The year of 2015 marks the twentieth anniversary of the World Trade Organization (WTO). WTO president, Roberto Azevedo, says that world trade is expected to grow this year by 4.3%. International business is poised to reach new heights and those companies that are prepared to go global will considerably increase their chances for sustainable business growth. 2015 may be a good time to begin to incorporate or expand a global business strategy in your company.
International economies are more interconnected today than at any other time in history. What happens in one country can have an almost immediate impact in other countries all over the globe. After sanctions were levied upon Russia by the US and European Union last year, Brazilian Meat exports to Russia doubled. When the Chinese economy began to slow down, commodity markets in Latin America and Africa were directly affected by a decrease in exports. Through loans, investments, and trade, nations today have a lot at stake with what happens to the international economy.
Having a global business strategy for your company is not only a way to grow your business; it can also keep your business afloat during tough economic times in the domestic market. A global option allows your company to shift resources and efforts to different geographical regions and take advantage of hot markets while divesting from those that are slumping. When the US market was at its low points in 2007 to 2011, our company decided to spend more of our time and resources with our associates in Brazil focusing on the growing healthcare, information technology and energy sectors. We also took advantage of local business opportunities in Brazil related to the FIFA World Cup and the upcoming 2016 Olympics. We forged partnerships in the stadium operations industry including security, food & beverage, and cleaning services. The experience in Brazil expanded our reach to other hot markets in Latin America like Colombia, Chile, and Mexico. Today, with the US economy showing sustained growth and positive projections for 2015, we have transitioned additional resources back to the US market in the healthcare, technology, and security sectors. These are examples of the Business Flexibility that having a global option can provide for your company.
There are two key factors that make 2015 a good time to consider the global option for your business: New advances in technology and Greater availability of strategic local partnerships.
1. New advances in technology
With today’s advances in information and communication technology it is simpler than ever to develop a global option for your business regardless of its size. Remote conferencing and video technologies allow for clearer, reliable, and affordable communications worldwide. This also considerably reduces the need for international travel. Data is being stored and managed in centralized locations allowing for secured access from any part of the world. Advanced data storage and management systems are capturing and making available more data than ever. Data analytics provides strategic information tailored for your business allowing for a more effective and efficient allocation of resources. With this data securely stored in the Cloud, there is no need to transfer data files and servers to new data centers abroad.
2. Greater availability of potential strategic local partnerships
A key component of expanding globally is the use and incorporation of strategic international partnerships. The heightened awareness internationally of the value of global business relationships has opened the door to new potential global partners who are also looking for partners from abroad. With this strategy, it is possible to explore and develop new opportunities in key international markets without a major investment of time and capital and with a significant mitigation of risk. Strategic international partnerships significantly shorten the time and capital needed to establish a business presence within international markets. Additionally, these partnerships can become a reliable and effective source of information regarding new business opportunities in those markets.
Once a tangible business opportunity is identified, localization strategies can be implemented to help follow up on and secure a successful closing. Company and product marketing materials can be adapted for language, culture, traditions, and even local climates. At this stage in the international business development process, additional resources and investment can be allocated more confidently.
Global Business Strategy is open and available to all businesses regardless of size, industry or location. With new technologies and strategic local partnerships, the process is now simpler, affordable and more accessible. The global option can be a game changer for your company, providing market growth and flexibility and, not to mention, the opportunity to travel and discover new places and cultures. Incorporating a global option to your business has never been easier. The forecast for 2015 reveals that it could be a good year to give it a shot.