Page Loading

How to create an export plan

Looking to export from Scotland? Before you get started, you’ll need an export plan. It will help make sure you’ve thought everything through, and can be a useful tool to show banks, partners and investors that you’re serious.

We've created an export plan template to help you get started. Using this template will ensure you're answering all the right questions and establishing your own abilities to export, before you create a formal plan to share with stakeholders or investors.

The detailed guidance on this page matches the different export plan details in the template.

What to include in your export plan

Clear objectives

Your export plan introduction should clearly and concisely:

  • Set out your decision and reasons for moving into export markets
  • Outline your strategic export objectives for your business
  • Explain how exporting to international markets fits with your overall business plan
  • Assess your company's capability

Which products/services do you intend to export?

  • Do these products or services require any modification for your target markets?
  • What export capability do you need to have in place – staff, resources and capacity?
  • What protection do you need to have in place – IP, insurance, terms and conditions for export markets?
  • What is your export market proposition?

Find out more about preparing to export 

Target markets

  • Which markets do you intend to target and why?
  • What are your priority target markets – country/customer/market sector profile?

Read our guide on finding the right market 

Market research

  • What export market research information do you require?
  • How will you conduct this research – criteria, cost and timescales?
  • How will you use this research in your export planning and development?

Get free market research reports 

Marketing and sales

  • What are your marketing and sales targets for each market?
  • What routes to market do you intend to use?
  • If you intend to use in-market partners, how will you select, appoint and manage them?
  • What marketing material or preparation do you need, including your website and social media?
  • Do you intend to visit the market, or exhibitions or trade shows in-market?

Export operations

  • How will you fulfil and deliver your export orders?
  • What export documentation or certification do you need to have in place?
  • What insurance do you need?

Read our guide to exporting logistics 

Read our guide to finding routes to international markets 

Export budget and pricing

You'll need to:

  • Set out the budget and costs required for each area
  • Determine your export pricing strategy
  • Set out your terms of payment and anticipated export cash flow
  • Consider any external export finance required

Read our guides to getting your pricing right and managing your export budget

Risk analysis

What are the key risks associated with exporting, and how will you manage these?

Find out more about risk management 

Management and monitoring

  • Who will be responsible for managing your export development and how?
  • At what points during the year will you review your progress against the plan –for example, monthly or quarterly?

Learn how to lead a successful international team 

Forward planning

  • What are your long-term objectives for your export development?
  • What are your next steps for each export market in year two?

Contact us

Want to speak to someone about getting started with exporting? We're here to help.