Planning an overseas startup in the UK? Check out these tips!

The UK is a fantastic location for international startups and international expansion. Some of the reasons for this are:

– the rate of corporation tax in the UK is one of the lowest of all the G20 countries
– it’s quick and easy to register a new company in just 48 hours
– the labour force in the UK is the second largest in Europe
– the government provides support for entrepreneurs and startups

UK government support for entrepreneurs and startups

The Global Entrepreneur Programme run by the Department for International Trade can assist overseas entrepreneurs with launching startups and technology businesses in their early stages. Support is also available for startups looking to relocate their company to the UK.

All support is free of charge, and includes:

– advice and help developing business plans
– help with relocating to the UK
– investor introductions
– guidance on international growth
– mentoring from existing entrepreneurs
– assistance once the business is up and running

Qualifying for the Global Entrepreneur Programme

Applicants for the Global Entrepreneur Programme should be:

– existing overseas technology business or overseas entrepreneurs looking to start a business in the UK
– planning to set up the global headquarters of the business in the UK

Entrepreneurs can apply for a Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa to launch their business in the UK and will need to be in receipt of a minimum funding level of £50,000 from approved organisations. The Department for International Trade provides information on a variety of Seed Competitions which can help provide support and endorsement for Tier 1 Visa entry, and you can find more information on this on their website.

Setting up a business in the UK

Starting up a new business or expanding an existing tech business in the UK is an exciting venture for all entrepreneurs. But there are a number of legal requirements and procedures that need to be followed when starting up a company in the UK. It’s particularly important that you research employment law and financial regulations carefully before launching your company.

Goodwille provides a wide range of services to UK startups and can help smooth the way for any overseas expansion or business startup. Get in touch with us today for more information on how we can help you start up in the UK.

Why do startups fail in the first few years?

Surveys show that up to 50% of UK startups fail within five years of commencing in business. Typically startups fail because they run out of cash, but the reasons for this are more complex. The abilities of the entrepreneur or management team could be one factor leading to cash flow failure, other reasons include faulty business plans, slow growth or failure to expand in the correct manner, and entering the market at the wrong time.

Some reasons for the failure of startups

The entrepreneur, or business owner, is most critical to the success of any startup and will be the driving force for the business in its early days. So, it’s important for all entrepreneurs to understand just where their strengths lie and what weaknesses they possess, this way they can run the business by playing in line with their abilities.

The strength of the business operational team is the next more important factor in the success of any startup. Having a strong management team can help improve business plans and ideas, as once the company is up and running the abilities of team members will assist in honing operations and levels of success.

Original products or ideas are absolutely no guarantee of success in business; strong implementation is the key. Many of the best entrepreneurs actually start up their business utilising ideas and business models already in the marketplace. They just make small changes and improvements to streamline the business model and make it more successful.

What is vitally important, though, for any startup is that existing demand for products or services is in place. Many startups fail due to lack of demand, so researching the marketplace and consumer demand is essential prior to starting up in business.

Access to the market can also be a stumbling block for new businesses. This is a particular issue for B2B startups if their business relies upon a lengthy tendering procedure in order to obtain orders. Startups planning to sell to larger corporations and organisations could also fail within the first couple of years due to long sales pipelines, which can be anything up to two years.

Finally, sufficient financing to ensure healthy cash flow during the first couple of years is essential for any new business.

If you’re based overseas and planning a UK startup in any sector of business, get in touch with Goodwille for information about the professional business services we provide to startups.

Goodwille are co-hosting event in Oslo during Oslo Innovation Week

Oslo has been ranked the #1 city in the world in terms of quality of life and is one of the most business friendly cities in the world. The Norwegians are known to be digitally advanced and early adopters of new technology – because of this, the start-up scene is booming and Norwegian Tech is hotter than ever.

As part of Oslo Innovation Week 2018, Goodwille together with our friends at Escalon Services are co-hosting the event The World is Ready for Norwegian Tech (but are you ready for the world). Join us on 25 September and learn what it takes to expand your businesses abroad!

About the event

The event targets Norwegian Tech businesses that (think they) are ready to leave koselig behind and expand their business to international markets! It will be an interactive seminar with speakers who are responsible for helping some of Norway’s fastest growing tech businesses tap in to & scale up in international markets, providing you with all the insights you need to take the big leap. The seminars will cover all aspects of what you need to think about, from  raising investment, raising your profile and how to make the right decisions when going from Oslo to the rest of the world.

The seminar is followed by a networking session where you will get the chance to mingle with the speakers, like-minded entrepreneurs, people and businesses that have already done the journey, as well as experts that can advice you on what to think about when taking your businesses onto the international arena.

EVENTS DETAILS
Date: Tuesday 25 September 2018
Time: 10am-12.30pm
Location: Oslo House of Innovation (OHOI), 4th floor, Skippergata 22, 0154 Sentrum, Oslo, Norway
Tickets: Grab your ticket HERE!

Are you interested in being actively involved in the event as sponsor or speaker, please get in touch with James Service at james.service@goodwille.com.

About Oslo Innovation Week

Oslo Innovation Week is an annual happening inviting people from all around the world to Norway’s capital city for conferences, talks, pitching, workshops and networking with like-minded, change-driven corporates, entrepreneurs, startups and organisations. 2018’s edition in the 13th Oslo Innovation Week around, this year held between 24-28 September. Oslo Innovation Week is owned by the City of Oslo and Innovation Norway, with Oslo Business Region as project manager. Check out the full programme for OIW 2018 on oiw.no/.

LAUNCH IN LONDON | Speaker introduction: Alexander Goodwille – Goodwille

London is a great place to be for tech businesses – it has access to great pool of talent, capital and investors, it boosts a large tech community and it’s perfectly located in the middle of time zones. With all these possibilities available – how can businesses and entrepreneurs utilise these to the best extent possible, and what else is needed to succeed?

On 14 June, Goodwille are hosting the event Launch in London as part of London Tech Week. The event targets startups, tech businesses and entrepreneurs with aspirations to launch in London, and will provide insights and expert advice on everything you need to succeed with your tech business in London.

One of the speakers at the event is our very own CEO Alexander Goodwille. If you read our blog on a regular basis, you might already be familiar with Alexander and what we do at Goodwille, but reading the introduction below we’re sure you’ll learn something new about Alexander, the Goodwille family business and why we are hosting Launch in London during London Tech Week!

During Launch in London, Alexander will speak about:

With over twenty years (twenty one to be exact!) experience helping companies expand in the UK, Goodwille have seen many businesses succeed, and also some businesses struggle with their UK operations. Alexander will share his best tips, and the pitfalls to avoid when starting up your business in London. He will provide common mistakes that he has seen over the years and give examples of unpleasant situations you might end up in if you haven’t done your homework!

About Goodwille and why we host Launch in London during London Tech Week 2018

Goodwille help businesses succeed with their UK operation. Founded by Swedish business woman Annika Åman-Goodwille, Goodwille take care of the administration and practical issues associated with running a business in the UK, so businesses can focus on clients and growing their business! Covering five integrated department, including Corporate Legal and Compliance, Finance, People Management and HR, Payroll, and Virtual Office and Meeting Rooms, we provide a solid foundation for you to grow your business.

At Goodwille, we think that startups and entrepreneurs should focus their efforts on value creation instead of admin and trying to learn the systems and requirements to run a UK business, and Tech is one of the most represented industries in our client-base. We want to provide startups, entrepreneurs and tech businesses with not only the administrative support they need to succeed in the UK, but also to give them valuable advice on how to interact with British clients and colleagues, how to make a name of yourself on London’s big tech scene, and also where and how to look for help to maximise your potential. We hope that Launch in London will provide just this to growing businesses, British or foreign, that wish to conquer London in 2018.

About Alexander

Alexander is the Computer Engineer that after 10 years in Investment Banking in March 2017 stepped up as CEO for the family business that his mother had founded 20 years earlier. He has a deep passion for all things tech and entrepreneurial, and he loves seeing people grow and succeed. Growing up in the UK with a Swedish mother and Scottish father and having seen the Goodwille business grow from the first client to nearly 2,000 companies helped to date, he has seen and experienced several culture clashes between cultures that are seemingly similar, but maybe more importantly – he has seen many foreign companies succeed in the UK.

LAUNCH IN LONDON – EVENTS DETAILS
Date: Thursday 14 June 2018
Time: 10am-1pm
Location: Level39, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AB
Tickets: This event is fully booked, email hello@goodwille.com to be put on the waiting list

LAUNCH IN LONDON | Speaker introduction: Joanna Smit – Smit Training

London is a great place to be for tech businesses – it has access to great pool of talent, capital and investors, it boosts a large tech community and it’s perfectly located in the middle of time zones. With all these possibilities available – how can businesses and entrepreneurs utilise these to the best extent possible, and what else is needed to succeed?

On 14 June, Goodwille are hosting the event Launch in London as part of London Tech Week. The event targets startups, tech businesses and entrepreneurs with aspirations to launch in London, and will provide insights and expert advice on everything you need to succeed with your tech business in London.

One of the speakers at the event is Joanna Smit, Founder and Business Culture Consultant at Smit Training. Get to know Joanna a bit better and learn what she will bring to the discussion at Launch in London!

During Launch in London, Joanna will speak about:

The importance of (business) culture to succeed when entering a new market! Joanna will help you understand the British people and give insights on how to work effectively with them – both how to collaborate with the Brits in your team and how to sell to British clients. Her talk will give your new business the best chance of success as you will be equipped with all the intercultural skills you need to make your transition in to the UK market .

About Smit Training

Doing business in a new country brings exciting new opportunities but also certain challenges, such as overcoming language barriers or adapting to a different work culture. Smit Training trains multi-national organisations on how to work effectively with the Brits. Training courses include: leading British teams effectively, working with British colleagues or selling to British clients. Smit Training’s clients include senior managers and sales teams of multi-national organisations, international chambers of commerce, and international business schools.

About Joanna

The Founder of Smit Training, Joanna Smit, draws on nearly 10 years experience in international sales & investment banking with both the public and private sector across various countries, including the UK. Joanna has lived and worked in 6 countries and speaks several languages fluently.

Website: www.smit-training.com

LAUNCH IN LONDON – EVENTS DETAILS
Date: Thursday 14 June 2018
Time: 10am-1pm
Location: Level39, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AB
Tickets: Grab your free ticket HERE!

LAUNCH IN LONDON | Speaker introduction: Mark Leaver – DIT

London is a great place to be for tech businesses – it has access to great pool of talent, capital and investors, it boosts a large tech community and it’s perfectly located in the middle of time zones. With all these possibilities available – how can businesses and entrepreneurs utilise these to the best extent possible, and what else is needed to succeed?

On 14 June, Goodwille are hosting the event Launch in London as part of London Tech Week. The event targets startups, tech businesses and entrepreneurs with aspirations to launch in London, and will provide insights and expert advice on everything you need to succeed with your tech business in London.

One of the speakers at the event is Mark Leaver, Creative Industries Specialist and Adviser for UK Department for International Trade, DIT. Get to know Mark a bit better and learn what he will bring to the discussion at Launch in London!

About Mark

Mark works with the Department for International Trade as a specialist adviser on the creative and digital media industries, assisting and advising international businesses to make investments and grow their presence in the UK and guiding DIT thinking on the creative technology landscape.

During Launch in London, Mark will speak about:

Starting off by introducing DIT and how they can help foreign businesses in the UK, Mark will talk about opportunity in the UK for inward investment; specific sector growth, focusing on the creative and technology sectors; Brexit (the inevitable topic!) and why despite Brexit, the UK is still very much open for business; and the accelerators and programmes available to help accelerate your business in the UK.

About Department for International Trade

Department for International Trade, DIT, is an international economic department of the UK government, operating to secure UK and global prosperity by promoting and financing international trade and investment, championing free trade. The responsibilities of the Department include bringing together policy, promotion and financial expertise to break down barriers to trade and investment and promoting British trade and investment across the world. This includes helping foreign businesses locate in the UK, as well as helping UK businesses expand overseas.

Website: www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-international-trade

LAUNCH IN LONDON – EVENTS DETAILS
Date: Thursday 14 June 2018
Time: 10am-1pm
Location: Level39, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AB
Tickets: Grab your free ticket HERE!

LAUNCH IN LONDON | Speaker introduction: Joanna Dodd – Rochester PR

London is a great place to be for tech businesses – it has access to great pool of talent, capital and investors, it boosts a large tech community and it’s perfectly located in the middle of time zones. With all these possibilities available – how can businesses and entrepreneurs utilise these to the best extent possible, and what else is needed to succeed?

On 14 June, Goodwille are hosting the event Launch in London as part of London Tech Week. The event targets startups, tech businesses and entrepreneurs with aspirations to launch in London, and will provide insights and expert advice on everything you need to succeed with your tech business in London.

One of the speakers at the event is Joanna Dodd, Managing Director at Rochester PR Group. Get to know Joanna a bit better and learn what she will bring to the discussion during the event!

About Joanna

Joanna is Managing Director of Rochester PR Group, a marketing and PR consultancy which specialises in market entry.  Over the years Joanna has helped launch many companies and brands and has even PR’d a space mission.  She builds long-term relationships with clients (way longer than the industry norm) and is one of those well-connected, problem-solvers that clients respect.

During Launch in London, Joanna will speak about:

Whilst most businesses heave a sigh of relief when they land in the UK, for Rochester the work is just beginning.  Joanna will give advice on how to stand out from the crowd, why getting your content in shape is important and why you should start with your messaging for the UK market, answering the “why here and why now” questions.  Whilst not naming names, she will also give some examples of what people get wrong and remind you that you have only one shot to make that first impression – so make sure it’s the right one.

About Rochester PR

Whilst Rochester delivers all that you would expect from an agency in terms of its services for example media relations campaigns; social media and influencer campaigns; event management; content creation and marketing, it recognises that market entry clients are different. They require specialist advice and a flexible approach.  Everything Rochester does is about getting your brand to be better known and understood, helping deliver more business.

Website: www.rochesterprgroup.com

LAUNCH IN LONDON – EVENTS DETAILS
Date: Thursday 14 June 2018
Time: 10am-1pm
Location: Level39, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AB
Tickets: Grab your free ticket HERE!

The most important thing to get right when entering a new market

Expanding to the UK is an exciting but also challenging process. Amid the lengthy and complicated journey full of regulations and requirements, one thing stands above all – to find and recruit the right staff.

Recruitment requires an endless amount of hours and diligent work to find the ideal candidate, get them interested and sell the job to them. And even if you do this thoroughly, it doesn’t automatically mean you are on the top of the game. UK has a highly educated and skilled workforce, which means that breaking from the noise is demanding and competitive. You need to have a very attractive package to offer, in order to stand out from the market. This article gives you an overview of how to find the right staff and separate from the ‘war of talent’ in UK’s hiring environment.

Look for someone with commitment

A person who is committed and loyal to their career is an employee you need. Most of the skills can be taught, but motivation and commitment are something that develop inherently. You should always check the work backgrounds and job durations of the people you’re assessing for the role. If someone has been switching jobs frequently, it can be a possible red flag to consider.

Attract candidates with previous experience

The scope of experience is one of the key characteristics for being successful in the future role. It’s not necessarily finding someone with 100% success rate in the same role but going for someone who has a track record of positivity, innovativeness and learning when facing new challenges. Assessing outcomes and tracking previous results is important but hiring people who are ready to invest in themselves and the people around them is invaluable.

Get to know what your candidate has previously done and ask questions to understand more if their background fits into the role. The importance of background checks and referencing depend on the role and these are necessary especially if you are a regulated business. Often, having someone with experience in the UK market or an existing UK network can speed up the growth pace.

Find people who match with your company culture

Look for people who are a right fit to your company culture and who genuinely want to be part of it. Attracting the top talent in the UK’s competitive recruitment market is about branding your company well and making the candidates think of your brand over the other companies. Invest in transparency and open the doors to allow people to see what kind of environment you offer your employees. Manage and design your online presence and show people what are your company culture and day-to-day life like. This tends to attract not only talents but also potential customers and partners who are more and more interested in your employer brand.

Follow UK employment regulations

When recruiting staff in the UK, you need to make sure you follow all the employment regulations and provide with professionally conducted contracts that cover the required details. The contracts of the UK employees need to be compliant to the UK law and include all the required terms (employment conditions, rights, responsibilities and duties). Your UK employee needs a contract during or before the end of eighth week of employment.

It’s also important to ensure that your UK employees are eligible to work in the UK (having a UK/EU passport or work permit/visa) and are paid at least the National Minimum Wage (NMW).

Separate from the competition

To remain competitive, ensure that your remuneration package is sufficiently attractive and in line with the current market. It’s also important to maintain a continuous benchmarking to keep your recruitment process competitive and ensure that your offer stands out from the crowd. Get to know your UK competition and offer a compensation package that is suitable for the type of role and experience.

Make sure your recruitment process is up-to-date and you manage it professionally right from the beginning. Be detailed with your job description and show people clearly (and concisely!) what you are looking for. Try to keep within the time frame and meet the deadlines you have set. Processes that require more than just simply sending CV will prune candidates that are not genuinely interested in the job. However, too long and complicated selection process may do more harm than good.

Outsource your recruitment

The recruitment market in the UK is highly competitive and finding the best workers is challenging. Getting a specialist to help with your recruitment saves you time and money, irrespective of the size of your business. You can focus better on your core business operations and make the process more effective. Often, small companies and start-ups don’t have the same resources as their larger competitors may have. Recruiting firms can help you to find the talents and keep up with the competition.

If you are recruiting in the UK and wish to seek specialist advice, there are companies that can help you to get the right staff.

If you are an international business looking to recruit UK Sales Manager, you may consider using 360 Leaders. They are specialised in recruiting senior positions in leading tech businesses across Europe.

You may also want to turn to Propel London, which is a full-service staffing company specialising in commercial, technical, creative and operations talent. They have experience in providing recruitment services to global digital economy across the globe.

Other things to consider

  • When planning to enter new market, Department for International Trade (DIT) supports companies with their UK planning and strategy. Visit DIT’s website for more details.
  • When developing your marketing strategy for the new market, Rochester PR Agency helps businesses with their communications and PR strategies for the UK market. They provide senior strategic counsel and deliver event and social media campaigns to make your market entry more visible. Visit Rochester PR’s website for more information.

To conclude

Finding right people for your business in the UK is a lengthy and challenging process but with the right knowledge and tools, you can get the best talents to work for your company. Whether you recruit staff from the company’s home country or locally in the UK, you need to be aware of many regulations and obligations within the UK law. As recruitment and employment laws are different in every country, it’s good to turn to a UK recruitment specialist to make sure that all the required bits and pieces are taken into account.


Goodwille have been helping Nordic businesses to expand in the UK for 20 years and can support you with any recruitment questions you may have. With a track record of helping nearly 2,000 businesses in the UK, we have all the experience and tools needed. Get in touch with us today if you are planning to expand to the UK or have any questions regarding the UK market.

Do’s and Don’ts when starting up a business in the UK

Goodwille support foreign businesses with expert knowledge on how to run their UK operations. Launching a new business in the UK require an understanding of the market, the people and the business environment, and we have many partners in our network that offer complimentary services to us that can support your market entry. One of these partners are Rochester PR, an agency specialising in market entry PR. Earlier in 2018, Rochester PR released the book ‘Are you ready for business in the UK?’ which is a collection of advice, thoughts, comments and observations from firms operating in London on how to enjoy and make the most of setting up a business in the UK, and especially in London.

Having over 20 years of experience supporting and advising foreign businesses in the UK, Goodwille were asked to contribute to the book with our best advice on how to succeed on the UK market. These are our CEO Alexander Goodwille’s Do’s and Don’ts when starting up a business in the UK:

Do

  • Take specialist advice, don’t just wing it! Things can get difficult and expensive if you get it wrong.
  • Research your competition. It’s a competitive market.
  • Network! Tap into everywhere you can get help – nothing work better than a personal introduction.

Don’t

  • Don’t make assumptions! What works at home may not work in the UK.
  • Don’t rush. Plan and budget – but if it’s new technology you need to be first to market.
  • Don’t underestimate how important it is to get agreements right, especially employee and supplier contracts.

So… Are you ready for business in the UK? Goodwille has over 20 years experience helping foreign businesses establish in the UK. We can help making your transition into the UK market smooth and efficient and make sure you’re equipped with the advice you need to succeed with your business. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can support you.

Do you want a copy of the full book ‘Are you ready for business in the UK’?
Send an email to hello@goodwille.com and we’ll sort it!

Opportunities for startups in Birmingham

If you’re planning to start up your new business in the UK or transfer an existing overseas business to the UK, Birmingham could be an ideal location. Being the second biggest city in the UK, Birmingham recorded the highest number of UK startups in 2016 and is currently just behind London when it comes to startup numbers. The Start Up Loans Company, UK Government backed business named Birmingham  “the most entrepreneurial city” outside of London in 2017.

Advantages of starting up a business in Birmingham

Some of the benefits of opting for Birmingham as your choice for startup location include:

1. Birmingham has a great geographic location in the Midlands, central England, so it’s quick and easy to travel to from anywhere in the UK. It only takes around 90 minutes to travel from Birmingham to London by train, and the motorway network is superb for accessing any area of the UK in the shortest possible times. If the proposed HS2 rail developments go ahead, the train journey to London will be cut to just over 40 minutes.

2. The commercial rents in Birmingham are a lot lower than those in London and labour costs are a lot lower than the UK average. The average weekly earnings for full time employees in 2016 were around £497 per week.

3. There are four major universities in Birmingham, so businesses have access to a talented workforce. Furthermore, over 220,000 people within the working age population are qualified at NVQ level 4 or above.

4. The NEC, one of the largest conference and trade show facilities in the UK, is very close to Birmingham city centre. Every year, the NEC hosts a number of high profile business events.

5. Birmingham is home to a thriving tech startup zone, known as Silicon Tech Canal and the local enterprise zone is very supportive of startups. There are a wide range of grants, funds and initiatives available to Birmingham startups that make a commitment to providing employment in the city.

6. While the city’s tech scene is growing, the Midlands has traditionally been home to heavy industry and manufacturing businesses and the area remains the go-to region for these types of businesses. If you are running a business focused on heavy industry or manufacturing, the Midlands the natural area to establish in due to its industry clusters and the infrastructure.

If you need any advice on which UK city that’s most suitable for your business, or anything else related to starting up a business in the UK, Goodwille can help. We have helped nearly 2,000 businesses with their UK operations and can provide you with all the advice and support you need to make sure your business can grow and flourish in the UK. With offices in Midlands and London, we can offer you location-based and industry-specific expertise. Get in touch with us today to learn about how we can ensure the success of your business.