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You are here: Step 8: Preparing your export plan >Obtaining approval for your export plan  
Obtaining approval for your export plan

You need written approval before moving on

Before you can move on to implement your export strategy, you need formal approval of your export plan. It is not enough to to accept a verbal or implied approval. This will almost certainly lead to problems down the line. The best means of obtaining this approval is to present management or your board with a preprepared statement of approval which says that they have considered your export plan and hereby give their approval to the plan and agree to commit the resources outlined in your plan to the firm's export endeavours. The plan should also commit you to some action and should therefore indicate briefly (as a summary of what is in the actual plan) what you intend to achieve, by when, how much it will cost, when you you expect to achieve your first sale and by when you expect to recoup your investment in exports.

You may be required to revise the plan

If management are not prepared to approve the plan, then they should indicate what they want changed or agree to abandon the firm's export endeavours - you will not succeed without this approval! A reluctance to sign the approval document is already an indication of a reluctance on their part to move into exports. If they have valid comments or suggests or concerns, that's fine. Go back and revise your plan addressing these issues. The firm may not have the cash available to support your export endeavours and may first require to source external financing for the export venture. Or there may be other problems they foresee. Once you have addressed these, adjust the export plan accordingly. Indicate in a covering letter what you have done to address their concerns and what you have changed in the export plan itself. Again, seek their approval and ask them to sign the statement of approval. They may raise further issues, which, as long as they are reasonable , you may need to address. There may be a bit of backwards and forwards in terms of returning to revise the export plan and then going back to management to seek approval for it. After the third or fourth time, however, if you still haven't obtained approval, you may want to suggest to them that there are simply too many concerns or problems and that they should consider abandoning their export drive (notice I say 'their export drive' - you should from the start make this 'their' initiative; this will encourage them to take ownership, which you will need if you are to succeed).

I am the person that decides!

What do you do if you are the owner of the business; you have prepared the export plan yourself and theoretically, there is no further approval you need; you decide, after all. We nevertheless recommend that you prepare a short statement indicating your commitment to executing the export strategy as outlined in your documented export plan. This commitment needs to be documented as a short statement supporting the exectuion of the export strategy and should be made available for the relevant persons who will be involved in your export activities (e.g. production manager, finance manager, etc.) to see, so that they can prepare themselves and also commit themselves to the firm's export endeavours. Giving your written commitment to your export plan and making this known to others in the firm, simply re-enforces your seriousness to developing your export business.

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Step 8: more information

Step 8: Preparing your export plan
      .Synopsis of research already done
      .Revisiting an export SWOT analysis of the firm
      .Setting the export objectives of the firm
      .Preparing an export marketing strategy for your firm
      .Preparing an export budget for your firm
      .Outlining an implementation schedule for your export activities
      .Preparing and presenting your export plan

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More information on Step 8
Learning to export... The export process in 21 easy steps
Step 1: Considering exporting
Step 2:Current business viability
Step 3:Export readiness
Step 4:Broad mission statement and initial budget
Step 5:Confirming management's commitment to exports
Step 6: Undertaking an initial SWOT analysis of the firm
Step 7:Selecting and researching potential countries abroad
Step 8: Preparing and implementing your export plan
Step 9: Obtaining financing for your exports
Step 10: Managing your export risk
Step 11: Promoting the firm and its products abroad
Step 12: Negotiating and quoting in exports
Step 13: Revising your export costings and price
Step 14: Obtaining the export order
Step 15: Producing the goods
Step 16: Handling the export logistics
Step 17: Export documentation
Step 18: Providing follow-up support
Step 19: Getting paid
Step 20: Reviewing and improving the export process
Step 21: Export Management
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