


7. Be an active listener: Listen attentively and respond accordingly, incorporating your points into the conversation.


8. Choose the right time: Pick the most opportune time to speak to ensure that you have the group’s attention and can deliver your message without interruption.


9. Be the unifying voice: Step in and unify the group’s thoughts to calm down the discussion and insert your point effectively.


10. Keep responses concise: Keep responses short and to the point to show respect for others’ time.


11. Avoid unnecessary comments: Avoid commenting on everything and only speak when you have something important to say.


12. Cut the fluff: Avoid being long-winded and get straight to the point.


13. Prepare ahead of time: Sort out your points and practice them before speaking in a group.


14. Smile and be positive: Smile and nod along as others speak, to build a positive relationship and be respected when it’s your turn to speak.


15. Take responsibility: Take responsibility for your own actions and feelings.


16. Ask questions: Ask questions to clarify any confusion or misunderstandings.


17. Avoid interrupting: Allow the other person to finish speaking without interruption.


18. Practice active listening: Repeat what the other person said to ensure you have understood correctly.


19. Use your body language too: Use nonverbal cues such as eye contact, facial expressions, and body language to convey your message and build rapport.


20. Be aware of the tone of your voice: it should be calm and assertive, not aggressive or passive.


By keeping these tips in mind, you can improve your communication skills and become a more powerful communicator, which can help you build better relationships, achieve your goals, and lead a more fulfilling life.

I you want to learn how to become more confident in life then you can join my weekly mentorship calls and 40+ online workshops at so you can master your life with more success.

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