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No Small Business Needs to Be An Island

September 8, 2009

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In these trying economic times, small businesses need to leverage all their traditional advantages – innovation, flexibility, and intimate knowledge of their customers. But, most of all, in today’s global marketplace, small businesses should not limit themselves within traditional barriers.

They need to think global.

75 percent of the world’s buying power is outside the United States. And yet many small businesses limit their potential by not focusing enough of their marketing and sales efforts beyond North America. The notion of going global can be daunting, and it is not without challenges. But if you operate a small business, you need to think beyond the horizon – whether that means someday becoming a big business or just meeting your expansion goals.

In a new article for Amex OPEN Forum, I look at seven ways small businesses can successfully venture into new global markets. Some of the strategies include: expanding your view of the world, leveraging the Internet, finding business intelligence online, and forging new alliances.

Many small companies in diverse industries are succeeding by using these strategies. For instance, in the OPEN Forum article, you will learn about a fishing operation on a small distant island that was the setting for “Robinson Crusoe.” The fisherman dramatically expanded his company’s sales by using the Internet and an innovative distribution strategy developed with FedEx. This small business owner’s world was not limited to the small island that is his familiar home…his customers and opportunity now span the globe.

All types of companies are now able to put up websites and connect to global customers. At one point a small business’s network was restricted to its local community. Network is now endless thanks to new channels and social media.  In this economy, small businesses should not limit their possibilities. And with technology and communications advances they don’t need to.

At FedEx, we spend a lot of time thinking about the needs, challenges, and potential of small businesses. FedEx began as an entrepreneurial company 36 years ago, and we have worked hard to maintain the traditional small-business traits of innovation and a strong customer focus as we have grown. We have developed many resources and tools specifically designed for small businesses, so they can gather global intelligence and send their goods about the world easily and quickly.

As part of our strategy to support small businesses, we are sponsoring “The World” section on Amex OPEN Forum (openforum.com). OPEN Forum is an online community that can provide business owners with access to videos, articles, blogs, and expert advice to help boost their business. OPEN Forum also provides FedEx with an opportunity to learn more about the needs of small businesses and share our expertise in areas that can guide small businesses in achieving success.

We invite you to explore “The World” in the Amex OPEN Forum community. Register to receive information that matters to you and visit regularly to gain access to updated information pertinent to what you face every day as a small business.

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