Thursday, September 25, 2008

Business Introduction By Email - Sample Business Quote

Although I am against wasting your time attempting to make your initial business introduction by email, if you insist on doing so, then try to make that email as professional as possible.

Professional correspondence, whether by mail, fax or email is your key to success or failure in a matter of seconds.

I have posted a very good example of a business introduction email that provides pricing and product information on our web site. I have also critiqued it's positive and negative points to help you take this example and improve upon it.

Hope this helps your business: http://www.importexporthelp.com/business-strategies/sample-business-quote.htm

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Export Business - Do You Need A License?

Approximately 70% of the people who are consindering entry into the Import Export Business have questions and end up either calling or emailing them to us.

One of the MOST COMMON questions is a very BASIC question that CANNOT and IS NOT answered by any one publication or web site.

The question is:

DO I NEED A LICENSE OR WHAT TYPE OF LICENSE DO I NEED?

On the surface this seems like a simple question, however, when you question someone as to what exactly they are asking, there are TWO PRIMARY questions that emerge:

Do I need a license (or business license) to operate this business from where I live?

Disclaimer: Nothing in this web site should be construed as Legal advice, any information published here simply illustrates the publisher's knowledge and experience in the subject being discussed. If you are so concerned about this question that you will not feel comfortable without seeking advice from an attorney, then you should do so. Additionally, if you follow the examples of my own business, as described here, and you encounter some sort of legal problem of any sort, understand that the decision to follow my methods are your decisions and the burden of any consequences are yours and yours alone.

Now with that out of the way, this question "generally" means, do I need to Incorporate or file any legal documentation with my state or county government? My answer is stated above, neither I nor any business or governmental organization or web site can tell you what the requirements are for doing business in your little area of the world.

The world is made up of countries that have provinces (or states) each of which have smaller jurisdictions (or feifdoms as I like to call them) such as counties, then within those there are often small town or townships (at least here in the USA).

So can you begin to see why there is NO ONE AUTHORITY on this subject since each little fiefdom has it's own little set of rules and regulations and employees (bureaucrats) whose jobs are dependent upon gathering as much in the way of fees from the unknowing as they possibly can convince to send them those fees.

I have been operating Coble International for 20 1/2 years now. In the county of York Pennsylvania is all I can speak for here - there are no requirements to file a "ficticious name" application with the county if you are using your own "given" name (in my case COBLE) in the name of the business.

I honestly cannot remember back 20 1/2 years ago, but I "think" that I did call the county government office and ask to speak with the party that registers businesses. I explained to them the name of my business, nothing more. If you never served in the military you probably never heard the expression "Never volunteer for anything", well the same goes when you are dealing with bureaucrats, NEVER volunteer information that they do not ask you for or about.

Get the full name, extension, office of the bureaucrat and the date and time you spoke with them and keep it in your records should you ever need it. You probably never will but it does tend to have them give you the right information when you are talking with them.

If they sound like they are not sure, ask to speak with their supervisor. Remember they work for you but they tend to believe it is the other way around.

Our import export business training course, especially the export part, recommends you start out as an agent/broker. Although the course will show you everything you need to know to build up to being an Export Management company, it is not recommended that you start out at that level.

That being said, as an Export Agent/Broker, you most likely will be operating from a spare room in your home (as I have done for 20 1/2 years) thus you will not be putting signage up, having tractor trailers backing up to your home, etc., I think you get my point.

In other terms, you are basically a home based business, doing everything via your Phone, Fax and computer. Don't get into details with the bureaucrats, they don't have a clue what you are doing, they are simply trying to get you to agree to a specific "job title" of some sort so they can find a need to charge you some sort of fee.

The ONLY "LICENSE" I have every required in 20 1/2 years in this business is a "SALES TAX LICENSE" because we were doing direct to consumer sales via our web site for one of the automotive products we were marketing internationally for a period of years and in the first 15 years we also purchased the import export courses and processed the orders, shipped them, etc..

We were required to collect Pennsylvania State Sales tax on any orders we sold to residents of Pennsylvania, thus we needed this license. In most instances, working as an export agent/broker, you will not be buying, inventorying and reselling any goods to anyone in your state, which may or may not even have a sales tax.

NOW THE 2ND PART OF THE LICENSING ANSWER:

If the person calling or emailing me is asking "do I need a license", if they are not referring to the above "general business license" question, they are referring to an "export license".

Here is where I refer back to the fact that we offer a training course that will provide you with "everything" you need to know in order to start and operate an exporting business. Whether that business is working as an export agent/broker on a strictly commission basis or working as your own export management company.

The course will teach you the Organizations, both government and private, that you need to deal with or refer your potential suppliers to (once you have a commission agreement with them).

Each type of product is different but in most instances an export license is not required, however, the organizations you will learn about in our course materials will advise you if a particular product does or does not require a license.

One additional note - if you are working as an agent/broker and matching potential buyers to sellers, in most instances, you should know what organizations can advise your supplier of the export requirements and the course materials teach you that, but in reality, as an agent/broker, it is not necessarily your responsibility to know.

I sincerely hope that this post will clear up some of the misunderstanding about business licenses and export license requirements. Bottom line, get the training materials because even if all you ever do is work as an agent/broker, you should have an understanding of the process and level of knowledge that your supplier/client can ask you who or what they need to do and you can assist them in a competent manner.

Ron Coble
International Business Center

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

International Business

International business conjours up dreams of wealth and glory for may people in every part of the world and for good reason.

International business more often involves the B2B arena rather than B2C (business to consumer) and a business to business sales often involve huge numbers of products rather than single items sales.

Many would be international business entrepreneurs read about how a company became a multi-million dollar one overnight because of one international sale or an individual who earned huge commissions by closing a global sale for their company.

International business is all of the above and more, but what most of the 'hype-masters' do not tell you is that there is a great deal of work that requires patience, persistence and decision making.

I talk with would-be international business entrepreneurs every single day and the most common trait I encounter is their inability to make a relatively easy decision, even when the facts are clearing staring at them.

There comes a time when you either realize you are a decision maker or you realize that you should just keep going to your job every day, punching your employer's time clock and have someone who gets paid more than you, make your decisions for you.

The people I believe who have the most chance for success in this business are those who make the decision to get an import or export training course, either place the order online or call to place their order.

These sort of people are "decision makers" who are able to make a decision based on their own ability to read and understand the information that has been presented to them. This is the kind of decision making ability you need to succeed in international business.

It amuses me much of the time how people will call to get my advice which they must value or they would not call, right? Then when they are given the advice they so cherish, they never act upon it??

I actually had a lady call me recently from Canada - she wanted to get into the Import Export business but she wanted someone else to set everything up for her, get the business going and allow her to step in and take it over????????

I asked her, point blank, why would someone want to start a business, get it up and running and simply turn it over to you for a few hundred or even a few thousand dollars? She was a well educated lady, a teacher I believe, but she was living in her own little dream world.

Another amusement for me is when someone is really indecisive when on the phone or continues to ask questions in repeated emails information that is covered on our web site or in this blog. Some of these people are genuinely in bad financial situations and cannot afford (or so they state) the $160, $316 or $424 price for our international business courses.

My suggestion to them? If you have NO business experience at all, then get some by starting to sell items on EBay. By selling items on EBay, they can open their auctions up to the world bidders and they will soon be experiencing every aspect of doing international business.

They will be dealing with customer service, international shipping, language barriers, fraud, profits, accounting, literally every aspect of doing business but on a smaller scale that allows them to learn.

Most never take the advice they sought and simply continue to have dreams of international business grandeur that will somehow fall into their life without the need to make any decisions, do any work or expend any funds (almost sounds like some of our political candidate promises).

We get the "don't want to spend any money" international wanna bees from other parts of the world as well. They will send an email asking (sometimes telling, believe it or not) us to give them free importer listings.

I generally send them a reply that points them to a trade directory they can purchase, never to hear from them again. I soon will be testing a new tactic, again for my amusement - I will ask them to send me the value of what they are asking for in the form of products they are selling but in equal value to the trade directory they seek.

Think that will go over well?

It is kind of funny isn't it? These folks are seeking something they believe to have value to them and their business but not enough value to pay for it, when in reality one sale to one lead in a directory would more than pay for that directory?? What is wrong with this picture???

Is this what can be defined as a "dichotomy"?

I get phone calls all the time from people who have gotten themselves into some dire straits in import export deals. When I hear what type of situation they have created for themselves, I ask if they took any type of international business course.

They generally answer NO or well I read a book or two on the subject but that is not why I am calling you. I want you to wave your magic import export wand and help me fix what I was too cheap to learn how or why it would get them into trouble.

One guy had 5 container loads of food sitting on the dock and was paying storage fees that had already equaled the cost of the goods. He "thought" he was too smart and did not need anything more than the $29.95 book he had read about international business fortunes.

He had not gotten the approval he needed to bring food into the country from the Agriculture department. He did not apply for it until the food was landed. Guess what, the normal turnaround time for the food he was bringing in was 45 days and he thought I could wave the magic wand (like politicians promise) and get them to approve it today (or tomorrow).

Guess what, no one has that power and why would they use it for this guy if they did.

How about another guy who called and was worried because he had not heard from the supposed owner of a furniture company in Indonesia he was going to buying a container load of furniture from.

First question, again, what makes you feel qualified to import goods? did you take a course, read a book? No, I just found the company on the Internet and they had incredible prices and I knew I could make a fortune. Next question, let me guess, did you already send this guy your money.

Answer: Yes

I am getting too old to remember all of these fool tails but the two above stick in the part of my brain that I will always recall.

If you are a business owner, employee of a manufacturing company or an entrepreneur considering entry into the arena of International Business - make a decision, get step by step training in the form of one of our import or export training courses and pay for a lead service to separate yourself from 99 9/10% of the others out there and begin - take action.


The government, no matter which party wins the election, is not going to solve your personal and business problems, only you can make the "changes" you want in your life and/or in your business.

If you are reading this and do not take the advice, then why are you wasting your life's precious time reading it?? You either find value in the advice dispensed here or you do not and if you do not, unsubscribe from our B2B updates list and take this blog off of your bookmarks.


Ron Coble

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