How To Start an Import Export Business

Import and export plant

Did you know that only 4% of the entire import/export trading business is owned by the big companies? Therefore, the remaining whopping 96% is owned by small trading businesses. So don’t be afraid to delve into an import/export business. This market is actually dominated by businesses like the one you will soon have.

However, before you begin enjoying some export sales and ride the exciting boat of export financial status, you first need to know how to start an import/export business. Begin by taking business management courses; online schools are perfect for this, especially for busy entrepreneurs.

Maybe you have that export retail idea in mind or maybe you want to have export agriculture as a start. Before you even think about that, better learn these things when starting up an import/export business:

  1. Learn more about the import/export business. Do you know that there are three different types of import/export businesses? You may want to be an export management company, an export trading company, or an import/export merchant. Aside from that, you also need to learn your different trade channels. Of course, don’t forget to learn about the laws concerning importing and exporting.
  2. Identify who will be your target consumers for the import/export business. After that, you will have to know your niche. A niche is a group of people who will need your services or products and therefore these are the ones to whom you will direct your marketing. You will need to do market research to identify this group. But there’s nothing wrong with trusting your instinct, especially if you have a specialty product in mind. It’s still safer to do marketing research, though, to ensure you are directing your marketing efforts to the right niche.
  3. List the things you need for your import/export trading business. Depending on the kind of business you are planning to have, you will need a computer system, printer, fax machine, Internet, software, phone, trade leads, postage, office supplies, furniture pieces, etc.
  4. Determine pricing. Your pricing can either make or break your business. You don’t have to be too generous to give away your products or services; you also shouldn't be so greedy that you push away potential customers. That is why the right pricing is the key. If you will manufacture products, then you should consider the labor, materials, overhead, and the profit when selling products. For services, you may want to consider the pricing to be commission-based.
  5. Learn the process of import/export business. Different paths are taken by an import business and another set of different paths are taken by an export business. You should familiarize the process by asking others in the business, asking an expert, or reading some materials.

Still, experience is the best teacher even when starting an import/export business. But if you have one way to make all your steps right, wouldn’t you do it? That is why studying about the export sales, export financial, export retail, export agriculture, and the export/import trading business as a whole is your best tool to be prepared. Taking business management classes online will also help you in the long run.

Remember, the export business is a mysterious sea; if you plunge into it without knowing how to go with the waves, you might just end up in the losing end.


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