Going Global as a Small Business

One of the end-game goals of most entrepreneurs is to reach a point where they’re recognized internationally. Thanks to the internet, it’s surprisingly easy for your product to reach different cultures, countries and languages. However, this alone isn’t enough to consider yourself as a global business. Unfortunately, small companies have a much harder time breaking into international markets because they don’t have the right connections, staff or knowledge required to make it overseas. While this can be something you slowly work on over a long period of time, there’s no doubt that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication.

However, there are a couple of strategies that you can employ today that will not only increase the number of international opportunities available to you but could help you enter foreign markets on a much lower budget.

Photo by Brett Zeck on Unsplash

Consider which countries you want to appeal to

While it’s possible to appeal to the world as a whole with your product, we highly suggest that you pinpoint your focus on a particular region of the world or country. Some products do much better on a global stage because it’s something that everyone can use, such as a smartphone. However, even such a widely-used tech product can have smaller markets and demands in certain areas. For instance, wealthy areas of the world love big-name brands such as Apple and Samsung. However, areas with dense populations and lower income might prefer budget smartphones with a heavy emphasis on value.

As a result, you need to consider which countries your products appeal to. This can be difficult to identify with minimal research. This is why it’s important to do some preliminary research on potentially viable markets before you decide to invest in your growth in another country’s markets.

Do your research as early as possible

Once you have identified those opportunities, it’s time to start doing research. Everything from financial options to production and even cultural differences needs to be considered when performing research. The idea here is that you’re looking for any risks or challenges involved in breaking into a new market.

On the financial side of things, it’s worth establishing flexible options so that you can easily pivot your business when you want to capitalize on overseas opportunities. For example, having a way to send money to Pakistan could be helpful if you wanted to set up a means of production in South Asia. Similarly, having support for local payment methods and not just cards and PayPal. In the context of Pakistan, this could mean local options such as EasyPaisa and payOrder. Doing this type of research will greatly improve your chances of breaking into an international market simply because you’ll be more relatable.

Establish a small team of experts

If you want to go global as a small business, you’ll need to organize a team of experts that can smooth out the process. This can include translators, local influencers and even support staff that can speak the language. With this small team of specialists, you’ll have a much easier time communicating with an overseas audience and also appealing to them through changes in your branding and products. It can be difficult to find the right people for the job. Networking is your best friend here and doing your research on local influencers to work with can make a huge difference in your success rates.

One of the essential skills of becoming an entrepreneur is being able to lead a team. Even if it’s a relatively small but diverse group of specialists, having a team that is focused on international growth will make a huge difference in the long run. Not only will you be able to communicate with overseas customers, but you’ll also be able to change your branding or products and services to fit a different market. You should never underestimate the cultural differences in overseas markets and how they can affect both the products you create and your marketing materials. By respecting these cultural differences, you’ll have a much easier time growing your business in a completely different environment.

Going global as a small business can be surprisingly challenging, especially if you’re working with a relatively small team or have a limited budget to spend on overseas expansion. However, with the right approach and a team to support you, we believe that it’s one of the most attainable goals for a confident entrepreneur. If you’re looking for something challenging to push your business to its limits, then attempting to break onto an international stage may be enticing thanks to the rewards it can offer.

#BOUNCEBACKFORBUSINESS: Sarap Mag Biyahe (SMB) Travel and Tours Bacoor

One of the industries that’s greatly affected by the pandemic is the travel industry. Our local travel and tours business in the country will need your support after all of these. One of the MSMEs that I have talked to is Sarap Mag Biyahe (SMB) Travel and Tours – Bacoor Branch Services.

SMB Travel Bacoor usually offer Airline Ticketing (Phils. & International Destinations), Hotel Booking (Phils. & International Destinations), Sightseeing Tours (Phils. & International Destinations), Theme Park Tickets (Phils. & International Destinations), Travel Insurance (Phils. & International Destinations), Visa Assistance (Korea, Japan, China, Dubai, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK, Schengen, Turkey), Pocket Wifi Rental (Phils. & International Destinations), Car, Van, Mini-bus, Bus Rental (Phils. & International Destinations), Phils. & International Tours (FIT/Groups, Customized Tour Packages), Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conventions and Exhibitions/ Events (M.I.C.E) Conference and Team Building / Company Excursion / Company Outing.

The have just recently started their business last February 8, 2019. Like most of these travel agencies, they earn service fee from the transactions.

Due to this crisis, they had to close their office. They haven’t gotten any sales since they have been no operations (No Sales) since President Rodrigo Duterte declared flight cancellations for one month.

SMB Travel Bacoor wishes that we could all help them out. We could help them and other travel agencies by not canceling our trips when we have bookings. Let’s just change the travel dates and save tourism!

“Many of us in Travel Industry might start with nothing if you cancel your trips. Save your desire to travel and let us assist you still after this challenge we all have right now. Another thing is and this is a fact, due to numerous requests, airlines will be taking up to 3 months to process refunds. But as we coordinate with them, changing the travel dates is allowed until June 30, 2020,” they said.

SMB Travel Bacoor continues on to assure us that we don’t need to change your travel dates and there is no need to rush in deciding when to travel again. SMB Travel says that they will be awaiting for your new travel dates.

This is good to know since I know that most of us will be raring and daring to travel once we wipe out and win over this Corona virus.

They also mentioned that this is the time that they are doubling up on their marketing efforts. They are also offering promo packages.

When asked about the lessons that they have learned from this pandemic, SMB Travel says that all businesses should save up as a contingency plan.

For future bookings, you can contact Sarap Mag Biyahe (SMB) Travel and Tours – Bacoor Branch Services via FB messenger (https://www.facebook.com/smbtravelbacoor) or email.

For now, stay at home and stay safe!

P.S. Please follow https://www.facebook.com/groups/BounceBackPH/ to see how you can support the Philippines.

P.P.S. Please follow #BounceBackforBusiness #GInspiration #GoLocalPH for more Local SME and Professional stories that we can support!

P.P.S. If you want to be featured next, please visit this link https://mommyginger.com/smes-and-professionals-unite-during-this-time-of-crisis.html and for Women Founders, please visit this website and sign up: http://startupwomenconnect.asia/

#BOUNCEBACKFORBUSINESS: Featuring Automart.ph

Looking out my window here in BGC, I don’t see any movement. This enhanced community quarantine has turned this hustling and bustling place into a quiet and somewhat eerie neighborhood. Weirdly so, I miss seeing people and cars.

This got me thinking about the Auto Industry. How are businesses in this industry doing. Fortunately, Automart.ph, one of the startups in this environment is the hero of my feature today. Here is my interview with the founder of Automart.ph, Poch Ceballos.

Ginger: Hi Poch! Can you tell readers more about Automart.ph?

Poch: We sell used and repossessed cars at prices far cheaper than what you can get from most dealers and marketplaces. We follow a strict “no patong” or no premium over what the suppliers sell the units for, so you’re assured that you get the lowest rates possible always.

Poch Ceballos from Automart.ph

While buying a brand new car is always a nice goal – and the brand new smell can be intoxicating – it’s simply not a practical choice especially with a global recession looming. Automart.Ph has a lot of almost-new and very high quality cars, at around 30-50% lower prices vs brand new cars. That’s the practical way to go about it. We have branches and car lots in QC, Paranaque, Cebu and Davao.

Ginger: I agree with that during this time, it may be wise to really think about purchases and having this option from Automart.ph for buying cars is great. So tell us, why did you start your business? And what is your mission? 

Poch: Our mission is to provide Assets for All. We provide practical, low-cost options for Filipinos nationwide, especially for items that are normally very expensive, like cars.

Ginger: To give people insights on different business models out there, can you describe your business model?

Poch: We work with suppliers who need to sell cars and place their inventory on our site. In return, we get a small commission for every sale.

Ginger: So, Poch, everyone’s talking about the Pandemic. Can you share how was Automart.ph and you as a founder impacted by this pandemic both or either positively or negatively? Were you also impacted by the Enhanced Community Quarantine? 

Poch: Our folks are doing study-from-home, and we’re upskilling them so that once we’re ready to go back to work, they’ll have more and better skills.

Ginger: I love companies who give high regard for their employees. How about your company? How can people help you moving forward? What kind of help are you looking for? 

Poch: I’d love to encourage and ask them to buy used and repossessed cars from us, instead of brand new. It’s cheaper, kinder to the environment since nothing new is produced.

Ginger: Because of the things happening now, what changes will you be implementing in your business? 

Poch: We might be trading down – selling even lower-priced cars than before. We’ll also be working with more partners who need help disposing of their added inventory.

Ginger: To end this interview, Poch, what are the business lessons that you have learned from this? 

Poch: You must be able to weather sudden downturns – have enough reserves if possible, and be kind to your employees. If you can have them work from home or study from home, do so.

Ginger: Thank you so much and more power to Automart.ph.

For those interested in collaborating or purchasing, please visit: https://automart.ph

Facebook: https://facebook.com/automartph

Instagram: https://instagram.com/automartph

Thanks for reading these SME and local business features!

P.S. Please follow https://www.facebook.com/groups/BounceBackPH/ to see how you can support the Philippines.

P.P.S. Please follow #BounceBackforBusiness #GInspiration #GoLocalPH for more Local SME and Professional stories that we can support!

P.P.S. If you want to be featured next, please visit this link https://mommyginger.com/smes-and-professionals-unite-during-this-time-of-crisis.html

#BounceBackforBusiness: EntrepNegosyo.com and Emarket.com.ph

During situations like this, I’ve noticed that a lot of people flock to get news and information on Viber and other chat-based channels. Johanson Dy Cheng, the founder of www.entrepnegosyo.com and www.emarket.com.ph, is using his community to help others in this time of crisis.

Johan founded these websites to help share general and specific information regarding business and commerce needed by up-and-coming young entrepreneurs. These avenues for learning is not only a simple and
necessary networking tool, it also serves as a communication link for already well established and successful businessmen and tycoons, whether local or international.

About the Founder

Johan graduated from Jubilee Christian Academy in 1996 and from De La Salle University- College of Saint Benilde in 2000, with a Bachelor of Science degree, major in Industrial Design.

He is no stranger to hard work as values like this were passed on to him from parents and family that handles various business endeavors. He was an academically gifted student, and was chosen as one of the select industrial design delegates sent by his school to the Industrial Design Forum held in Sydney, Australia from 1999 to 2000 under the umbrella of the Biennial Congress of International Council of Societies of Industrial Design.
When he graduated in 2000, he was conferred as one of the Ten Most Outstanding Student Leaders of all school organizations with the COPS Bahaghari Award of De La Salle University.

While in college at the De La Salle University, he was cited and included five times in the Dean’s List.

His professional career spans both the private and volunteer sectors. His work in the private sector began immediately after his graduation from college, when he joined the family-owned House of Accessories, where
he assisted in handling inquiries and purchasing of products from different Asian countries. During this time, he was working simultaneously as a bank trainee with China Banking Corporation in the year 2000, focusing on the analysis of financial statements of companies obtaining loans.

For the next 13 years, he worked for the banking industry’s giants. Among them were Standard Chartered Bank from 2000-2005. He was pirated from by Citibank from 2005 to 2010, where he rose from the ranks of trainee to Customer Relationship Manager. All the experiences he accumulated during his days in banking prepared him for entrepreneurship.

About EntrepNegosyo

In 2005, Johanson started EntrepNegosyo, an information gateway intended for the Philippine business community. It provided business news, bulletins, research and technology advancements that helped promote entrepreneurship literacy. His aim was to create global impact by empowering young Filipino entrepreneurs to be leaders, and taking the initiative in finding community solutions.

A passionate advocate of entrepreneurship, he envisioned EntrepNegosyo to be a universal portal where start-up companies could utilize shared resources from partners across the globe. To date, EntrepNegosyo has
more than 5,000 start-up subscribers as well as Small and Medium Industries (SMEs) taking advantage of its easy-to-use portal.

On his EntrepNegosyo Facebook site, Johan has created a dynamic meeting ground that allows its voluminous membership to expand their businesses while networking with one another, through active social media interaction. Relevant and valuable daily business advice and bulletins are part of the EntrepNepsyo’s regular menu, as well as inspirational talks from featured speakers. His work today allows young Filipino entrepreneurs the information and support to start, to grow, to network and to succeed in their chosen business endeavors through direct exposure to the working opportunities offered in his two social media sites.

By pioneering this online Philippine business community page for Filipino entrepreneurs, Cheng was able to pursue his passion for web and industrial design. Johan considers it a rare opportunity to work at something that he is very passionate for. Apart from this, Johanson has also involved himself in several other ventures: As social media and business development head of Philip Leonard Furniture; as Vice-President for Business Information Technology at Real Estate HUB, LLC; and as Sales Representative at AutoKid Group of Companies. Johan’s career in the volunteer sector began in 2000, when he joined Junior Chamber International (JCI) Manila. Here he further honed his leadership abilities, becoming chairman for different standing committees. He was soon an invaluable, eager member, driven by his innate desire to be of assistance to everyone.

Johan’s Working Dream

It was during his years as a member of JCI Manila that he found his second calling —that of spending much of his time in humanitarian aid and development, onsite rescue and relief operations. He also found himself in resource mobilization for healthcare delivery. He assisted also in bolstering capacities of existing outposts for basic services.

He was drawn most to caring for children with disabilities, having realized that it was the most marginalized and ignored groups of children today, most especially those afflicted with cerebral palsy. It was then that he
decided to pursue a lifelong mission of uplifting the lives of children with disabilities in the Philippines by creating awareness, educating stakeholders and providing appropriate opportunities for development and a better life.

He started his spiritual ministry at a very early age, actively serving as a volunteer for the Christian Bible Church of the Philippines in his local community at Talayan Village, in Quezon City. A devout Christian, he has
since worked closely with various parishes and charitable institutions, including continuing support for the Christ Commission Fellowship composed by lay men and women who share God’s love and the Gospel.

Today, much of his ministry has been devoted to children with disabilities. He has made this his life’s work, going to hospitals to visit and pray with patients daily after work. He will usually take with him his friends from church and colleagues from JCI Manila to provide comfort and hope to the seriously ill.

Johan is like the “energizer bunny,” never running out of energy to do whatever he can in a day which seems to be lacking in hours for this workaholic who detests holidays. Johan seems to have mastered time
management to perfection. He sleeps only three to four hours daily as he always is on the go whenever he is called. He spends a lot of his time meeting with his “Golden Heart” team in looking for ways to further reach out to more children.

Can you describe your business model? How can you earn? 

Johan earns through domain reselling and through the e-commerce platform.

How were you impacted by this pandemic? How were you impacted by the Enhanced Community Quarantine? 

At this time, Johan says that there is no chance to do social networking and business networking. He would like to get the word out that SMEs can use the platforms that he has to promote their businesses.

How can people help you moving forward? What kind of help are you looking for? 

He wishes that people can share his websites to all business owners: www.entrepnegosyo.com and www.emarket.com.ph

Because of the things happening now, what changes will you be implementing in your business? 

He plans to add an online payment gateway so that people can pay online.

What are the business lessons that you have learned from this? 

Johan says that we need to educate people and businesses on having a contingency plan on how to earn online.

Spread the word about these two sites that can help local businesses:

www.entrepnegosyo.com

www.emarket.com.ph

Thanks for continuously reading my stories on local businesses!

P.S. Please follow https://www.facebook.com/groups/BounceBackPH/ to see how you can support the Philippines.

P.P.S. Please follow #BounceBackforBusiness #GInspiration #GoLocalPH for more Local SME and Professional stories that we can support!

P.P.S. If you want to be featured next, please visit this link https://mommyginger.com/smes-and-professionals-unite-during-this-time-of-crisis.html