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How to Create an Export Plan

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An export plan is a business plan for selling overseas. It should detail the decisions you’ve made based on your market research, your objectives and how you plan to achieve them.

A well structured plan will make sure you’ve thought about all the possibilities, chosen a logical path forward and set targets to keep you on track.

Your export plan is a tool to show banks, investors or partners that you’re serious and have realistic and achievable goals.

What to include in your export plan

Your export plan should include:

  • an explanation of why you want to export including the benefits
  • your product or service offering and what makes you different from the competition
  • your target markets and the reasons for choosing them
  • any changes you need to make to your product or service for the new market/s
  • how you intend to protect your intellectual property
  • how you’ll market your product
  • how you intend to resource your plan including staffing and finance
  • your operating model or route to market
  • operational information including transport, distribution, customs and licences
  • targets and how you will measure them

Export Savvy and Open to Export both have interactive step-by-step guides to help you create an export plan.

Risk prevention planning

You need to consider how your business will manage the risk of unethical and illegal practices within your organisation and throughout your supply chain such as:

  • corruption, bribery and fraud
  • human rights, child labour and modern slavery

Conducting business with integrity means you can mitigate the risk of criminal activity and build trust in order to reassure partners that you meet compliance standards. This can be supported by a rigorous corporate governance framework, policies and procedures including:

  • a code of conduct
  • due diligence
  • a whistleblowing mechanism
  • internal auditing
  • training

Companies or entities can seek assistance from risk analysts or lawyers in order to compile these documents.

Online resources include:

Department for International Trade

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