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Competing Globally At All Levels, Why Even "Mom and Pop" Can Globe-Trot

Monday, May 1, 2006

The Society for the Advancement of Consulting (SAC) has found that the idea of global marketing through modern technology has found its way to the smallest of enterprises, which are often more nimble than their giant cousins.

In canvassing its worldwide membership, SAC has found that just as dying businesses on the proverbial Main Street have been resurrected through Internet sales, so, too, have domestic businesses been revitalized by global markets. "I've recently purchased a hat and shirt from a particular hunt club in the Andalusian Mountains outside of Marbella, Spain," says Alan Weiss, Ph.D., CEO of SAC. "It occurred to me that this small operation hidden in the hills was augmenting its income through clothing and souvenirs that were more available in my home than some nearby local retailers. Why can't any business do this?"

Apparently, any business can. But employees must be helped to think globally, adjusting to customers and conditions that they can't see and, unless helped, might not be able to imagine. That happens to be true in large organizations, as well.

SAC member Jennifer Schade, President of JRS Consulting in Wilmette, IL, reports, "In the current climate of acquisition, restructuring and globalization, finding effective ways to communicate with employees from the corporate offices to the factory floor is more important - and challenging - than ever before. It's critical to identify the formal and informal communications processes within an organization and then harness their capabilities in a communications plan that supports the overall global organization. For example, our work for one client facilitated the realignment of communications vehicles that resulted in savings of six figures."

Thus, it may be easier to adjust a handful of employees to the needs of international marketing than it is entire divisions and profit centers. "We've all seen the vast difference in some call center experiences," adds Weiss, "where one located overseas is seamless in dealing with American customers, while another presents all kinds of language and cultural difficulties." SAC members believe that since small businesses actually employ far more people than large businesses in total, that the global impact of small businesses mastering international sales will be vast.

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