If you are an entrepreneur looking to start your first business or just get into the import game, then you need the right tools and strategies to succeed.
It can seem overwhelming at first, but it doesn’t have to be. With these proven methods below, you can successfully import products from China and sell them for major profits online.
This is true whether you want to start your own Shopify store, FBA side-hustle, or anything of the sort.
So grab your favorite drink, sit down, and be prepared to take notes on this in-depth roadmap on how you can get the passive income and lifestyle business of your dreams up and running:
1. Finding a Niche or Target Market
Before worrying about what product you are going to sell, your website, or the factory you will order from in China, you need to focus on your niche.
This is the narrow target market that you are going to serve. Instead of going wide, be very specific about this.
For instance, instead of focusing on the muscle building market, focus on the paleo market. This allows you to compete without going up against major brands that have a better reputation and can outspend you until the end of time.
To identify your niche, ask yourself what kind of hobbies and interests you already have. It will be much easier to create your marketing once you understand your market.
Once you have identified a specific niche, you are ready for the next part of your importing journey.
2. Selecting a Product
Now that you know the kind of people you will be targeting, you need to decide what you will sell.
Make sure your product has at least 5,000 hits per month or you may risk going into too small of a market to turn a profit.
3. Finding a Supplier
Once you know your market and the product you want to sell, you need to find someone who will sell it at a wholesale price.
This is easier than it sounds. Most Chinese factories have a presence on a site called Alibaba. You can simply browse for those who create the product you’re looking to import and contact a few of them.
The negotiating process is the next step, and this requires more nuance than the previous steps. If you don’t approach it the right way, you could end up overpaying.
4. Negotiating Your First Shipment
To make sure you get the best price for your product (and have room to make a profit from it) you need to contact multiple manufacturers. This is the first and most important part of your negotiating strategy.
The reason that contacting so many suppliers is essential is that you can play them off of each other. Because you have a choice, you will have leverage. You can always walk away from the deal if you don’t like their terms.
So reach out to three to five of your favorite prospective suppliers and be sure to mention that you are talking to multiple vendors. Ask them for their best price and present your case as to why they should give you a great price.
Include reasoning such as a long-term partnership and high volume orders in the near future once you take off with your product online.
5. Warehousing and Logistics
Don’t feel the need to house the products in your garage.
You can pay other companies to keep the inventory for you and even ship the units out to customers.
They will want a small cut, but it is well worth it for not having to spend your time dealing with all of the ingoing and outgoing packages.
Learn how Floship can take care of your warehousing and product shipping from China, being conveniently located in Hong Kong – the world’s largest air-freight hub.
Now that you have the products in place and ready to be shipped, you can start your marketing efforts.
The first thing you need is a quality website. It should reflect the personality of the brand you’re going for. In a world where most e-commerce companies are buying their products from China and reselling them, you need to stand out with unique marketing.
Invest in quality photographs and videos if you can afford it. Also, keep in mind that your copywriting is one of the most crucial aspects of the marketing you do. You need to sell with your words.
If this is not something you’re confident in, hire a professional copywriter. This investment will pay large dividends throughout the lifetime of your business. This is also an essential part if you ever want to automate your business and hand the reins off to someone else while you relax on a beach somewhere.
If you can, negotiate a royalty deal with a copywriter. That way, you can pay them less upfront while you are in the startup mode and pay them a percentage of sales later on when your cash flow is more healthy.
Embedded from Brand New Copy.
No importing business is ever finished once you have the site up and start making sales.
The reason is that you could be leaving money on the table. The testing phase is now in full force.
You can start testing different ads, landing pages, and even email funnels. Test every part of your marketing to see where you can create more profits.
The best part of this is that it is free (or very cheap) to use marketing software to collect this data and continually improve your margins.
Congratulations, you now have your first successful online business by importing cheap products from China and marking them up for a major profit.
However, don’t stop here.
The main characteristic of any great entrepreneur is the ability to take their results and duplicate them. So, use what you have learned and repeat the steps on a different product.
This can be something you came up with, or simply a similar product that you also want to import. The point is to create systems so that you are free to focus on the higher level creativity.
9. Paying your Chinese Suppliers
There are a variety of regulations when it comes to sending money in and out of China, so you need to carefully set yourself up for success now that you’ll need to regularly pay your Chinese suppliers.
One of the best options is to actually open a multi-currency account in Hong Kong.
Because there is so much trade between Chinese suppliers and Western businesses, many Chinese companies a) choose to deal in USD and b) have their business accounts in Hong Kong. Due to highly regulated cashflow restrictions in China, having a Hong Kong business account makes a lot of sense for Chinese suppliers who work with international brands.
The same goes for you. If you have a USD account in Hong Kong, that means that when it comes time pay your suppliers, you simply have to initiate a local trans
fer from your USD account to theirs.
What’s more, incorporating a company and opening a business account in Hong Kong can be far simpler than doing so in China.
If you want to go this route, be sure to check out Neat, a FinTech that provides online business accounts for cross-border ecommerce entrepreneurs.
When it comes to running a great online business, it is never easy. However, it doesn’t have to be impossible. If you approach things the right way, you can enjoy a highly profitable business without taking as much risk as you think.
But be sure to go through all the steps above. Otherwise, you risk running out of money, time, and patience.