Chapter 4: The trends and challenges for SMEs marketing in the 21st century
A Global Perspective
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I started my own business of decorated wallpaper about a decade ago. It was initially a small business that emerged from what was a hobby, and due to my passion for unique and artistic products, the business grew very fast. Then I opened my own shop, which was used also as a showroom and gallery, and identified a national distributor that placed my products in different national specialized shops. At the time I had no money to build my own chain of shops. Soon we reached the maximum national coverage of our target market. While the margins of distributors and retailers were not high, the final price of the products for customers was. Because I had lost direct contact with my customers, I was unable to gain their direct feedback. The only way to move forward was to go international. But how could my business go global? How could it scale? Where would I start? And when? I found the solution to expand internationally through the internet. I decided to invest to modernize my web page which was initially just a web visit card. On the new website, which was translated into ten languages, I first presented all my products. Second, I developed an online shop where it was possible to purchase my products with the option of having some special action or bids.

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