Sunday, 11 December 2011

My goal for 2012 is to go global - care to join me?

If nothing else the day job has taught me that even micro businesses need to go global if they are to survive in the current economic climate.  I was really delighted when Emma Jones author, entrepreneur and founder of Enterprise Nation invited me to hear some fantastic small business owners speak about their experiences of selling their products overseas at a Global Entrepreneurs Week event back in November.

In my goody bag was a copy of Emma's book "Go Global - how to take your business to the world" so yep I have a date with a notebook and a mince pie to work my way through the advice and plan my own strategies for taking Strange Fruit's vintage inspired greeting cards to the international market-place.  Of course as this is the season for caring and sharing I did get another copy.  Details of how to win it are at the end of this post. 

The day was not just about the book - it was about going global.  Emma had drafted in a panel of well known and well respected business owners who I think everyone in the room was inspired by.  The entrepreneurs shared their business journey with the delegates and it was no surprise to me that no-one had become a successful business person overnight - each had been working on their business for years before they found their perfect business model.  

Rob Law
Take Rob Law founder of Trunkie - he was famously turned down by Dragon's Den, he had his suitcase moulds in-pounded in a Chinese factory and neither the toy or the luggage market thought his product was right for them.  With a lot of hard work and dedication Trunkie products are now sold in 62 countries and the brand is so strong the company never pays for media or advertising.  Which I think is incredibly impressive!  

The upbeat day was so informative and my little notebook is just bursting with great advice but rather than hear it from me each speaker shared a business tip; here are a few of their gems....

Richard Moross speaking and the 
back  of my head!

Richard Moross - founder of Moo 
"The better the relationship with your 
customers the better."

Rob Law - founder of Trunkie
"Add the word 'luxury' to your product information when marketing overseas."

Tony Curtis - founder of Alago
"Just do it - be prepared to learn the hard way because you can't buy that kind of learning."

If you would like the "Go Global" book just send me your name and postal address in an email ( with 'Go Global' in the subject line.  The winner will be selected on 1 January 2012 and the book will be sent out by first class post - to anywhere in the world of course.  How simple is that?  

There will be lots more freebies over the coming months so it would be great if you followed the Strange Fruit blog so you get to here about them.  And if you have a tip for going global don't be shy - share.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

On this day in 1955 Rosa Parks sat on a bus

Public transport has unwittingly played a major part in racial equality.  On this day, December 1, in 1955 Rosa Parks sat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama and refused to give up her seat for a white passenger. She was arrested.

Parks' well orchestrated action was a critical moment for civil rights.  Many of us think supportive jornalists had been tipped off.  Parks worked for the NAACP and was it a coincidence that people with expensive cameras happened to be there to capture an event?  But that event, where other similar ones had failed,  sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the rest, thank goodness is a history to be proud of.

Fast forward to London, December 1, 2011.  Not one but three people have this week, following their racist rants on public transport (trams are like buses), have either been arrested or are being investigated.  And the media were not called in advance to witness the events, the events were caputured on simple mobile camera phones, uploaded to the internet with a #mytramexpereince hastag for the world to see.  A few hours and a few thousand views later the police came a knocking.

Well today Ms Parks, I am thinking about you and thank you for all that you were a part of that made this difference in my world.

"At the time I was arrested I had no idea it would turn into this. It was just a day like any other day. The only thing that made it significant was that the masses of the people joined in."
Rosa Parks