Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Recession? Depression And The Import Export Business

One of the main questions I get from people who call or email
me asking about starting an import export business involves the
current state of the economy.

Quite frankly and honestly, it is bad and probably going to get a
lot worse before it begins to turn around. Personally, I do not
believe that either political party can do much about it and since
most of them are lawyers, they have little, if any, real business
experience or comprehension of how or what it takes to operate
a business.

If you are contemplating starting a business, make sure it is one
you are really interested in because it is going to be a lot tougher
to succeed now than it was just 6 months ago.

The Import Export Business is not for everyone. YOU must decide
if it is really what you want to do and if it is, make the decision
now to move forward and do it.

If you wait for a politician or government statistician to tell you
when is the right time to get started or when we have "turned the
corner", you are simply allowing another human being dictate your
life's future. A human being, that is what makes up government,
remember that - they are as subject to mistakes, miscalculations,
fraud, waste and abuse and any of those deadheads being paid
billions of dollars while their corporations are going bankrupt.

Take control of your life now, whether we are in a recession or
depression and move forward based on YOU and the intelligence you
were given.

So with that said, I wanted to post an excerpt from a book titled:

The Davis Dynasty by John Rothchild the subject of which is the
Great Depression of the 1930's:

Rothchild writes: "The Great Depression didn't destroy commerce,
any more than the mislabeled Dark Ages destroyed culture.
Zippo lighters, Frito corn chips, Skippy peanut butter and
Three Musketeers candy bars appeared on retail shelves in 1932."
People still started businesses. Revlon got its start in 1932,
for instance. "Life went on. People went shopping. Some bought rugs.
Even in the worst of times, Art Loom stayed in business."

Art Loom was the creation of the Wasserman family. It sold rugs.

Recession? Depression?? Don't let it or some government employee
(remember they serve you and I) dictate how you will live out
your life in the coming months and years.

OK, here is one of the latest Questions and Answers from my
email collection:


One of the first products I wanted to trade in construction
materials is cement. I found a company I would like to deal
with because of their size and many locations
around the world. After some weeks of weeding out the
wrong people to talk to, it seems I may have stumbled on
the right person.

If you have the time, I am sending my correspondence with him
and is from last to first of our communications.

I am wondering if you might steer me in the right direction.

All I would need is FOB pricing, depending on quantity,
from any particular manufacturing site they may have around the world.

Do you think he may be asking me for actual orders I may have now,
or just the type of relationship I wish to create with them?


First, you have encountered one of the primary reasons why I
do not like email as a means of making initial contact. It would have
been much more reliable and faster to just pick up the phone and
call this gentleman and it would be my recommendation for any
follow up to either get to an agreement or find out they are not

Second, you have to decide what it is you are, i.e., an EMC generally
buys the product for resale to your importing customers - an export
agent/broker works on a commission basis by bringing the two parties
together and earning a commission from the seller/manufacturer.

Third, back to number one - this gentleman is unsure of what it is
you are asking or requiring of him and his company - a short 5 minute
phone call would clarify that and you would soon know if he is
interested in working with you.

*** NEW ADDED NOTE not in original correspondence - I cannot emphasize
enough about making initial contact by some other means other than
Email. For some reason, our ISP does not like the email
domain name of a long time business associate of ours - despite
approving his domain and email "multiple" times, our ISP puts all of
his emails into the sp*am folder. Some ISP's are even more strict and
delete them outright.

The first part of this question was answered because there had been
multiple attempts to make contact with the supplier by email and
there was then some problem in the supplier misunderstanding the
communication. A quick phone call will alleviate this type of
delay and also help eliminate any misunderstanding of what you are

One additional suggestion - in your calls and correspondence - try
to refer to your business in the plural - we - it just sounds more
businesslike than using I.

Bottom line is that email is a very poor means of making
initial contact, but great means after you have established a
point of contact to deal with. I use both methods but rely more
heavily on phone for initial contacts.


Ron Coble
International Business Marketing Services

Labels: , , , ,