Planning is the first step in any business endeavour and the same holds true even for the import-export business. As an entrepreneur who wishes to set up an export business, you probably have many ideas swirling around in your head. It is essential to jot them down and analyze them in terms of real-time factors that will affect your business. Thus, an outline or a business plan is the obvious first step. Through this article, we will guide you on how to build a competitive export-ready business plan for your export business.
First and foremost, you must research what kind of product are you looking to build. What is your innovation and how can you actualize it or better it? These are some important questions for you to ascertain before you move forward. You should research and find if manufacturing your product is feasible, if it is competitive in nature or if it satisfies any utility (categorization of your product) etc. and what are the best avenues in terms of materializing your product idea into reality.
Once you have finalized your product or innovation, the next step is to conduct in-depth research on the market you wish to export your product. You should find out if or not the market is conducive to imported products, what are the general customer trends followed by consumers in the given market, what is the supply-demand ratio etc.
An export business, entering new markets requires ascertaining what competition it will face. As other businesses are local and established, they tend to have an advantage over price and customer loyalty. Thus, it can get difficult to break into markets with exported products as the very fundamental factor which is the pricing of exported products tends to be higher. In such a scenario, you need to find out what your competitive edge would be and how your export business would efficiently deal with the competition.
The next obvious step is employing an expert to ensure the mandated regulatory compliance. You can, of course, do your homework but it is always better to seek assistance from a legal expert when it comes to regulatory compliance. Every nation has its own laws and whether your product and export business check the boxes under it is a serious question. You would not want to get into such trouble due to non-compliance on your part as it not only attracts business loss but also punitive legal action in many countries.
Design and Development Plan
After completing the four fundamental pillars, you should invest your time and effort in devising a design and development plan for your export business. What are your business goals? What is your product development goal? How are you planning to execute the same? etc. are the pivotal questions you need to answer. Ideally, a design and development plan comprises product review, product distribution, production, and manufacturing schedule details etc.
Financing Your Business
Business financing is one of the core activities of setting up a business and thus it is essential for you to jot down your financial resources and avenues for funding your export business. There are many ways to go about funding your export business, but you must pre-determine the option that is the most suitable and affordable for you. Can you afford to invest fully out of your own pocket, or do you require investors or perhaps a conventional bank loan? Which of the DGFT Consultants can you choose to reduce your business cost? These are some of the basic questions that you must answer in your export business plan.
Another important aspect that is often overlooked is the risk management of new businesses. It is essential for you to employ the assistance of experts who will assess risk factors and advise you accordingly. This way you can ensure that you take the right risks for your export business and don’t fall in over your head. It is a preventive practice as prevention is always better than cure.
The world functions on marketing and advertising. No business in today’s day and age can be successful without effective marketing. Thus, as part of your business plan, you should analyze and look to test out different marketing strategies and chalk out the ones that you think will work out the best for your export business. Social media, marketing campaigns or the age-old media broadcasting of advertisements, are all accessible but it is important you select the most suitable option for you.
While you can devise and carry out your business plan on paper, the line between reality and theory can often be blurry. It is essential to do a final check and indulge in networking. Find out what the market actually has to offer for your export business, learn from other’s experiences and build a strong social network. Humans are social animals and this trait seeps into all aspects of life including business. A well-connected businessman is always better off than a lone wolf with an innovative idea.
Thus, if you follow the steps mentioned above, you will be able to build a competitive export-ready business plan for your export business.