February 10, 2021 Last updated February 10th, 2021 632 Reads share

How To Get Your Import-Export Business Off the Ground

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Having an import and export business is an excellent way to earn a high profit with a surprisingly low financial investment. Import-export businesses are also great as they help you get the chance to meet new global clients to expand your business.

There are so many new ways for everyday people to make extra money these days. The great thing about trading though is that it has been around for as long as human memory serves. With the increasing advances in technology, along with the speed in communications, the gates for trade have opened far wider than they have in the past. Subsequently, the global market has also expanded in size, with there being a far greater demand for all kinds of commodities.

In such a situation, a solid import and export business is a reliable, and profitable business model. It is important to remember that a business that has solid roots and is strong from the onset is more likely to succeed and make a good impression. To make that dream a reality, there are some points that you can keep in mind for you to be more successful in your endeavor.

Excited? Let’s go!

Developing an Import-Export Business Idea

When it comes to getting your import or export business started, there can be a lot to remember. Here are some things to consider before you can go set your import-export business on its feet.

Ask Yourself Essential Questions

Before starting, you must ask yourself several questions regarding the type of business you intend to have. Are there some local entrepreneurs who you know that are looking to expand their market to sell their products? Or is it that you are looking for some global contacts that would help you establish your business during a trip abroad.

Evaluate Yourself

Once you have answers to questions relevant to your business plan, you must evaluate yourself. Look within and judge what kind of a person you are. 

Running an import or export business is not a piece of cake. It would require time, energy, and the ability to think and solve problems on your feet.

When it comes to import-export business models, another helpful trait to have is the ability to make a sale. Buyers and sellers should be people who inspire confidence in their clients, thus having strong people skills would be a real positive trait to have. 

This is why it has been observed that people who are skilled in diplomatic matters do better when it comes to managing a business and in sales.

If you think that the import/ export business is for you, then comes the fun part— getting it started!

Getting an Import/ Export Business Started

Here is a quick checklist to help you kick start your import-export business plan.

Consider Your Target Market

One of the most vital things that you need to evaluate is your target market. You need to check to see if there is a demand for the product you are trying to sell either locally or internationally and decide who you want your clients to be.

Targeting a particular market means that you would narrow your concentration on a specific demographic or population, or a specific geographical area. 

Knowing your market would help you devise effective marketing strategies that would improve your overall position as a new business. Once you’ve understood your market, you can easily conduct business from the comforts of your home!

What’s Your Cost?

When it comes to starting and operating a new business, one of the first things to consider is your overhead costs—how much will it cost to get started?

As mentioned in the introduction, things don’t have to be hard. Initial costs for import-export businesses generally range from about $5,000 to $25,000, depending on the specifics of your venture.

Starting a business from your home can significantly reduce your expenses, thus is recommended for most people breaking into the business world. The bare essentials that you would need for a business are the following equipment, and in most cases these are all you need to get started.

  • Computer
  • Printer
  • Stable internet connection 
  • Fax machine

What You Get

As mentioned before, import-export businesses can be very rewarding. Gross annual revenues generally fall around $30,000 to a whopping $200,000, averaging $75,000! 

Keep in mind that the money you get in total is not your profit. Your profit is what you get after you subtract the costs incurred throughout the venture such as paying for the materials, the labor (if any) and the overhead.

If you plan out everything carefully and land a stable customer base for your venture, you can open the path to expanding your business beyond the walls of your home! 

There have been many success stories of business persons who began in their basements at home and have now become multimillion-dollar businesses that hire hundreds of employees.

Operating the Business

When it comes to running the business, your job would be what you’ve designed it to be. Some business owners like to be hands-on with their transactions, as they like to deal directly with the manufacturer and the market itself. 

There are also business owners who prefer dealing with the sales of their business, focusing on making their product marketable.

If you’re just starting up your business from the convenience of your home you would likely have to do both jobs. This is not only rewarding for your personal growth but will also help you be more in control of the direction your business will take, and get to know your clientele as well.

Appealing to the Market

Like it or not, marketing is crucial to the well-being of your business. You need to not just sell yourself and your company, but you also need to sell the product itself. As discussed before, this means that it is essential that you can communicate well with all kinds of people.


Getting your import or export business into full flight mode can be quite an exciting experience, especially if you make sure that you lay the groundwork well. You must understand the priorities of your business, and your ability to cater to them, while also understanding and responding to the demands of your clientele.

For additional reading, we recommend reading these two articles:



Building businesses can be done from the comfort of your home, but you still need a sharp eye for detail to be successful.

Hope this helps!

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Doreen J.

Doreen J.

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