The import export business gives you the opportunity to work with clients all over the world. You don't need any formal training, however, it is essential that you have strong math skills, good organizational habits, and self motivation. In fact, you can get started right away with little to no financial investment at all. Some of your start up supplies may be lying around your house right now, which will make it easier for you to get started soon.
Items you will need
- internet access
- area in your home
- office supplies
Establish a work area. To get started properly, you'll need to make some minor investments. The first being a location to conduct business. Try to find a corner in your home to devote to your new business. Don't allow anyone in this area, and don't do any work not related to your import export business.
Invest in minor office supplies. To run your new international trade business, you will need to get a few supplies. You'll need basic supplies such as pen, paper, phone, fax, printer, computer, and internet service. Throw in some personal stationery for your import export business, and you're off to a great start.
Become a salesman. You'll need to get import export trade leads. Most new business owners dread this part of the business, but it's inevitable. Get into the habit of mingling and getting to know people. Once you establish a primary client base, you'll respect this extra effort.
Get a import export license if you need one. There is some controversy regarding this issue. According to Informed Trade, you would need to get a license if you plan to import "... alcohol, tobacco, firearms, animals, copyrighted materials, food and more." This shouldn't frighten you. Contacting your local county clerk's office can guide you in the right direction. Items like clothing, and shoes may not require licensing. If you are a novice, you may feel more comfortable going the non license route. Do not confuse export license with business license.
Become an import export agent. You can earn as much as 15% commission on some deals. Most mom and pop shops would love the variety of merchandise from around the world, but simply don't know how to reach that market. As an agent, you can bridge the gap, and earn money in the process.
If you are good with numbers, and have ambition, then you'll do great in this business. Develop a strategic plan, stay focused, and persevere. There is a ton of information on the internet to help you with this new venture.