Does your company do business outside of the U.S.? If so, you’ve probably noticed some cultural differences you have to adhere to. For women entrepreneurs, doing business outside of the U.S. can get tricky, depending on where you go. This week’s Trending on Thursday helps women small business owners navigate business etiquette in the global market. We’ve also got advice for brand building, cybersecurity, and how to emulate star athletes.

Check out all of this week’s trending #smallbiz news below and let us know how you protect your company from hackers.

  1. TrendingMay12(1)For small businesses, the benefits of entering the international market are plentiful. The local market might be saturated, making it very competitive and difficult for a brand’s voice to be heard. The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council reports that nearly “96 percent of consumers live outside the U.S. and two-thirds of the world’s purchasing power is in foreign countries.” Genia Stevens has written a piece on Business.com detailing how women small business owners fare in this global economy, writing that, “even though technology has helped women effectively compete with their male counterparts, there are still [unique] circumstances women entrepreneurs face, especially outside the U.S.”
  1. Today, brand building is likely to be a series of channels that connect with the consumer in different ways – television, radio, print, social media, Internet sales or point of purchase in a store. So, if the objective is to create a memorable consumer experience at each touch point, then how do you get members of the public to associate their experience of the brand names and logos you promote to the public with your products and services? How do you build and protect a sustainable brand? Cheryl Hodgson has outlined 6 steps to do so in this Entrepreneur article.
  1. TrendingMay12(2)Picking the name of your company is one of most fun and exciting parts of starting a small business. You might have launched this venture by scribbling business name ideas on a bar napkin while hanging out with friends. But naming your small business is also serious business. Your decision could affect your ability to reach a broader audience and grow. Making the wrong choice could even get you in legal trouble. Benjamen Pimentel of NerdWallet has authored a USA Today article, advising #smallbiz owners on what to do and not to do when deciding your company’s name.
  1. Cybersecurity should not be taken lightly. It’s not just about employee and customer credit card and banking info, but also the intellectual property data businesses harbor everywhere, from email to cloud storage. Cybercriminals often target small businesses because they see an easy target in the supply chain. According to the Small Business Association, almost half of all small businesses have been victimized by some degree by cybercrime, and the average cost of attack is approximately $21,000. Rob Marvin at PC Magazine has outlined 10 cybersecurity steps your small business should take right now to become more secure.
  1. To be a world-class swimmer, it helps to have a six-foot-seven-inch wingspan like Michael Phelps. Usain Bolt’s extraordinary long stride has helped him rule the track, but his powerful frame would probably make him a terrible gymnast or jockey. In short, excellence in different sports demands different physical characteristics, but all athletes, whatever their discipline, share the same mental characteristics. That’s the takeaway of new research out of the Institute of Coaching and Performance at the University of Central Lancashire in the UK. Jessica Tillman breaks down why all great champions share three characteristics in this Inc. article.

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