I want to begin writing here on “microglobalization”, by which I mean the developments in technology and international trade that have put “global” opportunities within reach of independent businesses and even individuals. Once largely the province of well-heeled multinational/transnational corporations, global trade in goods and services increasingly presents compelling opportunities for smaller companies willing to take the plunge. I’m firmly convinced that even the tiniest firm has the ability to carve out a niche in worldwide business ecosystems, consciously and deliberately managing every aspect of its development within a global context. (I recently registered the domain name microglobalization.com, though I’m not yet sure exactly what I’ll do with it.)
Not surprisingly, a quick Google search reveals that I’m not the first to use the word “microglobalization”. In an academic context, a number of hits revolve around a 2005 article by Karin Knorr Cetina called Complex Global Microstructures: The New Terrorist Societies. Now, I have neither qualifications nor interest in writing about terrorism, but some of Dr. Knorr Cetina’s ideas are rather intriguing from an indy business perspective. There’s some fairly heavy academic verbiage in there, but also some illuminating insights that suggest ways an alert player can find opportunity in “forms of connectivity and coordination that combine global reach with microstructural mechanisms that instantiate self-organizing principles and patterns”. Dr. Knorr Cetina further elaborates these ideas in a chapter on microglobalization in Ino Rossi’s Frontiers of Globalization Research.
Jörg Dürrschmidt’s Everyday Lives in the Global City refers to “the microglobalization of the world city’s [i.e. London’s] everyday life”. In this context Dürrschmidt defines “microglobalization” as “a compression and, subsequently, accommodation of global variety and difference into a distinctive sociocultural environment” — in this case the global invading the local.
Olav Anders Øvrebø, a Norwegian journalist and university lecturer specializing in media and communication issues, uses the term in essentially the same way I do — “how tiny service companies – even one-person outfits – can participate successfully in the global economy”. Programmers, journalists, document translators and other purveyors of “digital” services like the ones he cites, for obvious reasons, have been pioneers of business globalization at the small-firm and individual level. (I was in the translating business myself for many years and personally experienced how widespread Internet access began opening up enormous new international markets along with opportunities for networking, collaboration and learning in the early nineties.) More from Øvrebø here.
I’ll be heading back to Prague some time in the second half of February. Besides seeing friends and associates in Austin one more time, I still need to get some bits and pieces of my personal finance structure in place so it will require minimal maintenance while I’m overseas. I do also still want to talk to a few more independent businesses over here that I could represent and/or scout out opportunities in Europe for. Finally, our accommodations have not really been ideal during this stay in Austin, so I want to find the best arrangements for setting up a temporary “outpost” next time I come back as well as starting to plan the best way to maintain a permanent “base” that’ll be ready even when I’m away for much of the year.
Kevin Meyer of Evolving Excellence describes how a maker of hand-sewn wedding dresses in the hills of Tuscany has turned its small size, craftsmanship and eye for opportunity to advantage in the global marketplace. Via @AlbertoRBaez on Twitter.
When: 7 pm February 28, 2011
Where: Business Success Center, Chase Bank Tower, 7600 Burnet Rd., Austin
There are different kinds of strategic alliances from the very formal and legal joint ventures to less formal cross marketing, co-branding, and even the use of channel partners. Which strategy makes sense to meet your business goal? Get familiar with how to create a workable plan and process that would help you find the best partners for a strategic alliance and how to avoid the worst.
Jan Triplett, Ph.D., CEO of the Business Success Center (BSC), is the author of A Networker’s Guide to Success, and co-author of Thinking Big, Staying Small. The BSC provides owners with strategy and advice to stabilize and grow their businesses by finding the best way to manage sales, marketing and financials. It was named a top 20 Management Consulting firm by the Austin Business Journal and has received numerous awards and recognition including a national award from the Small Business Administration. Besides running a family business with husband Dan Diener for over 25 years, Triplett considers herself a parttime family counselor and full time small business activist writing and testifying before the legislature and local government. She is a guest blogger for the Business Bank of Texas and has her own blog. She has been the keynote speaker for trade associations and chambers of commerce and led two international trade missions — one to Japan and one to Ecuador. She was recently profiled by the Austin Business Journal. She helped found the Women’s Chamber of Commerce and the Austin Literacy Council.
Vision Enactors: How To Identify Them As Staff, Contractors, Founding Partners or Collaborators/Alliances
Through research, direct observation, and interviewing, Sherry Lowry has focused deeply on developing a keen understanding of WHO actually ENACTS visions. Most of us have great ideas. Bootstrappers know nothing REALLY happens, though, until there are effective ACTIONS around such. Bottom line, something has to also be sold or put into action literally. We will have a first-hand look at what thousands agree ARE qualities, behaviors, mind-sets and core characteristics of those actually carrying out visions: their own, of their projects, and of their companies and organizations when they are employed or contracted.
Sherry Lowry has founded and led 7 business entities within 7 different industries, the smallest being a solo, the largest becoming a 20,000 client international organization. Though none focused only locally, all have been based out of her native Texas. At the time, each has been on an emerging edge. The Lowry Group for the past 17 yrs of this career has been focusing on the emerging futures of already successful business founders/owners – and their own “next great adventures.” Sometimes this is a reinvention or expansion within their existing business, or it may be actively planning their legacies. Along the way, Sherry has become something of a specialist in 5 generations in the current workplace/workforce, and it is out of this interest that her most current research has also seeded then flourished.
Business Success Center
Chase Bank Tower
7600 Burnet Rd.
Austin, TX 78757
Monday, November 22, 2010, 7pm
Fernando Labastida will lead this month’s Bootstrap B2B meeting.
Topic: “Smarketing: How to market an international company in the US on a shoestring”
When: Monday, July 26, 2010 7:00 PM
Where: Business Success Center
Chase Bank Tower 7600 Burnet Rd.
Austin, TX 78757
By use of white papers, case studies, press releases, blogging and social media, small international companies can implement the “Smarketing” methodology to enter the U.S. market: a hybrid of sales and marketing, in order to penetrate the fortresses corporate decision-makers set up to protect themselves from sales people, create buzz, and generate sales.
Fernando Labastida specializes in providing content marketing services for Latin American software companies wanting to penetrate the U.S. market. He’s been a sales and marketing professional for the last 20 years, having worked for several Austin start-ups, including Powered, Vignette and Sunset Direct.
The Bootstrap Business-to-Business subgroup meets next Monday:
WHEN: April 24, 2010 at 7:00 pm
WHERE: Business Success Center in the Chase Bank Building, 7600 Burnet Road (corner of Burnet Rd & Northcross Blvd, one block south of Anderson Lane) — same building, new office!
Our speaker will be Jan Triplett of the Business Success Center, speaking on:
Getting Through Alive and Well
“If you know what to look for and how to reinforce what you’ve got, you can make your business grow more stable and successful. Learn what’s on the radar screen of one of Austin’s chief small business strategists and activists, Jan Triplett. She will talk about the five major business killers she sees out there now and coming. Some, she says, you have control over, some you don’t. She’ll also tell you the three top priorities she recommends to protect your business and move ahead. (She should know having lived through and grown businesses in six previous recessions.) You can also ask her questions about what the government (city, state, national) is doing. If she doesn’t have the answer, she’ll get it for you.
“Jan Triplett, Ph.D. is the CEO of the Business Success Center (BSC). She has provided management and marketing strategy and advice to product and service businesses for 27 years. She has published numerous articles on small business, is the author of A Networker’s Guide to Success and the co-author of Thinking Big, Staying Small. She was a moderator for KUT radio and is a frequent media commentator on small business issues. The SBA presented a 5-Star business development award to the BSC and named Triplett as Texas’ Small Business Advocate. She writes a blog at ownersview.com and you can follow her on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook @JanTriplett.”
See you Monday!
The Bootstrap Business-to-Business subgroup meets Monday:
WHEN: April 19, 2010 at 6:30 pm
WHERE: Business Success Center in the Chase Bank Building, 7600 Burnet Road (corner of Burnet Rd & Northcross Blvd, one block south of Anderson Lane), Suite 130.
Our speaker will be James Baker of Revenue Rising, speaking on:
The Business Communications Spectrum: The Journey
from Your Guts…to Client Advocacy.
“Everyone’s company is unique in both form and function. The main thing is
the mastery of Leadership’s integrity around its commitment to the
CLIENTS’/CUSTOMERS’ experience. That encompasses EVERY area of your
business…from financial to production to sales…leaving nothing
untouched. Come prepared to participate fully in a guided discussion around
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
See you Monday!
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been getting all the (bad) press, but there’s at least one national business organization that’s taking a broader view of efforts to combat climate change. CEOs’ club The Business Roundtable released a report last week titled Unfinished Business: The Missing Elements of a Sustainable Energy and Climate Policy, urging Congress and the Obama administration to protect energy security and economic growth while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and modernizing the electric grid.
While the report doesn’t exactly toe the enviro line — it promotes expansion of nuclear power and R&D investments in “clean coal” technology — green-minded readers can only applaud its call for enhanced energy efficiency and modernization of the electric power grid to better accommodate renewable energy. Encouragingly, Roundtable President John Castellani explicitly acknowledged that a sustainable transition to a low-carbon economy must be a national priority.
For the German-enabled: Austrian business leaders and economists take a close look at the triumphs and failures of the European economic model