What is an Export Marketing Plan and How Can it Help Me Grow My Business?

By Debbie Lanford, CGBP, SBDC International Trade Consultant

Did you know that more than 95 percent of the world’s consumers are outside of the United States? And successful entrepreneurs understand that sustainable growth requires thinking beyond domestic boundaries. Exporting, often overlooked by some business owners, is a strategic move that can catapult a company to new heights

In this blog post, we will explore the compelling reasons why successful business owners should actively consider exporting as a key component of their growth strategy.


Diversification of Market Risks

One of the most significant advantages of exporting is the reduction of dependency on a single market. By diversifying your customer base across different countries, your business becomes less vulnerable to economic downturns, regulatory changes, or other unforeseen challenges in any one market. This risk mitigation strategy enhances the resilience of your business in the face of uncertainty.


Access to Untapped Markets

Exporting allows successful business owners to tap into new and emerging markets, providing access to a broader customer base hungry for innovative products and services. While your domestic market may be saturated or experiencing slow growth, international markets could present lucrative opportunities for expansion. Identifying and entering these markets early can give your business a competitive advantage.


Increased Revenue and Profit Potential

Expanding your business internationally can significantly boost your revenue and profit margins. A larger market size inherently means the potential for increased sales volume. Additionally, exporting can enable businesses to take advantage of currency exchange rates, cost differentials, and favorable tax regimes in target markets, ultimately contributing to enhanced profitability.


Competitive Edge through Innovation

Exporting forces businesses to adapt and innovate to meet the diverse needs and preferences of international customers. Exposure to different markets stimulates creativity and the development of products or services with global appeal. This newfound innovation not only strengthens your position in international markets but can also be leveraged to differentiate your brand in the domestic market.


Brand Recognition and Global Presence

Establishing a presence in international markets enhances your brand’s visibility and credibility. Being recognized as a global player instills confidence in both customers and partners, paving the way for strategic alliances and partnerships. This global presence not only opens doors to new opportunities but also bolsters the overall reputation of your business.


Government Incentives and Support

To enter global markets you need a plan because just as you wouldn’t travel on vacation to a foreign country without an itinerary, you wouldn’t want to waste time and money to enter a foreign market without the best information in hand to make the most informed decisions possible. You’ll save time, save money, and have more success when you know where to go, how to get there, and what you want to accomplish, all before you even start.


The SBDC at FGCU offers a unique program that can help develop a successful Export Market Plan (EMP) by connecting you to the best market research, analysis, and partners. This program is possible through the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) STEP grant as well as state-funded SelectFlorida Trade Grants that offer funding towards the development of an EMP as well as other grants to help explore new markets. More information can be found here: https://floridasbdc.org/step-grant/ or you can register to meet with a Certified Global Business Professional at the Florida SBDC at FGCU here: https://floridasbdc.org/request-for-consulting/


In a world where connectivity is at an all-time high, business owners must embrace exporting as an integral part of their growth strategy. The benefits extend beyond mere financial gains, encompassing risk mitigation, innovation, and the establishment of a resilient global presence. By recognizing the untapped potential of international markets, businesses can position themselves not just to survive but to thrive in the global economy.

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