Planning for export success

Webinar posted by William Barns-Graham, on behalf of Open to Export

December 2015 Open to Export hosted the ‘Planning for Export Success – How to use our free tools and content to start selling overseas’ webinar with CEO Lesley Batchelor (also the Director General of the Institute of Export) speaking and answering questions.

The major talking points

The key takeaways from the webinar were the following:

  • Exporting is a process which requires careful thought and consideration. You need to plan for all the new costs and requirements that exporting incurs.
  • Support is out there from organisations like UKTI, bilateral chambers and trade associations, the British Chambers of Commerce, Enterprise Europe, the Intellectual Property Office and the Institute of Export among others. Check out our Useful Contacts page for more info.
  • The Export Action Plan is a tool created to help new exporters to get their thoughts onto paper, answering easy to understand questions and completing tasks before generating a PDF report summarising the next key steps to get started selling overseas.
  • The report is designed for you to use with your trade adviser – whether that’s your UKTI trade adviser, bank, FX bureau or internal team – to diagnose what needs to be done and where you need support to export successfully.

In the webinar, Lesley went on to give a demo of how to use the tool, going through each of the 5 sections of the tool – Getting started, Selecting a market, Reaching customers, Pricing and getting paid, Delivery and documentation.

She also showed how each question is accompanied by video guides, prompts and useful resources, allowing you to make the most of Open to Export’s free content to successfully use the tool to plan for export success.

You can read articles with further information and guidance for planning to sell internationally throughout our Getting Started section. To complete your Action Plan, go to

You can watch the video of the webinar below, and check out our Recent Webinars page to access all the Open to Export webinars giving practical guidance and answers to all your exporting concerns.

Questions and Answers

As usual, attendees gave some excellent questions to which the two experts gave informative answers. Here are the questions and the answers given to them (with the time they are addressed in brackets):

How do I know if I’m ready to submit my report? (28:32)

If you’ve completed and you’re happy with what you’re saying, submit it. If you realise you want to add something later, you can.

Do you have to consider selling on a case-by-case basis? (29:06)

Always try to consider each country on its own basis. If you’re selling in trading blocs, you may get more hooked up in more common standards. But we encourage you to research each country.

What are the best methods for contacting decision makers in other countries? (30:05)

It depends on the market in which you’re operating. UKTI do reports called an OMIS report which can be useful. Also search online for agents and distributors in each country. Trade associations can also help with contacts.

Is there a regional limitation on Open to Export’s support or does it address any international market? (31:28)

We are a UK-based organisation set up to help UK businesses and we’re happy to help you move into any new market.

Where can you find out whether you need an export license? (33:00)

UKTI has a website section about export licenses which is easy to access, and we also have content on it giving clear guidance on this.

Do I need answers to all the questions in the Action Plan and what do I do if I don’t have all the answers? (35:32)

If it’s not relevant to you, don’t worry. Just make sure you’ve been thorough in doing it and make sure there is something inserted into the answer box, even if it’s just ‘Not applicable’.

If you’re having difficulties doing the Action Plan, who should I contact? (36:45)

Either talk to the community of experts or contact us directly at

More detail