Do you want to start an export-import business but don’t know where to start?
Then welcome to our export-import business tutorial 101. The export business tutorial 101 is a series of short export business nugget where you get expert tips and advice on how to actually start and grow your export business.
If you rather prefer an hands on workshop, then I suggest you join our export business training where we share more information on how you can grow your export business.
Let get started.
Do you want to know what separates a successful business from other businesses?
I bet you don’t.
So Im going to tell you but first, let me tell the story of three fish who lived in a pond. One was named “Plan ahead”, another was “Think fast” and the third was called “Wait and see”. One day they heard a fisherman say he would be going to cast his net in their pond the next day.
“Plan ahead” said,” I am swimming down the river tonight”.
“Think fast” said, “I am sure I will come up with a plan”.
“Wait and See” lazily said,” I just can’t think about it now”.
When the fisherman cast his nets, “Plan ahead” was able to escape from his nets. But “Think fast” and “Wait and see” were caught by the fisherman.
“Think fast” quickly rolled his belly up and pretended to be dead. “Oh, this fish is no good!” said the fisherman and threw him safely back into the water. However, “Wait and see” ended up in the fish market.
That is why people say, “In times of danger, when the net is cast, plan ahead or plan to think fast!”
It is amazing that one would not build a house, construct a road etc without a plan, a drawing etc.
Yet, we often see people start up a business without solid business plan or preparation. They just hope that somehow everything will turn out right.
Therefore for you to become successful as a businessman especially if you are in the export business industry, you need a solid business plan.
What is an Export Business Plan?
A Business plan can be regarded as a document that states the plans of a business. It includes information on what your companies objectives are and how you intend to achieve them.
Why Do You Need A Business Plan for Your Export Business?
A formal business plan is just as important for an established business, whether small or big, as it is for a startup and if you are still wondering if you need a business plan for your export business, here are some few reminders:
- A business plan brings clarity to your business. It helps you focus on what you need to do and how to get there.
- It provides a reference points that you can use to develop over the next few years.
- What you can’t measure, you can’t improve. A good business plan gives you a benchmark against which you can measure and review the actual performance of your business.
PROCESS OF BUSINESS PLANNING
There are different approaches to business plan and there is no shortage of samples, templates and formats you can use.
The simplest way to get started with your business plan is to use the 3-steps process guide to coming up with a good business plan. That is what we will be using as I introduce you to writing your first business plan.
Step 1 – Create Your Big Picture Vision:
Some call this, ‘Creating your Marketing Plan’ and it is the really fun part; it’s where you get to let your imagination run away with you. You want to sit down somewhere quiet with a pad and pen (writing is much better for this exercise as you can let your ideas flow) and start to write! Write about what you want your business to look like, the type of clients you want to serve, the sort of products and programs you want to offer – in fact write down anything and everything that pops into your head about what you want your business and life to look like.
Important: You want to write your Big Picture Vision in the present tense, as if you already have that business and lifestyle you’re writing about. Use terms such as, “I have, I own, I run”.
Remember that every part of your should say “YES” when you read your Big Picture Vision out loud!
Step 2 – Take Inventory
The next part is to take a look at where you are now and where you want to go. What needs to change in order to take you from where you are now to where you want to be? Is it:
- More/less clients
- More/less billable hours
- Offering more programs/products
And then create a timeline for making these changes. Put down dates of when you want the changes to have been made by, and set about implementing!
This step is also called ‘Calculating your Sales Forecast’.
Step 3 – Plan Your Funnel
Now that you know what you want your business to look like and what you need to do to get there, start and map out your different income streams. The Product & Marketing Funnel is the perfect model for this exercise as it allows you to create different products/programs/services at different price points within your business. This way clients/customers can move from free (your e-zine and articles) to your paid info products, and eventually through to your high-end programs.
We just getting stump up. In the next series, we will look at an actual export business plan and there you will see all the components you need to actually create a business plan that can help you grow.