I believe many foreign trade newbie has a habit: spending most of day on internet forum in the name of learning others’ experiences. That is true. You could have a lot to learn on internet forum like ecommerce basic information and payment processing related things. But many others may have gotten addicted to surf on message board. They could spend most of day on other people’s replies.
In my personal view, surfing on message board should be targeted and the time on reviewing replies controlled on limited time range. For example, we encounter price quote problems today, we google to find out how to report price of FOB, CIF, CNF, and the method of calculating export rebate. We can find many answers online. When you obtain the method, please give a polite reply to administrator to show your encouragement. Then leave the forum and do your work.
When I am newbie, I love spending my time on a lot of message boards which includes may areas. And I am more than happy to chat with online friends. However there are few clients I could find. It is not necessary to try to find friends there.
Regarding client reception. We are all clear that we go directly to factory. The factory in good cooperation relationship with us may simply send a car to pick up the client. When you are SOHO, the rate of getting in touch with client is less. If you cannot handle this part, a good advice for you is talk to your client beforehand and have meet with client in the hotel they stay. Many clients are glad to see suppliers.