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How Does Export Canvas Work?

With the Export Business Model Canvas you will make a first attempt to create an export plan. Research, a report and eventually everything summarized on one piece of A4 paper. You will have your new export opportunities written down clearly with the help of 12 building blocks.

It will make you aware of the export ambitions of your company. Clear questions eventually create a good representation of e.g.: your export revenue model, export vision, added value, customers and business partners.

The Export Canvas is based on the Business Model Canvas, parts of a Lean Start-Up, Six Sigma, Blue Ocean, and a heavy dose of export sales, international marketing and experience abroad.

Export Advice
The Export Business Model Canvas
Export Vision in one sentence | Export Business Model Canvas

The Export Canvas

The Export Canvas is based on the 9 segments of the Business Model Canvas (BMC-Model) plus Lean Start-Up elements. Add Six Sigma to this equation and create your own export Blue Ocean abroad. Starting to export seems like starting a business and expanding your export essentially is an internal start-up. Do you want to change direction? Then you are speaking of a re-start-up. In total the Export Canvas exists of 12 different building blocks.


It covers every aspect of your company, both internal and external: organization, value propositions, customers, suppliers, costs and revenues. With the canvas model you will look at the strong and weak points within your organization, but also to the product itself and to the wished of your customers. Lastly, together we will create an image of the export ambitions of the entrepreneur.

1. Problem – Customer Problem Awareness

Your customers will probably have several different issues that they run into. But how aware are they of these problems. Do they know how to deal with these problems? Do they even know that they have these problems? From the first step of the Export Business Model Canvas it is all about the people. Instead of immediately solving these problems we will help you think about the fact of your customer problem awareness. Auto manufacturer Henry Ford once said: ‘When I ask my customers what they would have wanted, they would have said: a faster horse.’ Steve Jobs said: ‘Often people do not know what they want until you show it to them.’ With this step we will help you figure out the problems that your customers face.


2. Solution – What problem are you going to solve?

What will you team do exactly, and in which country, to make sure that the export business model will actually work in the future? Here it is all about the most important business activities. Are your core activities suitable for exporting? They are, just like the key resources, necessary to earn money with your value proposition, to maintain your client relationships and to reach your markets.

3. Unique International Value Proposition – What do you offer what others don’t?

The value proposition is the reason why clients choose  your company. With complex products and services it will become more important to show added value before a client will purchase the product of service. A good value proposition is not only indispensable but can also differ per country. What is your Export Blue Ocean?

4. Competitive Advantage – How’s your business better?

How do you create a competitive advantage? By providing lower prices for the same products (cost leadership), by offering a better or more attractive product (product differentiation) or by focusing on a certain niche. With 1 click of your mouse you will find an alternative. Is it possible to duplicate what you are doing abroad?

5. Buyer Persona’s – Who are your perfect clients?

Sales and marketing are important pillars under your export plan. Which different groups of customers do you want to reach with your company in another country? What is the Export Buyer Persona? Choose which way you want to have contact with your client and what the clients expects from you. This can differ per customer group. From fully automated to face-to-face contact. An Export Journey just for your company.

6. Export KPI’s – Measure what and how?

Your Key Resources are the most important tools and resources that are necessary to let your business model work. But how are you going to measure this? Key Performance Indicators are variables to analyze the performances of a business, brand of product. KPI’s are used to generally objectively measure the success of an export plan.

7. Channels & Countries – Where can you buy what?

Channels play an important role in how your client experiences your company. You will reach your client groups via the communication-, distributing-, and sales channels to deliver your value proposition. Do you choose for a country-for-country roll-out or do you directly select groups based on language and culture? Which network do you need for a warm introduction to local partners.

8. Cost Structures – Basic Costs / Export Costs

With a good thought out export plan there is a cost analysis. Are you aware what you require financially? Are your most important resources, core activities and partners clearly defined? And which price are you going to charge in which country? From Lean Six Sigma the cost-benefit analysis is a tool to get clear insights to the future costs and the expected yields.

9. Revenue Streams – Pricing? / Investors? / Subsidy?

Who is going to pay you what? With which currency’s will you be dealing? Each customer segment can generate one or more revenue streams. For example by sales, rent, service or partner deals. At the end you will be dealing with creditworthiness, payment security, default or refusal of delivered goods. Market prices or transport costs: include it all in your Export Canvas.

Lean Start-Up

The Export Canvas will also contain parts of a Lean Start-Up. With a Lean Start-Up the process of innovation will be central: continuous learning and innovation based on facts (science). It is a way of helping you learn how to form an organization around a product. Not the organizing of a production process, but the organization around the entire process of innovation.

10. Foreign Alternatives

Have you thought of exponential growth through directly collaborating abroad? Or are there already other versions of your idea available? There are different reasons to collaborate with others. Choose the right partners to achieve your goals quicker. A market scout or partner search can help you with this.

11. High Concept Pitch

Summarize your export vision in one sentence. Preferably in only three words. Will you manage to write a floating pitch for the different buyer persona’s that you are going to serve. And what about the difference between internal and external pitching? Of course all in the different language in which you are wanting to do business. So ‘Keep it short’!

12. Early Adopters

Eventually making plans is nice, but do you already have a few clients? Can you already show a testimonial? Is there already a user case to share? What will you put in your white paper? Is there a Launching Export Customer that can help you to get your feet on the ground in that country? Because eventually you want to expand to the Early Majority.

An Export Canvas is not meant to keep safe in a drawer in your desk. Together with an Export Canvas coach you will translate it into concrete action points. That’s how your export plan becomes a success.


You are not alone!
An experienced Export Coach will give you for guidance for a couple weeks
and help you setup your the Export Canvas step-by-step

You will always start with an intake at your company. Through this you can get acquainted with your coach and the first questions will be answered immediately. Eventually you will have filled in your own personal Export Canvas. A blueprint for your export ambitions and export plan.

Export Canvas makes things Clear!

The Export Canvas is created to give practical advice to MKB companies with little experience with exporting.

The Export Canvas consist of 12 blocks. Naturally we will make use of an online environment in which all subjects and chapters will come together.

At the end of the coaching trajectory it is nice to have a clear overview of the conversations you had with your coach and answers to your questions. The steps of the export plan are also going to be discussed. A few main subjects will be discussed in greater detail. In short, everything that you want to organize and later, as a reference book, can catch up on easily.

Eventually you will have a report and a summary on one A4: the Export Canvas.

Vraag vandaag nog een voucher voor individuele coaching aan ter waarde van €2.500.
Met het Incompanytraining Traject van de SIB coachingsvoucher krijg je in slechts 5 dagen helder wat je kansen zijn als je gaat exporteren naar het buitenland.

Gebaseerd op het Business Model Canvas by  Strategyzer.com

  • 20 hours Coaching
  • Online LMS
  • Reporting
  • Export Canvas ®
  • 1-on-1 Advice
  • Certified Coach

Complete Package

€ 2500.00

  • Value Proposition
  • Export Innovation
  • Digital Export
  • Export Canvas ®
  • Hit by Covid
  • Chain Analysis

Starting at

€ 699,00

  • Video Teacher
  • Experienced consultant
  • Country strategy
  • Export Canvas ®
  • Local Trading Expertise
  • Online LMS included

Starting at

€ 249,00