I’ve been an investor in a number of very simple import, export style businesses over the past 15-20 years. Some of which have failed, but the majority of which have actually been very profitable for both myself and the business owners. The business models for this type of business is very simple, you simply source a product, white label this product, market it to your area (whether this be national, local or even global) and then make money from the increased sales price. Very simple business model, but also very profitable when done correctly.
Today I wanted to do a post about the future of these business models and the way I see this going in the next 10-15 years. This was brought to my attention by a friend of mine named Tom Buckland, he’s a digital marketer based in the UK who has a number of side businesses which are all essentially import/export businesses. He spoke to me about where the future of this is heading and I had to agree and add my points. So below is where I personally think this is going in the next decade, I hope you enjoy.
Micro channels are the way people are finding different things nowadays. When it was the 80/90s you had to know someone who knew someone else to get a specific item. And if you wanted that in bulk and at wholesale then you would have to have a huge warehouse to put it in and a member of staff to take care of it all.
Nowadays the barrier to entry has been removed. People are starting businesses with a few hundred bucks and building them into huge businesses that earn 6/7/8 figures a year, most of which is semi-passive. These micro channels are things like Amazon, Youtube, Google, Facebook & Ebay. They might not seem like solely shopping networks (except maybe Amazon/Ebay) but all of them are. Think about the last time you saw someone who you liked promote something on Youtube or Facebook, did you think of that product more highly than previously? Of course, because the trust is already there.
This is called influencer marketing, which brings me onto my next point.
Advertising is changing, FAST
Previously in the last 50 years if you wanted to advertise something you needed to have a lot of money and/or time and promote it in newspapers, Magazines or on TV. Nowadays if you have a website and a few social accounts you can use smart content marketing and a small budget for Google adwords, Facebook ads or even just pay someone to help rank your website in Google (SEO.) This has drastically reduced the cost of advertising and hence has made it easier for people to make their first million!
There are more millionaires in the world today than ever before and the reason is due to the ease of access of a.) Products – Which can be sourced from China in 30 days, and which can b.) be stored in a warehouse that you don’t own (aka Amazon FBA programme) and c.) Making it easier and giving you more money to utilise in new, smart, high return on investment advertising channels.