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Trade Routes: Global Threat or International Opportunity?

By: Michael Wynne
Posted: May 4, 2007
Back to the May Issue

We need to distinguish between global and international business. While we live in a global market, few companies actually have the resources to become truly global and, for many companies, doing business on a global scale is neither practical nor profitable. Simply put, not all markets are appropriate targets for all companies. When it comes to international business–marketing in other countries–smaller companies have the edge because they can be more responsive and flexible.

While a company’s placement may be international, its competition definitely is global. Companies from anywhere in the world can compete for and potentially take away your business. In fact, at this very moment someone somewhere around the globe is probably working 24/7 with this precise goal in mind.

So, because your market is someone else’s target, whether you want it or not, you are in the global market. Since the best defense is a good offense, companies must develop strategies along the following lines:
•    What are you going to do to defend your business from the threat of global competition?
•    What are you going to do get your share of international market opportunities?

The Best Defense
Having said that the best defense may be a good offense, taking business away from someone in a foreign market will not necessarily defend business share at home. The worst enemy in a home market is complacency. Your best allies are your customers—if you listen to them.