Want to connect with other small business owners and entrepreneurs to pursue business buying or selling opportunities outside the U.S.? Remember the name Alibaba - you are about to hear it more often. Alibaba.com is a kick-ass B2B web portal that makes it easy for millions of buyers and suppliers around the world to do business online - including small businesses and startup entrepreneurs.
Since I first selected Alibaba.com five years ago to my inaugural list of the "100 Best Resources for Small Business," the site has exploded in both its capabilities and popularity. The company went public to considerable fanfare overseas. But in the U.S., Alibaba has remained largely unknown.
That may soon change, as Alibaba just hired two U.S.-based agencies with advertising and digital branding specialties to launch a major push to reach U.S. small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Kelly Sang, who heads Alibaba U.S., hopes that Traction, an ad agency based in San Francisco, and Mediasmith, a digital media specialist, can divine the right strategy for reaching and talking to the subset of small business owners in the U.S. with an eye toward global trade. Says Sang, "We are growing rapidly and want to make more businesses and entrepreneurs aware of our ability to help them succeed in global trade."
Most small business owners already know that the world has changed, and that seeking the best opportunities to sell or save money for your business these days means looking beyond U.S. borders. Alibaba.com is the perfect ticket to do just that. The site won't win any beauty contests, but when it comes to finding and pursuing global trade opportunities, it can't be beat.
Like its namesake character (Ali Baba) in The Arabian Nights who opens the door to a treasure-filled cave with the magic words "Open sesame," Alibaba.com can open the door to profits in global trade for U.S. small business owners and entrepreneurs. You won't have to wait to see their commercials.