How to Start an Import/Export Business: 3 Things You Should Know

If you’re interested in getting into the distribution industry, starting an import and export business can be a great place to start. Whether you’re interested in starting an auto export business to ship cars to buyers around the world or are interested in becoming a wholesale distributor for electronic goods, there are a few things you should know before you go to market.

Sometimes, looking at a competitor with experience in the same export space as you’re interested in getting into can help you identify how to differentiate your company from theirs. Here are just three of the many pieces of information you’ll want to keep in mind when starting your own import and export business.

Understand the Import/Export Paths

Put simply, importers and exporters will be responsible for obtaining and selling merchandise of some sort regardless of the industry you choose to focus on. When exporting, your export path will include giving the customer an invoice, talking to your bank to receive a letter of credit, and actually transporting the merchandise. Afterward, you’ll want to gather your necessary shipping documents and show them to your bank.

The import path is similar to the export path, albeit a bit different. For example, importers will need to receive an invoice first and then get a letter of credit. Following that, you’ll need to confirm that the products have been shipped and ask the exporter for their necessary documents so you can navigate customs. Understanding the general import and export pathways can help give you a headstart when it comes to learning the ropes.

You’ll Need Reliable Internet

As you can probably tell from the above import and export pathways, there are a lot of steps involved regardless of being an importer or an exporter. Things get even more complex when you handle both roles, importing and exporting merchandise. So many steps require good communication skills, as well as the tools to handle such a high volume of communication. Having multiple phone lines could be useful as well as a digital subscriber line to field voicemail messages using your computer if necessary.

You’ll also want a reliable Internet provider in order to deal with various email conversations. When it comes to finding the right Internet supplier, a website like High-Speed Internet Deals can help you evaluate different options. From different options like Verizon DSL to Verizon FIOS and other Internet plans, you’re sure to discover the right ISP with the proper service and speed to meet your business needs. Keep in mind that there may be some times that business takes you on the road, so it’s also a good idea to find out about ways to bring your Internet service with you on the road using a mobile hotspot.

Find Ways to Attract Clients Business

Marketing your business is key if you want to gain a roster of valued clients. Before beginning this work, you’ll want to make sure that you understand how your merchandise fits into the cities and countries you’re interested in targeting. From there, it’s best to determine the best way to appeal to each client.

Different mediums have different strengths and drawbacks. For example, if you’re looking to work with a different state in the US, direct mail may be an appropriate means of making contact. However, if you’re dealing with a company that’s headquartered overseas, you may need to make some phone calls. While cold calls are less likely to work unless you’re an accomplished entrepreneur on the phone, the phone can still be a useful tool if you’ve already made some contact at a prior time.

Whether this is from a networking event or a trade show, it’s crucial that you avoid cold calls whenever possible so that you can spend your time effectively.

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