Identifying Your Target Market and Finding Customers for Your Import/Export Business

By John J. Capela

In a perfect world for your import/export business, you could select a product you’d like to deal in and identify a great supplier, and customers would fall over each other to do business with you. Unfortunately, the real world is far more complex and unpredictable. Doing business no longer involves just making and selling a product. Today, you must present your products to your customers through a comprehensive marketing program to get your imports or exports into the hands of your customers.

Identifying your target market is the most important starting point for any business to consider. Your market is that particular group of people who have a need for your product as well as the authority, willingness, and desire to purchase the goods. As soon as you know who these people are, you can develop a marketing plan to reach them and appeal to their values so that they’ll see and like you and eventually purchase from you. A targeted plan minimizes the use of your resources in the marketing effort while getting the desired results.

The primary objectives of market research are to assist you in identifying your target market and provide you with the competitive product information you need to know. Today, this information is readily available online, in libraries, and in various industry trade resources. All these resources can assist you in finding customers for the products you’ve chosen to import or export.