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Why Every Business Needs Experienced Domain Experts Globally

So you plan on creating a bad ass product or service, stroll into the market, and gain eternal praise from clients everywhere, while becoming a billionaire in the process? I wish you the best of luck, but unfortunately that kind of market domination is a myth, just like ” an over night success“. The truth is your product launch is only the first small step to having a sustainable business and getting the launch right is hard enough. Understanding the market and building a product that people need is not a simple task. With the global economic crisis many people have decided to pursue their passions by building a business, this means a lot of new products and services are coming on the market.

Every one of these great new businesses need clients and partnerships to grow…and lots of them. This is where business development professionals come into play. Experienced biz dev professionals can help with high level sales, networking, strategy and customer acquisition within their domain. These are the people that have experience working in a market or in a sector and that have the knowledge you need as a business owner to understand and adapt to the market, whether that be Vancouver, New York, or Berlin.

Globify.me is trying to connect businesses with biz dev professional in a variety of sectors and markets around the world. We need to know how we can best help businesses grow by building the best network of domain expert. Every business is different and has specific needs. If you believe this service can help you or your business please visit www.globify.me to subscribe to our email list and like us on facebook.

Alex Mason
Globify.me
@GlobifyMe

Let’s Globify The Startup Community

Taking a step back to evaluate where I am and what I have recently experienced has opened my eyes to the opportunities that exist for the global startup community. I’ve mentioned in previous articles that I have worked and studied in a variety of places. I have also done a lot of business development in a variety of industries. Looking back at my personal and professional life I have to say I don’t regret a thing. Why you ask? Because it now makes perfect sense. All of my decisions (both good and bad) have led me to the founding of Globify.me. Realistically I have done the things that I have done because I am selfish and always want to learn and experience new things. But what it has done, is given me an insider perspective of how connected the business world is and how many challenges there still are for early stage entrepreneurs that can provide great solutions to global problems.

I don’t know if you noticed but their are new incubators and co-workings popping up all over the world. Organizations like The Founder’s Institute and Lets Lunch are aggressively entering new markets. From the early stages of their startup life they have implemented global scaling strategies that are beginning to bear fruit. While in Madrid I have seen recent steps of both companies to enter the Spanish Market. They both provide a different value proposition and are utilizing different channels to enter the market. Madrid is interesting because it has a very young startup ecosystem with very few international success stories. There is still a great opportunity here due to the governments scramble to find a viable solution to the economic crisis and the connections with Latin America and Europe. As Silicon Valley name brands, FI and Let’s Lunch already have developed a bit of a global brand which helps them find local partners. Unfortunately for most this is not the case. Whether it is a new service, product, or technology there are countless opportunities in new markets that are difficult or impossible to test due to high costs and high risks involved in showing up in a new market with your fingers crossed. Of course everyone has their friend’s friend who knows a guy. Although sometimes these contacts work out, entrepreneurs and professionals alike have the best intentions to help but often lack the time and motivation to do so properly. I put myself in this same category.

With Globify.me you no longer have to depend on goodwill and hope that someone is going to take the time to share their local knowledge, network, and experience. A little compensation can help entrepreneurs execute on those good intentions.

Alex Mason
Founder http://www.Globify.me
@GlobifyMe

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Alejandro Barrera, Founder & CEO Press 42

A few months ago I caught up with Alex Barrera, Founder & CEO of Press 42, to talk about the evolution of the Startup community in Spain, and more specifically Madrid. There is growing support for the development of a startup ecosystem with initiatives like the international lab lead by Madrid Emprende.

J. Alex Mason
Founder Globify.me
http://www.globify.me
@GlobifyMe

6 Tips For International Entrepreneurs To Build Their Network in San Francisco

Since Globify.me is focused on the tech sector, the majority of people that I meet are involved in startups in one way or another, and of course the majority of entrepreneurs that I meet are fascinated with San Francisco. There is no doubt that Silicon Valley is the center of the universe for tech startups, with the amount of money available for almost any type of tech venture. I agree that there is a certain allure to Silicon Valley, but what continues to surprise me is the pedestal on which Silicon Valley startups sit. Of course, with what seems like an endless amount of money pouring through the ecosystem, the companies based there have an obvious advantage when it comes to scaling. What most international entrepreneurs don’t realize is that there is such a large concentration of startups that for every international success story there are hundreds of failures. So in fact, there is no quality prerequisite for being based out of the Valley. In fact the majority of ideas that I came across were not rocket science and did not plan on changing the world…although those do exist (i.e. Moon Express, SpaceX), but that’s a different story. With some commitment, hard work and persistence I believe that anyone can show up in San Francisco with nothing and build a great network. Unfortunately there are currently no online tools that would effectively allow you to build your network before you arrive. There are definitely great benefits of having a network in San Francisco, which include access to money, info about trends, potential competition, potential partners, and team building. So here are my tips for building your network in San Francisco:

1) It’s Going To Take Time: Don’t expect to have a break through on a two-week visit… unless you are already connected.

2) Get Out Of The House: Sitting on the phone trying to book meetings will only get you so far. People want to meet you and there are plenty of events to attend. You’d be amazing whom you might meet at an event. I should also add that you should focus on events where you will meet the people that you want to meet. Many of the events are filled with aspiring entrepreneurs like yourself. Here is some helpful reading to help you network.

3) Get Your Pitch Ready: Have a 30 second pitch and 2 minute pitch ready. More importantly, get ready to change your pitches to adapt to market trends and competitors. There are also many pitch competitions that you can enter to gain a larger audience.

4) Help People! Don’t just take take take, try and help people the best you can. Then don’t be afraid to ask for help in return when the time comes.

5) Find A Base: Whether it is a coffee shop, co-working space, incubator, or accelerator it is important that you surround yourself with other entrepreneurs with similar interests that you can interact with and that can make introductions for you (Google it, there are lots).

6) Use Available Online Tools: There are great online resources that can help you network while you’re there. Here are some examples:

  1. http://www.startupdigest.com
  2. http://www.webwallflower.com
  3. http://www.meetup.com
  4. http://www.letslunch.com
  5. http://www.skillshare.com
  6. The websites of the various co-working offices.

As you can see it is not that complicated. The toughest thing about it will be to find reasonably priced accommodation, and to taking the leap! Just make sure you think about what you want to get out of your trip then go full steam ahead!

Alex Mason, MBA
Founder Globify.me
@GlobifyMe

The World Is Your Oyster

I know, “the world is your oyster,” is something that you tell your teenage son or daughter to inspire them to become an astronaut or the President of their perspective country. I do believe that anybody can do what they put their mind to, but now you can think about being successful anywhere in the world. You can look for opportunities without geographical barriers, especially in business. The reality is that the world is opening up more and more. With continuously advancing technology and communication it is not so far fetched to manage a global team or work with partners from the other side of the world, even as a small business. I generally stay clear of predicting the future, mainly because I lost my psychic powers many years ago, but I am going to go on a limb here and say that in the next ten years competing locally will not be enough for the majority of businesses. The catch is there are some cultural and political barriers to cross before we get there.

Since I move around so much I often forget that most companies focus on their local market and don’t consider targeting foreign partners, investors, suppliers, or team members. This is especially the case in the places where I have lived in North America. As a small or medium sized business you look at the world as overwhelming and don’t know the first step. And once you do know your first step you assume that the costs will be incredibly high. I’m not saying it is cheap (yet!), but owners and managers that continue to think this way will not be competitive.

With the global economic crisis, which is not over by the way, governments are tempted to blame immigration or unfair global business practices for their troubles because they are easy scapegoats. The reality is that it comes down to poor fiscal management by politicians and the only way to rebalance the supply and demand is to open up their economy to more opportunity and knowledge. I recently read an article about the strongest economies that still have a AAA credit rating (Rediff Article). Some of the countries mentioned include Canada, Australia, Luxemburg, The United Kingdom, Austria, The Netherlands, France, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Isle of Man, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland, etc. It is clearly stated in the article that the majority of the countries are service-based economies with liberal international trade policies. I noticed another trend in many of these countries, which is that the companies and the citizens of these countries can be spotted all over the world. Well that’s not totally true, I don’t’ know anyone from Luxemburg or the Isle of Man.

So what’s my point? My point is that governments are going to start catching on (assuming that they don’t elect complete idiots) and cultures will begin to evolve in favor of global growth which will impact the individual citizens, managers and business owners. Combine this with the increase of social communication and business tools to facilitate these cultural changes and you have yourself a rapid increase in globalization, more specifically in the business sector.

J. Alex Mason, MBA
Founder Globify.me
@GlobifyMe

8 Things I’ve learned From Networking Globally

I have been fortunate enough to have worked or studied in 12 different countries in the world. That doesn’t include the many different cities where I have attended events or travelled. As a Marketing/ Sales/ Business Development / Product Development professional, it is my job to be up to date with trends and opportunities. I have found that the best way to do that, besides reading a lot, is networking. By meeting new people within my industry niche I am able to get the real scoop about the trends and opportunities that will affect my company and me. I can’t tell you how many times I have learned more in a five-minute conversation with a random stranger than in the 2 hours of reading I do a day. Of course, networking is not easy for everybody. It is also different in every country, every city, and every event.

Networking in San Francisco, for example, is completely different then networking in Shanghai, or Kuwait or even London. Your understanding of the cultural subtleties is the difference between meeting your next big contact and wasting a lot of time. So here are some things that you should consider before entering a networking event anywhere in the world.

1) Understand the power structure: In every country decisions are made differently. In North America it is common for CEOs and executives to attend conferences and networking events. It is not the same in every country you go to. You need to know if the type of people that you want to meet will even be at the event that you are going to. And if they are not, is it still possible to meet a facilitator that would still make the event productive. Sometimes marketing people, or executive assistance are the right people to talk to and can be the connector you need.

2) Be patient: I think us North Americans have a habit of giving and taking information as quickly as possible in order to meet the most people as possible at an event. Although you might have time constraints, I find that if you give people a chance to talk, you never know where the conversation may lead. For some people networking does not come naturally, which makes them slow to open up. For others the events are so exciting that they start to babel (I’ve been known to do this). Or they might just be a useless annoying ignorant jerk. The bottom line is that you don’t know until you give them a chance. I know first impressions are important, but try and let the first impression last a few minutes before you make a judgment about a person’s usefulness or knowledge.

3) Listen: People love to talk about themselves. I wish I had a nickel every time I saw somebody ask a new contact a question, then zone out. People notice; don’t just talk for the sake of talking! Listening is much more difficult than you think. I remember I was working on a project in Barbados in one of my first professional positions. It was a sales role, where I depended heavily on networking and referrals to get the meetings and gain the reputation I needed to close deals. I was having a really hard time connecting with people and building trust. Then one day, over a random Skype conversation, a veteran colleague told me straight out, “your not listening, you need to listen”. I though, of course I’m listening, I’m not deaf. But low and behold, it was the key to success. By listening, not only can you see that you are interested in them, but you can then ask the right questions to build trust.

4) Set goals: I think that this is a common theme in networking tips. It is a big waste of time if you show up at an event without a clue of what to do. The key is that the goal can be just about anything. From meeting a specific person to gathering general information on a certain topic. Or even just understanding how people interact in that country or city. I have started great conversations by asking people how networking works in their country, what are the norms? People are proud to talk about their country, city, or event.

5) Smile: Smile, you’re having fun. I have not been to a place where smiling is frowned upon. Even if it is a clueless smile, that is an indication to people in a new country that you might need some help. There are occasions that people don’t smile back, don’t take it personally and just keep smiling.

6) Tools: Make sure you have your networking tools. For me that consists of my cards and a pen. For others it may include presentations, handouts, or gimmicks. Do I forget them sometime? yes. But I really think there is nothing worse than being that guy in the circle that has to borrow somebody else’s card and pen to write down their information. You can even write your info on little squares of paper before the event and hand them out, it’s better than nothing.

7) Help People: I believe strongly in the golden rule. Helping is universal. You can help people get the information that they need, or introduce them to a good contact. The person you help probably won’t be the person that helps you in the future, but I can assure you that what goes around comes around. It can lead to a good reputation, which can lead to many more positive things for your professional reputation.

8) Get out of your comfort zone: If you are in a new country or culture, chances are you are probably already out of your comfort zone. Introduce yourself to a new person, or get to know the organizers. This is usually my strategy for meeting new people. Chances are that most conversations won’t really go anywhere, but all you need is one good contact to make the entire event worthwhile. The catch is that it’s a numbers game and you will probably meet 20 people before you meet the person that you were looking for.

Alex Mason, MBA
Founder Globify.me
@GlobifyMe

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