Why Small Businesses Break into the Import/Export Business

By John J. Capela

The import/export business is part of everyday business. Everyone encounters the result of international business transactions every day, whether they realize it or not. International business is any commercial transaction that crosses the borders of two or more nations.

Importing is bringing goods into your country from another country in order to sell them, and exporting is sending goods out of your country in order to sell them in another country. U.S. businesses are seeing increasing exports to developing countries, especially in Latin America, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

If your business wants to extend profit margins, importing goods or raw materials is one potential path to this goal. Importing from offshore sources can provide a host of benefits, including lower prices, higher quality goods, and the advantages associated with international trade agreements.

Today’s global marketplace provides opportunities not just for multinational corporations but also for small to medium companies. Technology has made it easier, faster, and less costly to identify new opportunities, generate business, and increase profits. E-business (e-commerce) is the use of computer networks to purchase, sell, or exchange products; serve customers; and collaborate with partners.

With e-business, companies can more easily make their products abroad, identify products to import, and export finished goods. Technology also helps companies improve efficiency in their international operations and enables them to be more competitive. Individuals and companies now have a way of getting into international business without the commitment of financial resources.