Business Tools for Expanding Overseas — SBA's Export Business Planner Review

  • June 24th, 2011
  • Nelson James

If your small business is interested in expanding sales of good or services overseas, or starting to sell overseas, you may want to take a look at the new, free, online tools provided by the SBA. They were developed to help small businesses gauge their readiness for export, and develop a better export business plan. Creating jobs with exporting is one of the nation’s top priorities, and as a result, the SBA is committed to providing businesses the tools and export financing needed to do so successfully.

The exporting tools will help you plan for success when you are going international. The tool is called The Export Business Planner, and can be found on the SBA website at It is a downloadable PDF that offers a ready-made, customizable, easy to access document that can be used, referenced, and updated through the whole export process, and as your business grows.

This export business planner is broken down into useful chapters that are indexed and cross linked for convenient use. The chapters include:

  • Introduction to Exporting
  • Training and Counseling
  • Getting Started: Creating an Export Business Plan
  • Developing your Marketing plan
  • Financing your Export Venture
  • Accounting Worksheets: Costing, Financial Forecasting and Product Pricing
  • Utilizing Technology for successful Exporting
  • Your New Marketing Plan: Summary, Timeline
  • Updates, Transportation and Documentation

Here are some of the things it can do for small businesses:

  • Determine your export readiness
  • Help you find out where to get training and counseling
  • Provides worksheets for global market research
  • Helps you find information on financing options and providers
  • Helps you customize your export marketing plan
  • Gives you access to other resources specifically for exporters

The Export Business Planner is a great resource as it is a compilation of information, research, links to websites, videos, training, podcasts, industry information and statistics, as well as contact information for counseling resources such as SCORE and SBDCs. And, it also provides exporters a list of current SBA lenders, which is very useful for those who need financing.

About the Author

  • Nelson James


  1. Pls see the Export Assistance Centers throughout the US for inperson assistance to find the match for your export needs, ie partner, customers, distributor, etc.
    I have personally used the commercial specialist (s) overseas to assist me to “vet” a distributor and found the advise responsive and helpful through my local office.