03.14.2011 by Peter Argondizzo

Going global – small business style

A recent Crain’s article by Anne Field describes how small business can go global. The article lists some valuable resources to assist companies with the requirements as well as the operational aspects of global sales.

I think the most important theme in the article was to realize that going into foreign markets takes hard work but the opportunities far outweigh the risks. One of the companies profiled increased their sales by 10 million dollars last year. The increase in sales came from new international markets. I also thought it was interesting that most small businesses start with Canada and the UK because of a perceived lack of issues related to translation. However it is important to note that both Canada and the UK do require some modification of language for your marketing collateral.

Canada requires French (Canadian) translation and it would really be in your best interest to adapt your English materials to UK English before entering the market.

I thought listing the U.S. Commercial Service, which has an office in Chicago as a resource was a good idea but I would also add SCORE to that list.

With proper research and due diligence a move into international markets could be a wise choice for companies of all sizes looking for new markets for their goods and services.