One of the oldest and successful businesses is the import-export business. Since ancient times, people have traded with neighbouring countries for supplies and products. Some places may have the resources that other countries do not have. With the development of air and sea transportation, the trading business became more accessible. Today, the world is more open than ever, making the import-export business a profitable booming industry.
Are you considering making your very own import-export business? Many think that you would need a lot of funding to start one. But the truth is, small and medium companies are the ones running most of the industry. However, there are many types of import-export businesses that you can start. If so, which one is the best for you? Here is a list of some of the best.
One of the easiest and fastest ways to enter in the import-export industry is by being an outsourcing agent. You also do not need a large capital for this type of business. It is also an excellent way to gain experience within the industry, thus perfect for beginners.
What kind of business is import-export sourcing? To simply put, you will source suppliers, buyers, or products for a client. The client, either a company or an individual, will supply you with the details and the requirements that they are looking for. Your job is to find what the client is searching for, whether they are products, consumers or businesses. After giving the information to your client, you will be paid according to the agreement.
With this type of business, you will get first-hand experience in the import-export industry by spending little to no cost. And you can do it in the comfort of your home.
Direct importing is the business of reselling products you obtained from other countries. Compared to exporting, it is easier and more beginner-friendly as you have a better understanding of your local market. It means you know which items are in-demand and which products to avoid.
To be successful at this import-export business, as previously mentioned, you will need to do market research. You will also need enough funding to purchase the products from overseas. And most importantly, you must already have a selling network, customers who are willing to buy from your business.
Opposite of direct importing, exporting business is when you sell your products overseas. This type of business has its challenges. First, you will need to find a suitable country where to export. Then, you will need to do a lot of market research and select the right products to export. Of course, you will need funding.
Another challenge of exporting is that it can be harder to reach international buyers, as opposed to importing, which targets local consumers. For this reason, it is best that you already have established connections and prospective clients even before you start this business. It is one of the riskier types of import-export business. But when successfully done, it gives the most profit.
The internet made it possible to connect people all around the world. And it enables small businesses, and even individuals, to conduct import-export transactions. One way is by importing and exporting through the internet through the use of platforms such as eBay, Aliexpress, and Amazon.
Using the mentioned platforms can help you sell or produce items that can be exported to other countries. In some cases, you can also import products from other countries. This is often done by contacting product manufacturers that can customize and rebrand the products for you.
While this type of business does not require as much capital as direct importing and exporting, you will need to know general knowledge and fundamental skills in online marketing.
Choosing the Right Product
After choosing the right type of import-export business for you, next comes market research. The majority of your research will be about choosing the right products. For example, if you want to choose to import or export construction materials, you will need to research which type is more in-demand in the places you are going to do business.
For instance, in the UK, many prefer living in a home with a suitable outdoor living space. So in these places decking materials may be in-demand. Knowing so, you may want to enter the composite decking business by importing or exporting materials.
You will also need to find out which type of composite decking materials are preferred by your prospective consumers. In fact, all decking companies in the UK, Compositewarehouse, Cladco, Ultra Decking, Timbertechuk, etc., all import their products.
These are only a few examples of how you can choose a product for your business. If you want to enter the import-export business, you will want to do extensive research. You will also need to decide which type of business is best for you, depending on your funding, skill, and knowledge.
Interesting related article: “What is International Trade?“