Having your business succeed is all about knowing what your customers want, which can be especially tough for a new business as you can’t take cues from clients you don’t have yet. Finding an easy way of sourcing products that people will like is a particularly large challenge, so it’s important to do your research. To ensure you know what you are doing and where the best products come from, the following short guide to sourcing is sure to help your import company get started.
Decide On a Product
The first thing that you need to do is decide on the product or products that you want to import or export. This is easier said than done. Do as much research as you can in this phase of the process, because if a product doesn’t sell you’ll be out of pocket.
Thanks to the wonders of the internet it is relatively easy to find out which parts of the world make the product that you are looking for. ‘Background Notes’ and “˜Country Commercial Guides’ are two programs that are both tremendous resources for the rookie import/exporter. This will help you decide whether to import from China or Sri Lanka.
Once you have narrowed down your search to a particular country, finding the local suppliers is easy – thanks once again to the internet. Amazing tools like Thomasnet.com and Globalsources.com make finding suppliers an easy step in the process. Having found a list of suppliers, now do your own background check and investigate their business track record, and their policies relating to human rights, and the environment. And, of course, don’t forget to read the reviews. You may not want to support a company that is known to use child labour, even if their products are cheaper; nowadays your customers want to know more about their products and if there are good things to know, you will find your products far easier to sell. Don’t forget to make sure that any company that you choose is one that you are legally entitled to do business with.
Any respectable company will be more than happy to send you some samples of their product if it is going to help sway your decision on a big purchase. It’s a smart idea for you to see what you will be getting and it is not wise to order anything until you have had a chance to properly examine some samples. Samples are also a great way to show off a product to friends and potential customers, and you might even be able to use their reaction to help decide on an initial product order.
Finalize the Agreement
Once you have the perfect company and the perfect product all worked out, the final step is to come up with a detailed agreement with your new business partner. Your agreement should cover product specifics, pricing, payment terms, shipping terms and delivery.
When sourcing products for a new business, your best bet is always to bring in smaller amounts of each product until you know what will sell. It is often hard to tell, and you may end up with thousands-of-dollars-worth of product that you just can’t get rid of.