You need written approval before moving
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
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.