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Creating an international business plan, i.e., export plan, is important for defining your company's present status, internal goals and commitment, but is also required if you plan to seek export financing assistance. Preparing the plan in advance of making export loan requests from your bank can save time and money. Completing and analyzing an international business plan helps you anticipate future goals, assemble facts, identify constraints and create an action statement. It should also set forth specific objectives, an implementation timetable and milestones to gauge success.

This section will provide you with templates, resources, and tips you can leverage to write your plan. As you move through the other Main Topics sections, you will find useful information and resources to further develop your plan.

In this section, you will:

  • Conduct an “audit” of your company to determine how exporting will impact your operations.
  • Understand the key components of an effective, actionable export plan.
  • Have a clear idea of the information you need to collect and where you might find that information using the information provided here in Export Basics and from other sources.
  • Begin developing your export plan.

Tools & Resources

  • Preliminary considerations. Before writing your international sales plan, you should understand exactly what exporting will mean for your company; specifically, you should consider the Management Issues For Exporting, Approaches To Exporting, Distribution Channels, and other Important trade considerations that will impact your business . Just as no two companies are alike, there is no one-size-fits-all export plan. However, your export plan should be an extension of your overall business plan, if not infused completely into your business plan. You will address many of the same questions for your international sales strategies that you would for your domestic sales plan.
  • Outline for an Export Plan


  • Do you have immediate business issues you must resolve before moving forward with an international sales strategy?
  • Are your familiar with the key components of an effective export plan?
  • Are you prepared to begin developing your plan using the guidance provided in Outline for an Export Plan.

Stuck? Speak with a trade specialist at 800-USA-TRADE.

Go! Find additional information and resources to refine your plan.

Proceed to the next section, Identify Your Market.