How to Start an Export/Import Business: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Success (Start-Ups)

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Turn the World Into Your Market…Without Leaving Home!

Importing is not just for those lone-wolf, footloose adventurer types who survive by their wits and the skin of their teeth. It's big business these days—more than $870 billion in goods and services, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Exporting is just as big: In one year alone, American companies exported $349 billion in merchandise to 226 foreign countries. Everything from beverages to commodes—and a staggering ...

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Overview

Turn the World Into Your Market…Without Leaving Home!

Importing is not just for those lone-wolf, footloose adventurer types who survive by their wits and the skin of their teeth. It's big business these days—more than $870 billion in goods and services, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Exporting is just as big: In one year alone, American companies exported $349 billion in merchandise to 226 foreign countries. Everything from beverages to commodes—and a staggering list of other products you might never think of as global merchandise—are fair game for the savvy trader.

But the import/export field is not the sole purview of the big guys. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, large companies sell only 4 percent of all exports. The other 96 percent—the lion's share of the business—is wide open to the startup entrepreneur.

As a top import/export agent, you can net a healthy six-figure income by matching buyers and sellers from around the globe, right from your own home. This book is packed with valuable insights and practical advice for tapping into lucrative global markets, including overviews if the op foreign markets to help you get a running start. It covers every aspect if the start-up process, including:

  • How to collect money from overseas transactions
  • How the government can help you find products and customers
  • A list of newsletters, directories and U.S. Department of Commerce publications
  • Legal aspects of import/export
  • How to choose a customs broker
  • A sample letter for generating contacts in the United States and abroad

This book, based on a bestselling Entrepreneur Start-Up Guide, can help you become a player in the glamorous and lucrative world of international exchange.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781891984815
  • Publisher: Entrepreneur Press dba Entrepreneur Media, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/1/2003
  • Series: Start-Ups
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.96 (w) x 8.92 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

McGraw-Hill authors represent the leading experts in their fields and are dedicated to improving the lives, careers, and interests of readers worldwide

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Table of Contents

Introduction xi
Chapter 1 International Trade: Passport to Success 1
The International Adventurer 2
Champagne and Caviar 3
Import/Export--The Prequel 4
Ice Chests to Siberia 5
Back to the Future 6
Counting Your Coconuts 6
Crank-Up Costs 7
The Rock of Gibraltar 8
The Right Stuff 8
Move Over, Trader Sam 10
The Trade Bug 11
Overnight from Nothing 11
Here You Are 12
Future Forecast 12
Chapter 2 Import/Export 101 15
The Players 16
The Big Boys 16
I've Grown Accustomed 17
Lend Me Your EAR 18
Say Cheese 18
That's APHIS, Not Aphids 20
Swimming the Trade Channel 22
The Rules 24
Those Tetchy Trade Barriers 25
Can We Quota You? 25
The Buddy System 26
The Big Picture 27
GATTing to Know You 28
Club WTO 29
NAFTA 29
The European Union 30
The Trade Hit Parade 31
Canada 32
Mexico 32
Japan 33
China 34
Germany 34
United Kingdom 35
France 35
Republic of Korea 36
Taiwan 36
Singapore 37
Chapter 3 Trade Routes: Daily Operations 39
Trading Particulars 40
The Exporter at Work 40
The Pro's Pro Forma 40
Documentation 45
Take a Letter 45
Let's Talk Shipping 47
The Merchandise Love Boat 50
The Import/Export Referee 52
The L/C Revue 58
Oops! 63
Is That All There Is? 64
Cash Is King 64
A Date with a Draft 67
Chapter 4 Trade Routes: Part Two 69
The Importer at Work 80
Entry 81
Customs Limbo 82
Released from Custody 83
Out on Bail 84
Hold on to Your Hats 84
Examination and Valuation 86
Classification 87
Payment and Liquidation 88
Chapter 5 Charting Your Trade Route 91
Tripping Manufacturers 92
Where in the World? 93
What's My Niche? 94
"Secondhand Rose" 95
My Mission: Trade 97
Unlocking Mysteries 97
Intelligence Agency 103
Custom Tailored 103
Up Close and Personal 104
Up Closer and More Personal 105
Star Treatment 108
Compass Points 108
Chapter 6 The Trader's Trunk 111
Name That Business 112
Howdy, Partner 112
Sea to Shining Sea 112
The Fictitious Business Name 114
Your Skeletal Structure 115
Home Zoned Home 116
Attorney with ELAN 117
The Details 117
Chapter 7 Trade Dollars: Figuring Your Finances 119
Start-Up Costs 120
Computing Computer Costs 120
Fax Facts 121
Nosing Around the Net 122
The Skinny on Software 122
Lead Me On 122
Phone Fun 123
The Mechanical Receptionist 123
My Calling Card 124
Stamps Around the World 124
Traveling Trader 124
All That Jazz 125
Pricing Yourself 126
The Commish 129
Biting the Retainer 129
The Great Sock Caper 130
Competitive Pricing 131
The Distributor Cap 132
Leave the Light On 133
That's Illuminating 134
Baseline Expenses 135
Send Me a Letter 136
Paper Tiger 137
Trip Tip 138
Ole for Online Service 138
Paying the Piper 138
Putting It Together 139
A Little Bit of Luck 140
Romancing the Bank 140
Ex-Im Bank 140
In Your Pocket 144
Chapter 8 The Stationary Suitcase: Your Business Location 147
The Home Office 148
The Tax Man Speaketh 149
Growing Pains 150
Alternative Officing 150
Organized and Efficient 150
Likewise 152
Chapter 9 Employees, Insurance, and Other Facts of Life 155
Fun with Filing 156
The All-Star 157
Standing On the Corner 158
The Backup Brain 159
Testing 1, 2, 3 161
Insuring Your Gems 161
Thanks, Ex-Im 162
Miami Vice 162
The Blanket Policy 163
Stormy Weather 164
Chapter 10 Inside the Cargo Hold: Your Business Equipment 167
Computer Glitterati 168
Purring Printers 169
Just the Fax 169
Soft on Software 170
Hello, Central 170
Phone On the Go 171
Automated Answering Service 171
Vociferous Voice Mail 171
Laugh at Lightning 172
Lightning Strikes Again 173
Cool and Calculating 173
Paper Cloning 173
Step Into My Office 174
Chapter 11 The Trader's Trumpet: Advertising and Marketing 179
Chicken or Egg? 180
Hunting for Exports 180
Direct-Mail Dazzle 180
(Cold-) Calling All Clients 183
Desperately Seeking Imports 183
The Travel Log 186
Just Call Me 188
Singles Dances 189
Toothpicks to Tires 190
Bounty Hunting 190
Selling Yourself 190
International Call 192
The Marketing Plan 193
We Now Present 196
Take a Meeting 196
Shake On It 198
Getting the Product Out 198
Selling Nozzles 199
Pursuing the Perfect Rep 201
Interview Kit 202
Sign On the Dotted Line 203
At 'Em Advertising 207
Banana Peels 207
Look for the Label 208
Public Relations Patter 209
Service That Customer 210
Chapter 12 More Trade Dollars: Effectively Controlling Your Finances 213
Making a Statement 214
Sad Experience 214
Banking Buddies 215
Play Money 220
See Spot Transact 220
The Tax Man Cometh 222
Driving Miss Trader 222
Let Me Entertain You 223
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles 224
Chapter 13 Fair Winds or Foul Seas 225
Ring of Contacts 226
When You Believe 227
Appendix International Trade Resources 229
Glossary 237
Index 247
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