Times are bad, and everyone seem to be complaining about the economic downturn. But now is not the time to complain. All savvy business owners know that now is the best time to adopt a proactive approach. Maybe you can consider starting a new business. After all, purchases tend to be cheaper these days. Perhaps you can stumble upon some unbelievably good deals on the Internet.
But the Internet is a huge place. So where do you start? Here are some suggestions.
Step 1: Visit a trade lead directory.
If you are going to start a business online, might as well think big and go International. The Internet is a great way to connect with suppliers and customers from all over the world. Start by visiting a trade directory. You will see for yourself the wide range of products that are available. But don’t do any buying yet. Proceed to the next step.
Step 2: Market research.
This is an essential step. If you skip this step, you are just risking your money unnecessarily. Make sure that there is a profit to be made before jumping on the wagon and placing a wholesale order. Otherwise, you may find yourself stuck with all that inventory, with no visible ways of getting rid of them. Poor research always lead to poor business decisions.
If you want to save a little time, you can always purchase a research report. For instance, if you are not sure if leather furniture will sell well in your country, you can buy a relevant report so that you can examine the numbers. Is there a rising demand for the products? Who are these people? Who are your competitors? You need to know the answers to these questions before making the leap.
Step 3: Have a marketing plan.
Knowing that there is market demand is one thing. But knowing how to reach out to your target customers is a totally different thing. Ask yourself how you are going to market those products to the customers. Will you do so online? Are there networks you can tap into? Again, this requires more research. But having a practical marketing plan is half the battle won.
Step 4: Actually doing it.
Don’t let fear stop you if you have done your homework and you are confident that you have a good chance of success. Proceed to request for quotations. Choose your suppliers carefully. Don’t just base your decision on price. You want a relatively hassle free shipment. If you choose the wrong supplier, you end up being the recipient of sub quality products.
Step 5: Manage your cash flow.
Your import/export business depends on how you manage your cash flow. Don’t be greedy and place orders that will affect your cash flow adversely. Always leave room for error if you are unsure.
A good approach to adopt when you are just starting out is to place an order for a variety of products, each in a small quantity. With the products bundled together, you still get to enjoy wholesale prices. Once you determine which are the better selling products, just focus more on those products.