Are you thinking about starting an import-export business? You’ll need to develop an import plan. Having an import plan gives you the opportunity to share your mission with your employees as well as your potential investment partners and keeps you on track to reach your company goals. The earlier you create your import plan, the better off you’ll be.
If you run a business that’s already successful domestically, you may want to think about how your business can benefit from importing as well. You’ll be able to make the transition seamlessly if you have a good import plan.
Here’s the problem: you probably have no idea where to start. That’s where a sample outline comes in. As you work through this outline, think about your own business. Ask yourself plenty of questions about your goals, products, and strategies. Eventually, you’ll be able to create the import plan that will set you up for success.
Remember, this outline is just a sample. That means you are completely free to modify it to suit your business. Hopefully, your wheels will start turning and your import plan will flow easily.
1. Executive summary
Start with an overview of your business, including your target market, your problem-solving strategies, and your financial goals. Incorporate a chart that shows predicted sales, gross margin, and profit.
List your top 3-5 goals as a company. They should be specific and measurable.
Example: Establish Bengali Spices as the number one importer of Indian spices in Atlanta.
Clarify your company’s mission. Briefly mention how you intend to leverage your team’s experience to carry out your mission.
Example: The mission of Bengali Spices is to provide imported spices to Atlanta stores. CEO Alisha Gupta will utilize her experience in the food retail industry as well as her connections in India to source quality spices that meet consumer demand.
c. Keys to success
List 3-5 keys to success that are crucial for your company. Think about what logistical and operational elements your company could not do without.
Example: Procuring spices that are not widely available in the Atlanta area in order to maintain the niche market sector.
2. Company summary
This section includes your history, management team, location, and legal structure.
a. Company ownership
Describe who owns the company along with their importing experience.
Example: Bengali Spices is owned by Stephanie Sanyal. With over 15 years of experience managing imports from India to the US, Stephanie is responsible for quality control and goods shipments.
b. Start-up summary
Specify all start-up costs as well as any investments you may have already secured.
Example: Legal – $3,000; Rent – $2,500; Utilities – $400; Customs duties – $300, etc.
c. Locations and facilities
Describe where your company will be located and delineate your supply chain.
Example: Bengali Spices will have a warehouse in the Chattahoochee industrial district of Atlanta. Items will be sourced from a supplier in Kolkata and shipped to the US via a freight forwarder.
Write some of the specific products you plan to import, including their brands if applicable.
Example: garam masala, cumin, turmeric, ground cardamom, saffron, asafetida, etc.
4. Market analysis summary
In this section, provide the main takeaways from your market analysis, including information about the population you will be serving as well as any competitors you may have. Include at least one graph that visually represents your market analysis.
a. Market segmentation
Make a chart showing your potential customers, growth, and compound annual growth rate (CAGR).
Potential Customers | Growth | CAGR
Supermarket chains 15% 19%
Local markets 20% 26%
b. Target market segment strategy
Clarify your marketing strategy for each market segment.
Example: For supermarket chains, Bengali Spices will offer bulk quantities of spices for a low price. For local markets, Bengali Spices will select a small group of popular spices that are likely to succeed in smaller stores.
c. Main competitors
List any competitors your company might have.
Example: Tasty Foods is the main competitor of Bengali Spices in Atlanta. Tasty Foods imports a broad spectrum of ethnic foods from all over the world but is unable to offer the variety of Indian spices that Bengali Spices intends to provide.
5. Management summary
Go into detail about your team members and their responsibilities. Outline the payroll distribution. Include any future hiring plans as well.
Example: As CEO, Alisha Gupta is responsible for marketing and operations management. Founder Stephanie Sanyal will focus on quality control and goods shipments. Bengali Spices will also have a supply chain manager and three delivery employees, as well as an executive assistant supervised by Alisha.
6. Financial plan
This section should be full of graphs, charts, and tables that denote your financial plan. Remember, it’s best to deliver financial information visually whenever possible.
Example: break-even analysis, monthly profit, yearly profit, projected cash flow, projected balance sheet, etc.
Is your company new to the import industry? Let us make things easier for you by handling the customs documentation and duties for your shipments. At BorderBuddy, we offer solutions for small, medium, and large enterprises. Give us a call today!