As with many other aspects of business, the key to success in international trade and investment is careful preparation and planning. It is possible to gain some export business without any real planning but, assuming you want to develop worthwhile and profitable export business as part of your overall business growth, then it is better that you ensure you are in control rather than leave your future in the lap of the gods.
Planning is about knowing where you want to get to, examining your options and deciding on the most appropriate route to get there, considering the problems you might encounter on the way and how you will deal with them, then determining what needs to be done, when and by whom. Few plans, if any, are absolutely right first time. Unforeseen problems can occur, or some piece of information is found to have been misleading, or an assumption turns out to have been a little wide of the mark. Therefore, monitoring and reviewing of progress needs to be part of the planning process to make sure you can spot the problems early and make whatever adjustments are necessary to keep heading in the right direction.