Trade Leads

FAQs & Tips

I really want to get involved in the import export trade but I don't know where to begin!
Yes, it can be very daunting. A safe bet is to start small - low cost goods at low volume and therefore low risk. Once you've learned a bit more about the various processes involved, you'll be better placed to increase the scope of your business.

I've found a product I think will sell well in my country, how can I be sure?
Market research, you can never perform enough market research!
  • Find out what needs the product fulfills
  • Investigate any competing products - their quality, their price
  • Conduct surveys
  • Get samples and test them on the market
  • Find out how much people will be prepared to pay
  • Calculate the costs associated with importing and see what the profit margins are like
More market research!

I've identified a product that should sell well in my country and I'd like to import it, how do I go about finding foreign suppliers?
The trade department at the foreign embassy should be eager to help you. They can provide you with directories and maybe even contacts in the relevant industry. International Trade Fairs are also a good source of contacts (for both import and export).

I want to import some goods from a foreign country, what do I do?
First make contact with government departments and establish the rules and regulations concerning the import of those type of goods. Once you're sure you can meet all necessary requirements, organise payment for and shipment of the goods.

Do I need a licence from my government to start an export business?
Import-export rules and regulations vary from country to country. Don't participate in any trade until you've contacted the relevant department in your country to ensure you follow the correct procedures and processes.

Research indicates our product will do well in our chosen market, but we're having great difficulties finding foreign buyers.
Here are a few things you can do:
  • Go to the foreign embassy and ask for help identifying prospects
  • Draw up a list of potential buyers, contact them (through an interpreter if necessary) and find out about their requirements and expectations (price, quality etc)
  • Go and meet the prospects in person, people like to buy from other people. Provide them with good quality samples.
  • Attend trade fairs at home and abroad
  • Attend government sponsored trade missions - it will give you credibility and you'll make many contacts