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Why 2020 Should Be The Year You Go 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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7 Ways to Share Your Story on Social Media

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Content marketing is “A type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services”. In other words, explicit marketing is simply saying “buy my stuff!” whereas content marketing is the art of persuading people to do so through storytelling. (more…)

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10 Tips to Deal With Negativity While Starting a Business

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There are ups and downs in business but fearing failures can stop you from taking your first step towards excellence. With pandemic on tow, aspiring entrepreneurs feel a little stuck when ideating a business prospect. Here, we give you some actionable tips to deal with negativity while starting a business, even during situations like a pandemic. We also took the liberty to throw in some amazing book recommendations that’ll help you enjoy the process of being positive and achieving your business goals.

10 Tips to deal with negativity while starting a business in a pandemic

1. Get a mentor

The first thing to do as a new business owner is to find the right kind of mentor. That person could be someone in your industry or in general who you look up to. The guidance must be apt for your business, and it should be a mutual responsibility of sharing knowledge. 

2. Two big R’s – Routine and Refresh

Made a mess of something? Try to reboot the situation and make it work. Take a break once in a while and refresh yourself if you feel stuck or your ideas feel mundane. Plan a routine and stick to them – both personal and professional. Having a routine can increase productivity and engage in more activities apart from your pre-planned schedule. 

3. Inculcate problem-solving mentality

Do not panic once you are thrown a problem. Arrange a meeting with the respective party, listen to both sides of the stories, and make a decision that is more realistic and feasible. 

4. Hire half and half

Whenever you hire someone for your business. Make sure that half of the people contradict your ideas, and the other half have the same mindset as yours. The people who contradict can bring in more valuable points and their perspective might take the discussion to a whole new level.  Don’t take too much time finding the perfect one. Hire an apt person who can have the right attitude. 

5. Network, Network, and Network

Find like-minded people and mingle with them. Be more sportive in the learning process. Listen more and talk less – if you are a beginner. You can only be a constructive person who gives input to someone if you have listened to everyone’s point of view. If you feel down, your network might have something to uplift your mood and change your perspective on something. 

“Negativity, in general, is one of the things that holds people back, and you have to see what’s holding you back to get away from it.” – Lucy Dacus

6. Tech-savvy personnel

Learn a thing or two about the latest technology that you implement in your organization. Since the world revolves around technology, make sure your administrative authority knows as well.  

7. Don’t schedule a meeting, that could have been an email

Yes! I said it. Having unnecessary meetings will weaken the purpose of having a constructive discussion. Having back-to-back meetings drains the team members and yourself too. Always have a 10 to 15 minutes break between each meeting to feel refreshed and give your 100%. 

8. Have a pros and cons list

Always, I mean always have a pros and cons list. Let’s say one of your team members pitch an idea to improve the marketing strategies starting next month. Jot down the pros and cons before approving or rejecting it point-blank. It’s a systematic way of making a decision. 

9. Track your finances

Even if you have a team of accountants and auditors, make sure that you are present (both mentally and physically) – learn if you are not aware of it. Trusting your employees is a must, but not overseeing the records is a mistake that should be avoided. 

10. Remember your “why?”

At some point in your hectic schedule or not having ME time can get to you. During those tough times – ask yourself – “Why am I doing this?”. If you can answer this question with a valid explanation, you’ll feel energized. Because “A purpose drives you”. 

5 Best books to read to be more positive as an entrepreneur

Reading always puts me into perspective. Therefore, I took some liberty to give a sample of positivity and determination through words. 

These are the 5 books that’ll guide you to be a more positive and successful entrepreneur. 

  1. Attitude is everything by Jeff Keller – The decisions you make, the routine you set for yourself, and the affirmations you say to yourself every day are going to make a huge difference. If you feel tired, hopeless, and quitting – then this book is for you to boost you up!
  2. Mindset: The new psychology of success by Carol Dweck – You do what you think. In this book, the author talks about two mindsets: The growth mindset and the fixed mindset and what they’ll do to you respectively. She helps you recognize your mindset and change it for the better. 
  3. Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen – This book is about technology uprisings all over the world and businesses that adopted and implemented technology in their firm. The author teaches you that just because your competitors and others are adopting something into their businesses doesn’t mean that you have to as well. Make an informed decision. 
  4. As A Man Thinketh by James Allen – This book specifically is about the power of thought and how it shapes your life into a more meaningful and fulfilling one.
  5. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle – The author talks about how people always keep thinking about what the future holds but then forget to live and enjoy the present. And also helps us understand how to make decisions more efficiently based on the present. 

Working towards inner balance requires consistency and perseverance. So does hard and smart work. Being negative is a part of our lives. It’s important to channel it appropriately and make things happen despite the roller coaster ride that is our lives. Hope you overcome your fears and negativity to shine bigger and brighter. Cheers! 

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Defining Your Own Success: A Step by Step Guide

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Everyone wants success in their lives, but success can be defined in so many different ways that it can sometimes seem daunting. In this blog post, you will learn how to make success easier for yourself by defining what success means to you. (more…)

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5 Characteristics of Athletes You Need for Business Success

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Michigan State basketball coach, Tom Izzo, wrote “Players play. Tough players win.” I would add to that, “It’s tough to win.”I think if you, as a leader, are looking to build an organization that is successful – that wins – you first have to accept that it will be tough. There are no shortcuts to success. In my 44 years of coaching, I was fortunate to coach a lot of tough players. I believe the toughness I have seen in athletes corresponds well to any organization or business. (more…)

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