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Import Export Institute

Build your Import Export Business

To get anywhere in any business, you must market and network  to build customers and referral sources.  Every small business owner, from the lady who sells cosmetics from home to the gentleman who runs a lawnmower repair business, must reach their respective customer!  The import export business is no different. Once you make the decision to investigate the possibility of launching an import export business, you will see a lot of incorrect information about how to get customers, leads, and deals.

One misconception is that you can do ALL your work from home, in front of your computer. This is partially true. You will spend a lot of time researching and resourcing market information, products and supplies, and building your contact base. However, you will need to spend time at events and meetings introducing yourself and your business to potential customers. Before you  head out the door, make sure your basics are covered – your business name, website, email address, phone number, and business cards.  Have your “elevator pitch” rehearsed and ready to go. An elevator pitch is a 1-3 minute pitch covering, in a clear and concise way, what it is your business does. Make it cool and interesting!  Imagine you were on an elevator with your dream client – what would you say to this person during the time it takes to go from the 33rd floor to the lobby?

How do you find networking and marketing opportunities?  Trade fairs and trade shows. Any forum or seminar relating to importing or exporting. Look to local business groups. Attend professional association meetings. Look at any place as a possible source of business – the video game vendor at the open air market, the lawn mower shop down the street. People buy products to resell at almost every retail outlet.  Once you start looking, you will see a lot of opportunity around you.

To build your import export business, you need to first start local. Look to your immediate area and visit and network with local manufacturers. Consider the national statistics on exporters – only 1% of U.S. manufacturers (including growers, producers, suppliers) who could be exporting actually are. Of those exporters, 70% are businesses with 20 or fewer employees. Many books or websites will not give you this information – they will have you believe that you simply sit in front of a computer and watch the sales roll in. That would be great if it happened that way, the hard truth is it does not.  Many of us who have actually done deals and represent clients internationally, do conduct a lot of business over the phone, by email and Skype, however, we landed our clients and their product in person.

As part of the Go Global! Import Export Business program, we include a 30-day business planner designed to walk you through, in easy steps, how to build your new import export business. Call us today so that we can answer your questions and get you started on the path of import export business ownership.