Risks of Importing

Beginning any new venture can be difficult. Beginning a new venture with people that do not speak your language and live half way around the world can actually be very risky. Getting into importing can change a lot of things about your business and many of those things will be great for growth. These might include more income, better products, and better access to raw materials. Figuring the risks of purchasing from abroad can seem overwhelming, but in reality getting started is the hardest part. You may have found a great new contact at a trade show but what do you really know about them? With so many sources available many people find it hard to determine which ones are reliable and which will be a problem. Understanding the shipping industry can be helpful. Fortunately many government agencies have directories for manufacturers in their countries and these can give you some insight into the available suppliers. If you are working in a country like China, it may be better to find a reliable liaison by joining a trade association of experienced importers.  Working with people from a foreign country means both the language and the culture can be a barrier.    

Beyond finding the right supplier, you should also have a good idea of how the logistics will work once your product is available.  Many times you will be able to purchase your products as freight on board or “FOB” which can omit freight shipping rates abroad. Finding a good freight forwarder can help greatly with setting up shipping no matter how you are buying. Getting into importing can be risky, but with the right tools and contacts, it can be great for growing your business. A freight forwarder can build your new venture to new heights.