How to Start Your Own Import Export Business

The international trade industry is experiencing massive growth, a trend that is likely to hold true for a considerable period to come. You might have thought about taking advantage of the
numerous lucrative opportunities in this field by starting your own import-export business. Like
any other beginner in any given field you are bound to meet a host of challenges that may make or break your business model.
But if you set out armed with the right information from a reliable import export business start-up guide then your probability of success will be much higher. There are a number of aspects
that determine whether a new business in this or any other domain succeeds or fails. Taking these into consideration and measuring up your import export business model against the
resulting index will certainly take you a lot closer to realizing your entrepreneurial dream. Let us take a look at these crucial pointers:

Informative Research
The backbone of any entrepreneurial endeavor is proper research into the relevant aspects of the business. Big commercial enterprises take this step very seriously and invest huge sums into conducting market research. But as a small potential import export merchant you might not be in the financial position to undertake an expensive research project as you most likely have to start the import export business without investment. However, it is still possible to conduct effective research by yourself and avoid walking into financial disaster.

Product Selection
The very existence of the international trade model is pegged on the fact that one country has a product that is in high demand in another country and supply is lacking or insufficient. What is that product that you like, can easily access and are sure is going to sell? You will need to get all the information you can on this item and find a way to transform it into a best seller. This might require making some changes to an existing product or having your own idea conceptualized from scratch. The best import export business ideas are those that involve identifying a gap in the market and crafting a unique solution to the problem. It means a lot more work like looking for a manufacturer to turn your idea into a product but it also offers a guarantee of success.

Suppliers
At this point you need to figure out how you are going to ensure a steady supply of the product
so that once the business gets on its feet there is no obstacle to stop its advance. Make good use of the numerous online resources available that link reliable suppliers to entrepreneurs.

Market
The next logical step will be to find ready market for that product. At this stage you need to exercise great caution in order to avoid focusing so much attention on high demand for a product that you forget to notice if there is already an abundance of suppliers fighting for their own market share. The ideal product would be one for which demand is high but availability is limited thus guaranteeing higher markups.

Pricing
This is one of the most sensitive factors determining the success or lack thereof of the business idea. It needs to be done in such a way that the final figure does not exceed what a buyer would be willing to spend and still assures you of a reasonable profit. In order to be competitive it may be necessary to find out how similar products are priced on the international platform and ensure yours operates within a relatively logical range. Remember to take into consideration the logistical expenses involved in the process.

Handling the Logistics
Handling the logistical aspects of your new business might be the most unexciting part but is of utmost importance. You will have to start by getting the relevant import export business license whose requirements vary depending on your country of residence at the time. The information required to get this done right can usually be obtained from the local chamber of commerce.

Business Strategy
Small business ideas are normally propelled to unimaginable heights when there are definite plans set out for growth and expansion and these are effectively executed. A business strategy refers to the documented plan that puts down these goals and outlines how they will be achieved.

This is extremely important because it provides a yardstick against which you can measure your progress and improve on weaknesses. Even though it takes a lot of time and resources, it will ultimately determine the sustainability of a business model and is thus indispensable. The main aim of any commercial strategy is to establish a way to generate ever-increasing profits, realize growth and diversify on the product base. In order to achieve this, your import export trading business plan will certainly need to incorporate these crucial tips:

Exercise Foresight and Forethought
A successful entrepreneur also needs to be a great visionary. You need to always stay one step ahead of everyone and everything else in your business domain. What does this imply?
First, you have to keep abreast of trends in your realm of operations. Remember that these trends are dynamic and you need to keep up with their unceasing evolutionary processes. The one key to success in any commercial endeavor is to always be the first one to design a product or offer a solution. The only way to do this is by utilizing current trends to predict potential niche markets and be the first to make a move in the right direction. Second, the commercial world is full of hurdles and potholes and in order to remain afloat you have to anticipate challenges and prepare for them. This is more so the case when your realm of activity covers a vast international platform tying in different economic, political and sociological frameworks that are commonly predisposed to unexpected changes.

Take Advantage of Technological Tools
Technological tools such as the internet open up a world of opportunities for business people
globally. Import export business websites have made the international marketplace less of a maze by providing all of the tools necessary for success.

1. Reach Out
It is not possible to run a successful import export business (or any other) without getting customers. So the first step to make your business strategy succeed is to reach out and find customers. How can this be done? Get information about your potential customers and devise a foolproof way to reach out to them. For instance, you could study the culture and traditions of your target country and use this information to your advantage. Find out about their holidays, spending habits, tastes in food or fashion – anything that may be relevant to your business goal – and find a way to capitalize on that to serve your business interests.

2. Mail Campaign
Get contacts of persons relevant to your commercial endeavor and prepare a convincing email campaign to garner interest. Be careful when doing this so that your email messages do not end up being regarded as spam. Send individual messages as opposed to mass emails to introduce your company and request for the opportunity to engage further with them. Relevant contact details can be obtained from the Chamber of Commerce departments of the target countries or even in their embassies in your home country. An import agent could also assist you in linking you with the right persons in your area of commercial interest.

3. Build an Online Presence
Import export business websites are a must when playing this field because they provide unlimited access to a worldwide marketplace. Design a user friendly website and incorporate an informative blog that allows for a consistent flow of informative material. Engaging with your potential customers brings you one step closer to them and provides the opportunity to let them know about what you have to offer to improve their lives.

Building a Reliable Network
Nothing beats the importance of a reliable network of peers when starting a new business in any field. It provides an irrefutable way to gain skills from others, get new customers and spread the word about your new business. One of the most crucial tools to success in the import export business network is the import agent as he provides an important link between you and your customers. He brings to the table lots of experience and is able to connect you to a huge customer base. The right import agent is also armed with knowledge on your target market and is therefore able to provide valuable insight on pertinent matters related to your business. Another important tool to building your import export network is attendance at events that address your area of business. This no longer has to be done physically as more and more online platforms provide webinars and other forums for learning and networking conveniently from your desktop regardless of your location. Social media platforms also provide the opportunity to cultivate meaningful and productive relationships with peers in your industry. They make it possible for you to create a business profile and push your objectives while interacting with consumers with great ease.

The Need for Perseverance
Taking the necessary steps to start a business is not the biggest challenge you will have to face; making it sustainably profitable is. Export import business opportunities have so much to offer but it’s only when you stick it out that you really get to enjoy the fruits of your labor. You might have fought really hard to reach out to potential clients and convince them to buy into your concept or product. But all this will go to waste if you do not fight equally hard to retain them. Retaining customers should be the first priority for any business and once you get that right there is no turning back. The overseas customer is however in certain ways more difficult to please than any other. This is due to the fact that the human contact aspect is hugely compromised in international transactions. Social media and other online interactions take the place of the much needed personal conversations and this might make it difficult to always deliver satisfaction. Therefore, it is necessary to go the extra mile to ensure they remain happy and that their expectations are always met. Find out from them what it’s like doing business with you and address any areas of concern.

Use all possible avenues to stay in touch with them without invading their privacy. Find out from them what medium is most convenient and use it for regular communication. Find a way to determine what is important to them and establish whether you are meeting that need. This can be done by employing the use of periodic surveys to measure performance against satisfaction. Devise a multifaceted approach to customer contact by having more than one person reach out to them to address their concerns. Have a system in place to deal effectively with complaints. It could be a review box on your website that allows customers to post their user experiences on your products. This feedback helps you improve on weaknesses and adapt to consumer requirements. Mistakes are a part of the learning process but how you react with them is what will make the difference between success and failure.

The Right Partner for Your Global Business
While the African marketplace provides a vastly unexplored terrain for commercial innovation, it also presents numerous challenges for beginners. This ripe market is still heavily fragmented as it grapples with the challenges of adapting to a digital mode of operation. Waystocap provides the first African B2B marketplace forum that can help you make your commercial enterprise successful in this promising yet challenging terrain. We help you create reliable networks of suppliers and buyers for your products and offer practical solutions to the various obstacles that you might face as a beginner in this field. From a wide range of suitable financing options for buyers, insurance facilities for sellers and the necessary logistical solutions, we ensure that you get everything you need under one digital roof. We also offer numerous resources for beginners including a reliable import export business start -up guide to help you get up on your feet and be on the way to success. We offer unmatched security to all who work on our platform and ensure that you enjoy an environment of mutual trust with fellow traders. Our conditions are ideal for anyone setting out to start a new business in the import export industry and by working with us you will certainly enjoy a much easier and safer trading experience requisite for success.

Sources:
https://www.thebalance.com/how-to- start-an- import-export- business-part- 1-of- 2-1953416
https://www.foreign-trade.com/reference/impexp.htm
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http://alltopstartups.com/2015/09/30/how-to- successfully-launch- an-import- and-export- business/
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http://www.entrepreneurmag.co.za/ask-entrepreneur/import- export-ask- entrepreneur/i-would-like-to- start-an- import-business- what-steps- do-i- take-in- order-to- do-this/
https://www.thebalance.com/how-to- develop-an- export-marketing- plan-1953410
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http://www.startupist.com/2014/11/07/the-importance- of-business- networking-for- entrepreneurs/

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