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Business Plans And Home Import/Export Businesses

Business Plans And Home Import/Export BusinessesPlanning is important for any project you undertake.  The home import/export business is a big project, so it is even more important to have a plan.  The plan doesn’t have to be complicated.  All a business plan is really is just a basic roadmap to follow.  After all, if you don’t know where you’re going, it’s hard to tell where you’ll end up.  Often times, beginning entrepreneurs fail to realize the importance of a business plan until it’s too late.  When they do realize it, they’ve miscalculated funds, time, and effort they should have allowed for start-up.  This causes them to struggle, and sometimes even fail.

You may think putting together a business plan is difficult, time consuming and/or expensive.  It doesn’t have to be.  Any cost and time it may take is worth it, because a plan can prevent a multitude of start-up disasters.  There are several reasons to complete a business plan for your import/export business.

  • To apply for a loan or obtain financing— Unless you have your own funding, the initial product purchase from Chinese sellers can be costly.
  • Build a roadmap for the direction for the business to follow— Show where you’re starting, where you want your business to be, and how you plan to get there.
  • Define a new start-up— Show what your business is, what you plan to buy from your Chinese sellers, and how you plan to sell it.
  • Have a written agreement for partners to refer to— If you have partners in your business, this will help in case conflict arises.
  • Establish a value on a business you want to sell— This will be necessary for legal purposes should you want to sell.
  • Evaluation of a new product line new marketing promotion— If your product is an original one, this will help to show that the product is yours.  It will show the timeline of the products creation, and help to establish your legal rights should it be necessary.

If you need investors, financing, or want other business people to listen to you, a business plan is important.  A plan is basically a step-by-step guideline for you to use as you grow your business.  A plan shows:

  • Start-up Costs
  • What you operating costs
  • Costs of tasks you need to accomplish in order to reach your income goals

It helps you establish a budget for your business.  This will help you be less likely to overspend and run out of money.  One of the greatest reasons businesses fail is due to lack of funds.  This is something you don’t want to happen to your business.  While it is not required, and some companies do not start with a plan, traditionally, companies with plans do better and reach successful levels faster. Plans can help beginning businesses save money and avoid common disasters that many businesses encounter.
Many banks won’t even talk to you without a business plan, so it is an important step if funding is required.  If you’re not willing to take the time or make the effort to prepare a business plan, why should bankers take time to listen to you? 

When you write a business plan, focus on convincing investors and partners that your business idea is a profitable one. If you have enough data and research, a lender will feel comfortable putting his or her money into your business.  Just stick to the point, and keep it as brief as possible.  Don’t, however, leave out important details.  There are seven parts to a business plan

  • Executive Summary—This is a summary of the plan for your business.
  • Company Summary—This section is the description and history of the business.
  • Products and/or Services—In this section, you give a description of your company’s products/services and how they are unique in the marketplace.
  • Market Analysis—Here is where you show your market data research and your market growth forecast.
  • Implementation and Strategy—This area shows your plan of action, how products will be sold, and a timeline for task completion.
  • Management Summary—Here you list your staff and give key information about them.
  • Financial Plan includes information on sales, cash flow and company profits
    While writing a plan is relatively easy, beginners often need help guiding them through the process.  Here are a few ways you can get help with your plan:
  • Hire Professional Services—There are professionals who have experience as business plan writers.  You can hire them to handle the writing task for you. You still need to provide the writer with the information you want in the plan. 
  • Buy a Book—There are books you can purchase that will help you learn how to write a business plan from scratch.  If you’re looking for a step-by-step guide in language you can understand, you may want to go to Amazon and purchase “Hurdle:  The Book on Business Planning,” by Timothy Berry. 
  • Use Business Planning Software—If you’re looking for a quality business plan, you can also use templates or software.  They can give you a professional outline to follow which provide basic plan structure so that you don’t have to start from scratch.

All-in-all, a good thing to remember when considering whether or not to write a plan is: “If you don’t have a plan, you may be planning to fail.”

 

Buying Wholesale

Buying WholesaleAs your business expands, you will need to make sure you have a consistent re-stock system.  Sometimes, this may require two suppliers.  When purchasing large quantities, you need a whole supplier.  The two types of suppliers are:

  • Bulk Lots:  This means purchasing large quantities at regular intervals from the supplier. The goods are sent to you so you can store, package and post for selling.
  • Drop Shipping:  This means that you pay for goods which you’ve seen or touched.  Then, the goods are packaged and posted straight to the customer for you.

There are directories you can go to find wholesalers.  Legitimate wholesalers, however, do not go out of their way to find business from low-volume sellers such as eBay sellers.  They may not even have their websites optimized for generic keywords like "wholesale supplier."  Be careful, and make sure you do the research when selecting a supplier.  Sometimes, sites that may come up in a Google search for “wholesale suppliers” may not be legitimate wholesalers.  If you find a good, legitimate wholesaler, you can get very good deals.

When you contact a wholesaler, there are a few other things you need consider.

  • If it is a bulk order, make sure you have a good storage for your stock.  If you don’t, is using drop shipping possible?
  • Think about the quantities you need to purchase to insure that you have the proper supply to meet your demands. 
  • Smaller wholesalers will probably do business with you easily, because they need you as well.  If you use one, however, as your business grows you might have a difficult time to keeping up with peak sales seasons.
  • What will the duration of product re-stocking be?
  • Know the weight or volume of your items. If you’re business involves large items, or you require large volumes, it might be hard to handle things without a drop shipper.
  • Test the quality of the product yourself, by purchasing a few items.

If you’re a new customer, wholesalers may be hesitant to open an account with you.  There are a few questions that are easy to answer if your business has been around for some time already.  Try to confidently answer the following questions:

  • Are you selling other products, and if so, what are you selling?
  • Who are your customers?
  • What are your expected monthly sales?
  • How long have you been in this business?

Answer these questions as confidently and honestly as possible.  You don’t want to over-estimate and end up with an abundance of stock you can’t use, but you don’t want to be under-stocked either.  You should research carefully to answer the questions, and thoroughly check out your wholesaler.  This way, you can increase a good, reliable business relationship with your wholesaler.

 

Finding the Right Supplier

Is buying directly from a manufacturer instead of brand wholesaler a good choice?

What are the disadvantages and potential pitfalls of buying from a distributor?

Suppliers for products in each industry will have many different ways of delivering the product to the consumer. You must fully understand each supplier’s distribution channels before you can find suppliers. When you visit the SaleHoo directory, you will see that the suppliers are separated into four sections – Drop Shippers, Wholesalers, Liquidators, and Manufacturers – to make sure that you can find the source of supplier that you need.

Drop Shippers

 

Starting an Import Export Business

If you’re looking to get started in the import export business then congratulations and welcome to the game! We are delighted to be a part of your journey and looking forward to seeing you at one of our live events in the future.

Okay so let’s get started.

There are a few steps involved if you’re starting an import from china business, the first is finding a suitable product to import, finding Chinese manufacturers,negotiating the best price from the factories, conducting sample testing procedures and much more!

 

China-Based Company Strength

China-Based Company StrengthInternational business opportunity is alive and well in many Chinese businesses from manufacturing process technology to supplier consolidation.  It is also true from logistics to customer service.  China has built strong teams due to the influence of the Western world and the increase of China-based companies.  They have often used a multinational-trained staff.  They even hire non-Chinese with international experience into senior positions.  Hiring non-Chinese employees improves their foreign relations and eases negotiations when working with foreign-owned businesses.

In both formal and informal situations, Chinese companies enjoy strong support for their activities.  This has made them more competitive in bid situations for manufacturing of products, and given them an edge in key state owned industries.

In the past few years, the business environment has now become tougher for all businesses.  In many ways, Chinese companies are better able to manage the transition from lower margins and leaner operations than other countries.  They have a much lower overhead to begin with.  The business world has learned not to be surprised by Chinese companies.  They are good at changing the direction they take, and making rapid changes in their organizations.   The changes the Chinese make are successful, even though they may not be as well researched, or may be less sophisticated than those of Western businesses.  The Chinese work at a ridiculously rapid rate due to the whims of the Chinese consumer and the B2B market changes.   Sometimes, all that’s needed to gain market shares, is to put together a strategy that is well conceived.   Western businesses require strategic plans, but most mid-sized companies in China do not have one.  They do not have budgets or sales and marketing plans either.  Their way of conducting business, while being an easier method of conducting business for them,  often makes understanding their approach challenging for Westerners who they do business with.

There used to be a competitive, straightforward advantage for foreign businesses.   All they had to do was persuade people that the quality advantage was worth paying for, but that is now a thing of the past.  More and more businesses are operating from China, and Chinese companies now have a huge market share grab.   Now the Chinese companies are producing more and more quality merchandise at lower prices than foreign companies.  It is often impossible for other companies to compete.  Import/export to China has become a more and more accepted practice by foreign business.  At one time, China’s pharmaceutical companies worked on trials and kept results for other countries.  Today, because of the improvements in Chinese business, they usually are working on drug discovery and the improvement of manufacturing practices.

Understand the strategies of your Chinese competitors may be very difficult at times.  You may also find it difficult to do business with someone on the other side of the world.  Current challenges for all businesses, however, have led them to China-based companies as a method of survival.

 

Creating A Website For Your Chinese Import/Export Business

Creating A Website For Your Chinese Import//Export BusinessYou’ve decided what products you want to import from China, you’ve contacted your supplier, and you’re ready to go.  To sell them, you need to have a website.  With the internet, the import/export trade is truly a global market.  In order to begin taking part in this international trade, the first thing you need to do is find good domain name words and register it as inexpensively as possible. 

  • SELECTING A DOMAIN NAME
  • You may be thinking that all the great domain names are gone.  That’s not true.  All you need is a little creativity, and you can find a great domain for your website.  Let’s say you want your site to be wholesalegadgets.comYou can go to godaddy.com, or any other domain search site, and do a search for that name.  It may or may not be available.  It may be available but at an expensive rate.  When it isn’t available, or is too high a price to pay, here are a few tips you can use to alter the name you want so it is available for the price you want to pay:

  • CREATING YOUR WEBSITE
  • When you begin your import/export business, you have two options for creating your website.  You can build it yourself, or hire someone else to do it.  It’s obviously going to cost more to hire a website designer.  If you want to save money, you can make your own website by purchasing an all-in-one website hosting and design package.  The hosting packages usually include website design templates.  It is best to find a host that has templates which allow you to customize them and create a unique site for your company.

    You can find web hosting companies that offer free websites. It isn’t difficult to find a host site for under $10/month.  That’s a small amount to pay for 24-7 advertising.  These are fine for personal sites, but if you want to make a splash in the waters of international trade, it is probably wiser to upgrade to their "Pro" package. This will remove advertisements from your site and keep it from looking “tacky.”  Import/export entrepreneurs will tell you that having a professional website can greatly help you establish a good reputation.  A good reputation will help you establish a relationship with the Chinese, and to them, relationship is everything.

    Following steps and using templates can make the process of building a website yourself really simple.   You simply use the guide to cut and paste text, graphics, video and more. You don’t need to know HTML code.  Using information you provide, the website maker does the hard work for you.  Here’s what you do:

    • Choose a template—There are many you can choose from, so select the one that works best for you.
    • Customize it—Use the color scheme you want for your business and select layout dimensions.  If you want to add new content everyday to your site, you can even choose a blog format.
    • Add Interactive Features—You can use the free widget tool to add lots of great interactive features to your website.  These are just like professional designers use.  If you want to make extra money, there are even widgets for placing ads on your site.   You can even track visitors to your site. 
  • CREATE YOUR OWN STORE ON YOUR WEBSITE
    If you’re in the import/export business, you’ll want to create your own store on your website.  You can use WordPress to do this.  WordPress is great for a beginning retailer, because it is simple to use.  Best of all, it’s free!  You can use their website design, and select the MarketTheme to give your online store personality and attract new customers.  The program includes the desirable built-in shopping cart system which can integrate paypal.   There are many modules you can add to your store for free.  It is a very helpful community if you ever have any questions.

 

Import from China to Australia

Import from China to AustraliaThere are a few ways to start importing from china into Australia. The first step is ultimately to find your product that you plan on importing. Will it be electronics, bikes, baby clothing, fashion or footwear? The lists are endless however as this is a critical part of the importing formula you must figure this out now.

Here are some simple ways to import from china into Australia.

  1. Find hot products
  2. Locate factories
  3. Negotiate with factories
  4. Sample test from a few different factories
  5. Hire an inspection team to inspect the factory

 

China Import

Okay so let’s get straight to the point here. Are you wanting to learn how to import from china but not sure where to start?

Are you wanting to learn the skill of china import and be able to find hot quality products from china and import them and sell them for profit?

China import is learning to find quality factories located in mainland china and be able to negotiate with the factory owner to get the best price and then arrange either through a freight forwarder or by yourself the delivery of those goods from china to Australia or your country.

 

Etiquette to Follow When Importing/Exporting From China

Etiquette to FollowTo engage in an import/export business, you not only have to have knowledge of the business, you need to know the Chinese method of doing business.  The tips below will help to insure you meet the proper business etiquette when importing/exporting from China. 

  • Be Patient:  This is imperative, but also difficult when you have deadlines, transactions, and other business opportunities, but have to take it slow.  China is relatively new to the international.  Sometimes, the individual you’re working with may not have the experience and the necessary skills when making international business deals.  How the Chinese view the risk of the transaction and their relationship with the foreign country determine if the arrangements are done quickly or slowly.
  • Keep a Good Relationship:  Starting a good Chinese relationship requires trust and security.  To the Chinese, it is a relationship which will develop into a well-built personal relationship.  This relationship requires honest, reliability, and acceptance, not just money or the actual business itself.  If you develop a personal relationship, a foreign businessman can increase opportunities in import/export business transactions with Chinese businessmen.  The Chinese prefer to do business with those who have already established good character.  They give importance to safe, sound, and low risk business deals. 
  • Remember to foster “Guanxi:”  For most Chinese businessmen, “guanxi” pertains to honor, making good promises, staying true, showing good manners, and showing them respect and loyalty.  Having the appropriate “guanxi” can determine whether or not your business will prosper.  Establishing “guanxi” with the Chinese government can assess whether or not your company is competitive enough for doing business transactions in China.  Sometimes, “guanxi” can be a fragile thing, so it is importance that you take care so you can have a successful import/export business relationship with China.   If you maintain a good “guanxi,” you can do business in China for a long time.
  • Establish Local Contacts or Other Professionals:  It is important that you be sure all decisions relating to your import/export business in China are discussed properly and well handled.  You should be sure to speak Chinese, or have an interpreter.  You also want to be sure to recognize, give due respect and adhere to their ways of doing business.  You can ask for help from import/export professionals, locals or other persons who have had experience with doing business with the Chinese.  A Chinese business partner will feel honored by a team of local representatives and foreign visitors.  The Chinese also view this as honesty and promise to make the business relationship last.

    Local experts or representatives know very well the tricks of the trade that can or cannot work with the import export business or the businessmen they’re negotiating with. Those who truly know and understand the Chinese business culture can handle the ins and outs of the business. They can also determine if the matters being dealt and contracted with are expected and carried out. Resorting to an expert’s advices can reduce the costs and ensures that import export business will be successful in the long run.

  • Show Contract Awareness:  The Chinese have a different business system and etiquette differ from those of foreign businessmen.  Most Westerners, contracts as documents binding two parties in an agreed-upon arrangement.  A Chinese businessman will dislike it if you bring along a contract in the initial stages of the negotiation.  To the Chinese, this is not how you show commitment.  You show it by promises and responsibilities that are based on relationships, not solely on a piece of paper.  For the Chinese, a contract is just a formality.  Be patient for time will come that the contract will be signed, and the business transaction will be sealed and completed.

Doing business with the Chinese is very different from doing business in other countries.  If, however, you follow these guidelines and build a good, solid relationship with the Chinese, you can have a very lucrative import/export business.

 

Why You Should Know the Culture’s Communication Style When Importing

Perhaps you’ve spoken with an international contact and have the conversation suddenly take a wrong turn. Maybe your contact doesn’t seem interested in the relationship. Your counterpart might even take a defensive tone when you were not expecting it. There could be any number of explanations, a common reason, however, its a clash between communication styles. Generally speaking, it’s direct VS indirect communication styles. This issue cause serious harm to or even cause failure of an important business relationship. To avoid these problems, there are a few things you should know.

Understanding Direct VS Indirect Communications

 

 
 
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