Thursday, March 30, 2006

Internet Marketing And Import Export Business

If you are to achieve the highest levels of success in your own Import Export Business, you should learn the basics of Internet marketing.

Building small, market oriented web sites can give you and the products you manufacture, sell or represent a huge boost over your competition.

Sending expensive, full color brochures by mail and/or other surface carriers does not even come close to having your own web site for those products or services.

Think about it? Your web site can be your 24 hour marketplace a world of potential buyers for your products or services. Using successful, proven Internet marketing strategies to get your web site in front of those potential worldwide buyers is the fastest method for you to build and grow your import export business.

Your web site does not have to cost thousands of dollars as you may believe. There are literally thousands, if not tens of thousands, of web sites generating hundreds of thousands (many millions) of new sales for their import export business owners.

Your full color brochures can be placed on your web site and downloaded to a potential customers computer on the other side of the world within minutes (if not seconds) of you placing it on your web site. Imagine being able to provide everything you would normally send by mail or express carrier to an international sales prospect within seconds by giving them a simple web site address or sending them a clickable link in an email.

Suppose your import export business markets a variety of products (diversification is something you really should do). You can establish one web site and have multiple products and your sales information about them posted to that one site.

You can use your web site to qualify your potential buyers. There is a method that is only reveled to our clients that will do just that. Your web site can help you eliminate the wasted time of following up with every person who decides they want to receive more mail or a free sample product.

This method was provided to us by a company that does millions of dollars a year in international business and has saved them thousands of dollars each year in reduced follow up costs and from sending free samples to people who were only interested in getting free stuff and had no real business intentions.

There are many Internet marketing resources available - I know, I have purchased many of them - my wife calls me an internet marketing information junkie (we all have our weaknesses).

Since our first web site was published in 1997, I have found two resources that stand out in the crowd. One is an internet marketing course that will help you discover the hundreds of ways to use a web site to promote your products and/or services to potential buyers around the world.

The publisher of this course provides over 300 pages of valuable internet marketing resources that are available to you free at their web site.

The other resource is a full web site building program that will help you or one of your employees get your web site started and published and promoted to your targeted audience. This proven internet marketing web site building program has helped thousands of small business people around the world to build their own web sites.

Many of these new internet marketers have generated hundreds of thousands in new sales for their businesses from a easy to follow program. Even the 15 year old daughter of the owner of this site building built a successful web site that generates several thousands dollars a month for her - so if a 15 year old can produce a site with it that generates thousands in revenue, you should be able to do the same (or better).

If you would like more details of these two programs, contact me at our web site and I would be happy to refer you to them.

Ron Coble
Coble International Marketing Services
Import Export Business Help Center

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Import Export Agents

In telephone conversations or emails, I often have someone ask me, in a condescending manner, you just provide import export business resources, you do not actually do any exporting or importing?

If I am in a good mood (which I usually am) I will answer them that yes, I am currently and have been involved in international trade deals for more than 16 years now. There is currently one export deal I helped broker in 1997 that still pays me a commission several times a year for just a few hours worth of work almost 10 years ago.

I find it interesting that the people who ask this question would never think about asking a similar question of a professor of international business or a teacher at an actual sit down course. In most instances, these teachers have never actually received a check or been paid for helping bring an import or export business transaction to fruition, they simply teach about how others do it.

After years of being asked this question, I have found that it is basically a means of providing the asking party a reason to not get an import export business course (whether from us or anyone for that matter). They are excuse seekers looking for still another excuse to not act on their hopes and desires to start an import export business.

What most people do not seem to realize, especially in regards to the exporting business, is that you can be involved at many different levels.

The most extensive involvement is by an export management company (EMC as they are called) that actually buys the product from a manufacturer and resells it to their foreign buyer. The markup, after expenses, is their profit.

The EMC has complete financial responsibility for the goods, thus they have the potential for greater profits than others who are involved in an export business transaction to a lesser degree like an export broker or import export agents.

A broker will have much more involvement in the exporting business transaction (and often an ongoing one) than an export agent. An export broker will often carry out the negotiation, help the manufacturer arrange for shipping, insurance and other requirements and often continue to be in the loop of communications between the foreign buyer and the manufacturer that is supplying the goods they are brokering.

Import export agents often provide services similar to a broker but can most often be classified as a finder who brings two parties together (one selling a product and one seeking to buy a product). Import export agents are only paid upon completion of a transaction when their supplier has been paid for the goods they have shipped to the buyer they introduced to them.

Some import export agents work out deals where they are paid by both the buyer and the seller, these type of deals, however, are quite rare. In most instances import export agents are only paid by one of the two parties.

The great thing about being an import export agent or broker is how these type of deals can actually create a residual form of income (if they structure it correctly) as I mentioned earlier in this post regarding our 1997 deal.

Each level of involvement in an import export business deal warrants a different level of payment or profit.

Import export agents generally earn the least of the three levels mentioned above. As an import export broker or an import export agent, you should always have reasonable expectations for your part in the deal and be ready to accept a lower commission if it means the difference between your supplier making a much bigger deal or not. Remember, 5% of something is better than 10% of nothing.

The very best way for a person to become involved in the import export business is as an import export agent. Learn the processes by taking a good home study course so you have a basic understanding of how things work but initially you should focus on bringing buyers and sellers together (with an agreement to get paid by one or the other of course).

If, after a couple of years of working as an import export agent you decide you want a bigger slice of the profit pie, then be ready to get more involved in the import export business process. Ultimately, after these years of experience, if you find there is much more profit available by acting as an EMC, you will be prepared to do so through your self study and actual experience.

Bottom line, don't get hung up on the titles one assigns to you, i.e., broker, agent, finder, etc.. I simply say, call me what you will, but call me when I am at the bank deposting my latest check from a deal made 9 years ago.

Ron Coble
Coble International Marketing Services
Import Export Business Help Center

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

FREE International Business Resources

Here are a couple of FREE International Business Resources that you may want to mark as favorites on your browser. Some of these I find so useful in my import export business that I have even created shortcuts for on my desktop so all I have to do is double click on them to get there fast.

First is a Free Currency Converter- use this anytime of the day, 24/7, to cross reference what the value of your currency is in relationship to that of a potential customer for your import export business. This is a great international business tool that will help you better develop your pricing when making quotations and for accepting payments from foreign buyers.

Next, if you are ever trying to make a deal in your import export business and it finally gets down to communicating live with the person on the other side of the world, whether by email, phone or fax, you should visit the World Clock to determine what time of the day it is in the country they are located.

It is a common courtesy to try and match a time that your potential customer will be in their office when trying to communicate with them. It also helps get your commincation, whether fax, email or phone call, get attention if the person is in the office at the time it arrives.

Many times over the last 18 years in this business, I would have messages waiting for me from people in other countries who would call between midnight and 6 am. Now, granted, I work in the office about 18 hours a day, I do try to get some sleep sometimes and if you really want to communicate with me directly, please check the world time clock and see if it is a normal time to call. I mean would you be there at 3 am to answer calls? (PS: I would be if I had planned ahead but not every night).

Many times I have had my faxed or emailed messages read immediately and either receive a return call or email or fax within minutes, if I time my communications to the core business hours for the potential customer's country.

The last FREE international business resource in today's post are FREE Trade Magazines.

Many of these Free Trade Magazines cost up and over $100.00 a year if you had to purchase them. If you look over the List Of Trade Magazines available, you will find that there are hundreds and many that probably target your industry or products or services.

One of the most popular free trade publications for international business persons involved in the import export business is the World Trade Magazine.

You must complete a short questionnaire to determine if you are eligible for a free subscription to these magazines and be sure to look if you are eligible to apply based on the country and/or region you are located.

These valuable magazine subscriptions can help you keep up to date with the latest industry news and help you find new potential customers for your products and/or services. Most of publications also offer advertising to their highly targeted audience member/subscribers. So be sure to check them out.

That is is for today. I wish you success in your international business endeavors and hope that you will report back in the comments area if you have found these posts helpful to you.

Ron Coble
Coble International Marketing Services
Import Export Business Help Center