Monday, March 12, 2012

New Business: Looking Beyond Borders

The yellow pages used to define our markets. Unless you were in a major hub — like Tokyo or New York — your clients were mostly confined to the city or region in which you operated. Today, although many firms still have a geographic focus, it’s possible for anyone, anywhere to seek out your company.

I believe this trend will accelerate.

First, there’s still tremendous potential for growth in terms of global internet usage, whether by conventional computers or mobile devices. While more than 78% of North Americans are wired to the web, less than one in four Asians and only 36% of the people in South America and the Caribbean are currently connected to the internet.

Second, the number of cross-border investments is expected to rise. Among the most important sources of potential leads for our industry, according to Goldman Sachs, are likely to be companies from the BRIC economies: Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Keep in mind that, according to the IMF, the real GDP growth rate for the U.S. last year was only 2.8 percent.

Over the past ten years, the BRICs were responsible for more than a third of the total rise in GDP worldwide. Goldman Sachs predicts that the BRICs will become an even larger force in the world’s economy … which means even more opportunity for us.

So we should be considering how our companies can build relations with these countries — if we’re not already doing so.

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