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How Your Small Business Can Remain Competitive in a Global Market: 3 Proven Tips

Follow these steps to position yourself to benefit from a global business environment.

So far gone are the days of having your entire local market to yourself. When the Only competition you had to worry about was the new coffee shop that just opened five blocks from yours. You know, " The good old days". Truth is, whether you run a small retail outfit or a sizable firm, you suddenly, in the 21st century, find yourself having to make each and every business decision with an eye on a larger global business landscape.

You are not just competing with the guys next door, you are having to protect your business from companies around the world. My personal take: I think globalization breeds inter-connectivity and a sort of Darwinian condition which helps maintain a " may the best man win" type of environment, which affords the end-user a host of options in any product category.

That being said, I can also understand the folks who see Globalization is an existential threat to their business. Either way, one must prepare to participate in this new world, and here are three tips I have found to on point.

1. Form Strategic Partnerships

Thompson, Strickland, and Gamble write that strategic partnerships can help by “filling gaps in technical expertise and/or knowledge of local markets.” partnering with an International PEO gives companies access to in-country experts. An International PEO not only provides insight into local labor laws but also helps companies on-board top talent in their desired country, even in countries that might face labor shortages.

Source: Velocity Global

2. Diversify your skill set

The more you know and the more you can do, the more valuable you become to any customer. Seek to show prospective customers and /or partners that you bring a variety of skills to the table and will thereby add value to the company and help it achieve its objectives. Show that you are built to fill any needs they may have, regardless of location. Immerse yourself and your staff in the cultural practices of most, if not all the countries you seek to operate in.

Versatility is key; the more adaptable you can be, the better.

3. Learn a new language

This is probably one of the most coveted skills in a globalized job market. The ability to communicate effectively with clients, business partners and suppliers from a different country can add tremendous value to any resume and instantly boost your marketability.

Mastering a new language allows you to close that communication gap, making you an invaluable addition to any business relationship. Learning the nuances of any foreign language makes you a bridge between two different cultures, a valuable skill that not very many people possess.

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