4 Import Tips For International Trade Rookies
The global economy drives import trade deals in $1.2 trillion good annually based on the United States Department of commerce. It is a vast and attractive market; however, before you venture into the business, you must make critical considerations.
It would be better if you have a background in international relations, marketing, and international finance because it gives you an understanding of what you will need to do to get started and grow a successful business.
The internet is a resourceful platform that you can use to acquire much-needed knowledge. Below are some of the essential tips to consider.
Know Your Target Market
You cannot start a business if you have no one to sell your goods to; therefore, before you step into the import business, make sure you conduct detailed research of the market.
Your product or service may be attractive on the local market, but that does not automatically mean it will be in demand globally, so make you examine the international business scene.
Make sure you are also passionate about the niche, especially if you intend on doing it long term. The import business thrives if the product is gaining popularity or has the potential of becoming huge in the future. It is better to target a market you have experience in and make a point of testing the product beforehand to guarantee the viability of your idea.
It is also essential to understand your intended customers to make sure you offer the best possible services and grow long term relationships. Find out the geographical location of the target customers, their preferences, age, sex, occupation, and economic status. Your customers can be exporters, manufacturers, crafters, other importers, retailers, or even artisans.
Prioritize Shipping Requirements
Before you start an import business, make sure you learn the processes involved in shipping products to your country, the costs of using air or sea, and how to choose the best shipping company.
You must also find out the country’s laws and regulations on the importation of goods and also check that you meet all requirements for trade compliance to make sure the process flows smoothly.
Label your products correctly to facilitate the application of the right duty rates and avoid delays, monetary penalties, and suspension of international trade privileges. Additionally, use the proper packaging for a seamless entry and fill the shipping instructions correctly.
The bill of lading must indicate the port and the final destination of the products. Errors in the form may result in clearance delays, and making changes to the bill of lading may cost you a considerable amount of money.
Have A Clear Marketing Plan
Your marketing strategies should cover two areas, selling your company as the idea importer of the clients’ products and also attracting the buyers of the goods. Succeeding in one area will boost the chances of success in the other.
For instance, excellent sales records of products belonging to one client will develop a track record that will impress the rest of the clients and also improve your confidence in the business. You can find products to import by attending trade shows, traveling abroad on a mission to find clients, contacting trade development offices of foreign embassies, and conducting internet searches to find potential leads.
You can also wait for international manufacturers to see you by building your online presence. Send emails to likely manufacturers outlining the available opportunities for the product in your country, and the benefits of working with you.
The marketing campaigns should take into consideration the size of your market, language barriers, cultural norms, and the objectives of the exercise. Answering these questions ensures that you create inclusive, respectful, and productive advertisements. Take time to assess your competition, avoid the mistakes they are making and devise unique strategies that will give a competitive advantage.
Determine the Start-up Costs
Aim to spend what you have, and if you secure a loan, only borrow what you need and utilize the money well. It is relatively less costly to start an import business; to minimize the operational costs, you can start your import business at your home office.
You can survive building the business without employees. When creating your start-up budget, predict the volume of sales you expect to make in the first year. Come up with an objective forecast because it helps to come up with an accurate budget. A lot of your money will go into research of the market and purchasing equipment; however, it is highly likely that you already own most of the items needed.
The basic requirements include a computer, printer, internet, mobile phone, postage, and software. Additionally, you will need stationery and allocate some money to cater for your travel expenses during research on foreign countries.
If you dream of venturing into the import business, go for it and rely on your plan, expert advice, and instincts to grow your business!