The Strategies to Consider Before Starting an Import and Export Business

6 min read
Import and Export Business

Importing and exporting continue to represent significant business in the UK, with this region established as the world’s 10th biggest exporter of goods from overseas.

Despite this, establishing a successful import and export business can be challenging, particularly given the uncertainty that currently surrounds the UK’s trading arrangements post-Brexit.

As a result, there’s several strategies that you’ll need to consider before launching such a venture. We’ll address some of these below and provide some genuine insight into how you can build a successful export business.

  • Understand what Type of Import and Export Business you Want

Before you get started, it’s important to understand precisely what type of import and export business you’d like to launch.

You could establish yourself as an export management company, for example, which handles operations for a domestic company that wants to sell its products overseas but has limited experience of international markets.

This type of firm manages all aspects of exporting goods, from hiring dealers and engaging distributors.

A growing number of people are starting out in this space as import and export merchants, who essentially operate as freelance entrepreneurs. This type of business model is relatively simple and easy to understand, as merchants have no specific client base and do not specialise in one line of products or another.

Instead, they purchase goods directly from overseas, before packaging and reselling them directly to customers. Interestingly, this is also considered to be the riskiest method of importing and exporting, while operating successfully requires a considerable amount of knowledge and understanding.


  • Identify your Target Market

If you strip down the process of importing and exporting, the ultimate goal must always be to sell goods for a profit and achieve a desired profit.

One of the key steps to achieve this is to identify your target market, depending on the products that you’re selling and the model that underpins your business.

This requires you to establish a viable market for each individual line of products, as you look to determine an accurate consumer profile and target key geographical areas.

This is central to the success of your important and export business, while you should note that finding your market relies on detailed and in-depth research. With use of accurate data and analysis, you can optimise your sales volumes and boost the company’s long-term profitability.

  • Get Insured

When starting any Business, you’ll need to ensure that you invest in adequate and cost-effective insurance.

In the case of imports and exports, there’s an array of different insurance products available to entrepreneurs. One of the most important is export credit risk insurance, as this has been designed specifically to protect novice exporters in the event that an overseas buyer decides not to pay for either geopolitical or commercial factors.

We’d also recommend that you buy cargo insurance, especially when couriering products by air or sea. There are firms that offer full spectrum marine insurance for importers and exporters, which help to safeguard your products while they’re being shipped.

With a willingness to compare the market and secure the best possible insurance, you protect your businesses against all eventualities and achieve genuine value for money.

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