Import Export business is one of the traditional businesses. However, it is not the same as it used to be. It has grown in complexity despite the efforts of the international community to simplify and liberalize the same.
New elements that have entered into this business range from the introduction of new items to a myriad of safety and environmental issues.
World Trade Organization (WTO) has been working towards the reduction of trade barriers and promotion of a free trade regime. Still international traders have to comply with plethora of rules and regulations of individual countries. Mounting tariffs are one of the major factors to be considered.
Many people talk about import export business as a very lucrative profession. There have been great success stories across the globe. There are numerous failures as well. These often don’t get the same publicity as successes.
What is the right way for a total novice to enter this career? What are the considerations for undertaking this profession?
It should be recognized that starting any business is not an easy task, especially import export business. It demands a lot of work, dedication and investment. Of course one can start this business online as well and in which case, investment will be small.
There are many things that a person can do relating to this business. One can start import export consulting, be an intermediary between exporters and importers or be himself a trader.
There are various other related things that one can do like be a financier, freight agent, transporter, insurance agent or simply be an information magnate.
So before entering this filed, one should decide what one wants to do. Many persons actively start trading themselves or just connect exporters and importers. The selection depends upon the level of expertise and comfort level, the choice of products and countries, the availability of finances etc. that a person has.
If you decide to start direct trading by yourself, I would suggest learning the theory part of this trade thoroughly in the first instance. One needs to be conversant with products that are being traded internationally, the rules and regulations of countries that one wants to trade with, the terminology involved, import duties, quotas, consignments, transportation, import export licenses etc.
After being comfortable with theory part, one should get some practical training. Hopefully one has chosen a product or products to trade before starting the practical part of this business.
One of the safe ways is to start trading products with local importers and exporters. This way one can learn many tricks of trade and also be able to avoid several pitfalls. Spending about a year’s time should provide necessary experience to one to start direct import export.
Another safe way of doing exim trading is to locate buyers in the first instance before importing as otherwise one may be left with unwanted inventories and losses.