The Business Journal of Phoenix - by Ty Young Phoenix Business Journal
Going global is not all it's cracked up to be if you fail to prepare. And if your company wants to benefit from the flattening of the international business community, you must change your mind-set or risk digging a huge money pit, experts say.
"On an international level, there are an exponential set of challenges that arise," said Donna Kent, senior vice president of global services at Tempe-based Televerde. "Most businesses and businesspeople are still very North American-focused."
In April, Televerde hired Kent, former president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council, to develop strategies for companies looking to expand globally. She will be the keynote speaker at the Arizona International Growth Group's Dec. 3 meeting.
The group, founded and presided over by Doug Bruhnke, was created to help small firms learn about overseas business.
Bruhnke also is president and CEO of Scottsdale-based Growth Nation, which designs marketing strategies for midsize and startup companies locally and nationally. Earlier this year, he came up empty when looking for a resource his clients could use while trying to expand internationally. He formed the group and was amazed when 125 companies attended each of the first two monthly meetings.
"I initially booked a room for 50 people," he said.
Interest in international expansion by the small and midsize business community is not going to decrease any time soon, Bruhnke said. He expects an increase in companies looking for help in the near future.
"I think people are realizing we need to go beyond real estate," Bruhnke said. "There are small and midsize companies, and we're great at creating them. But getting the foreign investment here in the Valley is extremely important."
For more: www.azigg.com.