Planning exports

Developing an export plan is the first step in preparing to export. An export plan is really an extension of your company's business plan. It enables you to evaluate the potential benefits and risks to your business, and describes the approach you will take to reach your international sales objectives.

The Step-by-Step Guide to Exporting prepared by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada can give you all the information you need about exporting, including export planning.

Developing your export plan

Begin creating your plan by asking yourself these questions:

  • Which countries are you targeting?
  • What opportunities exist in these markets?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • What is the basic customer profile in each country?
  • How will you market and distribute your products in each location?
  • Do you need to adapt your products to reach foreign markets?
  • Are there special challenges related to each market, such as cultural differences or government regulations?
  • How will you determine your export sales price?
  • What is the timeframe required to meet your objectives?
  • What human resources will you be allotting?
  • How will you reach your market: through distributors or an on-site sales team?
  • How will you evaluate your results and modify your plan accordingly?

For more information about developing an export plan and protecting your intellectual property:

Business Development Bank of Canada

Developing an Export Plan (The Business Link PDF)

Canadian Intellectual Property Office: Intellectual Property for Exporting Businesses
Learn more about intellectual property management as you prepare to export.