Global Business Growth - new customers at home & abroad

Ed Marsh | Sep 11, 2012

Global or International?

Ever pondered the difference between global and international?  I didn't reckon so - talk about a distinction without a difference.  Or is there something to it? 

According to, "global" refers to the entire globe while "international" speaks to activities between two countries.

Being global means that a company concentrates simultaneously on opportunities at home, as well as in overseas markets.  Therefore I would argue that for the typical American SMB, global should be a foundational strategy, and international a technical term referring to specific activities or transactions.  

Here's what I mean.

Profitable Growth

Companies are about growth - profitable growth.  And profitable growth has been harder to come by within the traditional boundaries to which many companies restrict themselves.  These including:
  • traditional sales & marketing approaches
  • regional / national US markets with which they are familiar
  • industries and applications into which they have traditionally sold
The mind shift to "global" opens up huge new opportunities in various ways - a couple are listed below.  But in contrast to "international", which requires that you focus on export exclusively, global implies that your business is about finding profitable growth where ever it lies, domestically or overseas.  You have a global market.

Shifting to a global mindset has a number of benefits for companies, including:
  • by recognizing that they can't be everywhere, they shift their marketing to allow them to be found by qualified prospects anywhere
  • there are great lessons to be learned from global business activities that can be applied with substantial benefits in the domestic market
  • by broadening perspective, companies allow themselves to consider opportunities in other markets (note that this used to mean other countries, but increasingly can be major metro areas or regions as well)
To boil it down, companies that want to grow profitably amid uncertain market conditions need to proactively adapt through evolutionary marketing approaches and exploration of new markets.

Evolutionary Marketing & New Markets

global sales business developmentIn a recent Vistage article Marc Emmer made a variety of points that coincide perfectly with our perspective on business growth for SMBs.  Key excerpts include "Economic news has become a crutch... the status quo is an economy flattened like a pancake.  Most of the time, the benefits that won business 3 years ago, will not be the same ones that will resonate 3 years from leaders can not act as victims to these circumstances...It is time for businesses to plan for growth independent of the momentum of the overall economy. In many sectors, the loss of pricing power, and margin erosion are not a result of the economic cycle...entrepreneurs should recognize the structural changes in our economic ecosystem, and take advantage of them...The businesses that are succeeding today (clearly Vistage members are outpacing the market) are not satisfied with the status quo, and are retooling their value propositions. For companies who may have been spoiled by annual price increases in the past, growth will not come through traditional means. Companies will have to manufacture growth by taking share, doing something new, or acquiring businesses in other sectors. When revenue and margin are eroding, and there is not a clear strategic impetus to reverse the trend, it is incumbent on the entrepreneur to make bold moves...developing new business or attacking adjacent markets is enabled by lower marketing costs...While U.S. earnings are strong, public companies are clearly far more reliant on revenue and profit from their operations oversees. As they ran out of runway, many looked for new markets to exploit, and small companies will need to do the same."

I'd recommend you read the article, but if you don't have time, here's a distillation.

  1. stop whining, take charge, change (not for the sake of change but to leverage new opportunities)
  2. new methods of marketing can allow you to drive down costs and easily identify broad new swathes of prospective customers/clients
  3. think globally - opportunities in other markets are vibrant
  4. be bold

We agree.  And Consilium has created the strategy approach and collection of real-world experience and tools to help SMBs take these precise steps.  check out or business development approach here. We'd call it "unique" or "innovative" if those words weren't so nauseatingly overused.  You can decide what name to affix, but we believe that once you dig into it, you'll agree with us that it's pretty awesome.

Contact Consilium today to discusss how we can support your bold objectives!

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