How to Run an Import/Export Business

By  //  July 21, 2023

With more and more goods sent all over the world, there are plenty of people who want to set up an import/export business.

You are going to face plenty of competition, but there is a lot that you can do to stand out from the crowd. So, here are just a few of the steps that can help you to get it right. 

Get the Business Basics in Order 

Like starting any other type of business, you need to have a clear plan to start off with. It is only then that you can go into detail. What are you going to import and export? What are the specific challenges that you are going to face? Have you answered some of the more specific questions, such as what is demurrage? Your business planning stage is the perfect opportunity to work out where the issues may lie and how you are going to overcome them, as well as what systems you will need to have in place. 

Pick Your Products 

While there are some importers and exporters that deal with anything and everything, most of these will have started off working in a highly specific product area. It is more than likely that you will have a certain area of expertise that you can fall back on. Whatever product you choose, you are going to need to have a good knowledge of it. You should know of any restrictions around importing/exporting and what the main challenge in shipping might be. 

Look for Your Suppliers 

Once you have settled on the right product area, you can then look for your suppliers. Every company needs to source something from someone. Again, this is likely to come from any connections that you have already. If you are not well-versed in this field, you are going to need to have someone who is. This is going to make your task so much easier. Another step that is associated with this directly is pricing up your products. 

Find Your Customers 

The next step that you need to take is to find your customers. This is all about marketing, as well as showing that you are the right person to go to in your field. Around this, you are also going to need to look at any logistical challenges. The business of importing and exporting is all about overcoming logistical hurdles and challenges in the most efficient way possible. 

Running an import and export business is much more complicated than some of the other business types that you could choose from. The items in this blog post are just a few of the challenges that you will find yourself up against. Overcoming them successfully will help to put you in the strongest position now and in the future. You need to get your business basics in order before you can go deeper into the field. Building up strong connections with your suppliers and customers will stand you in good stead as well.