An export plan is a useful tool when you plan to export. It outlines how you plan to achieve your export objectives. It identifies your target market(s), export goals, necessary resources, and anticipated results. An export plan can be useful to secure funding from financial institutions and lending agencies.

An export plan should contain the following sections:

1. Introduction
  • Business history
  • Vision and mission statement
  • Purpose of the export plan
  • Organizational goals and objectives
  • International market goals
  • Short-and medium-term objectives for exporting
  • Location and facilities
2. Business Description
  • Ownership of the business
  • Organizational structure – management team, staffing
  • Degree of commitment by senior management
  • Business experience and expertise in exporting
3. Products
  • Product description
  • Key and/or unique features that distinguish your product/services from those in the target market
  • Any adaptation and redesign required for exporting
  • Production of products and services
  • Future products/services pipeline

4. Target Market Analysis
  • What is the political and economic environment of the target market?
  • Market size
  • Key market segments
  • Purchasing process and buying criteria
  • Description of industry participants
  • Market share held by imports
  • Tariff and non-tariff barriers
  • Industry trends and other market factors
  • Market outlook
5. Market Entry Strategies
  • What are your target market(s)?
  • Who are your key competitors?
  • Analysis of competitive position
  • What is your product positioning in the target market?
  • What is your pricing strategy?
  • How will you distribute your products?
  • How will you promote your products?
  • Will you work with any intermediaries and partners when entering the target market?
6. Regulatory and Logistical Issues
  • Intellectual property protection
  • Other regulatory issues
  • Modes of transportation and cargo insurance
  • Trade documentation
  • Use of trade service providers
7. Risk Factors
  • Are there any credit and currency risks?
  • What are the political risks in the target market?
  • What are the market risks in the target market?
8. Financial Plan
  • Revenues or sources of funding
  • Operating budget
  • Cost of sales
  • Marketing and promotion costs
  • Other expenses or expenditure