Export Action Plan – Frequently Asked Questions
The Open to Export Action Plan is a simple step-by-step online planning tool which asks you to complete tasks and set actions, helping you to establish what you need to know and do to start selling overseas.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve had about it.
Who’s it for?
The Export Action Plan is for small businesses investigating exporting for the first time or planning to export to a new country. Companies entering the competition need to be new exporters – or looking to use the plan for new markets – with fewer than 50 employees.
What does it cost?
It is FREE to do – all you need to do is register to use it.
How do I register?
When starting your Export Action Plan you will be asked to login or register as an Open to Export user. If you already have an Open to Export account, you can start your Action Plan immediately.
How long will it take?
The Export Action Plan can take as long as you need.
We do encourage you to consider properly the prompts and resources carefully and to think through your answers and actions. You will gain more from the tool if you really think about the details and ramifications of exporting in each section.
Can I save my action plan?
Your plan automatically saves as you go along, allowing you to take breaks, go away to research your answers, and return to the plan at a later time or even date.
In the tool, you will also be able to see the latest time at which your plan has been most recently and automatically saved.
One thing to note is that you will be logged out of the tool if you have been inactive within it for an hour. Your latest responses will, however, have been saved.
Who can see my Action Plan?
Your Action Plan is private and can only be accessed by your account. Only if you share your PDF report or submit your completed Action Plan report to our competition will anyone else be able to view it.
Can I share it
You can share it by generating a PDF report of your report which you can then send to your adviser – by email or in paper form.
How do I generate the report?
At the end of the section, when you complete your actions, you will see a button saying ‘Generate your Action Plan’. Click this and a PDF version of your report will be downloaded to your computer – but only once you have completed all the sections.
You can complete the sections in any order but you can only generate a report once you have completed all the sections.
What happens if something goes wrong?
If for any reason you experience any technical difficulties, please email email@example.com and we will help resolve any issues you have as quickly as possible. If possible, please send us a phone number with which we can contact you to talk through the issue you are encountering.
What do I do if I struggle to complete a section?
If you are finding it difficult to complete a question because it is hard to understand or you don’t have the ability or resource needed to answer it properly, try asking the experts through the Institute of Export & international Trade’s helpline.
You can also sign up to the Institute’s New Exporter‘s package for guidance and bespoke market research while completing your plan.
What do I do next?
We advise you to take your Export Action Plan to your trade adviser to discuss further how you can implement your plan.
You can also sign up to the Institute of Export & International Trade for advice about how you can implement your plans and to gain the skills of trade through training and qualifications: export.org.uk
Finalists in the competition gain a year’s free small business membership.