I've written about methods for small businesses to get a piece of booming international markets here, here, and here. The problem is that many of these methods are out of reach for many small businesses. It takes a lot of resources to set up an office abroad or acquire a foreign business. That's why I recommend checking out this WSJ piece about how the weak dollar is spurring some small companies to find easier ways to go global:
Some companies recognize that they are too small to venture abroad alone, so they are setting up partnerships or affiliations with foreign sellers.
Take eDressMe.com Inc., a 12-employee online retailer of women's dresses. "About six months ago, when we realized the impact of the weakening dollar was going to have on our business, we established an outreach program to affiliates overseas," says Joanne Stoner, the company's chief executive.
Affiliates are online retailing sites around the world that feature and promote an eDressMe link or banner ad or actual eDressMe dresses. If a customer purchases an eDressMe dress, the affiliate gets a commission. New York-based eDressMe.com pays a site a commission of 5% to 10% of sales depending on how much traffic it generates.
Necessity is the mother of invention. As the economy increasingly requires companies to have a global presence, I'm sure even very small businesses will invent other ways to get involved in the global economy.