I investigate the factors that influence firms’ order of entry into overseas markets. The existing literature identifies a range of firm and industry characteristics that influence the timing entry decision. I extend this research by developing a holistic conceptual model that explains how these factors interact to create conditions leading to first, second and late mover strategies. The paper argues that the factors combine to create strategic scenarios for each entry order. I undertake a four-step process to explain how managers may use this conceptual model to plan appropriate entry order decisions for each scenario. A key to the process is the ‘operationalisation’ of these factors through a measurement framework. By applying the measurement framework to a two-dimensional decision matrix, managers may be able to quantify the timing decision leading to more informed and confident overseas entry decisions.