Guidelines for Importing and Exporting

Information verified correct on December 10th, 2016

Growing your business through importing and exporting

Importing and exporting can be a great way to grow a business. If you have a well established business in your domestic market, you could look at exporting your products to different countries and create a market for your products outside Australia too. Similarly, if you want to add some new products to your business, you can import different types of items from all over the world and create an exceptional niche for your business.

Guidelines for importing and exporting

There is no doubt that importing and exporting can open up a whole new world of business and investment opportunities. However, there are various rules and regulations that govern imports and exports in Australia and it is vital to have a clear understanding of these rules before you decide to import or export products into or from the country. In addition to government rules and regulations, there are various factors that determine the success of any import-export business. Hence, here is a look at some of these factors that can make or break an import-export business.

  • Researching markets and products: Regardless of whether you want to import products from another country, or export your products to global markets, you need to have a thorough understanding of the markets and various products. You should do extensive research in order to find promising markets where your products are likely to do well. However, it is never a good idea to open too many new markets at once. Hence, if you do find several countries in which your products may sell really well, you should try and export to one market initially, which looks the most promising. Once you achieve a certain level of success exporting to your initial market, you can then think about opening up several international markets for your products. Similarly, when importing goods from another country, it is essential that you research the products to determine which will work best in the Australian markets. After that, you should begin with importing one or two products at first and then grow your imports if your business does well.
  • Take help from available resources: The government of Australia has made available many useful resources that can be used by people who want to grow their business through importing and exporting. You can find several helpful ideas and export opportunities in many countries on the Austrade website. Similarly, the Chamber of Commerce in your state is a great place to begin your research for profitable import and export opportunities. Another valuable resource that you should look at tapping is speaking to people who are already in the import-export business. They can offer you some valuable insights into the industry that may not be available through books and online websites.
  • Be aware of customs rules and regulations: Whether you want to import goods into Australia, or export goods to another country, all such items have to be cleared by the Australian customs before they can enter or leave the country. In addition to custom clearances, your products may also be liable for certain duties, levies, or taxes. Hence, before embarking on any import-export business, you need to be aware of all the customs’ rules and regulations pertaining to the products that you will be doing business in.
  • Determine your total financial outlay: Importing and exporting can be quite an expensive way to grow your business. Not only do you need to spend money in researching your products and markets, but you may also have to travel extensively to the markets where you import or export. This costs a great deal of money, which you should account for when calculating your total costs. You may also have to spend money on modifying your products if they do not conform to the tastes or culture of the international market. Setting up sales channels, advertising and promoting your new products will also result in considerable expenses. Hence, you need to determine all these costs before starting your import-export business and make sure that you have the means of meeting these costs.
  • Open up sales channels in your target country: Even if you do intend to visit your new market and stay there for some time till your export business gets off the ground, you will still need to open up various sales channels in your target market. You can hire sales agents who will look after the sales of your products in the international markets and offer them incentives on every sale. Another option for selling in a new market is to partner with a local vendor or supplier who sells products similar or complementary to yours. Doing so will not only give you access to your partner’s customers and client base, but you can also benefit from the local knowledge that your partner will bring in. Once your export business really takes off, you can think about opening a branch office in international locations so that you can grow your business further.

Importing and exporting requires a serious commitment for the long term; but if you work at it diligently, it could be a great way to grow your business considerably.

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