In this article I'd like to talk about the first three steps I believe are vital in starting up your own import-export business.
The first and most important step is to determine your interests.
It goes without saying that the most successful businesses are those where it ceases to be considered work for the owner. We've all heard stories of people who started out very small and grew their business into million dollar enterprises. It wasn't just luck or coincidence. They were involved with something they truly enjoyed doing and worked hard at it.
Choose something you are passionate about and you would pay to do. What things do you already pay for? What things are you already passionate about?
Now, not every interest can be turned into a business that pays the bills, but it may lead you to another area that can. The key here is to remain open and just think of any interest you have - not matter how outlandish.
I really can't stress the importance of this enough. Go with what you're interested in. How can you expect others to be passionate about your products, if they aren't exciting to you?
If wicker baskets don't excite you, then don't try to sell them. Find what does excite you and sell that.
This is also going to he helpful if things get tough. In many cases when things get tough, people give up, but if you choose something you are passionate about, then you are less likely to follow the same path.
The most famous example of being passionate is Colonel Sanders. You don't get rejected 999 times unless you love cooking and chicken, which he did. It has to be something you are prepared to take that kind of rejection for and still keep smiling. The funny thing is, when you do have that passion, that edge, there is almost a sense of inevitability about the whole thing. Sooner or later, massive success is going to visit you.
So then, what's the best way to determine your interests? Ask yourself this question: If you had a day off, how would you spend it?
Then make a list of your hobbies, products you love, anything that provides enjoyment for you.
The second step is to take your list of interests and start generating ideas for niche markets and possible products. Contrary to popular belief, people don't buy products for the sake of having them, they buy them because they are trying to solve a problem. When you are thinking of niche markets, you are actually thinking of problems and the types of people who have those problems. Your product, which is also your passion, is going to solve the problem for them.
In short, you need to become a passionate problem solver.
The third step is to work on some things to really get you motivated.
What do you REALLY want out of your own business? What do you REALLY want out of life? What do you REALLY want for your family?
I'm a big believer in writing down goals and flooding your subconscious with the right stimuli - pictures of mansions, exotic locations, cars, yachts, any and every material possession you've ever dreamed of having. Pictures help make your goals seem more real and tangible.
Start a goal scrapbook. For each of the personal goals you are working towards, find a picture and put it in your goal scrapbook. Want a Ferrari? Get several pictures of the exact car you want.
Want a successful import/export business? Make up business cards with your business name and title of 'President' on them.
Want a new house? Find a picture of your perfect house.
Review your book each night and imagine yourself in the pictures, experiencing the joy at having achieved those goals. You are seeing your future. You'll be amazed at how powerful a goal scrapbook can be in helping you achieve your goals.
So give it a shot. Go after you interests, identify a niche, work on your goals, take action. This is the time to see what you are really capable of as your own Boss doing something you really love and enjoy.