Export is the shipping of goods and services out of the port of a country. Seller of such goods and services is referred to as an ‘exporter’ while the overseas based buyer is referred to as an ‘importer’.
In international trade, exports is the selling of goods and services from the home country to other markets. This normally requires the involvement of the custom authorities in both country of export and the country of import however the emergence of internet trades via sites like Amazon, eBay etc. has largely reduced customs’ involvement though they are still subject to legal restrictions applied by the country of export.
International trade has emerged as one of the hottest industries of the new millennium however its not new if you think further back to prehistoric man trading shells and salt with distant tribes. Trade exists because one group or country has a supply of some commodity or merchandise that is in demand by another though the emergence of advanced technology has influenced international trade to become more and more rewarding, both in terms of profit and personal satisfaction.
Export business is therefore a lucrative business but before implementing an export strategy, it’s important to assess your business’ readiness for export even though your decision to venture into export operations may be prompted by some factors like to increase sales and profits, establish a wider client base, diversify your market, consume excess local production capacity or enhance the domestic competitiveness of your business.
Here are 10 things you need to know before exporting:
Â What is involved in exporting?
You need to have sound knowledge of your would-be markets before you start exporting. You also need to consider whether your products are right for the market and whether you have the necessary resources to start exporting.
- Am I ready to export?
Assess yourself to determine whether you are ready to start the business and also plan your approach.
- Do I need a license?
Starting to export poses new set of challenges from identifying promising markets and customers to making sure you fulfill your export contracts. A planned approach helps you to identify the best opportunities – Do you need a import/export license.
- The risks involved?
International trading involves a lot of risks and challenges, but you can only manage and minimize them however you can’t eliminate the risks altogether.
- How do I make sure I get paid?
Making sure you get paid is a combination of assessing risks, settling on acceptable payment terms and methods and insurance as well to protect yourself against problems.
- How do I label and package my goods?
One of the major headaches for any international trader is ensuring the goods reach their buyers and final consumers in perfect condition without any damage whatsoever.
- How do I classify my goods?
All businesses must declare any imports or exports to customs so that taxes and levies would be collected on them. How different goods are classified determine what duties and controls apply to them.
- Can I get any support?
To make most of the opportunities available to you, you need careful planning and research in addition to finding out whether their is support for international trading.
- Can the government help me export?
You need to find out on whether government assists businesses in exporting to other countries thus helping them overcome potential hurdles.
- The successes of others
Lastly, you need to find out how others in your line of duty have succeeded in the business of exporting goods and services outside the country.