Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Import Export Business And The Economy

Question:

I am going to order your program next month, but I was wonder, if the economy is such a crappy mess, is Import/Export Business hard to get into?

Answer:

Thanks for the opportunity to answer your question. It is one that
I thought I had answered this question in one of my blog posts but
upon reviewing it this morning it does not appear that I have done so.

I will try to keep my answer from getting political, but it is difficult
not to reference some of the reasons our economy is in the mess
it is in.

First, let me address your basic question. Is the Import Export
business hard to get into?

The quick answer to your question is Yes, it is a hard business
to succeed in whether the economy is good or bad.

In fact, it is hard to succeed at any business at any time and
the economy does play a role in how difficult it will be and
right now, it is much, much more difficult to succeed in ANY
business.

The fact that this business, or any business, is difficult to
succeed at is a fact the "hype" masters of the Internet and
opportunity magazines seem to ignore. It can best be summed
up in a Chinese proverb I just posted last night in our
Import Export business blog - the proverb is this -

“Fish see the bait, but not the hook. Men see the profit, but not the peril.”

International trade or trade between businesses in different
countries has been going on since the beginning of mankind.

There have always been obstacles placed in front of them and
these obstacles can be in the form of mountains, rivers, oceans,
thieves, and the biggest thief and obstacle of all, governments.

Governments create obstacles whether through the manipulation
of their economies or supposed protection of the industries
within their borders from less expensive goods coming in and
threatening the status quo.

Governments try to regulate things that most often will work
their way through, if the government would just let their hands
off of it in the first place.

We human beings have a tendency to believe that the persons
making up our governments have a better understanding of how
business should be run than the people who are actually working
in that business, yet most government employees and elected
officials have "never" run a profitable business.

And the people who make up our governments are just as
subject to greed and envy as all human beings and in some
instances I believe they are more subject to it.

Sorry, I am getting off on a rant here but in regards to starting
your business, you must decide if the Import Export business
is really what you want to do. It is not a hyped up business
"opportunity", it is a serious business and what our course
offers is "training" on how to start that type of business.

If you are serious about starting an import export business,
then do not wait around for the economy to turn, get started
learning what you need to know to succeed now. Then when
the economy finally does turn around, you will be that much
ahead of everyone else who sat on their hands waiting for
an imagined government solution.

One of the biggest obstacles to international trade, right
now, is financing or letters of credit.

Banks no longer trust each other, both within the USA and
from one country to another and this means you or a
manufacturer you work with as an agent or broker is going
to have a much more difficult time getting a buyer to get
a letter of credit and secondly have the manufacturer's
bank accept that letter of credit (loc).

The course will discuss financing options and where you
or the manufacturer can go to get financing if that is the
only method by which a buyer can make a purchase.

There are other alternatives to financing depending upon
the amount of the purchase. Credit cards often have a
line of credit large enough for a buyer to make the purchase
if an loc is not an accepted solution. Direct bank wire
transfers are still another option.

If a buyer really has a market for the product(s) you are
helping a manufacturer sell, the buyer will find a way of
paying for them.

So the bottom line, in answer to your original question,
is YES it is more difficult today than just a few months ago
but if you are serious about your interest in this business,
then begin learning the "how to" now and you will be in
a much better position to capitalize on the turnaround
once it comes.

If you make the decision to get started now, do not wait
for a turnaround, begin looking at markets that are still
moving goods. Food is a commodity that will always
be needed and the USA still leads the world in food
production.

In finishing this LONG answer to a SHORT question,
let me cite how difficult trade can be and then begin to
think about how much easier a path you have than
the following example.

Over the past weekend there was an episode of the
show "Globetrotter" on one of the PBS stations. I
missed the first part of it but saw enough to impress
me on how easy our lives and businesses have it
in comparison to other people in the world.

The 'globetrotter' on this episode was a young lady who
(when I picked up the show) was walking across a barren
desert in an African country (I think it was part of the
Sahara).

She had joined a trader's caravan from a desert oasis
where they grow fruits and vegetables. The people and
their camels were walking across the desert as these people
have done for thousands of years to take their goods to
a city where they would trade their goods for "salt".

The salt is required for both the people and their animals
due to the intense desert heat.

Most of the people in the caravan were walking and the
narrator stated how they would cover 50-60 miles a day!

I think they said it was a 17 day round trip and the city
where they traded their goods for salt was about 600 miles
from their oasis.

Once they got to the city, they made their trades and
loaded 4 very heavy pillars of salt on the camels and
began their journey back to their oasis.

This is what these people have been doing for thousands
of years and in my humble opinion, nothing that is currently
facing us in regards to the economy even comes close to
the hardships these 'traders' face on a continual basis.

So, yes, it will be more difficult to succeed in the import
export business today than just 6 months ago, but if this
is the business you wish to pursue, then you need to make
the decision that once you learn the "how to" that nothing
is going to stop you which brings up another proverb or
old saying I once heard many years ago.

"Let the dogs bark but the caravan moves on"

You can liken that to the first caravan that ever made that
long, hot and fateful journey across the Sahara. There
were probably more people telling them it would fail than
succeed but in the end, the caravan left those barking dogs
behind and moved on.

Hope this helps you make a more informed decision.

*** There was a brief follow up to the above answer that I
remembered a few days later that I had intended to include,
that additional answer is as follows:

Just wanted to follow up with you since there was one other
comment I wanted to include in the previous reply shown below.

It basically involves how in today's lousy economic environment
and a general distrust of investing your money with any
institution, the very best thing you can invest in is yourself.

Once you gain knowledge about a new subject, the investment
will last for a life time. No one can ever take it away from you
and the growth of that investment is solely dependent upon
you and the actions you take, not an investment advisor,
banker, etc..

So if there is any ONE place I would recommend for someone
to invest right now or for that matter, any time, is in educating
yourself.

For further information about Import Export or other International
business resources, visit the International Business Help Center

and be sure to take your time looking around the 285 web pages
that make up this premier web site.

Ron Coble
Coble International Business Services

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Import Export Business Questions And Answers

QUESTION:

Why would someone buy from me.

There are businesses out there, with a lot more talent for finding sources of products then I have right now.

They must have a network that would give them the resources, that I just found. What would prevent them from going to the same sources that your information provides me.


ANSWER:

First I have a recommendation and it is meant in the kindest of way - you need to get more confidence in yourself before you ever begin even thinking about going into any kind of business.

We do not provide personal coaching or mentoring - a good book that I read about 29 years ago was titled "
The Magic of Thinking Big" - that book and a couple of the Dale Carnegie books helped to boost myconfidence which is something I think you need to do based on your email.

Once you make the step into a business, look at what you can do better than your competition. There will always be competition in every business, you cant run from it and you cant hide from it, it will find you.

If you are unsure of your abilities, start out by selling stuff on Ebay - you learn how to deal with people (customers), learn about shipping, customer service issues, etc. and you can do so basically free or for the low fees ebay charges you to sell there.

Here is a link to a web page in our site where you may download an ebook (no cost) about selling on ebay (I paid $29.99 for it about 6 years ago) it is now available to you at no cost:


Free eBay Auction Selling Book

I hope you will take my suggestions and follow through with them and once you have a greater confidence in yourself, move up one step at a time in business and instead of worrying about the competition, watch them, learn from them and see how you can do better than them.


QUESTION:

I received my Import Export tool kit today and it all looks very good. I will be getting my office and stationery set up this week. What do you think of using a P.O.Box on business cards and letterhead?

ANSWER:

The publisher of the toolkit has used a PO box since I first started working with them back about 15 years ago and it has not seemed to affect their business credibility.

The positives of using a PO box is not having people show up on your doorstep, unannounced, as I have over the years (I can think of at least 3 with one being on the afternoon of a July 4th during a family picnic).

Sometimes if the PO box is through a UPS mail center or place like that, you "used" to be able to use their street address with just a #111 behind it but after 9/11 I am not sure that is allowed any longer.

Again, I will defer back to our publisher, they have not encountered any problems that I am aware of so it would seem to not be detrimental to your credibility as I have always thought that it might.

You will have to weigh the options and make the decision yourself, as I stated above there are positives and negatives to both sides of the argument and making that decision is all part of you being in business - decisions, decisions.


Last, here is a little proverb I came across in a newsletter recently. It seems to be extremely applicable to most people when it comes to their thoughts of starting a business:

“Fish see the bait, but not the hook. Men see the profit, but not the peril.”
-- Chinese proverb

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