Grow Through International Expansion
The Future is Digital for International B2B Services #60

The Future is Digital for International B2B Services #60

June 22, 2020

Like it or not, new international business expansion depends on travel. Maintaining and growing existing business too, whatever one’s definition of international business – export, import, outsourcing, licensing, or operations of any kind in other countries. Sure, there are a number of established ways one can do many kinds of business in other countries without leaving home – selling online, using local distributors and agents, and so on – but without actually going there,  seeing and understanding the market for oneself, and making face to face contact with local people one needs to work with, a company will at best miss out on many of the best opportunities and at worst risks reputational and financial damage.

Now is the time to REIMAGINE every business. Every business owner knows they need to make changes just to succeed in the New Normal. But social distancing shouldn’t need to mean having to reduce the number of customers that you serve or deliver services with fewer resources. Let’s not allow what’s happened to drive our businesses downhill. True, all around us lies news of companies going into administration or laying off staff or downsizing in other ways – but that doesn’t mean it has to happen to you and your business.

How do you adapt? And how can you market effectively and economically, without the need to spend a fortune with agencies and designers?

There’s a lot of ways to grow internationally. Right now, the way forward is to exploit digital media as a means to reach markets around the world. It’s easier than you may think; but it’s got to be done right. If you’re interested, I recommend you start by asking for advice from others; a lot of it comes for free, mine included! Feel free to get in touch with me, or, if you want to know more about digital marketing, with my friend Vinicius at VINX Digital.

If you missed earlier episodes, you can find them on our Grow through International Expansion platform, https://growinternational.org . Our platform is independent, carries no advertising and is not for profit – we seek to deliver useful, valuable content, essential for all those who have interest in international business and global trade.

In the podcast Oliver refers to the digital media company VINX Digital – for more details check https://vinxdigital.com 

Reimagining your Business – and Yourself #59

Reimagining your Business – and Yourself #59

May 10, 2020

Sometimes, something happens that makes a business owner realise that their business really needs a whole new approach if it’s to succeed. 

Sometimes, that something is forced upon them. Like now. 

In a month, two months, three month’s time, life will begin to return to normal. None of us know, but we all already suspect that the “new normal” won’t be like the one before – the normal of just a few weeks ago.

What is that going to mean for your business? Can you just carry on from where you left off? Will your established customers all come back, and will new ones come naturally like they did before? Will your competitors be the same?

No doubt for some of us, it’ll be a case of plus change….

But many of us will be looking for a new approach. 

 

In the podcast Oliver refers to the digital media company he and GrowInternational have worked with, VINX – for more details check https://vinxdigital.com 

Franchising as a Route to International Expansion with David Bond and Gordon Drakes #58

Franchising as a Route to International Expansion with David Bond and Gordon Drakes #58

April 21, 2020

Since we started this series of podcasts a couple of years ago, quite a number of people have asked me to cover franchising as an approach to Grow through International Expansion. Becoming a franchisee has certainly proved a popular business opportunity for many who have a reasonable sum of money to invest, want to run a business that they can get started quickly, but who either don’t have a ready business concept of their own or simply want the increased confidence that operating an established model brings.

However, I admit that franchising is not a topic that I’ve had personal experience of. Indeed, until a few days ago my assumption was that it was limited to fast food restaurants, hotels and quick printing and office services shops. But then I read an article by David Bond and Gordon Drakes of Field Fisher. That was about franchising British schools abroad – definitely not something I had ever considered before.  David and Gordon are lawyers, and have both specialised in franchising for many years. Their article opened my eyes to the opportunities not only for franchisees – those who buy and operate the franchise – but for businesses to become franchisors, and to use that as a route to international expansion. I’m delighted that they accepted my invitation to join me for this Grow through International Expansion podcast.

If you missed earlier episodes, you can find them on our Grow through International Expansion platform, https://growinternational.org . Our platform is independent, carries no advertising and is not for profit – we seek to deliver useful, valuable content, essential for all those who have interest in international business and global trade.

Credit Where Credit is Due – Giving Confidence to Exporters with Andy Moylan | The Export Hub #57

Credit Where Credit is Due – Giving Confidence to Exporters with Andy Moylan | The Export Hub #57

March 19, 2020

There seems to be a general agreement that companies – both in the manufacturing and services sectors – could export a lot more than they currently do. If that’s so, what’s holding them back? My guest in this podcast, Andy Moylan, points to two key factors. One is simply the lack of accurate information and advice backed up by real practical experience. The other is fear of not getting paid. It can be bad enough chasing payment in your own country – but how do you go about it in a far distant one, and what can you fall back on if all else fails?

As you’ll hear, Andy is a plain speaking entrepreneur. Over the last 30 years, he has helped many small businesses and household brands to export; from identifying the risk in their export plan to raising finance and protecting their sales ledger. Never content to follow the herd, he and his team have always looked for new solutions, and have developed a range of online tools.

Andy is a headline speaker at events around the world, where he shares hard won insights, practical case studies and experience on exporting.

If you missed earlier episodes, you can find them on our Grow through International Expansion platform, https://growinternational.org . Our platform is independent, carries no advertising and is not for profit – we seek to deliver useful, valuable content, essential for all those who have interest in international business and global trade.

Global Crises and the Future of International Business #56

Global Crises and the Future of International Business #56

March 11, 2020

In this podcast, I’m going to talk about how I see the future of international business in 2021, what those with small and medium businesses should be doing and planning in the months ahead, why nobody should panic, and why it makes sense to go on listening to Grow through International Expansion podcasts and engaging with our articles and other content.

We’re faced with two major global crises – coronavirus and climate change. Whilst they are not related to each other, both give rise to considerations about international business. Even Brexit gets tied in here. Don’t panic. I’m staying positive here. The one thing to like about crises is that they focus the mind in a way that nothing else does.

If you missed earlier episodes, you can find them on our Grow through International Expansion platform, https://growinternational.org . Our platform is independent, carries no advertising and is not for profit – we seek to deliver useful, valuable content, essential for all those who have interest in international business and global trade.

A Trade Association Crossing the Water to Saudi with Karolina Peret | British Water #55

A Trade Association Crossing the Water to Saudi with Karolina Peret | British Water #55

March 3, 2020

In today’s podcast I’m talking with Karolina Peret, the International Manager for British Water, the Trade Association for the water industry.

Karolina is responsible for British Water's global programme through the International Forum (IF).  With an international background in the aquatics and environment industry, she brings in-depth knowledge of water and waste-water related issues. Karolina's education is complemented by an MSc in engineering, a passion for sustainability, and broad experience in the private and government sector.

Karolina leads the International British Water portfolio to seek out global markets and opportunities for UK water and waste water supply chain companies to help them export. That includes events, scoping and business development visits, liaising with multi-nationals, world governments and representing the UK water industry in Great Britain and all over the world. British Water’s aim is to align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in the interest of helping develop and promote drinking water and safe sanitation for developing regions of the world.

Cracking Business in China with Jim James | EASTWEST Public Relations Group #54

Cracking Business in China with Jim James | EASTWEST Public Relations Group #54

February 12, 2020

Our host, Oliver Dowson, first went to set up a business there back in 2006. It had to be a joint venture, and you may have listened to his podcast telling the story of some of the potential partners that he met. Oliver writes “Having decided on my partner, I found it surprisingly easy to get started – in retrospect, so much so that I never asked a thousand questions that I should have done. I’m not saying that anyone was trying to deceive me, but my business would certainly have been more successful had I taken more time to understand the culture and read all the small print more diligently. I should also have talked to someone who had done it all before, and, better still, was based there and achieving success.”

One such person is our guest on this podcast, Jim James. Jim’s original business, and his business now, is public relations, but he’s spent most of the last decade in China. He took the iconic  Morgan cars to Beijing as their founder and managing director; still with cars, he got Lotus started there too. Jim also played a leading role in starting a whole string of other companies in China – you’ll need to check out his LinkedIn profile to marvel at the range. Given that, it’s hardly surprising that he became vice-chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce in China too.  Now he’s back in the UK, still running EastWest PR, setting up a forum for older business people and... well, let him tell you all that for himself.

Chosen the Country? Now Pick a City… | Going Global #53

Chosen the Country? Now Pick a City… | Going Global #53

January 27, 2020

When you’re planning international expansion, deciding on the country isn’t enough. Next you need to choose a city or region – and there’s a lot of reasons to consider and, in the bigger countries, a lot of alternatives to consider.

Obviously, the priorities depend on what sort of business you’re in and what you want to achieve in the country you’re expanding to. But the fundamentals are almost always the same.

Last month, our host, Oliver Dowson, visited the annual Going Global exhibition at the London Excel Centre. It’s a big event, part of the Business Show. For those who are looking at expansion, it’s a great opportunity to see a lot of the professionals you’d need to work with in one place, and to get new ideas for countries and regions to expand to.

While he was there, Oliver took the opportunity of recording some short podcast conversations with many of the exhibitors, asking them the questions that potential customers would want to, and we’re including many of those in a special series of our Grow through International Expansion podcasts. So if you can’t wait a year for the next exhibition, this will give you a whistle-stop tour in four episodes, without your needing to get out of your chair.

If you missed earlier episodes, you can find them on our Grow through International Expansion platform, https://growinternational.org . Our platform is independent, carries no advertising and is not for profit – we seek to deliver useful, valuable content, essential for all those who have interest in international business and global trade.

 

Opportunities Across the World at Going Global #52

Opportunities Across the World at Going Global #52

January 16, 2020

Walking round the Going Global exhibition in November gave visitors the opportunity of talking with representatives of many different countries. As you, our audience, know, here at Grow International we’re firm believers that international expansion to any country in the world can bring real benefits and, specifically, add value in different ways to many kinds of business. Every country, though, brings its own individual opportunities.

Our host, Oliver Dowson, writes: “Most of the countries exhibiting were there, I think, simply because they’re not the ones that business people naturally think of when they’re considering expansion. And I love what I call “countries off the usual business radar”. So often they can bring a company better value than the more mainstream developed countries – there’s less competition, the market may be nascent and ripe for development, and it can be easier and cheaper to hire skilled and enthusiastic workers”.

In visiting the stands, Oliver took the opportunity of recording short conversations for our Grow through International Expansion podcasts, asking the sorts of questions that interested business people would be asking if they wanted to be convinced of the value of a country to them. In this podcast, we’re featuring four of these conversations, talking about some very different countries.

If you missed earlier episodes, you can find them on our Grow through International Expansion platform, https://growinternational.org . Our platform is independent, carries no advertising and is not for profit – we seek to deliver useful, valuable content, essential for all those who have interest in international business and global trade.

Exploring a Variety of Business Essentials at Going Global 2019 #51

Exploring a Variety of Business Essentials at Going Global 2019 #51

January 8, 2020

Last month, our host, Oliver Dowson, visited the annual Going Global exhibition at the London Excel Centre. It’s a big event, part of the Business Show. For those who are looking at expansion, it’s a great opportunity to see a lot of the professionals you’d need to work with in one place, and to get new ideas for countries and regions to expand to.

While he was there, Oliver took the opportunity of recording some short podcast conversations with many of the exhibitors, asking them the questions that potential customers would want to, and we’re including many of those in a special series of our Grow through International Expansion podcasts. So if you can’t wait a year for the next exhibition, this will give you a whistle-stop tour in four episodes, without your needing to get out of your chair.

The next three podcasts are themed on countries and regions, but this time here’s three conversations on a variety of topics, all essential thing to think about when you’re considering international expansion.

If you missed earlier episodes, you can find them on our Grow through International Expansion platform, https://growinternational.org . Our platform is independent, carries no advertising and is not for profit – we seek to deliver useful, valuable content, essential for all those who have interest in international business and global trade.

Grow International Grows Into an App with Juliana Meyer | SupaPass #50

Grow International Grows Into an App with Juliana Meyer | SupaPass #50

December 9, 2019

Over the last year, Grow through International Expansion has grown considerably, in content, followers and podcast listeners. Our website, https://growinternational.org, has become a go-to destination for many looking for independent information, guidance and ideas on all aspects of international business expansion. Thousands of others listen to our podcasts on channels such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Podbean and Acast.

Now, we’ve launched the Grow International app, available on iOs and Android – so our followers can find all our content in one place, accessible from their phones or tablets, whether at their desks or on the move.

Our app is built by SupaPass – a brilliant UK startup, based in Norwich, who have latched onto the need for organisations that have “content” – videos, podcasts and articles – to be able to deliver this via an app at an affordable price. Until the advent of SupaPass, the only way was to build an app from scratch, and that typically takes months and costs many thousands.

They’ve also grasped the international opportunity – they already have overseas sales, and are now planning their full global expansion, as there’s obviously a demand for content apps in every country.

The story of their development and ambitions is best told by their founder, Juliana Meyer, who in this podcast is in conversation with our host, Oliver Dowson.

Juliana is the CEO and co-founder of Supapass. She is an award-winning entrepreneur with an Oxford Engineering Degree and 20 years of experience in the Tech & Entertainment Industry. She is also the co-founder of SyncNorwich.

International Sales – Getting the Hiring Right with Zach Selch | Global Sales Mentor #49

International Sales – Getting the Hiring Right with Zach Selch | Global Sales Mentor #49

December 3, 2019

Without sales, there’s no business – and so it’s easy to argue that one’s sales force are amongst your most important employees. Any executive will tell you that it’s hard enough hiring, motivating and retaining good sales people in your home country – but when setting up an international subsidiary, it’s that much harder.

Even where there’s no language barrier, your best sales person may struggle to succeed in another country. Even if you’re successful in hiring a great sales person in your new country, the sales methodology and support materials that work well for you at home may not be right.

So how do you get this critical element of your international expansion right? In this podcast, Zach Selch is talking with our host, Oliver Dowson.

Zach Selch is the VP Global Sales for a high tech medical company and coaches and mentors Global Sales Leaders. Over 30 years he has sold in more than 135 countries, lived in 6 countries and has driven sales growth, adding hundreds of millions of dollars to the value of companies by building their international footprint.

Zach is an ex-paratrooper, a father of 3 and boxes, smokes brisket (beef), and runs a soup kitchen when he isn’t on the road. Zach was in Germany when the wall went down, Jordan when peace with Israel was signed, has breakfasted with the Dalai Lama, and has been in the right place for a surprising number of right times.

Growing the international sales footprint is one of the very best ways to grow the value of a company, but when done poorly can also be one of the best ways to sink a small company or cripple a midmarket company. In this podcast, Zach discusses how to build revenue and the value of a company by getting the international sales process right. Zach believes that sales is an art and a science and isn’t something to be acted on impulsively or emotionally.

If you missed earlier episodes, you can find them on our Grow through International Expansion platform, https://growinternational.org . Our platform is independent, carries no advertising and is not for profit – we seek to deliver useful, valuable content, essential for all those who have interest in international business and global trade.

Joint Ventures - Gaining Benefits and Avoiding the Unexpected #48

Joint Ventures - Gaining Benefits and Avoiding the Unexpected #48

October 28, 2019

Following a previous episode about finding a partner in another country, in this GrowInternational podcast our host, Oliver Dowson, talks from his experience about the benefits and perils of starting Joint Ventures abroad. Whilst Oliver’s specific experience relates to creating operations to carry out administrative services, the lessons he learnt are equally relevant to those looking at JVs as a route to selling or manufacturing goods in a new overseas market.

If you missed earlier episodes, you can find them on our Grow through International Expansion platform, https://growinternational.org . Our platform is independent, carries no advertising and is not for profit – we seek to deliver useful, valuable content, essential for all those who have interest in international business and global trade.

Navigating the Minefields of Iraq and Other Post Conflict Countries with Leanne Case | Vzir #47

Navigating the Minefields of Iraq and Other Post Conflict Countries with Leanne Case | Vzir #47

October 24, 2019

Leanne is an entrepreneur herself. Having worked in countries including Afghanistan and Iraq, where she earned valuable experience in advisory roles for both the Iraqi and British governments, she has become an expert on business strategy in challenging markets. Indeed, in recognition for her services, Leanne was awarded the Iraq Reconstruction Medal. Leanne co-founded the Iraq Club and the Future Energy Forum. She has particular interest and experience in infrastructure, energy and engineering projects, and has had extensive involvement with tech start-ups.

Leanne has also written an article, “Why I’m backing Iraq”, which you can find on the Grow International platform and which provides a valuable additional insight into business opportunities and challenges in post-conflict economies.

For more information: https://vzir.co.uk

If you missed earlier episodes, you can find them on our Grow through International Expansion platform, https://growinternational.org . Our platform is independent, carries no advertising and is not for profit – we seek to deliver useful, valuable content, essential for all those who have interest in international business and global trade.

Navigating the Complexities of Expanding in the UAE with Jenny Hunt #46

Navigating the Complexities of Expanding in the UAE with Jenny Hunt #46

October 7, 2019

What do you think of when you think of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the rest of the UAE (United Arab Emirates)? Time was when it was just oil, but these days it’s also tourism and business in general – witness all those gleaming tower blocks one sees in photos. The growth of the economy has been staggering – and that’s led to ever increasing numbers of businesses planning to expand there. Some simply use the UAE as a base from which to service the whole Middle East and Indian Ocean regions, but there’s an increasing number recognising its importance and value for doing in-country business.

Talking to me about it in this podcast is Jenny Hunt. Jenny’s CV is impressive. She is ranked in FORBES' Top 100 Most Influential Women in the Middle East and she is CEO Today's 2019 Business Awards winner. Jenny’s also a best selling author, is an international speaker and regularly provides mission briefings to delegations about setting up and doing business in Abu Dhabi.

As the Founding Partner & CEO of the Gateway Group of Companies, based in Abu Dhabi, Jenny helps companies of all kinds navigate the complexities and get established successfully throughout the UAE.  So when it comes to this subject, she knows it all. Take a listen.

If you missed earlier episodes, you can find them on our Grow through International Expansion platform, https://growinternational.org . Our platform is independent, carries no advertising and is not for profit – we seek to deliver useful, valuable content, essential for all those who have interest in international business and global trade.

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