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Business plan, its importance for exports

Business plan, its importance for exports

The business plan it is the reference document for every internationalization strategy within each company, whatever the sector in which you operate.

It contains all the information on each step necessary to start an export journey, starting from the overview of your company and the feasibility analysis.

Expanding your sales activity outside national borders requires great attention, and a business plan allows you to always have at hand all the guidelines of the activities to be carried out to achieve the desired objectives.

There is no single model business plan, can be processed differently and contain different information, based on the needs of the single business. 

In any case, it's about a document that can be modified over time, because each strategy can undergo changes, for example in relation to situations that impact the market (see the crisis in the Suez Canal).

The information provided in this document, they will accompany every step aimed at penetrating the foreign market, allowing you to always have a clear vision of what needs to be done in the export process.

business plan

Business plan: what it contains and why it is important to do so

The editing of a business plan must be done when the strategy is developedinternationalization, and must be shared with the entire team involved in the project, so that everyone has an overall vision of the activities to be carried out. It includes objectives, strategies, sales, marketing and financial forecasts.

Let's take a closer look at the main features of this important document. 

What should include a business plan?

A business plan designed for export it will have to contain the following information:

Overview of the company and the products/services it intends to export

In this section all information relating to the company must be entered, such as the following:

  • shape legal
  • the type of goods sold and its sector
  • the general vision of the brand and company values
  • the possible presence of the company in the target country
  • the team structure 

 
Market analysis aimed at the countries in which the investment is directed 

In particular we refer to:

  • to the economic performance of the country
  • the demand for certain products in the country and the application sectors
  • to competition
  • to the customer base and their purchasing power

 
The market analysis must then capture the company's strengths and weaknesses, for example experience on foreign markets, the presence of certifications and/or patents on the products it intends to sell, the possibility of implementing partnerships in the short term period.

Definition of the operational strategy 

This section includes key elements that refer to all those activities that concern the achievement of the set objective, such as:

  • the preparation of the business model;
  • identification of the best location (e.g. warehouse identification)
  • there supply chains
  • logistics
  • pre/post sales services

 
Definition of the marketing strategy 

The marketing strategy, even in the digital field, must be focused on the target customers you are addressing.

Drawing inspiration from the sections of business plan which we talked about previously, will have to highlight the aspects that underline the qualities of the products and allow them to be distinguished from those of the competitors. The best communication channels must also be chosen, including social media, to best convey the brand's identity and its strength. 

Financial plan that foresees income and exit flows

A financial plan can contain more or less information, depending on the type of audience and objectives. Generally includes:

  • sales forecast
  • the income statement
  • the cash flow
  • capital budget 

 
Furthermore, it is advisable to include indices such as ROE, ROI, ROS, etc. which allow you to give a good idea of the return on investments made.

Objectives for the short, medium and long term

Finally, it is essential to include in the business plan the objectives that we aim to achieve within a given deadline. For example, you can indicate the objectives expected within 6 months from the start of the export activity, and those within 1 year and 2 years, and so on. In planning it is advisable not only to identify objectives, but also to schedule activities and milestones.

Simulations of unexpected events

To better deal with every type of situation, it is appropriate hypothesize the actions to be implemented in the event of worst-case events, which could impact sales in a negative way. Know what to do in a change of scenery sudden, allows the company to adopt appropriate strategies capable of supporting sudden changes in the market.

There is no set order in the list of points that we have exposed, some may indeed be eliminated if deemed non-essential. Other steps, however, can be explored in more detail, according to the needs of your business. 

importance of drawing up a business plan

Prepare a Business Plan, because we believe it is necessary to do so

Invest time and money in drafting a business plan may seem superfluous, but it can be a serious mistake not to take it into consideration.

Even if your company has already undertaken sales activities abroad, we suggest you do so as often as you intend to expand your business in the country where you are already present, or you want to penetrate the market of other nations. 

There are specific reasons that make it necessary: 

  • The business plan it is essential if your business wants to apply for financing and/or if you want open a branch abroad;
  • represents the business card when your company must interact with institutions and potential commercial partners in the country in which you wish to expand, in order to demonstrate that there is a valid and sustainable strategy in a suitable timeframe;
  • It allows you to always have the company's objectives at hand, with a clear outline that includes actions and investments. 

 

The support needed to draw up a business plan winning

Everyone can technically prepare a business plan, but the real challenge is to make it as realistic as possible and leave nothing to chance. Very often some aspects that are fundamental are overlooked  for the success of the company

The lack of certain information can compromise the project itself, and therefore the editorial staff of business plan requires specific analytical skills.

This is why it is important to rely on figures able to create a business plan that is complete in all its parts, and which exactly reflects the goals of your company. Octagona makes its skills and experience available to support you in this, if you wish to have information please contact us. 

 

 

 

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