QUESTION ON Leads For International Trading Business
My main question is about getting started in the international trading business. I have been looking into this ( via the internet ) over the last few weeks and have found countless websites that offer buy/sell leads. I feel a little lost with which ones I need to subscribe with or use for my business . Was wondering if you could help with any suggestions please? Thanks
Congratulations on your plan to start your own international trading business.
You must start your business in the right direction. First define what you really want to do. Choose what products or items that you want to get involved with and concentrate on them. There are hundreds or thousands of products that are traded and it is very difficult to trade without a specific product to work with. Operating on a “shotgun” operation will lead you nowhere. Try to focus your attention to maybe five items that you feel you can work with.
Leads, although they are not really as productive as most people think, can give you some ideas about products being traded in different countries. These can help make choices and see what you can sell in your country as well as what and where you can sell products from your own sources.
Buying leads at this time would be nice if you have money to spare but most leads being offered by Web sites on the Internet (specially those offered for sale) are not really reliable. Some of those companies listed are not even aware that they are on those lists and it will be a waste of your time contacting these companies because they may never respond to your inquiries. From our experience, these companies who are selling leads through subscription will bombard you with the same leads all over and over again.
For a source of leads, we recommend the The Trading Hub: Import and Export Trade Leads from Around the World from the Federation of International Trading Association. They have links to International Trade Leads available for FREE. Since they are an international trading group, their connections would be more reliable.
The U.S. government has an online database of trade leads from their Export.gov website. While this is a free resource, it may not be regularly updated anymore. A better resource from the U.S. government would be the trade leads issued by the different U.S. embassies around the globe. U.S. embassies compile trade leads from different sectors for the benefit of U.S. companies.
You can also contact the trade and investment sections of the embassies of different countries. Since part of the tasks of embassies is to promote trade to their country, they welcome trade inquiries and would be willing to provide information to potential trade partners and investors.
Do these first steps, then let us know how it goes.
Recommended Resources on International Trading Business
- Import/Export: How to Get Started in International Trade
- Carbon Markets: An International Business Guide (Environmental Market Insights)
- Import/Export: How to Take Your Business Across Borders
- How Small Business Trades Worldwide: Your Guide to Starting or Expanding a Small Business International Trade Company Now
Article originally published in June 2006. Updated February 20, 2012
Category: Q & A