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Manage & Grow Your Import and Export Business


Explore every imaginable aspect of managing and growing your import and export business. After you map out your import and export journey, developing sales and distribution is critical. Here we cover finding customers, locating overseas suppliers, determining routes to importing and exporting, shipping logistics, service and product pricing, financing options, booking an order, documentation, customer service, strategic considerations, cross-cultural insights, international business travel tips, using the Internet to boost your import and export business potential and more.
  1. Finding Customers/Developing Sales (Distributors and Sales Agents)
  2. Cross-Cultural Learning (and Education)
  3. Finding Overseas Suppliers (e.g. Outsourcing and Contract Manufacturing)
  4. International Business Travel Tips
  5. Methods of Importing and Exporting: Direct and Indirect Sales
  6. Finances
  7. Pricing Your Product or Service and Preparing Quotations
  8. Documentation (Including Licenses and Permits)
  1. Transportation and Freight Options
  2. Booking/Packing/Marking/Insuring International Shipments
  3. Technology (Social Media, Social Networking, Blogs and Websites)
  4. e-Commerce
  5. Mobile
  6. Service Exports/Imports
  7. Customer Service/Customer Relationship Management/Crisis Management
  8. Alliances/Partnerships/Joint Ventures/Franchising/Licensing

Finding Customers/Developing Sales (Distributors and Sales Agents)

There is no import and export business without customers. Whether you are seeking sales agents, distributors, big retailers or importing wholesalers, this is the place to learn how to find customers.

Cross-Cultural Learning (and Education)

Are you cross-culturally aware? Recognizing cultural diversity is imperative for building a successful import/export business. The greater your commitment to expanding your cultural consciousness, the more comfortably and effectively you will function with your business and social environments beyond your own borders. In this section, we offer you a list of intercultural tips that will help you better understand how to function as a leader across cultural boundaries and minimize embarrassments and misunderstandings in negotiations with your customers, distributors, agents and suppliers.

Finding Overseas Suppliers (e.g. Outsourcing and Contract Manufacturing)

Got a new product idea or have an existing product that needs a little improvement? Great! Here you can discover where to look and find potential overseas suppliers. It starts with a little research, communication, product samples and pricing, and it eventually moves into an enriching and thriving international business relationship.

International Business Travel Tips

The practical aspects to international business travel can make or break your trip. Use this section as a checklist of the details you'll want to attend to in order to have a safe, comfortable, and productive journey.

Methods of Importing and Exporting: Direct and Indirect Sales

This section discusses the basic factors involved in choosing a mode of entry strategy. For companies operating in several different countries, they may elect to employ a variety of entry modes since each country market poses a different set of conditions. Here we examine alternative market-entry strategies and how they affect your import/export business.


One of the most important issues to negotiate before closing an import or export sale is how payment will be made. Here we outline several strategies for making payments and getting paid while minimizing risks. In addition, we offer other ways to reduce operating expenses and finance an import or export transaction, should you find yourself unable to work out a standard method of payment.

Pricing Your Product or Service and Preparing Quotations

Pricing your product or service for the international market is a critical step in the international sales operation. In this section, we outline how to price your offerings, determine landed costs, structure a commission fee, prepare quotations, work with a freight forwarder and use all these figures to put together a proforma invoice for your customer.

Documentation (Including Licenses and Permits)

This section helps you determine which forms are required for your specific import/export shipment and makes sure everything is letter-perfect. In addition, you will master Incoterms, the most commonly used international shipping terms.

Transportation and Freight Options

Here we help you navigate the ins and outs of how to send or receive international shipments.

Booking/Packing/Marking/Insuring International Shipments

This section guides you on how to properly send or receive international shipments — from booking an order to packing to marking and insuring your cargo — for a safe and timely delivery to your own or your customer’s door.

Technology (Social Media, Social Networking, Blogs and Websites)

The use of technology, especially social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram and Twitter, along with the advent of smart phones and tablets, makes finding opportunities in the world marketplace a breeze for small business owners and executives. Here we help you harness technology's power to connect businesses with customers and teach you how to leverage it to create new growth opportunities for your business.


Electronic commerce (e-commerce) refers to the buying and selling of goods and services through the use of technology (e.g., the Internet or other computer networks). It’s the sales or commercial aspect of electronic business. The nature of importing and exporting has changed dramatically over the last decade. A good example of e-commerce is eBay. Here you will learn the benefits of e-commerce, how to manage it (from setting up an online presence to shopping carts to collecting electronic payments) and what it means for importers and exporters alike.


Mobile is about anything to do with a mobile device — marketing, ecommerce, payments, social media, text messages, ads, etc. Consumers are on the move all over the world! To stay competitive with your import/export initiatives, you need to develop mobile strategies and experiences for consumers (C2C) and businesses (B2B) that are both relevant and timely. In this section, we cover what mobile means to your import/export business, what tactics and strategies to put into action and how to leverage mobile to elevate your business and drive results.

Service Exports/Imports

To get ahead in the global marketplace, it takes more than the exporting or importing of a product. You also need to export or import superior services. In this section we discuss exporting and importing a service and how it differs from exporting and importing a product. In addition, we address the state of service imports/exports, best potential for success and best international market prospects.

Customer Service/Customer Relationship Management/Crisis Management

One major aspect of having an import/export business is working with global customers, suppliers, distributors and sales agents. Whether you're dealing with a single point of contact, uniform pricing, consistency in service quality and performance or support in countries where a company has no presence, this section guides you on how to develop great global customer relations that will lead to a win-win for all parties involved. Customers will keep coming back!

Alliances/Partnerships/Joint Ventures/Franchising/Licensing

Here we examine the pros and cons of forming alliances, partnerships and joint ventures and whether you are ready or willing to take on the world in a collaborative manner.

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