written by | March 16, 2022

Tips to Make a Robust Export-Import Business Plan

Today, the interconnection between various countries and businesses is denser than ever, and this offers great flexibility to develop your import and export business

Whether it's about exporting your local Indian spices to South America or importing quality tech stuff from Japan and selling it locally, you need the basic resources, dedication, passion, and most importantly, in-depth planning. 

There may be many ideas buzzing in your head right now, but you'll dig your own grave if you do haste. The import-export business demands heavy investments most of the time, and nobody likes to face losses.

So, what's the solution?

Well,  let's start by coming up with a robust and perfect business plan.

Did you know? In 2019, India was the world's biggest exporter of diamonds,  jewellery and rice. 

What is an Import-Export Business Plan?

An import-export business plan offers a snapshot of your business and shows where it stands today. It shows your business's growth plan pathway for the upcoming five years. Your business plan includes strategies you'll need to implement to hit specific goals within a specific time range. There's a lot of market research in your business plan because that's the thing that will bridge the gap between yourself and your success.

Why is an Import-Export Business Plan Important?

No matter if you're standing at the starting line of the long import-export business journey or attempting to polish up your existing strategies, you need a perfect business plan. No import-export business can thrive without funds, and for these funds, a business plan plays the most important role. 

Growth won't come easy to you. Improving the chances of success may sometimes get very frustrating and time-consuming, and it can test your patience. A business plan will help you in better preparation. Consider updating your business plan annually with your company's growth. Also, try investing more for better returns.

Are you ready to write up your first import-export business plan? Well, we wish you write many of them in the upcoming years, but right now, it's time to add all ingredients of perfection to prepare your first one. 

Prepare yourself to answer these questions to develop a perfect business plan: 

  • Up to how many markets are you planning to widen your import-export reach?
  • How much deep knowledge do you have in your market?
  • Who can assist you throughout the plan implementation journey?
  • What will be your first-year profit?
  • How will you reach your target audience?
  • How many clients can you get in the first year?
  • Last but not least, how much funding will you need to begin your import-export journey?

Steps for Designing a Perfect Import Export Business Plan

Start With an Executive Summary

An executive summary is the main introduction to your import-export business. Ask yourself what you expect from your business, and write the same in the executive summary. You should have exact knowledge about your business path, and your vision needs to be very clear. As an executive, you'll have to keep in mind that no one in your team will be able to meet the level of passion you have for your own business. 

There are five main parts of your executive summary:

  • Your business concept: This should cover the product (s) you'll sell, who will be your target audience, and what makes you believe that your business plan will work.
  • Financial points: This should include your sales, cash flows, profits and return on investment
  • Required finances: This shows how much funds your import-export business needs and how you'll use those funds. 
  • Current business state: This should illustrate a brief hosting of your business. You can include basic data of your staff members.
  • Achievements: Adding this part is as vital as the four mentioned. This part includes important contracts, facility locations, test marketing, etc.

If you try to make your executive summary lengthy, it may look unpleasant. Just keep it short and sweet, and half a page is an ideal length. You'll get a chance to narrate the details in the remaining blank space of your business plan, where you can explain various components and stages of your import-export business plan in detail. 

Also Read: All About Import-Export Code (IEC) Number

Include a Business Description

Here, you need to describe what you're exporting or importing and your chances of success. 

Here are some major questions:

  • What enriches your business with profit?
  • Is your business new, or you've already established it?
  • How does the target market look now, and what are the potential changes in the future?
  • What sort of business is it (e.g., corporation, partnership)?
  • How will your business beat the competitors?
  • What are the product distribution's pros and cons?

Never miss out on insurance! No investor or lender wants to lose money and get funding from them, and you need to show them that you're responsible. Find a dependable insurance company and enrich your business description with your insurance details to generate that trust. 

The Next Step Is Market Analysis 

Market analysis can be tricky, exhausting, and sometimes even frustrating. Putting time into research always pays off. How knowledgeable are you in your market, and what boosts your confidence to participate in your market competition? You need to demonstrate the same in your market analysis. Just ensure it looks great by including the following points. 

  • Define the market: What is the size and trend in your market? What rules and regulations you'll have to follow, and what growth areas you can explore.
  • Explore the feasible market: Specifically, address which portion of your target Margaret is your business capable of capturing.
  • Estimate market share: Consider industry growth and the life cycle of whatever products you're selling. 
  • Figure out pricing: At what price will you sell your products, and what are the reasons behind that pricing? Also, note down how you will cover costs?
  • Put a light on your promotion strategy: How will you pack and advertise your products, and how much it may cost you.

Summarize a Competitive Analysis

You may have a great idea of your strengths and weaknesses, but at the very same time, you need to have the same idea about your competitors. Always put yourself in the buyer's shoes, and figure out what is dissatisfying you in the product you're selling. Are your competitors capable of overcoming those shortcomings, and if not, then you've certainly got a chance to dominate!

List down your top competitors, and organize all vital information in an easy-to-understand way.

You can clarify a few questions over there. These may include:

  • Is your advertising plan robust and dependable?
  • Are you selling at a lower price?
  • What are your chances of breaking into the new market?
  • Are you offering better quality?

Also Read: Top 10 Successful and Profitable Small Business Ideas in Kerala

Funding Sources for Import-Export Businesses

Most of the time, personal savings prove to be the primary funding source in the import-export business. Angel investors, bank loans and credit cards can help you in this department. Your business plan needs to reflect all confidence so that banks feel secure in funding you.

It’s Time for the Final Business Plan Now

There are 4P's in any solid marketing plan - Place, Product, Price and Promotion. Your import-export business plan should include the following: 

Place: From which place are you operating? Are you directly selling your products to customers online? Do you depend upon your contacts with wholesalers and retailers? 

Product: Mention what type of import-export company it is. Detail all products that you'll offer. For example, if you're selling microwave ovens today, will you also include air fryers in your selling stack?

Price: Document your product's pricing, and explain how you can tackle the competition at that price. Make easy-to-understand sections demonstrating products and prices side by side. 

Promotion: This should be the last section of your import-export business plan. Explain how you'll generate a customer base for your business and what exact promotion methods you'll adopt for it. Social media marketing, trade show exhibitions, newspaper advertising, etc., can be a few.


Invest good time in designing your import-export business plan because it's worth it. The template we mentioned above is perfect, and make sure you follow the same and do not add any extra spices to it. You'll have a deep understanding of your requirements, challenges and almost everything that will come in your way to success.

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Q: How Do I Export Without Inventory?


You don't always need an inventory to begin your export business. Many vendors and suppliers offer trade credit if your business isn't strong enough to finance inventory outright.

Q: Can I Get Bank Loans for My New Small-Scale Import-Export Business?


Banks won't hesitate to fund you if you have a strong import-export business plan.

Q: How Profitable Is an Import-Export Business?


There's no strict answer to this. It depends upon your product, pricing, resources, where you're exporting, demand in the market, etc

Q: Is It Possible to Start An Import Export Business From Home?


Why now?It depends upon the product, the investment you have, and a few other considerations.

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