Import and export is a massive industry across the US. In May alone, $88.1 billion worth of goods were traded in and out of the nation.
But how do you break into the import and export business?
If you are seriously considering building a trade business, we have put together a brief guide for the most important aspects of how to get started.
Starting a Business
If you are building any new business, there are several things you need to get in order. Registering the business in the state you live, securing a domain name, building a website and social media presence are all part and parcel of the process.
But when it comes to the import/export business specifically, there is a range of other things you need to consider too.
Figure out what exactly it is you want to import/export. This will have an impact on the research you need to do and whether or not you need specific licenses to trade such as alcohol and tobacco.
Knowing what you’re working with is also essential because it will inform the decision of which other countries you will be trading with. Researching the relevant international markets as well as specific restrictions and requirements is vital to starting an export or import business.
Source Your Supplier
Once you have the basics in place and the product or products chosen, it is time to find your supplier. At this stage, it is important to learn all there is to know about your chosen product too.
If you have the opportunity to work with a manufacturer in the supply chain, you might be able to suggest some improvements that can make your product better than what is already on the market.
Your supplier will be an ongoing staple for your business’s success so make sure to pick one that you feel you can communicate with and really make a part of your business.
Pricing and Logistics of Your Import or Export Business
Now it is time to work on the finer details. What price will you be selling your products for? Do you have a place to store and sell products if needed? Have you got a customs bond in place?
Get the final touches for the sale and delivery of your items in order to get your business moving. Typically a markup of 10%-15% is good for pricing your product.
But it is a good idea to factor in all of your costs such as taxes and delivery costs too, so shop around with different delivery companies to be able to either benefit from a larger profit margin or pass the savings on to your customers with lower prices.
The Last Step? Keep Customers Happy
At this point, with everything in place and money flowing, your job is to make sure the quality stays high and customers stay satisfied.
Provide the best customer service possible and try to take on board feedback, sometimes it can lead to the most effective changes in your business.
Ready to Start?
Setting up an export business can be straightforward, you just need to get the process right.
If you get stuck, come back to this article and see if you have glossed over an important step. Good luck!
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