Trade Leads

Building an Import/Export Business

Kenneth D. Weiss


Exporting goods to foreign countries for sale at profit

Your success as an exporter will be much more likely if you develop:
  1) A sound understanding of your products' strengths and weaknesses
  2) An appreciation of what is being produced in different parts of the world
  3) An idea of which countries are most likely to need your products

Why? Because your understanding of these will guide which products you choose to export and how ready they are for export.

Are your products ready for export?
Things you'll need to know about your products:
  • If they meet any required standards and regulations
  • How well can they compete internationally?
  • How do your prices compare with those from other companies/countries?
  • How does your quality compare?
A thorough understanding of the market for exporting
So what should you do and where should you go to develop this understanding?
  • Internet and market research
  • Attend trade shows
  • Consult embassy trade departments
  • Market yourself to foreign manufacturers
  • Travel abroad on fact finding missions
You can export your goods by air, sea, rail or road. The choice will depend upon factors such as distance, the type of goods, cost, speed and safety.

You may need to deal with freight forwarders & transportation companies, negotiate contracts, sort out delivery problems - a whole range of issues. So be prepared.

Rules and regulations for exporting
This will vary from country to country. It is up to you to make sure you are aware of all the necessary regulations, taxes, duties and documentation needed to export goods from your country.

What else?
Finance - learn all about the Letter of Credit

So take me through the main steps I'll need to take to export my products
  • Perform market research to identify gaps in foreign markets, potential for profit, competition etc.
  • Identify the product you wish to export
  • Contact your government departments for help/advice on necessary documentations and legalities
  • Ensure your product is ready for exporting, that it meets all regulations
  • Contact foreign embassy trade departments - ask for advice on country specific processes and to establish any contacts
  • Identify potential buyers
  • Negotiate costs and terms
  • Decide upon distribution method and then ship your product