In our last post, we explored the subject of getting clear on the goal of what you are intending to get out of the import project that you are contemplating. In this post, we will explore the next steps in that process.

Assessing Your Situation
Coupled with the goal, there are two other lists that give a good indication to get us to where we need to be in terms of having a clear idea of what to import:

The strong points list
Taking into consideration what it will to take to make the goal possible and achievable within the time frame, make a list of three columns with the following headings:
– Qualities: What character traits do you and your team possess? (Tenacity, Loyalty, Reliable, etc.)
– Abilities: What skills and abilities do you and your team have? (Creativity, Communication, Engineering, etc.)
– Assets: What assets are available to you and your team? (Capital, Property, Networks, etc.)

This is a quick draft. As we get into the actual product there may be other points to jot down on this list.

The shortcomings list
On a separate page, make two columns. In the first column list your own and your team’s shortcomings that will make it difficult or impossible to achieve the goal you’ve set. In the second column, next to each difficulty (or on a new page) write down a plan of action in being able to strengthen each weakness, or overcome each obstacle that you noted down as difficulties.

With this measure of self-reflection done, you may have a better idea of where you are and where you want to get to regarding this “import” project and it’s time to get into looking into the market.

It Begins With Love
Looking at the market place for a good product or service begins with where you are. The best ideas that get us to where we desire to be are often right under our noses.

Start with looking into something that you love. It doesn’t have to be something that you love doing. Those things that you are interested in will have the tendency to be beneficial to you even if you do not make money off it, initially. And that type of interest has a tendency to bring about creative ways of looking at the market which can open the door to finding a good market, or good opportunity or even inventing or innovating a new product that does not yet exist. Keep your eyes focused on the goal you’re after and be open to flashes of inspiration that come to you intuitively, through a “gut feeling”; or a vision or a gentle whisper in your mind. Being involved with things that you like being around will also keep you sticking to it when the business goes through quiet patches.

A Personal Example
As an example, I had studied complementary medicine many years ago because it was something that truly resonated with me. When looking for a new product range to import, I began the process looking into anything in my life that I was interested in. That can be difficult if you have a good interest in life and living in general since almost anything worthwhile is likely to prove interesting. What I discovered were some products that a colleague of mine in another country was marketing and selling successfully in Asia. It was a range of natural supplements that were not available in the market that I am in.

A Famous Example
Steve Jobs had a love for music but disliked using the “Walkman” (a product that existed in the 1980s as a means to play music using cassette tapes). As he explored what he loved he found that there was an area of displeasure he experienced in having a bulky and complicated Walkman to carry around when wanted to listen to music as he walked. As the years passed he had heard of and made contact with a young man in the East who had developed the early version of an MP3 player. Steve made a trip to see this young man, made him an offer and purchased the technology. Apple went on to improve the product using its own expertise in the field of electronics and created the iPod – a huge international success that turned Apple around dramatically, financially.

Now that we have these lists in place it’s time to move on to the next step in the process. This is going to get exciting, so hang on and join me in the next post.