Lighthouse Logo FBChallenges1If in 2015, you are looking to work on your business not just in it, check out our weekday posts that get you thinking differently about business.

July's focus will be on Globalisation; particularly its impact on small business and start-ups and what to consider before going global!



Day 1:       So what is globalisation?

The increasing connecting and merging of markets in the world economy; the ongoing process that is linking people, cities, regions and countries closer together; the integration of economies, industries, cultures and policy-making around the world.

There are many definitions of globalisation – what does globalisation mean to you?


Day 2:       Time to get innovative!

Innovation and invention are key components of our global economy – studies have shown that the number of innovative advances is significantly greater among small businesses. How do you see your business getting innovative in the future?


Day 3:       Taking on the Competition!

Small businesses are agile and great at challenging more established businesses. Have you identified who your big competitors are? How are you going to out-innovate them?


Day 4:       As the walls come down...

An obvious effect of globalisation for any business is the opening of doors and the increase in the amount of potential customers, suppliers and collaborators – as a business owner, the world is your proverbial oyster! Consider how you can utilise unlimited access to resources on a global scale.


Day 5:       It's a buyer's market!

Due to the power of the internet, consumers no longer have to travel to different physical locations to research prices and features of products across a number of providers.

Businesses are being forced to keep up with competitors and new emerging markets at increased speeds, providing around the clock information about their products, features and 24 hour access. How are you keeping up with customer's expectations?


Day 6:       World Domination

Globalisation provides opportunities to grow – the ability to conduct business internationally is an absolute necessity for many businesses in order to remain competitive. Take the time today to think about how you might go global; look at your business plan and consider how you might use collaboration and cooperation in your growth strategy.


Day 7:       Technology Take-Off

Technology is ALWAYS changing. In today's ever growing technological era, it can be difficult to keep up with the latest and best technology. Think about how you might keep up with the latest advances in your industry – subscribe to industry newsletters, follow trend setters on Twitter and Facebook, engage with the experts to find out about the technology of today and tomorrow.


Day 8:       Understanding Customer Behaviour

Just because consumers have certain preferences in one culture does not mean that those preferences are universal. If you want to branch out and attract new customers, consider what makes them different to your current ones. How are you going to appeal to them?


Day 9:        Price War

Globalisation has brought in fierce competition in some markets. There is every possibility that a customer may switch over to another producer if the product is priced too high. Review the cost of your services and products today and look at how you might differentiate your offering to ensure your customers stay put and you don't have to compete on price.


Day 10:      Innovation on a Budget

Successful businesses are often well-known for innovating, but a new distinguishing factor might be how quickly you're able to innovate. Innovation can come with a hefty price tag. Map out some ways you can innovative (cost) effectively within your business.


Day 11:      Stay Relevant

As we become more connected, markets become saturated and new competitors emerge, it will be as important as ever to stay relevant! In today's marketplace, to stay relevant takes something that most companies fear, yet all experience at some point in their existence if they want to stay competitive: change. As you plan ahead for the future of your business, structure it for change!


Day 12:      Countless Connectivity

Mobile technology is bringing people to a place in which we're able to achieve more than we ever have before in an office; from any place, anywhere around the world we have accessibility to information and one another. Effectively you could have access to the top talent worldwide in minutes.

Do some research and create a wish list of resources and skills you would like to access on a global scale – anything is possible!


Day 13:      Are today's kids innovation ready?

The jobs of the future will demand that workers reinvent themselves over and over again. We have a responsibility to teach kids the skills necessary to compete in a global environment, particularly encouraging them to have an entrepreneurial mindset.

What skills do you think are important for our kids to learn in order to be better prepared for the future?


Day 14:      It's all going digital!

More and more businesses are investing in digital technologies to improve productivity – for example collaboration and virtual meeting technologies, private cloud, mobile application and data visualisation. Consider how you might use digital technologies in your business to improve efficiency and profitability.


Day 15:      Lost in Translation

A clever brand or product name in one language could translate into something embarrassing in another. In a global market, not only should you consider how your brand translates, but also think about which colours are favoured across different markets.


Day 16:      International Pricing

It's common for the default currency to be U.S. dollars in most e-commerce platforms, despite customers purchasing from locations outside of America. What can be easily overlooked is that the dollar price doesn't always sit well with other countries – for example, a $99 monthly payment may be reasonable to a U.S. based customer, but may be considered out of line in Asia or the Middle East.

Review your pricing structure and think about how you might price your products for international markets.


Day 17:      Online vs. Offline

Physical stores like hardware or coffee shops are going to face increased commoditisation. You already see people walking into physical stores with smartphones and doing price comparisons.

For small businesses based on a physical setting, it's time to figure out how to offer something your customers can't get online – is it your service offering, or delivery that will keep bring your customers into the store?


Day 18:      Message Received

Effective communication and the ability to understand cultural differences are skills all businesses will need as we move into a more global society. To become more adept at communicating across different cultures, we need to learn about these cultures as well as about our own.


Day 19:      Working Smarter

As the world becomes more connected; we're working smarter than we ever have. In the future we'll source the tools to inspire and create progress which leads to better outcomes in business. Think about how you can utilise the latest tools and technologies in order to work smarter.


Day 20:      The Reciprocity Advantage

According to experts, the future of small business is becoming more and more about mutual-benefit partnering on a global scale. It involves finding your right-of-way; the space where you can innovate, finding a partner to help you do the things you can't do alone, experimenting to learn and then scaling. Consider this approach as you prepare your business for a fast approaching (and very different) future.


Day 21:       Intruder Alert!

Digital natives (people who are now 18 or younger) are the first generation becoming adults in the age of social media, early-stage cloud-served computing and advanced video-gaming interfaces. They are a very disruptive force and they're headed your way!

They're very entrepreneurial minded, tend to have a lot of global connectivity and are very interested in environmental issues and sustainability. Are you prepared for your future workforce?


Day 22:       It's going to be a bumpy ride!

Change isn't a one-time event. With globalisation come many ups and downs - as we anticipate a number of changes and impacts for small business, it's important to persevere and push through anything that comes your way. How are you going to manage change? Are you prepared for what's to come in the next 5, 10 or 15 years?


Day 23:       Make it count!

The future of small business is very bright; there is potential to create new business models and partner with other organisations and scale much more quickly than ever before. Although globalisation presents radical change, don't forget to take advantage of all that globalisation brings and use it as an opportunity to grow!

For some helpful advice, visit the Lighthouse Facebook page for online articles and resources to help you complete the daily challenges.


About Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre
Lighthouse has a strong track record of supporting entrepreneurs, researchers and inventers on the path from concept to commercialisation. Since July 2008, Lighthouse has worked with over 990 distinct enterprises and provided group and peer based services to over 3400 enterprises and individuals. For over five years Lighthouse has successfully delivered business advice, education, mentorship and networking opportunities to help these businesses commercialise their ideas and grow their companies. Lighthouse also delivers programs such as the ACT Microcredit Program for the ACT Government. Visit for more information.