Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Go Global With International Business

With the development of an integrated global economy, marked by free trade and free flow of capital, now is the time to pursue a cutting-edge international business career.
Around the World
In case you hadn't noticed, U.S. firms are expanding abroad. This requires organizations to form effective strategies for entering the international business market. They need to be aware of legal matters pertaining to specific countries, and they need to be concerned with organizational and administrative issues, especially if they are involved in a partnership with a foreign firm. As international business markets become more competitive, U.S. firms are learning to use resources more efficiently by reducing costs, streamlining operations, and developing marketing strategies. 
That's why today's professionals need comprehensive knowledge of international business as well as foreign cultures and languages. Globalization has increased the need for international business workers with these specialized skills to manage multicultural and multinational workforces effectively.

"Distance" Learning
An international business degree will provide you with the training you need to manage an international business and to succeed in our global economy. With an international business degree, you'll be equipped with a global focus across different functional areas of business. You'll learn theories of international protocol and how they continually change. You'll learn to recognize global differences and apply sensitivity to cultural diversity issues in communications, management, marketing, and the legal aspects of global business operations in your international business career. You'll explore the differences among various economic development levels, as well as the new economic groups forming in Europe and Asia.
International degree program coursework may include international marketing, export/import practices, globalization, international trade, financial management, business planning, economic development, international law, international business policy, international culture, foreign languages, overseas business practices, foreign market analysis, foreign operations, sourcing, communications and negotiations, critical thinking processes, ethical codes of conduct for global business leaders, marketing strategies, and management practices and processes.
The Real World
With an international business degree, you can work as a business strategy consultant, managing consultant, account manager, project manager, business developer, distribution manager, director of international affairs, finance advisor, foreign market analyst, or management analyst, to name a few.
Management analysts, for example, held about 605,000 jobs in 2004, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment of these international business career professionals is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2014. And, median annual earnings of management analysts were $63,450 in May 2004, with the highest 10 percent earning more than $120,220.
Be part of the international business explosion by earning your international business degree today.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Four Steps to Accelerate International Business Growth

U.S. exports continue to grow, but many American companies lack the international business know-how to capitalize on this potential source of increased sales and profits. Proliferating trade agreements and a weakened U.S. dollar have resulted in one of the most favorable export markets in decades. Foreign importers of U.S. goods report an increasing demand for U.S. products--from popcorn to pet food. The U.S. has enjoyed 11 straight quarters of increasing exports--yet with 95 percent of the world's population residing outside of U.S. borders and an increasingly promising international sales outlook, experts are questioning why only 5 percent of U.S. companies are currently exporting. But how do we initiate and sustain growth in unfamiliar markets?
Tapping into new markets provides the opportunity for increased revenue and profits. However, this initiative needs to be consistent with the company's overall strategy. Inconsistent, sporadic, or unfocused deployment of resources directed toward international growth can result in an underperforming initiative that soaks up limited resources with little return. Barriers to entry (duties, regulatory, and trademark restrictions) need to be identified and addressed. A SWOT analysis detailing the company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats will identify and help maximize the company's strengths, minimize its weaknesses, and give focus to the international opportunity.
An international growth plan consistent with the corporate strategy will enhance the odds of success. Tactical aspects of international development such as sales, distribution, and marketing need to be addressed. International growth factors can be sufficiently different from the U.S. models that a lack of familiarity can dramatically reduce the chances of success. Above all, there must be clear direction, full management support, and dedicated resources.
Small or medium firms initiating or expanding into international business will find the U.S. Government's Department of Commerce (DOC) an enthusiastic partner in helping American companies succeed globally. This organization coordinates resources from across 19 Federal agencies to help American businesses plan their international strategies in an increasingly globalized environment. In an unfamiliar foreign market with confusing regulations, uncertainty, and risk, the DOC can help U.S. businesses navigate the overseas sales process and avoid hazards such as payment defaults and misappropriation of trademark and intellectual property. 
The DOC's commercial service provides a surprisingly actionable array of quality services including in-country market research, trade events and missions, trade leads, and introductions to prospective business partners. The Export-Import Bank and the Small Business Administration unite to help in the financing of U.S. goods and services exports to the international market, enabling companies to turn international leads into solid sales.

Firms specializing in international business development can help jump-start foreign expansion. These firms are groups of highly skilled, experienced professionals offering practical, cost-effective assistance to companies committed to maximizing revenue and profit potential through accelerated international growth. The range of services offered varies by firm, but overall they help companies conceptualize, implement, and manage large or small international business development projects. These services can range from determining the overseas market potential for a product to managing a firm's export sales to identifying and qualifying foreign strategic alliances. 
A company wanting to penetrate the international market needs to assign a fully dedicated resource to this initiative. This individual should be the linchpin connecting the organization's resources, know-how, and culture to the international initiative. As the business develops, additional resources should be assigned to maximize the opportunity. These should be considered investments rather than costs.

A firm's appropriate market entry strategy will largely depend on its level of international development. For a company just commencing its international development, market penetration via in-country distributor sales may be the fastest and most cost-effective way to enter a foreign market. Selling through in-country distributors is relatively low-risk and will provide valuable learning opportunities. Once the target country or region has been identified, a process that will naturally derive from the SWOT analysis, the selection process can begin. Various U.S. government agencies and trade associations can provide a wealth of data to begin narrowing the selection.
Trade publications and events are also an excellent source. Factors to consider when selecting a market may include such criteria as regulatory environment, market size and potential, cost of entry, and competitive environment. To further narrow the possibilities, an in-country visit is required. Once there, the use of trade leads, competitive evaluations, local government assistance, and potential candidate interviews will provide additional information and insights. Major considerations in selecting a distributor are: willingness to assign a dedicated resource, market leadership or track record, marketing savvy, complementary and not competitive products or services, site inspection, and financial stability.
Penetrating a new international market is often perceived as an extension of the existing domestic business. Consequently, many American companies bypass standard business guidelines requiring rigorous market analysis. Only after performing thorough due diligence can one elaborate a service or product offering and accompanying marketing programs.
A company's preferred mode of entry--in-country distribution, joint venture, merger, or acquisition--will depend on that firm's primary objectives from opportunistic sales to positioning for long-term market-driven growth.
Economic globalization will increasingly lead to the creation of strategic alliances. U.S. firms must make sure that potential partners share short- and long-term objectives in order to reduce the divergence of ideas and efforts. Common values and shared business/ethical standards will enhance communications, transparency, and effectiveness. The partners should have complementary strengths and weaknesses to build a stronger and more effective alliance. Principles and processes for conflict resolution and the relationship must be drafted and agreed to by all parties concerned for the partnership to run smoothly.
All markets have commonalities. However, effective international marketing begins with the awareness that markets are also different in ways that are not immediately apparent. The key is understanding consumers and identifying their needs through culturally specific market research. Focus groups can be especially effective in identifying the international consumer's wants and needs. The advertising agency used in developing the offering should be local or have local representation. Employees with a thorough knowledge of market characteristics and idiosyncrasies will be particularly effective in communicating the desired message and creating and enhancing the brand image. Language skills and an affinity for different cultures are critical assets when marketing internationally.
Flawless execution is key. As a firm executes the international strategy guided by a solid business plan, it is important to celebrate milestones and benchmark against industry leaders.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

MBA International Business Management Online

The Online MBA in International Business prepares students for business climates around the world. In `ccelerated programs of study, some Online MBA International Business degree programs can be completed in just months. Students will select International Business as their area of concentration for the Online MBA in International Business degree and, with the assistance of an advisor, develop a course of study that sets your career goals on the fast track.
The MBA in International Business degree program prepares students for professions in the global arena, focusing on the challenges that confront international and global markets. MBA in International Business studies will address such subjects as analysis of international trade and finance, global marketing strategies, management practices in the international marketplaces, and other subjects that enhance studies for a well-rounded MBA in International Business degree.
Students in an Online MBA in International Business program can expect to study international financial management, international marketing, international management, as well as other subjects. Anticipated studies will address international finance, currency, international banking systems, and foreign exchange markets; and legal, economical, cultural, and political environments of various markets.
Students acquiring the Online MBA in International Business will be prepared as professionals with opportunities in many professions, such as international sales, global distribution, international management, and international trade.
Online Ph.D. in International Business Administration programs are also available. Coursework focuses on issues of shifting outlooks for international business, international trade, international business, international finance, international economics, as well as other considerations relating to international business.

Focusing on International Business

If you have always been fascinated by world cultures, exotic languages, international travel and foreign customs, you may want to pursue an Associate's Degree in International Studies. Unlike a Bachelor's Degree, an Associate's Degree only requires two years of schooling.
What does an Associate's Degree in International Business entail? Students who choose to enroll in a college training degree program in International Business will participate in intensive courses, focused classes and career preparation training that will prepare them for successful careers.
International business generally encompasses any subject or topic that deals with the function and operation of any businesses that are involved with or located in several different countries. These companies are often called multinational corporations.
Today, there are hundreds of multinational companies. Some well-known examples of them are Gillette, ALCOA, Procter & Gamble, Polo Ralph Lauren, Shiseido, DuPont, Citibank, DHL, Federal Express, Silicon Graphics, Sylvania Lighting, Hewlett Packard, Unilever, AT & T, Bacardi, Bank of America and Lockheed Martin International. These businesses typically have an interest or subsidiary over another company in the country of venture. International business is often substantially influenced by the factors outside of business, such as social, political, cultural, global and legal environmental standards of specific countries. Globalization has also powerfully contributed to the growing profit of international firms.

Everyday standards of living, legal regulations and government laws can vary from continent to continent. A person who wishes to professionally interact with international or foreign clients must face issues such as cultural differences, climate changes, language barriers, business practice variations and other possible conflicts.
Earning an Associate's Degree in international business give students a comprehensive education. Students will take business studies courses, general studies classes and cultural awareness program training. Associate Degree school degree programs provide students with skills in information technology, business management and international studies. Students will acquire skills that incorporate business strategies and smart tactics that will lead to the development of a culturally-educated, knowledgeable 
business leader.

An Associate's Degree in international business can lead a college graduate into many different types of careers. A graduate can go on to pursue a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management or International Business or can go and work directly in the corporate world. By learning a second language, a person can become an even more valued asset to a company. Many companies seek out college graduates who are fluent in Spanish or Chinese and also possess a background in international business.
There are many different routes that a student can take with an Associate's Degree in international business. A graduate can explore the areas of exporting and importing foreign banking, tangible goods and world-servicing nonprofit organizations and international business empires. By pursuing an education in international business, a student can:
  • Study business ideals, practices, laws and standards in a multicultural or international environment
  • Familiarize oneself with the legal practices and procedures of various cultures and countries
  • Gain experience in the spheres of international business that are continuously evolving
  • Learn about cultural differences that may potentially impact an cross-cultural relationship among clients
Are you excited by a career in international business? Contact Potomac College today. Our International Business Degree program is offered at both of our school locations in Washington D.C. campus as well as at our Herndon, Virginia campus.
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