Getting into the import-export business comes with its challenges, and many decisions can change the course of your success. One of the most important aspects of the import-export business is the type of goods that you want to import into a certain country. There are many import opportunities to consider, but not all of them might be the best choice for your company or for the market you want to enter.
Therefore, good research will help you increase your odds of finding just the right product to import and over time you should get used to this process and develop a certain trading instinct. To start with, here is what to consider when you are choosing the right product to import and how you can increase your profit.
Most often, entrepreneurs decide on a product or another based on two aspects: what sells and what they like to import. While these two aspects can be good ones, they are not the only ones to look at during the import process. Choosing a product that sells comes after certain research and knowledge regarding the market that you want to enter. After observing the demand that is present in a certain country, you can decide on what products will sell better than others.
As for selling what you like, this can rarely be a successful strategy. What you like to sell might not necessarily be what the population is going for so you shouldn’t rely on this aspect too much. Here are other things to consider when you choose the product you want to import:
1. Decide on a market that you want to enter
First of all, you need to decide on the country that you want to trade in. Different countries will have different needs around the world and what is good for one of them might not be good for all. Depending on the climate, geographical position, culture, and lifestyle, you will find that the needs are changing from region to region.
It is always a great idea to get familiar with other imported products that sold successfully in that location. There are plenty of statistics and even news that you can check before making your decision. For instance, if you want to import goods into an African country, you might find that your opportunities are endless. Africans consume a variety of different products, and the best thing is that they are also open to trying new ones. But as a beginner, it is always safer to stick with the basic commodities such as foods and clothes.
African countries will consume rice in large quantities, sugar as well as different types of meat. These are always good starting points when you want to develop an import-export business. And they are safe enough to make sure that you don’t waste money in the process of importing goods. In time, you will develop your business and discover new ways to reach your target population.
2. Study the local demand on that country
After you decided on your target country, you need to get familiar with the goods and products that are most requested in the country you want to enter. You can talk with locals to gather more information or even study the market online. However, make sure to study recent trends because the demand for a certain product might decrease or increase from one year to another. If you notice a certain product being in demand for several years, the chances are that you can be successful by importing that product. And usually, this is the case for basic goods such as foods or other commodities.
Another thing to consider is the type of population that you want to reach with your imported product. By choosing a country as large as Nigeria, with around 200 million people, you increase your chances of selling a certain product. Not to mention that you can import larger quantities of it since the demand will, of course, be bigger too. In Africa, there are millions of people needing certain goods, so your chances of succeeding are very high, especially if you take the import process step by step and do your best to grow with it.
On the other hand, looking at the export product list of a certain country will help you see fast what they might not need. It would be a waste of time to import something that it is being exported because the chances are that if the country can export a product, it is also able to supply enough of it for the local demand.
While there are exceptions to the rule, this is a general algorithm that you can follow to avoid wasting your funds on goods that are not needed. It would be very similar to trying to import cocoa into Ivory Coast which is one of the biggest cocoa producers worldwide.
3. Be Active Online
Most of the exporting and importing process starts and continues online. There is no way to avoid the virtual environment while you want to develop such a business because all your potential partners and clients will be found online. Under this idea, you should consider staying active on forums and talking with exporters from all over the world to identify the best products for import-export business.
By joining certain trading groups and websites, you will be able to stay informed when it comes to trends and potential goods that you can invest in. Most of these websites will send you weekly newsletters with different tips to develop your import-export business.
Being active online also implies having a high-quality website and staying in touch with your old and new clients. Your website will be the image that your potential clients will have about you, and you can’t neglect its importance when it comes to the success of your business.
If you have a high-quality website that people can reach you through, you might get suggestions about the best products to import and sell from your potential clients as well as different business ideas that you could use as opportunities. But you need to maintain your website and develop an SEO campaign to guide people toward your content. It doesn’t matter if you have a great website if no one finds it through the search engines.
4. Find an exporter to work with during this process
Sometimes, deciding on the best product to import into a certain country shouldn’t be totally up to you. If you have an exporter partner, you might want to discuss your options with them. Working as a team with your exporter will increase your chances of success, and it will also bring benefits for both of your businesses.
If you don’t have an exporter partner, you need to find one as soon as possible. Depending on the categories of goods and products that you want to import, your exporter might be the same for different imports. For instance, you can import rice from China but also import other types of goods from the same exporter. Not to mention that if you manage to maintain the same exporter, you might also benefit from certain discounts if you two have a good business relationship.
But how to find such a trusted exporter you might wonder. The answer is in the online community as well. All exporters are looking for importers like you on different websites and forums. So this is a reason more to be active online and not neglect this aspect of your business. Sometimes you will find the best exporters on official websites like the websites of different authorities. Even more so you want to import goods and products into an African country. African government is very supportive when it comes to facilitating the relationships between importers and exporters. You can participate in different international fairs or meetings to meet new potential partners in your field of activity.
5. Get familiar with the paperwork and local norms
Part of deciding on importing a certain product or another is being well informed about the formalities that are implied in the process. Besides the fact that you need to be aware of the difference between the legal and illegal product you also need to be aware of certain norms that need to be considered when you are importing special goods like tobacco or alcohol.
Some of these goods might come with a quantity limitation or a certain tax that you need to cover to complete the import process. And you can decide after you are aware of these aspects instead of being taken by surprise when you are sealing your shipment. Finding information on different types of imports and the norms that come with them is not very difficult. However, this type of research might take several weeks if not months until you get used to the process.
The best way you can hire a lawyer to look over the details of your importing process and inform you about different regulations that you need to follow. If you insist on doing it all yourself, time might be a valuable resource that you are spending to get everything right. And until you know well what are the norms regarding the type of product you want to import into a country, you can’t start the import process.
6. Get in contact with foreign embassies’ trade development offices
Staying in contact with foreign embassies is always a good idea when you are into an import-export type of business. But if you are interested in finding new products to import, stay in touch with the trade development offices and be the first who finds out the best opportunities ahead of other people in business.
The embassies can give you lists of suppliers that want to develop a business with you and break into a new market. There are many beneficiaries to a successful import-export process which is why you should find it easy to identify collaborators in the matter. Plus, once you establish good contacts at important foreign embassies, you will find it a lot easier to entertain different deals and even find products to import that you never considered before, depending on the types of offers that you receive. Make sure to honor as many official invitations as possible and put together a professional portfolio to impress your potential customers.
And remember that sometimes, finding the best product to import doesn’t start with looking for products but with looking for exporters, manufacturers and hunt the best offers to benefit from. If you are a good seller and an experienced marketing person, you can sell almost anything you want for the best price. So never deny a potential opportunity especially if the manufacturer is making you a great offer.
Why You Should Become An Importer?
Becoming an importer is a great professional opportunity for everyone who wants to the benefit of a flexible schedule. But it is not easy, and it requires a lot of sacrifices to be successful. If you are not familiar with all the benefits involved by being an importer, here is what you can look forward to:
• You can meet new people and cultures. Being an importer might give you opportunities to travel around a lot and get in contact with different traditions that will help you improve not only your business but also your life.
• With one import you can cover the financial needs and wants for a year if you choose your product right. Depending on a variety of factors, one import can enrich your accounts and even suffice for many months to come. And you don’t have to be an expert to do that because nowadays you have the chance to develop a successful deal with every import you make.
• An importer is free to make their schedule and even work from home by developing most of their activity online. It is an entirely new level of professional freedom. It is also true that you will make the profit that you deserve after the amount of work that you put in, but most likely, you will enjoy having a flexible schedule and even taking your days off whenever you need to. The only inconvenience regarding this aspect is that you might need to work at odd hours to be able to keep in touch with your business partners. But it is all worth it in the end!
• You can add some diversity to your professional life and avoid getting bored. Most people have a 9 to 5 job, and there is a reason why you might want something else…or more than one reason. Being an importer offers you the possibility to change things in your professional life by simply importing new products or changing the country of destination or the country of origin of your goods. It will put you in contact with new people and give you the opportunity to stay interested in your job without falling into a professional routine.
• Money can come in big amounts. People who are successful in the import-export type of businesses usually tend to reach financial success in a couple of years. After you get used to this job, you will be able to identify different opportunities to make money, and you will be able to develop your business to new levels.
Some importers and exporters become local investors because this can offer them an even higher income and a more steady professional position. And African countries, for instance, enjoy a lot of foreign investors that work in the local industries and offer jobs to locals while they also develop their companies.
How Can Waystocap Help During The Import Process?
Waystocap is a system that supports you as an importer and makes sure that you don’t take unnecessary risks. Especially if you are a beginner in the matter, you might fall victim of many frauds that might seem appealing to you. Waystocap can also help you find the best type of goods to import into a certain country. Even more than that, by joining the system you can get in contact with trustworthy exporters, producers, and manufacturers that can become your long-term partners. Waystocap guides you not only through the beginning of the import process but also through the late stages of it.
It helps you find the best shipment method for your cargo and the best insurance to add to your goods. Not all cargos need insurance, but sometimes many damages can be handled by adding one and your clients will enjoy the high-quality products that you want them to. Waystocap can also offer you a personalized plan according to your needs and the possibilities of your business. All you need to do is provide the information that Waystocap specialists need and trust that they will find the best path for you to follow in your professional life. Not to mention that by joining this system you will avoid many wasted resources and time that you would have spent on your own to make the best decision.