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ADVICE FOR SMALL BUSINESS: ACT LOCAL, THINK GLOBAL

By Kunle Adebunmi

The business world is fast becoming a single global supermarket where you can shop for everything. Boundaries and borders are gradually getting linked and connected.  Trade and commerce are getting more simplified. We need to be aware that the business world is growing smaller and smaller every day. We are fortunate in this digital age because most economies are getting more connected faster. Interestingly, African countries have also continued to work together by pushing the agenda for intercontinental and regional trade integration for its own continent.

At the moment, the internet is busy daily, breaking international business barriers. Businesses are now refusing to compete locally but globally i.e. competition is gradually leaving the local space. However, every small business is expected to put more effort in growing local roots while thinking internationally. African small businesses also need to develop a conscious and continuous network so as to be able to keep creating new markets aside its existing local market. There is nothing stopping a startup with a global mentality to promote its business internationally.  From what we can see from the global business trend, technological advances have eliminated all the barriers of connection to other international markets.

What is worth doing at all is worth doing well. If you have taken the pain to start a small business, then it’s worth it to think big and think global. Most times, what you think is what you get. According to Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can or you can’t; you are right.” It simply means; the bigger your thinking in business, the more likely you can achieve it. Unfortunately, too many small business owners only think locally. The way you think in business determines the way you act and the way you act will determine how impactful your small business will turn out to be. That is why every small business should think globally from the start if they want to grow to their utmost potential.

If you want to make the biggest impact on your small business, you need to start acting locally and thinking globally. Every small business owner needs to consciously ask questions; do we just want to exist only within our immediate local environment? Do we believe that our product offering should extend to the international markets? Etc.

The “Think Global, Act Local” mantra suggests that you should be more particular about developing a global brand for your small business while you keep tailoring your marketing to a geographic audience. Your goal should be tailored towards the level of impact your small wants to make. Any business thinking locally will only make an impact locally while the one thinking globally is bound to make a bigger impact internationally. Promoting your global idea and brand from your local region can be achieved. Every small business can now promote their brand internationally and globally. Since business is also about connecting, having a local presence and local knowledge cannot be said to be enough.

Marketing of product or service offerings globally offers better financial and other kinds of benefits for any small business. Some businesses already succeeded in achieving global brand status because they started locally but were thinking globally. Examples of such brands today are KFC, Nokia, Unilever, and Coca-Cola, etc.

Thinking globally will help you to continually monitor your business trend on the global scene. Though you may not see the worldwide companies within your space as competitors yet, there is still a benefit by seeing what they are doing in another country and how it differs from your own small business operation and strategy. Cooperate and learn to build partners, whether business partners or affiliate partners that will help to expand your market shortly. There are hundreds of business entities out there you can partner with.

Every small business can be taken globally through its online presence platform. The Online platform and presence have a potential worldwide audience for your small business. The fact is that people around the world can access your business anytime and buy from you. You don’t have to be a big company to succeed internationally. There are opportunities you can tap into at the emerging countries without leaving home. The starting point is to become more aware of what is happening internationally. Start thinking of how you can participate without losing sight of your own small business at home. Begin to think global no matter what you are selling.