This is the 100th post to this blog - I am baring my soul (so to speak) as to why an international business offers import export training courses - I hope this post will help you make the final decision as to whether import export is for you or isn't and why it is important to make INFORMED decisions, both before, during and after starting your business.
In the learning phase of my own business in the late 1980's, I did not have the HUGE advantage that the Internet offers you. I had to make innumerable visits to the library which was about a 20 mile round trip.
I spent hundreds of hours there researching, reading, copying. I spent hundreds of dollars on training materials that were extremely outdated (that was the 80's and the materials were written in the 60's and 70's). I wasted thousands of dollars on postage sending inquiries to trade leads that were so outdated it was almost enough to make you want to quit.
I visited with international bankers, department of commerce personnel, actual live importers and exporters to gather as much information as I possibly could.
Because of all the expenses of trying to learn this business piece meal, an idea came upon me one day that some people might be interested enough to pay for reports that compiled all this research into a current newsletter and thus the information part of my business was born.
The newsletter drew the attention of a publisher in Washington DC (at the time) who published a newspaper filled with trade leads each month. I agreed to sell his newspaper along with our newsletter after I tested the leads.
The first lead was for Organic Fruit Juice. Although the lead was about 2 months old I called the buyer and he advised me that only one other person had contacted him. He was definitely still interested and asked for quotes.
Off to the library, I researched and found 6 companies that produced it. I contacted 5 and was rejected - they were not interested. The sixth and last was. I had to pay a local machine shop a dollar a page to send and receive each page of a fax (this was 1988 remember).
I faxed an agreement to the producer after we agreed to terms by phone, they signed and faxed the agreement back and I then put the two parties together. Only two sales ever resulted from that deal but I was paid approximately $1,000 for about 3 hours of work/research.
This does not mean you will make that much on your first deal or that little, it is presently purely to document our first export deal.
Our business evolved and about 1993 we were contacted by a publisher of an import and export business course. After having such a bad experience with those I had purchased, I wanted to review it before agreeing to sell it (this was ll by mail order at the time).
I was thoroughly impressed with both the course and with the publisher. Since 1993 we have been offered the chance to market just about every other export/import course there is on the market and after reviewing them, nothing comes remotely close to the vast amount of information presented in such a manner that it is easily understood.
Because of our experience in the industry, our publisher has implemented many of the suggestions that we provided. Many of the questions and answers that were received during these 16 years have been included in the updates made to the course materials which averages about every 2 years.
Quite frankly, the revenue from the sale of these courses only represents about 5% of our total annual revenue and if it were to end tomorrow, it would hurt but it could easily be replaced with other revenue streams.
So why do we continue to offer the courses? Several reasons:
- There are many people out there who are like I was 21 years ago - people who have a sincere interest in the international trade business but do not know how to go about getting it in a manner that is easy to understand and not go broke or spend hundreds of hours like I did.
- There has been a proliferation of offerings that are out there with the advent of the Internet - some ranging from as little as $10 to others ranging $8,000 or more and I know in my heart that the courses we offer are the BEST based on my personal review and 21 years experience.
- Many of the people described above will end up calling or emailing me and rather than taking trying to explain the same processes over and over and over, they have a comprehensive course that is not only training but a resource library for the entire term of their business.
- There has to be training available that is not too complicated like many courses are that will discourage you before you ever take the first step and a course that is not so outlandish in price that you have to take a 2nd mortgage (if you can get one) for the promises of some boiler room operator/trainer who has absolutely no real life experience in this business and in my 21+ years of experience I have yet to find any course that is better - if I did, it would be posted to our web site tomorrow.
The Import Export Business is just that - A business! It is NOT an OPPORTUNITY that will magically transform you into a super worldwide success. This is a REAL business that without the serious application of WORK by YOU will not provide you with anything by and of itself!
This business is NOT for everyone (bet the boiler room operators whose weekly commission check depend solely upon selling you their $8000 plus 'program' will never tell you that)!
Here is a list of people who will have a problem succeeding in this business:
- Those who cannot write a sentence or paragraph in basic English (sorry but English is the main language of international trade).
- Those who will not pick up the phone and call someone and be able to speak English well enough that the other party can understand them - if the truth offends you, then I have save you from a lot of wasted money and time.
- Those who need a coach or camp counselor who they can call and cry on their shoulders when they cannot get a buyer or seller to talk with them - when in reality the camp counselor/coaches by the $8000+ programs are nothing more than boiler room operators with the same printed material in front of them as you have in front of you - this is all part of business - the buyer or sellers in the world are not waiting for you with baited breath so you can tell them about the "certificate" you now possess as if that really means anything in this industry.
- Those who are unable to make a decision for themselves even after they have been provided with all the details and processes that are necessary for them to make an informed decision - they are not ready to be in business for themselves, they need a job where they have a boss who will tell them what to do for 8 hours.
- Those who think an exorbitant price somehow translates into something being better - they think well if it costs that much, it must be good, right?
- Those who are too lazy to perform due diligence (read our company page for instructions) - if you are going to invest $8,000+ in the belief a company is what they say they are, spend a couple of hundred and fly out to their location, see their "warehouses" (I find it amusing that some people expend more time checking us out for an investment in a course that is less than 5% of the $8K+ program)
- Those who, even after they perform 'in-depth' due diligence, still foolishly throw their $8K+ at a dream that is sold to them by a commissioned salesman/woman with absolutely no experience in the industry.
I wish everyone who purchases a course from us would be an incredible success, but the sad fact is probably less than 5% ever follow through and take the first step of action necessary to achieve any success.
If you think the $8K+ programs offer you a better chance, give me a call during normal business hours at 717-292-5763 - if I am in the office I will gladly tell you how to do a very simple google search to find the thousands of now inactive web sites that others who have taken the $8K+ path have followed. I just did this search today and quite frankly I was amazed at how many there are but before you call me - DO YOUR OWN DUE DILIGENCE and if you are really cut out to be in business for yourself, you will not need to bother calling me because you will have already made the right decision.
The courses we offer will provide you with everything, step-by-step instructions on how to succeed in both importing and exporting - the success factor is what looks you in the mirror each morning.
If any of the above has offended you, well let's say in this area of Pennsylvania, we have an old saying the goes "if the shoe fits, wear it!" If it took this as a slap up along the side of you head and you are offended and you forget about this business all together, then I have accomplished my goal as you simply are not ready for this business.
If however, you are the type of person who says, great, finally someone who tells it like it is, no bull shit, someone who not only talks the talk but who has walked the walk, well then you are ready for our course and for being in business for yourself (as long as you can handle the oral and written communications).
Bottom line, we offer the courses we do because our experience tells us that they are the best - we could earn 10 times what we do if we opted to sell the $8K+ program (and believe me they would love to get exposure to our 53,000 monthly visitors) but quite frankly, I would rather lose that 5% of income and not replace it with anything if their program was the only choice available. That would free up more time for me to spend with our rapidly growing grand child.
That is it for my 100th post to this blog - I hope you have found it to be both helpful and enlightening, comments, criticisms are "always" welcome (you do have to register with blogger.com to comment, however).
Thanks for visiting and taking the time to read what I hope is one of, if not the most, thought provoking post since we began this blog.