How to Start an Import and Export Business

by on September 1, 2010

Since ages, trade has been an essential part of human existence and people always aspire to have something that is not easily available in their own country. With the advent of technological advancement, international trade has become an extremely profitable and rewarding experience.

An import and export business can be started easily and it can also prove to be a great way of making a lot of money. As per the U.S. Department of Commerce, American companies exported goods worth more than $772 billion last year. Besides exporting, the U.S. also imported a lot of goods and the nation also undertakes trading with various countries across the world.

The majority of the import and export business is handled by small companies and figures from the U.S. Department of Commerce also confirm the same. As per the figures, about 96% of the companies in the exporting business are small companies.

Import- Export business has grown manifold and it has become one of the most lucrative businesses. Though there are various reasons for the growth of this business, the three most important reasons for the same are as follows:

Easy Availability: Some things are easily available in a country and it is not possible to produce them in another country. Examples of this include wheat that cannot be easily produced in cold countries; while on the other hand, coconuts are in abundance in the tropical countries.

Reputation: Some of the products have an iconic image and people consider it essential to use these things. Examples of this include German beer, French perfume and Egyptian cotton. People are always more fascinated by things which have come from distant places and value them more.

Price: It is essential to remember that some things are always cheaper when imported from another country. The examples of these things include Chinese toys, Taiwanese electronics and Mexican clothes. It is much easier and cheaper to import some things than manufacture them in a domestic plant.

Countries export goods on which they have the cost and abundance benefits, while import goods, which they feel cannot be produced in their countries efficiently and resourcefully.

Before starting an export import business the three most important things you need to remember are the following:

Market Research: It is very important to understand the market properly before starting a business. If you understand the market well, it can significantly increase the chances of having a sound, stable and growing business.

Understanding Your Customers: In order to start the import or export of goods, you should consider the needs of the people in the particular area. Further, you should also adjudge whether they require the products, which you would offer. There is no point in providing something for which there is no market. If you are not careful about this factor, there are more chances that you might fail in the business.

Economical price: This is the most important thing, which needs to be paid due attention. Any export-import business can only be successful if the goods provided have the cost advantage. Providing the goods on the same cost will not serve any purpose. Also, if you are offering a product or service at very high price, not many people will be ready to go for it. Thus, it is very important to provide a product at a competitive price so as to succeed in the market.

Keeping the above factors in mind, you can significantly increase your chances of doing well in an export import business and also ensure long term growth and stability for your business.

(photo credit: Getty Images)

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