Time frames and schedules are key to
the successful implemention of export strategies
An important part of your export strategy
is setting the time frame for undertaking the various
marketing tasks you have set for yourself as part of the
strategy. Without an implementation schedule, your strategy
is endless and doomed to failure as you will inevitably
put off things for later. A schedule will force you to
do the tasks you have set for yourself by a certain date.
The schedule needs to be flexible and
Clearly, not every task will always be achievable
within the time frame you have set for yourself and there
may be many impediments and delays that you encounter.
For this reason, you should revisit your export plan regularly
revising both the strategy and the implementation shedule
with any new developments affecting your export activities
What should be in the schedule?
As every firm will face a different set
of export tasks, it is difficult to provide a generic
export schedule. However, we can suggest the following:
- When will your export strategy be read for implementation?
- Do you need to adapt your product, packaging and labelling
in any way and if so, how long will this take and by
when should it be ready?
- By when will your export price list be complete and
- By when do you need your export brochure/catalogue
or any other marketing material ready?
- By when will your website need to be ready for exports?
- When is the next suitable exhibition taking place
in your target market? Is this exhibition an annual
one and will you take place each year?
- When do you plan to go abroad again? Will you go abroad
once or twice each year? When is the most suitable time
to go abroad and will you link your travel abroad to
- When will you appoint an export assistant?
- By when do you expect to get your first order?
It is suggested that you work on a three-year
time frame. You should not be over confident of generating
export sales much before the end of the second year. Strive
towards obtaining your first order towards the latter
part of year two and generate further sales (a) from other
clients and (b) from your first client in year three.
Bear in mind that in countries such as Japan it may 5-10
years before you manage to pentrate this market. Set yourself
realistic time frames therefore!