Joel Lueb, principal at bigger dot, is now a feature contributor on Idealize, a site based in the Netherlands focused on innovation and creativity.

If you're not fluent in Dutch like Joel is, enjoy the translated version of his column below.

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I'll take a little Chinese, a side of Vietnamese and a slice of Africa

WHAT IS NEXT? If we are not already aware of the shift in our world markets, it is time to be confronted with it. Fareed Zakaria, author of The Post-American World, sites Antoine van Agtmael (who coined the term “emerging markets”) with his list of the 25 companies most likely to be the world’s next great multinationals. This list includes four companies from Brazil, Mexico, South Korea, and Taiwan; three from India; two from China; and one from Argentina, Chile, Malaysia, and South Africa.

In this list are no countries in Europe and only one from North America, and that is only if you see Mexico as part of North America. This means, as I look down the road, I need to consider markets other than Europe and the US, especially if I am thinking about expanding. As a small business owner, I am convinced, the advantage is mine to quickly link with potential clients and build relationships worldwide that will allow me to do business in our new world. Larger companies may have greater financial resources and even larger networks of contacts, however, the speed with which these large vessels can respond is significantly slower. By the time decisions are made to sail into a given market, a small business can already have a foot on the ground.

Looking 3-5 years down the road I’m thinking I will be doing a lot more business with Chinese, Vietnamese and African clients. What about you?

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