The study of international business is fine if you are going to work in a large multinational enterprise, but it has no relevance for individuals who are going to work in small firms.

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A consumer, surfing the Internet, points and clicks with the mouse to purchase a as a Christmas gift. That consumer discovered the , not on a major retailer’s website like the Gap or Macy’s, but from a small, Scottish firm specializing in hand-woven sweaters that maintains its own website. Anyone can use the website, regardless of where they live in the world, so long as they have access to a computer. This hypothetical example demonstrates the fact that international commerce is not something that can be ignored, even by the smallest of businesses. The Internet holds a host of opportunities regardless of the size of a firm. Even a small proprietor with a decent website developer can use the Internet to add considerable revenue to his or her bottom line.

At very least, a small business owner must be aware of competitors’ commercial offerings online even if the competitors hail from far away. The business owner must understand how his international competitors online prices substitute goods, and what on the web could compete against his or her own offerings. The availability of goods from around the world also affects every industry because it affects consumer tastes and preferences. “Where are the cookies that I liked so much from the United Kingdom,” a consumer might ask a local supermarket owner — “I can order them online, but I was hoping to get them at your store?”

Even a firm that does not sell goods over the Internet can use the Internet to find cheaper sources of raw material from suppliers. Importing goods might be a source of savings, especially when the dollar is strong. Now, sadly, the weakened dollar means that a vendor must be aware that the goods he or she is importing from international sources will cost more. International events, like a crisis in the Middle East will affect the price of oil, and higher oil prices affects shipping costs, the price of fuel, and thus affects even the price of gas and mozzarella for a local mom n’ pop pizza delivery ‘joint’ that only serves a local clientele. International business affects every enterprise, small or large.