Why Go Global?
It is a reality of life in the new millennium that the economic vitality of the United States and Eastern Tennessee lies in turning our economy around from a debtor to a creditor nation, and from an importer to an exporter. We must understand that we are no longer competing with neighbors in our corner of the world, but rather that the world is competing for dollars with our corner of the world. To survive and thrive, we need to learn the skills needed to compete internationally. The Global Business Institute stands ready to assist with this initiative. The reality is that we are living, like it or not, in a global economy. Two primary statistics that tell this story of how well we are doing as a region are foreign direct investment and export statistics.
The Advantage of Going Global for the Volunteer State
Going global has distinct advantages. It enables businesses to have unlimited global reach and a large potential customer base, increased sales and profits, and reduced dependence on traditional markets.
Exporting helps to create new and better paying jobs for Tennessee workers, increases the competitiveness of our businesses by helping them access new markets, and helps Tennessee gain international and national recognition as a global player.
Going global means recognizing that we cannot remain isolated in our thinking, and that we have to be prepared to do business internationally. This means enhancing our global competence; we must do business in a world in which there are only seven countries where English is the primary language spoken. These English speaking countries represent only 30 percent of the world economy and only eight percent of the world’s population. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is helping to prepare business leaders for the international economy.
Doing business internationally means the following:
- Having a customer and culture-focused approach.
- Assessing your business, your products, and your resources.
- Identifying potential overseas markets and barriers to those markets including:
- Analyzing your current customer base
- Examining foreign market trends
- Understanding country demographics
- Learning about political, social, religious, economic, conditions, and environmental laws and regulations
- Identifying and analyzing potential competition profiles
- Conducting cultural research
- Determining if the functionality of your product or service is suited to overseas markets
- Developing a comprehensive business plan for exporting your products or services including:
- Choice of market entry method
- Product positioning strategies
- Packaging, labeling, documentation, insurance, etc.
- Languages of communication
- Pricing decisions
- Advertising and marketing plans
- Budget forecasts
- Feedback and refinements
- Changing business practices/corporate cultures to involve everyone in all aspects of the organization
- Ensuring your business is cross-culturally competent and ready to go global, consulting with advisors who can help you get started with partners such as the Global Business Center.
In order to do business internationally, you have to have globally- competent staff. The Global Business Institute has joined with its partners, the Greater Knoxville Area Chamber Partnership, the International Trade Center (TSBDC), and the U.S. Export Assistance Office of the U.S. Commercial Service at the U.S. Department of Commerce, to form the Global Business Center. We offer a series of workshops and seminars to help business professionals, government leaders, and students learn how to communicate across cultures.
This is important because to communicate across cultures means more than taking American values, images, concepts, and messages and translating them word for word into another language. It means understanding and incorporating those cultural differences into your marketing plan.