How To Start An Import/ Export Business

The handicraft industry is a branch of commerce concerned with the creation and sale of handcrafted objects. These things are occasionally works of art, but they can also be mass-produced crafts in rare situations. Handwoven or constructed from natural fibers with robust durability are more trusted in an era where the urge to live green and sustainable trends is developing.

And, at the moment, the business of importing and exporting handicraft products is gaining popularity. As a result, firms are concerned about branding, sourcing, and access to shipping information.

Setting up an import-export business for handmade products has become exceedingly straightforward and profitable thanks to the Internet. Here are some ideas for making it a reality.

1. Select a business name and create a website and blog

Developing a networking platform for your company will allow you to expand your internet visibility. Platforms that will help your business develop beyond your wildest dreams.

The initial goal will be to balance communications, information online products, and client acquisition in order to drive profitability for your worldwide firm. A multinational import-export business would be impossible to run without a website or blog.

Important: First, remember to register your business name with a reputable web host because your domain name is what customers use to find you and your business.

It also doesn’t hurt to seek assistance from an international lawyer, banker, and accountant to create a virtual import/export business and keep it in the best legal and financial standing possible.

Network Solutions, Go, Daddy, Intuit, and Verio are a few options for getting started with a website. All include domain name registration and low-cost website hosting options with simple site creation tools.

Try Blogger, Typepad, or WordPress to establish a professional blog that allows for a continual flow of engaging communications. These services will allow you to create a blog with attractive designs in minutes, trustworthy hosting, and on-demand technical help.

You are now ready to market your business experience and talents to the rest of the globe.

2. Select product line to import or export

You can’t be everything to everyone when it comes to importing and exporting. Make a decision and stick to it.

You can choose a product to import or export for one of two reasons: you know it will sell or you like it. Hopefully, you’ll be able to meet both requirements. It is an excellent business model. If you saw it someplace else in the world, would you buy it? Then you’re on the right track!

You can’t be everything to everyone when it comes to importing and exporting. Make a decision and stick to it.

You can choose a product to import or export for one of two reasons: you know it will sell or you like it. Hopefully, you’ll be able to meet both requirements. It is an excellent business model. If you saw it someplace else in the world, would you buy it? Then you’re on the right track!

Artisans-Seagrass-baskets-wholesale-from-Viet-Trang-600-600

And it must be added: Handicrafts play a vital role in the economic development of a country as they are a prominent medium for foreign exchange revenue, require low capital investments and offer employment opportunities.

In addition, handicraft items are perceived as a symbol of status owing to their uniqueness, quality, usage of natural materials, and the essence of vibrant art and culture (IMARC Group)

Ms. Tran Thi Viet, Director of Viet Trang Export Company Limited, an industrial cluster of artisan villages in Nga Son town, stated that the company has been working with locals to produce and purchase sedge and straw since the end of 2016. Rice straw was used as a raw material to create orders, which were then directly exported to Japan, Korea, China, and 14 European nations. It is projected that it exports roughly 21,000 tons of items per year, with a turnover of more than 20 billion VND.

Ms. Tran Thi Viet - Founder of Viet Trang Handicraft

The purpose and value that the product you sell provides to the user must also be prioritized. Aside from physical use, the customer will be concerned about the product’s looks. When comparing a basket that can only hold objects to a basket that can both store items and embellish the living area, people will naturally gravitate toward the latter. And it’s also a factor that users discover they can’t find in domestic items, or that foreign products provide better value to them.

3. Find the right market

You’ve chosen the product; now you must locate a place to sell it! This is the market research stage before launching the product. You will increase your chances of choosing a winner if you practice trend tracking or spotting future trends.

Getting in on the ground floor and importing or exporting a product before it becomes a super seller in one country can be a commercial game changer!

Two places to check are The World Bank’s “Ease of Doing Business” and global EDGE’s “Market Potential Index.”

You might also check with local government officials to best determine sources for conducting market research. For example, in the United States, there are the Department of Commerce International Trade Administration’s Data and Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade, which governs the reporting of all import/export statistics. These resources are helpful for determining where in the world products and services are moving to and from, and why and how to get in on the action.

According to Imarc, the worldwide handicrafts market would be worth $718 billion by 2020. Looking ahead, IMARC Group predicts that the market will develop at a CAGR of roughly 10% between 2021 and 2026.

Furthermore, handicrafts consume less energy than machine-made products, which require the use of electricity and other fuels. The sector is thriving due to inexpensive capital inputs, particularly in developing countries like India, China, and Afghanistan.

North America has a clear market domination due to customers in the region’s willingness to spend heavily on handicrafts such as handmade jewelry, clothes, and handcrafted home accessories.

4. Source a Supplier/Manufacturer

Once you have a likely import or export product in mind, learn everything there is to know about it. If you were its creator, how would you improve it? Go to a manufacturer and suggest product improvements to turn a mediocre product into something slightly ahead of its time. Your suggestions might mean the difference between a Sony Walkman and an Apple iPod.

Certain criteria will be used to seek for and pick a supplier or production unit. Handicrafts or goods manufactured from natural fibers, especially handwoven,… Aside from the seniority of development and the shipping region, you should research the manufacturer’s business philosophy as well as the worth of the product that the company brings. With Viet Trang, a handicraft company, we do good while doing business, bringing long-term value not only to our partners but also to our artisans.

We create handicrafts where the finest essence of traditional craftsmanship and contemporary home interiors blend in harmony. Beyond that, we can bring nature closer to urban lives and narrow down the gap between tradition and modernity.

5. Product Pricing

The import/export business model depends on two important factors inside the worldwide sales activity.

  • The quantity (number of units sold).
  • On that volume, commission.

The idea is to price your goods so that your commission (the markup on the product to customers) does not exceed what your customer is prepared to pay while allowing you to make a reasonable profit. For example, importers and exporters typically charge a 10% to 15% markup over cost, which is the price a manufacturer charges you when you buy a product from them.

The more you sell, the more money you will make. Keep your product pricing distinct from your logistics because they will combine the two at some time to determine a landing price per unit. A professional transportation firm can help you with this.

6. Identify Potential Customers

Customers will find you if you have done a good job with search engine optimization on your blog or website. But don’t count on it. You should also go customer-hunting! Consult local contacts such as trade groups, Chambers of Commerce, embassies, and trade consulates. 

They generally have a clear understanding of who is doing what in the global economy. They can provide contact lists tailored to your sector and recommend trade shows both locally and abroad that may help you connect with consumers more quickly and efficiently.

The US Commercial Service (CS) Gold Key Matching Service is an excellent exporting service. The United States Commercial Service can assist you in locating possible overseas agents, clients, distributors, sales representatives, and business partners.

Simultaneously, utilize your social media and networking platforms (your blog, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter) by providing information about your product or service and asking precise questions about the needs of your target audience. This starts and maintains the dialogue while ensuring that it is relevant to your business. The goal is to keep your company in the minds of potential customers all around the world.

The US Commercial Service (CS) Gold Key Matching Service

7. Transporting Your Goods

The next phase is to concentrate on logistics, which involves moving the goods to the location where it will be sold. You’ve found a consumer who likes your product, agreed on the conditions of the transaction with them, and arranged a payment method. You must now transfer your merchandise.

Packing and transportation will be more particular for handicraft items, such as handwoven products made from natural fibers or seagrass or water hyacinth. Packages become more adaptable when carrying various items and styles in the same package or when it may fold natural basket products to reduce space and shipping expenses. When it comes to shipping, reliable suppliers will have a solution for you.

Engage the services of a worldwide freight forwarder, who acts as a one-stop shop for moving cargo, often from a factory door to another warehouse. For a very low charge, their service saves you a lot of time, work, and anxiety.

Based on the information you provide, they handle all shipping arrangements, including, but not limited to, handling documentation, arranging insurance, and determining necessary licenses, permits, quotas, tariffs, and restrictions (country regulations), which can be one of the most complicated aspects of importing/exporting for a novice international trader.

Freight forwarders can be found online for “transportation,” or in trade journals or other international handbooks. Choose two or three that appear to be a good fit for your product or shipping location.

8. Provide Great Global Customer Service

The relationship between you and your overseas customer shouldn’t end when a sale is made. If anything, it requires more of your attention.

Think of your after-sales follow-up on your import/export business as part of your product or service offering. The first step is to say, wholeheartedly — whether in person, via Skype, by email or telephone — “Thank you for your business!” For more on this, learn how to provide great global customer service.7. 

The above information and statistics are provided just for your convenience; perhaps, we have assisted you in structuring and preparing the necessary steps to launch your firm. Please contact us if you want to know more about the handicraft business, natural products, etc.

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