How local is your business? Really? Many of us experience places through local businesses. I gave a talk with the Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce about how local businesses can benefit from the global reach they already have.
Social media is an enabler
Local businesses can have a global customer base, an expansive social media presence and be part of conversations all over the world-sometimes without realizing it. I know that I check up on some of my favorite Westport restaurants on Facebook to see the latest on my hometown scene. Other restaurants and food carts I know here in Twitter-happy Berlin are constantly tweeted by visitors, residents and tourists – often unbeknownst to them. With broader web services, such as Google maps, businesses in other branches are visible. How many times have you been navigating through unfamiliar territory with your phone to see that you were around the corner from a tax advisor, doctor or the like? NKD Pizza (formerly Naked Pizza) is an impressive example of a local business that grew a customer base through a social media following.
Mobility and cross pollination
Workers can telecommute, allowing people greater geographical flexibility. New modes of working and the growing co-working movement has enabled a work force to travel more easily across locations and even international boarders. There is even a sub-cutlure of wandering knowledge workers who call themselves “digital nomads.” Westport, Connecticut, a town of about 25000 people has articles on Wikipedia in more than 20 languages. Here in Berlin, businesses have long gotten used to offering their services in English, Turkish and other common languages such as French, Russian, Arabic… the list goes on. Your encatchment area can be international with high turnover and span continents without you having to physically leave your street. This also means that your compeition might not be directly visible to you either.
Global supply chains
A small business can now have suppliers and customers in other countries and even continents. My small enterprise has customers on 3 continents. Many businesses cater to specifc niches. In order to be profitable and grow, many small businesses need to reach specific customer segments globally. Depending on the product or service, the ability to deliver across borders is becoming less difficult – and thereby more common. Rich profit pools are not necessarily in geographic proximity to small business. Embracing the global dimension your business might already could provide the first step to a profitable growth.
Leveraging global opportunity
Once businsses become aware of global opportunity, the second step is to understand what data is available to you with reasonable effort. Often more data is available than you think. Accessing insight is often a matter of asking the right questions and looking in the right places.
Making the right connections is also important.
D3M Labs is working with corporations, agencies and merchant organizations to define their strategic internationalization objectives and bridge the Atlantic. We work to get our clients in touch with the right innovators, partners and customers who will help their businesses achieve their global potential.
D3M Labs can be your partner in Europe to help you grow and scale.