International trade is a complex web of import/export businesses that handle the delivery, sale, and distribution of goods. Trade has been a part of life, from exchanging shells and salts or shipping cargoes of silk and spices to transferring auto parts and other large-scale items. As the world became more technologically advanced, international trade has become more rewarding in terms of profit.
If you are new to this world and have invested your hard-earned money in international trade, there are several things you need to be careful about. However, specifically for an import/export business, it is helpful to have a background in business, international relations, or global finance. It will help you understand the tons of hoops you have to jump through to sell or buy goods from overseas. Whether you have entered this field as an importer or exporter, a manufacturer representative, merchant, or agent, you have to look out for a few things.
1. Complete Your Research
Once you have decided your product and place for trade, ensure to check everything. Everything needs to be checked beforehand, from transport solutions like land freight or air freight to solutions like customs brokerage or cargo insurance. You also need to know your market, competitors, wholesale prices, retail costs and compare your retail prices to others. Look at the areas you lack in and try to improve.
2. Look For Services And Products You Want To Represent
You can’t run an import or export business if you haven’t figured out what you want to sell or buy. You need to find a product or industry that you are passionate about and ensure that it runs well in the international markets. The product could be anything from the tiniest gadgets to heavy vehicles; you only need to find your interest.
After finding your product, you need the right market for it. After all, you need to sell your product as fast as you can. Here, your trend-spotting skills will come in handy. Then, find manufacturers, suppliers, or the source for your product. The best way to carry this out is by contacting the embassy of the targeted country you want to source your products. Another way to source these products is by getting in touch with overseas trade fairs.
Tip: Stick with what you have decided, don’t change your mind midway through trade. It can cause you monetary damage.
3. Create A Range Of Products
After you have decided on the product, market, and strategy, develop a range of your products. You can either extend this range from one supplier or a range of suppliers. When you pitch your main product in front of the client, you can convince them in a better way to make a deal with a broader range of products backing up your main idea. Thus, you can bring in more money with this strategy. Another advantage is that if the potential client is not interested in your main product, they might buy your other product from the range, increasing sales and growing market.
4. Know Your Products
Understanding your product well is necessary. You need to have a good understanding of certain aspects of your targeted products, including the manufacturing process, production costs, retail price, wholesale price, profit margins, and so on. You need to pitch your product confidently in front of a supplier. How well you answer any questions about your product will determine the credibility of your service.
5. Get The Logistics Down
The most complex asset of the import/export business is the logistics of getting your product manufactured somewhere and selling it in another place. The best solution is to hire global freight forwarding services. This can be considerably beneficial for your trade businesses. The freight forwarder can serve as a transport agent for moving cargo, saving a lot of worry and time about transporting your products from the factory to a warehouse.
You will have to provide information about your business and your intentions for the products, and they’ll arrange everything. They’ll look after everything from shipping agreements, insurance, and sometimes the licenses, tariffs, permits, and quotas for operating within another country. It can ease your problems and relief you from the headache of taking your import/export business to an international trade market.
6. Learn About The Local Norms And Paperwork
Having an import/export business means you are entering the international market, of course. As part of deciding on importing or exporting a specific product, you need to get all the information about the formalities in the whole trading process. Alongside knowing the difference between illegal and legal products, you also need to get information about the norms or criteria, especially in the case of trading goods like tobacco or alcohol. Many goods have quantity limitations and special tax that you need to be aware of to complete the process. If you are aware of these aspects, you can decide quickly, instead of receiving an unpleasant surprise after getting your shipment sealed. It is not difficult to find the norms and rules of import/export of every country. However, the research might take a few weeks, if not months, until you get familiar with almost everything.
Every business needs one thing to survive and succeed in the competitive world — impeccable marketing. In an import/export business, you stand on the mission to sell in two different yet overlapping areas. This includes presenting your company to clients as an import/export manager for their goods and services, selling the products to distributors and representatives successfully, and other such factors that will strengthen your place in the market. Progress in these areas depends on one another. After establishing a positive sales record with one client’s goods, you will have a good track record to entice another client.
International trade is a complex system; transporting goods from one place to another requires many points to consider. Ensure to invest some time along with your money to find out everything about the rules and regulations, logistics, trends, and detailed marketing strategy to take your import/export business to the top.