Opportunities for SMEs

  • New Business Growth Service to offer export advice

    Posted 12/12/2014

    Last week, the Government announced the launch of the Business Growth Service, which incorporates the existing GrowthAccelerator and Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) programmes.

    It is hoped that the Business Growth Service will “make it easier for businesses with the potential, capability and capacity to improve and grow to access expert advice and support.”  The new service will also offer export advice, so this week , we take a look at what it means for local SMEs, particularly those interested in export.

    Read More…

    Posted in: Export, New markets, Opportunities for SMEs, Recent Developments

  • Women in Export – could you be next?

    Posted 03/12/2014

    It was revealed during Export Week last month that if SMEs led by women exported at the same rate as the average of small businesses, the number of exporters in the UK would rise by 100,000.

    According to statistics, the percentage of women-led businesses exporting was only 13% in 2012, compared with 19% for all SMEs.

    Is export a man’s world? No!!

    So what is it that makes women in business reluctant to branch out into overseas markets?

    It was suggested that some of the key barriers to women exporting include lack of access to finance, not having the mind-set to move into exports and not having the necessary business contacts and experience.

    A further perceived barrier could be cultural issues, but in fact none of these reasons should deter female SME owners or leaders from grasping the growth potential available to their business via export.

    Indeed, UKTI were keen during Export Week to highlight the fact that none of these factors need be an issue for entrepreneurs. They held a series of Women in International Business Forums with all-femael panel sessions with a view to breaking down these barriers and encouraging women to start exporting.

    There are, of course, already some very successful female entrepreneurs, many of whom are UKTI Export Champions, but there is plenty of scope for more women-led businesses to realise their export potential.

    Another key focus of Export Week was encouraging businesses already exporting to expand into new markets. If every current exporter in the UK achieved this, it would go a long way towards meeting the Government’s target to double exports to £1 trillion by 2020.

    So how can female entrepreneurs overcome the perceived barriers set out above? By linking with a partner company, like Kazopp, which already has experience and knowledge in country, the process of getting started in export can seem a lot less daunting. With already established contacts and business relationships, a partner can help to get products or services to market in the quickest time possible. This can save potential exporters months or years of research and groundwork, having to get to grips with local regulatory and tax requirements and other work that would otherwise be necessary to get started and which often puts business owners off pursuing growth in export markets.  With the right advice, companies can also avoid the prospect of making mistakes early in their export journey into a new country.

    If you like the idea of bringing your products or services straight to a vast new market, get in touch – we have nearly twenty years of experience of running and helping business in Kazakhstan with a vast array of contacts and advice to help your SME hit the ground running!


    Posted in: Export, New markets, Opportunities for SMEs, Recent Developments

  • Lack of contacts no barrier to export

    Posted 25/11/2014

    One of a number of surveys published to coincide with UKTI’s recent Export Week events across the UK highlighted that one of the main perceived barriers to small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) starting up exports is lack of contacts in foreign markets. But do SMEs really need to worry about this and by doing so, could they be missing out on a massive opportunity to see their business flourish?

    Read More…

    Posted in: Export, New markets, Opportunities for SMEs

  • It’s Export Week! Get on board!

    Posted 11/11/2014

    The UK GDP may be growing steadily as the economy gradually improves, construction and manufacturing are on the rise and unemployment falling, but export remains key to the continued recovery of the UK economy. The UK government is always keen to encourage businesses to either grow their business overseas or expand their export operations by looking to new markets. The Chancellor, George Osborne, has set a target of doubling the value of exports to £1 trillion by 2020. The Government aims to get 100,000 more companies exporting by then. Hence UKTI’s 6th Export Week which is happening this week all over the UK.

    Export Week – what’s it all about?

    Export Week sees UKTI hosting a range of free events around the country with the aim of encouraging companies, especially SMEs to make the most of their overseas potential, either by branching out into exporting for the first time or by adding more countries to their export portfolio.

    Information and advice on exporting…

    At seminars, networking events, workshops and via one-to-one meetings, businesses are able to obtain information and advice which will hopefully inspire them to give overseas markets a try.

    Each area has its own specific focus, for example, in the North West, the focus is on getting current exporters to reach out to one more market on the basis this could increase the area’s GDP by around £2 billion. In the South West, UKTI are calling upon women entrepreneurs and business owners to turn to international trade to boost their profits.

    ….for small businesses too!

    More often than not, it’s about encouraging small businesses that export is not just for the large corporates. UK Export Finance, which has been working in various forms for nearly 100 years to boost UK exports as a means of keeping the economy buoyant  is increasingly focusing upon helping small businesses to obtain financial support to enable them to tap into fast growing markets, such as Kazakhstan.

    We’ll be attending UKTI South West’s ExploreExport event in Bristol on Thursday 13th June, so if you’re planning on attending, look out for our MD, Graham Potts, who will be happy to talk to you about current opportunities for export to Kazakhstan. Alternatively, get in touch via our website.

    Why not get out there and give exports a try?!


    Posted in: Export, New markets, Opportunities for SMEs, Recent Developments

  • 10 Key Steps to Successful Exporting

    Posted 06/11/2014

    With UKTI’s 6th Export Week coming up next week, there was never a better time to get started in export. It’s well known that businesses that export are more profitable, more innovative and employ more people than those that don’t. Research also suggests that exporting companies see average growth of 30 % within two years of venturing to overseas markets. Follow our 10 Key Steps to Successful Exporting and get your business started in export!

    10 Key Steps to Successful Exporting:

    1. Review your export potential – if you are looking to expand your sales operation, are ready with the capacity to respond to increased demand and have nailed customer relations and communication, your business is likely to be in a strong position to make a success of exporting.
    2. Decide which countries you should focus on – research into new markets is key before you begin – is there a demand for your good/services at a price which will yield decent profit margins?
    3. Consider the competition – who would your main competitors be and how are they likely to react to your entry into the market?
    4. Formulate an export action plan – consider who your most profitable customers are now and look to find similar potential clients overseas, defining how you will enter the foreign market.
    5. Visit the market in advance to get a feel for the country and learn about business practice and customs – this can be vital in terms of sustaining valuable business relationships
    6. Decide upon a sales strategy – consider whether you will need a direct sales operation, presence in country or whether the services of an agent would be suitable and more profitable
    7. Consider how you will promote your products/services – will you need to adapt your offering or usual sales and marketing strategies to your target market
    8. Prepare to manage financial and payment issues and minimize risks – consider how you will monitor cash flow and avoid payment difficulties, whether letter of credit or insurance cover will be required.
    9. Make sure you’re on top of relevant Customs and tax rules and regulations – contact HM Revenue and Customs and the UK embassy of your chosen country for advice on the correct documentation and reporting requirements
    10. Transport and distribution – assess the options and select the best transport and distribution methods to suit your product and your budget.

    Does size matter?

    If you’re an SME owner, you may be thinking that the capital outlay and man hours involved in the above steps effectively puts you out of the market for exports – in fact, you couldn’t be more wrong! A significant percentage of exporters are small businesses who have found innovative ways of circumventing some of the steps outlined above to access new markets.

    Using specialist agents like Kazopp can dramatically reduce the cost and time involved in getting started in exports or beginning exports to a new country, so if you’re interested in opportunities in Kazakhstan, get in touch for a discussion as to how we might be able to help.


    Posted in: Export, New markets, Opportunities for SMEs