Need an export plan?

Already running a successful business in Scotland? Why not build on that success in the world's largest single market, the EU. If you've not yet created an action plan to enter EU markets, we'll equip you with the know-how and support to make the most of opportunities.

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?
  • Which protection do you need to have in place – IP, insurance, terms and conditions for export markets?
  • What is your export market proposition?

Target markets

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

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?

Marketing and sales

  • What are your marketing and sales targets for each selected 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/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/certification do you require in place?
  • What insurance have you in place?

Export budget

  • Set out the budget and costs required for each of the above areas
  • Your export pricing strategy
  • Your terms of payment and anticipated export cash flow
  • Any external export finance required

Risk analysis

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

Management and monitoring

  • How and who will be responsible for managing your export development?
  • At what points over the year will you review progress against plan (monthly/quarterly)?

Forward planning

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

How to prepare your export plan

Read our step-by-step guides to selling into EU markets to help get your export planning underway.

Why trade with the European Union?

The benefits of trading with other EU members and Brexit implications for your business.

Get ready to export

Learn how to prepare your business for EU trade and ways to manage risk.

Find the right market

Find which EU markets are right for you with our free research service, handy guides and tips.

Routes to market

How can you sell direct, export through local agents or navigate online marketplaces? We'll help.

Visit markets

Discover how to make the most of networking, EU trade shows and market visits.

Logistics

Learn how to get your goods to the EU, know the regulations and documentation required.

Get your pricing right

Gow to price your goods and services in the EU and navigate currency fluctuations.

Sales and marketing

Learn more about EU business culture, prospecting new leads and securing deals.

Selling online

Keep tabs on future trends in EU ecommerce and Europe's emarketing places.

What next?

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 overseas markets
  • Find the expertise and connections you need as well as the right route to market
  • Source funding to support your exports
  • Navigate the practicalities of export pricing, getting paid and logistics 
  • Visit potential markets, partners and customers

More about our free export advisory service

Group photo of the Export Advisory Service at Scottish Enterprise

Access a free online export plan template

For help with your export plan, talk to one of our export advisers who'll give you access to our free online export plan template and take you through the steps.