• Rising to the challenge

    Kazakhstan challenge

    Posted 27/04/2015

    It’s well known that supplies of easily extractable oil and gas around the world are running out, forcing oil exploration companies to look to more difficult sources. But could the challenge faced by today’s oil industry be tomorrow’s opportunity for UK SMEs?

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    Posted in: Export, Opportunities for SMEs

  • Why Kazakhstan?

    Pinpoint Kazakhstan on the map

    Posted 26/03/2015

    There are plenty of testimonials out there about how exports have not only transformed the growth of a business, but also secured its future. When you’re considering potential export markets, there are, of course, many factors to consider, but ultimately, it’s about where your products, services or new technologies will sell. Put aside all the practicalities of export for a moment (because in fact it could well be easier than you think!) and simply think about where your business could be in demand. And it’s not always in the most obvious places! Introducing Kazakhstan…

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    Posted in: Export, New markets

  • 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

  • Overcoming barriers to export

    Posted 23/09/2014


    A recent article in the ICAEW’s Economia magazine highlighted that one of the main blockers to businesses choosing to export to a foreign country was concern about difficulties understanding local culture. Overseas UK embassies often fall short when it comes to business expertise, even if such resource is available, so there can be little help on hand for companies struggling to adjust to local business practice and customs.

    But if businesses don’t find a way to bridge this gap, could they be missing out on some of the most lucrative export markets? Kazakhstan is a country the size of the whole of Western Europe, with a wealth of natural resources and in particular a flourishing oil and gas industry. The country plans to produce 83 million tons of oil, 41 billion cubic meters of gas, as well as to process 14.7 million tons of oil in 2014. These industries are huge and the potential to break into the market is not to be underestimated, particularly as Kazakh companies may not always have the necessary experience and knowledge for complex oil and gas sector services. And yet most British probably have little idea of local Kazakh culture, let alone business practice and procedure. Worse still, some may be influenced by fictional comedic characters of yesteryear which portray an inaccurate and misleading image.

    So how can UK SMEs overcome such issues and seize this opportunity, without having to commit time and money to detailed research and building business relationships from scratch?

    The simplest way is to link up with a company which already has the necessary experience and knowledge. With any luck, they will also have the contacts and business relationships to get your product or service to market in the quickest time possible. Moreover, it can save potential exporters perhaps months or years of research and groundwork in getting to grips with local regulatory and tax requirement and all that may be necessary to get started. With the right advice, companies can avoid the prospect of making mistakes early in their export journey into a new country, like Kazakhstan.

    Like the idea of bringing your products or services straight to a vast new market? If so, 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! Can you afford not to make contact with Kazopp?

    Posted in: Opportunities for SMEs

  • Could your SME hold the key?

    Posted 04/08/2014

    It’s a well known fact that much of the world’s easily accessible oil has now been exhausted. Whilst we are not about to run out of oil any time soon, the challenges for the future will be in finding ways to bring oil supplies which are not so accessible online.

    There is plenty of anecdotal evidence from oil/gas field projects, particularly the Kashagan field in western Kazakhstan as to operational difficulties and delays. That field alone is believed to contain 13 billion barrels of crude oil.

    Kashagan has suffered significant delays due to the presence of hydrogen sulphide and as a result of gas leaks discovered in the pipelines. There are also difficulties in managing the project due to extreme weather conditions – ice surrounds the oil field for lengthy periods throughout the year.

    Biggest Find in Decades Becomes $39 Billion Cautionary Tale

    The delays that such issues or mistakes cause are a major headache for the large oil companies – when something goes wrong, it costs a HUGE amount of capital.

    Might your SME hold the solution to the issues facing Kazakhstan’s oil industry?

    It will take a good degree of innovation and specialist skill to solve these issues and these are qualities often found in manufacturing SMEs. But how many are confident that they have the time and resources to consider exporting to an unfamiliar country like Kazakhstan, far from UK shores?

    And yet taking that step could be the big break most SME owners can only dream of.

    If your SME might hold the key to solving some of these issues, exporting to Kazakhstan could send your profits soaring. For advice and support which can make a real difference in easing the way to growth into this exciting market, contact us.

    Posted in: Opportunities for SMEs