Building a Global Company in Good Times and Bad


When the going gets tough with your import/export activities, remember that the tough get going.  Here are a few examples of companies that were all started during a time of trial and tribulation yet went on to become successful, some insights on the importance of global trade and tips on going global and recharging your business.

  • Thomas Edison founded what eventually became General Electric (GE) during a time historians called the “Panic of 1873.”
  • William Hewlett and David Packard founded their electronic company in 1939, when there was war and depression.
  • Intel in July 1968, five weeks after Robert Kennedy was assassinated – a time when America seemed to flying apart.
  • In 1975, as the last soldiers were evacuated by helicopters during the fall of Saigon, Steve Jobs and Steve Woznak started Apple.  Same year, Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft.
  • In 1977, as Americans waited in gas lines and turned down thermostats because of oil shortages, Oracle got its start.
  • In 1982, unemployment was so bad that Ronald Reagan was expected to lose his re-election bid two years later.  In 1982, Sun Microsystems began.
  • In 2001, the horrific event of September 11th caused entrepreneurs and small businesses to be worried sick about the health of their business.  That same year I started to help people sell to the world.

If there is a connection between national mood and small business genius, it may be inverse:  the tougher the times, the more valuable and creative the solution.

 So as an importer or exporter, learn from your mistakes, always strive to improve and never, ever give up.  Your company may one day be on the above list.

The Importance of Global Trade

The United States is, and will continue to be, the strongest nation in the world.  Free trade alows us to be more prosperous and secure.

 It’s readers like yourselves, who are the engine behind our world economy.  We must unite to become more effective in our dealings.  You can start by practicing the following.

3 Tips On Going Global

Here are three ways to get going in the world of international trade.

1.    World Warrior – Become not just a world citizen, but a world warrior.  We must fight with all our might to get to business extraordinary instead of business as usual.

2.    Operation Global – I’ve coined this expression yet you can practice it too.  It means identifying projects that allow you to work the world quieter, faster, and more efficiently.  It’s a matter of operating globally in an Internet era.

3.    Exploit the Web – Visit all the sites that offer help in going global like the Office of International Trade U.S.A. SBA, The Global Small Business Blog, International Trade Administration U.S. Department of Commerce, GlobeTrade, and the U.S. Government Export Portal, to name just a few.  There are more, so get going, explore and take on the world with your business!

Top 10 Tips for Recharging Your Business

Now that you know what to do to overcome challenges and know how to get going in the world of international trade, here are ten tips for recharging your business.

  1. Take initiative like never before (leadership is the willingness to confront anxiety head-on and deal with its cause).
  2. Deliver on your promises (execution is the key).
  3. Be fearless in your conviction.
  4. Try something new (like sourcing products from a new country).
  5. Practice relentless and extreme (social) marketing.
  6.  Use imagination capital, which equals entrepreneurial capital.
  7. Create a sense of community.
  8. Never, ever give up.
  9. Share your stories with others.
  10. Success comes to those who understand the human side of a business.

Enough said.  Now go make your business stronger and better.