Having set your broad mission statement and outlined the interim budget that you require to evaluate and research export markets in order to prepare an export marketing plan, the next step is to obtain management’s approval of this vision and budget and for them to commit to the idea of exporting.

Lack of management commitment is the main reason for failure in exports

One of the major reasons why companies fail in exports is because the firm’s management only pay lip service to exports. For this reason it is essential that your export plan includes a statement (perhaps in the form of a memorandum) from the CEO or MD of the company committing the firm’s management team to these objectives. This statement need not be very long and would indicate:

  1. Why the company should be exporting (e.g. in order to expand sales given the limits of the local market or perhaps in order to become more internationally competitive, or even both)
  2. That management are committed to exports. In this statement, management should confirm the need to export and then indicate in a formal statement their support for the firm’s export endeavours.
  3. In this memorandum, management would also approve the budget that was specified under step 4 (or some other amount) and indicate in broad terms what the money is to be spent on.

This memorandum could serve as a preface to the export marketing plan. If this statement is not forthcoming, then the firm should consider dropping its export activities!