Developing an Export Plan

What is an Export Plan?

An export plan is your guideline for the development of your international business. It consists of the identification of markets, goals, activities, proposed ways of achieving objectives, required resources and expected results.

What is Involved in Developing an Export Plan?

Developing an export plan involves performing a variety of tasks including conducting market research, creating a marketing plan, deciding on market entry and service delivery methods, planning day-to-day operations and potential expansion activities, addressing the issues of export financing and insurance and setting targets and timelines.

Approaches to Developing an Export Plan

Export plans vary from company to company, service offering to service offering and country to country, particular those dealing with the export of services. The following is intended to serve as an outline of approaches that you may take towards creating a document that will guide you in your international business development activities.

State Objectives, Plan Approach and Assign Responsibility

Conduct Situation Analysis

To conduct a situation analysis, you may wish to address the following topics:

Rank Critical Success Factors and Issues

Critical success factors and issues, some of which will be revealed during the situation analysis, should be ranked in order of importance. As a general rule, the list should contain a maximum of twelve issues. Once the critical success factors and issues are prioritized, search for options for dealing with each as this will be a crucial element of your international business development strategy. You may wish to seek help from a variety of sources such as:

Questions Answered by the Export Plan

As you move towards developing the Export Plan, keep in mind that its contents should be able to provide answers to the following type of questions:

Drafting the Export Plan

Once you have performed many of the activities in the previous sections, you are ready to draft your Export Plan as per the outline in the Export Plan icon in this module.


Researching an Export Plan

Links to important sources on the web are contained in the section Useful Links on the BAIM 500 home page. In addition to these web sources, here is a list of useful "conventional" sources in regard to individual countries. You will find most of them in the David Lam library.

The Economist Intelligence Unit: Country Report (country).
Provides information about population, labour supply, political and economic structures (GDP, inflation, exchange rates, etc.), economic policy, financial news, business news, economic conditions and development in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, energy and communications, foreign trade and payment.

The Economist. Weekly magazine published in London/England.
Provides coverage of political and business events around the globe. In particular, the surverys published by The Economist are often excellent starting points for country research. I have a good many of theses surveys in my office. You are welcome to borrow and photocopy them.

Price-Waterhouse: Doing Business in (continent).
Commercial law in Australia, North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Central America, and New Zealand.

Price-Waterhouse: Doing Business in (country).
Provides data about business enterprises, multinational enterprises in developing countries, business and commercial law, foreign trade regulations, foreign economic relations, economic policy, international trade, and taxation.

IMD & The World Economic Forum: The World Competitiveness Report
Latest issue available in the Humanities/Social Sciences Division Staff Area in the main library. ISBN 2-88149-015-8. Call Number HF 1414 W67.

The World Bank: Trends in Developing Economics (Extract) (1993).
Brief introduction of each developing country, including key ratios, GDP, prices and government finance, population, labour force, trade and balance of payment, external debt.

The World Bank: Social Indicators of Development (1995).
Provides poverty and underlying economic indicators of developing countries, such as Priority Poverty Indicators, GDP, GNP per capita, human resources, natural resources, income, expenditure, investment in human capital, and other demographic data (sex ratio, birth and death rates, etc.)

Global Economic Prospects and the Developing Countries.
Focusing on the role of external finance in development, the new pattern of the external finance in the 1990s, the consequences of increased financial integration of developing countries with global capital markets, the bnefits of foreign direct investment, the sustainability and volatility of portfolio flows, and imbalance between slow growth in aid and flows and fast growth in the number of claims eligible for aid.