When starting a business, one of the most important considerations is what is going to make you stand out from your competition. For some business owners, they will attempt to differentiate themselves through the items they sell in their store, and what can be more unique than something imported from another country? Before diving into the world of importing goods and dealing with international shipping and customs, you need to consider whether or not it is a practical and logical decision for you and your business.
Why Import Goods?
What is so great about products from another country in the first place? The main allure of imported goods lies in a system of balance, according to eHow. A given business would want to import certain goods if:
- The local demand is greater than the available supply.
- The price of a particular good is cheaper on the global market than it is on the local market.
The balance of a country’s imports and exports overall need to be balanced out, but for the sake of an individual business, not much consideration needs to be paid there. Imported goods can come in the form of either consumer or industrial products. According to the eHow report, there are three general reasons as to why a business would want to import goods:
- They want products to sell
- They want the cheapest price
- They are using importing as a facet of their global supply chain
What Do Businesses Import?
Anything and everything. Whatever you are looking to sell, there is a good chance you can find it cheaper outside of the country and import the goods to sell. Worlds Richest Countries reports that the fastest-growing imports in the United States in 2011 were not items you may have expected, they included:
- Gum and resins
- Coffee, tea, and spices
- Animal, vegetable fats and oils
Other popular imports from around the world included:
- Cars from Japan
- Clothing and footwear from China
- Alcoholic beverages from France
- Collector items, antiques, and art from the United Kingdom
- Coins, precious metals, and gems from Germany
- Fish from Russia
- Textiles from India
Planning Your Business’ Imports
If you do decide that importing certain goods will be right for your business, then you will need to look into finding manufacturers abroad to deal with, international shipping companies, customs requirements, and other import requirements set by the U.S. government. Importing goods can give your business and exotic edge over your competitors while helping you to get the best prices on the global market.
Chuck Stevens is an avid blogger always looking to share his experiences and recommendations. He has been a business advisor for over 10 years. You can follow him on Twitter @chuckstevens12.