This ad will close in

Around the World

To expand your presence, get together--through a consortium.

If you need a global presence but can't open offices everywhere, one solution is to join a global consortium. That way, you can maintain your boutique atmosphere and also compete with large multinationals by accessing the services and expertise of consortium members throughout the world.


"There are three reasons to be in a consortium or strategic alliance: to sell more, deliver more and develop your company," says management consultant and coach Andy Birol, founder of Birol Growth Consulting Inc.


Developing his company was the attraction for Scott Hanson, 46, president of HMA Public Relations and a founder of Public Relations Global Network, an affiliation of 50 small PR offices throughout the world. He leverages the experiences and insights of PR firms like his own, "picking their brains through e-mail and annual meetings." That gives him broader insights for his local work and results in more business when partners' clients expand into his region or need his expertise for projects. "That's tremendously valuable," Hanson says, and it contributes to his 2008 projected sales of $1.6 million.

For Cookie Anne McIntyre, 51, founder of Powell, Ohio-based executive search firm The McIntyre Company, the focus was on selling and delivering more. "Extending our global capability was part of our strategic plan because of the demand for senior execs for U.S. companies abroad," she says. Opening an international office with her staff of five was impractical, so she joined Penrhyn International, a 42-country consortium of executive search firms. McIntyre now hopes to work with global partners in ways that "allow us to compete with multinational search firms and have more involvement with our current clients internationally." She expects her pre-Penrhyn revenue of $1.5 million to grow to about $2 million in 2008. Consortium membership "also enhances domestic credibility," she says, by allowing her to present her company as a full-service international firm.

Financial arrangements vary by consortium. At Penrhyn, revenue from an assignment is divided, with "a percentage going to the party that uncovered the opportunity, a percentage to the one that conducts the search and a percentage to Penrhyn," McIntyre explains.


National and regional business associations, technology incubators and local industry clusters are all good sources for finding (or starting) consortiums. To be successful, Birol says, companies should focus on consortia that have a track record of actually increasing revenue for their members. "The key to a successful consortium is to make sure it's fortifying your best and highest use," Birol emphasizes. "The benefits of a consortium are only as good as the best firm, so if it's just average, watch out."


Gail Dutton is a freelance writer in Montesano, Washington, specializing in business and technology.



Like this article? Get this issue right now on iPad, Nook or Kindle Fire.

This article was originally published in the March 2008 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Around the World.

Loading the player ...

Shark Tank's Daymond John on Lessons From His Worst Mistakes

Ads by Google

0 Comments. Post Yours.

Most Shared Stories

The 3 Attributes to Look for in Top Talent
5 Key Characteristics Every Entrepreneur Should Have
14 Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read in '14
Steve Jobs' 13 Most Inspiring Quotes
How to Change Your Beliefs and Stick to Your Goals for Good

Trending Now