Before going global, you must develop the right mindset. And that's exactly what Giselle Rufer, founder and president of Delance, did before she launched her Swiss watch company....

She thought globally. Famous for successfully launching the children's watch called Flik Flak during her tenure with The Swatch Group, Rufer says it is time for men and women everywhere to join forces and make the world a better place.
Once Rufer refined her design concept and target market, she identified the pros and cons of embarking upon a global venture. The pros: she is an engineer and artist and speaks three languages fluently. The cons: she was a woman over 50 with limited capital in a country where men between the ages of 35 and 40 are responsible for most new business start-ups.
But she overcame her weaknesses and leveraged her strengths by turning her cons into pros.
"First, I had to bridge an internal psychological barrier by refraining from feeling that my femininity and my age were both impediments to making progress professionally. They are and continue to be advantages for me," Rufer says. "I began to flaunt my maturity, experience, and well-established name in the watch industry in new and powerful ways. To combat the financing problem, I became more creative, used synergy and captured opportunity whenever it came knocking at my door."
Lesson Learned: "Use a universal language that everyone can understand. Create your own international network. Concentrate on common values for your product and your company. Find a unique selling proposition. And choose a brand you can live with forever," advises Rufer.

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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