It used to be that businesses generally passed through several predictable stages on their way to becoming multinational: they would start locally, then expand regionally, and eventually consolidate nationally, before finally – after years of long-term strategizing and making successful incremental steps – taking their business overseas into new markets.
While this process accelerated over time, with companies making the transition from local to international much more quickly as globalization progressed, until recently it remained largely unchanged with regard to the steps involved.
Now, however, things have changed. Due to significant advances in online technology, shipping and logistics, today’s e-commerce entrepreneurs are able to open new businesses that are global from day one.
Read on to find out what business school can teach you about e-commerce and these new global digital entrepreneurs.
Micro-Multinationals Are Small Businesses with Global Access
Micro-multinationals are small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that either begin as global businesses, or use online platforms to enter the global market after beginning locally. They might be based in one country – or one room, even – or they might be made up of a handful of employees distributed across several countries and time zones. These businesses enjoy many of the same advantages of other SMEs, including less bureaucracy, the ability to take advantage of small and highly specific niches in the market and a high degree of flexibility that allows them to adapt quickly to changes. They also, however, enjoy easy access to the global market, an advantage that used to be limited to only the largest multinational corporations, but has become available to any entrepreneur with an internet connection thanks to a number of trends that students can learn about in International Management programs – most notably, improvements in international shipping and dramatic advancements in online technology.
Changes in Technology and Shipping Have Opened the Way
The smallest companies today have access to technologies and communication services that were once available only to the biggest multinationals. With robust online e-commerce platforms like Alibaba and Amazon, small producers who would have once been limited to their local or regional markets can now easily become international exporters.
Many micro-multinationals sell digital services, meaning that this improved online infrastructure is all that’s needed to reach new customers, accept payments, and deliver goods. For those selling physical products, however, the increasing ease and lower cost of international shipping has also made global exporting economical, even for small businesses.
GBS’s BBA in International Management program includes a component on e-commerce
Learn About the Advantages of Micro-Multinationals in Business School
There are a number of valuable advantages that micro-multinationals hold over their larger multinational counterparts, as well as more geographically-bounded SMEs.
Compared to SMEs operating in one location, for example, micro-multinationals are able to target very specific demographics with niche products, since they can reach consumers from all around the world. This allows many SMEs to focus on specialized products or services for which they might otherwise struggle to find a sufficient local market.
Compared to large multinational corporations, on the other hand, micro-multinationals have fewer levels of decision makers, allowing them to rapidly adapt to new circumstances in global markets that larger, more bureaucratically complex corporations cannot. This also allows them more leeway in regard to experimenting and being creative, taking risks that larger companies are unable to take.
For anyone interested in knowing more, business school can not only offer a deep understanding of how these micro-multinationals work, but also insights into the conditions that allowed them to rise, and those that might affect them in the future.
Learn more about entrepreneurship and e-commerce at Geneva Business School
Are you interested in learning more about entrepreneurship and global markets?
Contact Geneva Business School for more information about our BBA in International Management.