In some countries like the U.S., less than 1% of executives are involved with international business. Shocking, but true.
Coming back from every holiday is an opportunity to change the game and tap in to new opportunities... in other cities and countries.
One of the real barriers to growing across borders is finding more customers, distributors, agents and partners who you know like and trust. If you were selling just across town it would be a lot easier. Talk to you local friends, find some folks to speak with, have a coffee with them, and do business.
That's not scalable across the country and world.
So you need a network of people you know, like and trust across the borders where you wish to expand business. That's easier than you may think, if you approach it logically and methodically. For an SME it can be challenging and sub-optimized without spreading a wide net.
Here are some thoughts to help.
1) Kevin Bacon. Yes nearly everyone knows Kevin Bacon through 6 or less degrees of connection. And you probably know some great customer prospects through this thinking as well. So the key is to grow your company's network and then have a process to work it.
2) Linkedin. Use Linkedin. With a profile picture, profile information, company page and connections to the world. I've heard every excuse in the world for not being involved, and if you don't want to grow business, or have a limited scope, you are excused. But everyone else, get it done.
3) Web Presence. Google your company and your name. There are always simple ways to upgrade being found with the right messaging. Some members of Global Chamber can help you find the google juice to survive and thrive online and around the world.
4) Networks. Connect with networks that increase your reach to whoever you're looking for. Yes Global Chamber is the ideal network for reaching customers and partners because we're the only global organization focused on growing business across every border.
5) Global Tribe. Nearly every company doing global business is doing it sub-optimally. That's a wake-up call to every company to fill in the gaps on why they're not having more success. Many times it's the village of resources around them that's the gap - the right lawyer, banker, marketer, logistics expert, etc etc... in your home town or in cities where you want to grow. Jump over gaps in a single bound with a better village. And extend your village to metros across the global to do business there successfully, too to find resources and customers.
Going global doesn't have to be complicated. But most companies make it complicated... and so risk is higher, success lower. As time goes on more and more opportunities exist to make it easier to lower risk and succeed.
Put together a good plan, connect to the world through people you know, like and trust, and execute - get it done.
You'll find that like the greatest athletes in the world, you'll slow down the game, and capture more success.
It's right there, in your hands.