It is essential to formulate your exporting strategy in a written document – the export plan

As with your export research report, you need to formulate your export strategies in a clear way, accompanied by a budget and time frame. This written document becomes your export plan. Within the plan will be outlined your export strategies. It is essential that you commit your thoughts to paper. Trying to run an export business off the top of your head, is sure to lead to failure. A written plan:

  • Is likely to bring clarity to your export actions, enabling you to explain how you link your planned actions to market and customer needs
  • It brings a degree of formality and seriousness to your export endeavours (if you aren’t serious enough to prepare a plan, you can’t be serious about exporting!)
  • Is more likely to be approved by management and encourage them to commit the necessary resources (capacity, financing, staff, etc.) to developing exports
  • Can be used at banks and other institutions to obtain finance
  • Provides a common frame of reference for all involved in the export activities of the firm (e.g. directors, production managers, finance managers, human resources, export staff, yourself, etc.)
  • Serves as a benchmark for measuring success
  • Is dynamic and can change to adapt to varying cicumstances

Preparing the export plan

The export plan, like the export reseach report, needs to be prepared as a formal report. The proposed outline of this report can be viewed here. The plan should be professional laid out and several copies made for distribution to all relevant parties (directors, managers of human resources, finance, production, etc., as well as to export staff). Support the content of the report with graphs, tables and photographs to enhance reading.

Presenting the export plan

If you are the owner of your own business, it is unlikely that you will need to present the report for approval, but you may want to present the report to obtain your staff’s support and to give them some direction as to where you hope to take your new export endeavours. In a larger company where you are in charge of exports, you may have to present the report to obtain management’s commitment and financial support. You may also need to present the report to your bank in order to obtain additional financing and so both the report and your presentation needs to be of a high standard. Whatever your position, a formal, written plan is key to the future success of your export endeavours.