Following up on last week's post, here are more ideas to inspire you to respond exactly to the needs of your customers in a whole new way in 2007, and to fuel greater global sales growth and profitability for your business....

1. Cross fertilize your marketing efforts through a variety of industries. For piano wire, market coverage should pollinate over into the sporting goods (fishing), movie and soap and detergent industries, to reach new and appropriate buyers and to broaden the scope of your business activities.
2. Take the market to your buyers. If you can't beat or woo them, join them where they are located by setting up shop locally in the country you wish to do business. Are you making bicycles spokes and trying to sell them in a country without bikes? Then you better ship a sampling of finished bikes first, educate the consumers, find a small manufacturer and then secure buyers for those spokes!
3. Buy a foreign company that will produce products on U.S. soil. Toyota Motor Corp. is a good example, with their bustling plant in Troy, Missouri, producing aluminum castings for cylinder heads and engine manifolds. They are not merely surviving but thriving. With their unique manufacturing capabilities, they have created sufficient pricing muscle where they no longer are pressured to squabble for price cuts. Buyers need their product, period. And apparently, nobody else in the world can produce it with the quality that Toyota guarantees.
As a result, both rising domestic demand and higher prices for imports has helped Toyota sustain an admired competitive position in the world marketplace.
4. Offer new services that complement your industrial products in order to boost profits. This segment of marketing involves all countries at every level of development; even the least-developed countries are seeking computer technology (China and India, for example) and sophisticated data banks to aid them in advancing their economics.
5. Move more production of subassemblies and parts to cheaper offshore factories. That's what Hoveround Corp., maker of motorized wheelchairs and scooters in Sarasota, Florida did. The problem they ran up against was set prices by fee structures for Medicaid and by contracts with large insurers. By moving production outside of the USA, the company has consistently widened profit margins slightly each year.
What's your hidden gem for expanding internationally?

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Laurel Delaney ( is the founder of and the creator of "Borderbuster," an e-newsletter, and The Global Small Business Blog. She can be reached at