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Get ready to export

Get ready to export

Your checklist

Make the decision to export and build it into your growth plans

Why export?

The decision to take your company into export markets should be part of your plans to grow your company. 

Exporting to markets beyond UK shores can bring many benefits, including opportunities to:

  • Grow your business faster
  • Achieve economies of scale in production and increase profitability
  • Reduce the risk of being dependent on your domestic market for sales

However, it's important that you manage the export process and remain in control of your exporting activity.

You need to be clear from the start how exporting fits with your company’s plans for growth.

Assess your capability to export

One of the first steps is to be clear what the demand and opportunity is for your product or service in your target market. It's also important to assess whether you have the necessary skills and resources in place to meet this demand. 

Is your company committed to developing the export opportunity? Do you have the necessary information and understanding of your sector abroad to prioritise and target the most promising markets for your company? 

There are practical considerations too. Do your company’s products or services need to be adapted or refined for new markets? Will you need to adapt the labelling of your product, or change your pricing model or service offering to meet different consumer expectations? Will the UK's changing status in Europe have an effect on how you export?

Create an export plan with clear objectives and milestones

A good export plan will both assess your company capability and what you need to put in place to start exporting successfully. It will also identify and clarify the specific export market opportunity for your company, and help you prioritise your next step.  

The plan should be clear on five things:

  • Your export objectives in your target market
  • Which markets offer the greatest opportunity for your products and services
  • How you intend to enter and develop these markets  
  • What resources you'll require
  • The milestones you need to meet to allow you to manage and control your export development

And the good news is, we can help you with all that. 

Manage the risks of export

Exporting is not without its risks. Your export plan should identify and allow you to manage any risks to your business, products or services. 

For example, assess the time commitment you will require to develop your chosen export markets. It's also vital to ensure you don’t neglect your existing domestic market customers. 

Plan for any additional costs you may incur. And take into account that payment for goods and services may take longer in international markets than it does at home, which could impact on your cash flow. 

If you're considering exporting into Europe, ensure that you also keep up-to-date with the implications and likely outcomes of Brexit.

Get the right support and advice

Doing business in new and unfamiliar markets might seem daunting at first, but there's plenty of support available. 

We can help you:

  • Get ready to sell overseas and create an export action plan
  • Research markets and choose the best ones for you
  • Understand any cultural differences when doing business in new international markets
  • Find the expertise and connections you need as well as the right route to market
  • Navigate the practicalities of export pricing, getting paid and logistics 
  • Visit potential markets, partners and customers

Upcoming events and webinars

Year-round, we host a wide range of free events and practical workshops to help boost your exports.

These cover a variety of export related topics, key markets and sectors to help you develop your export potential and promote your business in international markets. 

Recommended events:

  • Preparing to export workshops
  • Ecommerce and e-marketplace workshops
  • 'How to' webinars
  • Market insight seminars
  • Trade shows and market visits (now running virtually)
  • And much more

Search and book events

Contact us

Ask our experts about preparing an export plan.


All information provided on this web page is for general guidance only. The contents of this guide have been provided by our training partners, Upper Quartile. Upper Quartile is not affiliated with any of the third parties or listings represented on our website. Third party listings are drawn from public domain and industry body data sources. Due diligence on a given third party or listing remains the exclusive responsibility of the end user. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the details represented, Upper Quartile and Scottish Enterprise cannot endorse, recommend or accept responsibility for any transactions conducted between the user and a given third party or listing provided on this web page.