Branding plays a role in go-to-market

When talking about go-to-market, you often hear this term used when the company is in the stage of international expansion or targeting particular geographical market. I think people often get this term wrong. Whether you are starting with a new innovation, a start-up or a large company, you need to plan your go-to-market strategy.

Go-to-market planning at its best starts a lot earlier. It can start as early as when you have your first demo or a prototype. Well conducted go-to-market takes into account unique selling points, competition and above all customer needs. Go-to-market is really about packaging your offering ready for the market(s) and making it appealing for all stakeholders. It’s about launch strategy taking into account to whom you are selling your product rather than internationalisation strategy where you are looking at dynamics of particular market and your product-market fit (although this can be part of go-to-market).

Branding plays an important role in this and in order to get the go-to-market right you would need to work with designers and marketing experts. Even business model canvas is not really concentrating on things like story, visuals and target group which are part of go-to-market. Technology commercialisation is focused very much still on technology choices, protection, product features, pricing strategies, product development, team building and distribution. All this is necessary but in order for products to align with customer needs, marketing needs to play a role in the process. Here are some questions you can start with:

  • Value proposition: What value are providing to users?
  • What kind of feedback have you received?
  • What is your story?
  • What kind of users do you see using your product or services?
  • What kind of visual world are you providing to your customers?

Go-to-market happens in networks where users, branding and technology specialists are working together to launch not only the best but most appealing innovations to the world.


This article is supplied by Maria Sipila of Sipila consulting. Read the original article here.

How did Helsinki reach start-up stardom?

Scandinavia has held a certain chic popularity throughout the rest of Europe for a number of years now, from the Hygge craze to the Swedish and Finnish bakeries popping up around the country, it seems that the UK can’t get enough of Scandinavian culture.

As well as being ahead of the curve on baked goods, Finland have also been excelling in the start-up scene. Over the last five years, Finland has seen at least a one-billion-dollar exit from its start-ups per year, with start-ups in a wide range of fields – from tech to design and education – making their mark globally. Despite being a nation with a population of just under 5.5m, considerably less than that of even London, Finland boasts 10% of the world’s start-up exits.

An up-and-coming tech giant

While Helsinki doesn’t yet compare to the success of Stockholm in the field of technology, they’re not doing too shabbily. They’re home to a number of mobile developers who have created internationally loved mobile games including Rovio, who developed the insanely popular Angry Birds and Supercell, developers of Clash of Clans.

Helsinki also boasts a myriad of tech start-ups that, despite being far from household names just yet, are already proving their worth and ingenuity in their respective fields. Nordic JustEat equivalent Wolt has already expanded from Helsinki to Stockholm and Copenhagen in the past year, and smartphone manufacturer Jolla, founded by ex-Nokia staff – another Finnish tech giant – is making waves and raised $12m in a Series C round last year.

Why Finland?

Finland’s success within the start-up scene over the past decade can at least in part be attributed to a government which supports start-ups while also giving them freedom and independence. Finnish business policies include public support campaigns, dedicated mentor programs and a funding agency for innovation known as Tekes.

Finland is also quick to think internationally. With such a small workforce available at home, Finnish start-ups are some of the first to look outward when business takes off. Helsinki’s super successful start-ups are quick to expand into Europe and beyond, which can quickly catapult these burgeoning businesses to global success.

If you’re looking to expand your start-up business to the United Kingdom, Goodwille can help you with everything you need to get the UK company started and rolling effectively and efficiently. With years of experience helping companies with legal, HR, payroll and financial administration, our team of knowledgeable professionals can guide your UK expansion to success. Get in touch with us today for more information.

Freedom of Establishment – Corporate Mobility

Often labelled as “passporting”, Corporate Mobility means that once a company is established in one EU member state, others will need to recognise it as validly established legal entity. As a result, an established company can sell goods or services to other EU countries, in principle without needing to establish a branch or subsidiary there.  In some instances, member states’ tax rules will still require establishment of a local entity. An example here is the UK legal obligation to form a “UK establishment” (subsidiary or branch) when certain criteria are met. Several questions come to mind in relation to the future of this freedom…

Will you need to establish an entity in the UK to run operations smoothly?
If you have a UK Branch, should you form a subsidiary to strengthen your UK base?

Answers to these questions will vary depending on where your company is based, as well as what Brexit scenario the future holds – will there be a “hard Brexit” or not, how long is the transition period, will Mrs May negotiate a solution for corporate mobility?

To illustrate the background: Most continental EU jurisdictions (e.g. France, Germany) adopt the “Real Seat Theory”. This means the company will follow the company law where it has its real seat, being the location of the company’s centre of management or central administration. The second theory, called “Legal Seat Doctrine” (adopted, for example, in England), the applicable company law is determined by the jurisdiction where the company is incorporated.

This means that a UK established company, whether or not it is a foreign subsidiary or not, will retain its legal status in the UK irrespective of the Brexit model applied. Depending on business carried out in other EU member states, your UK established company may need to explore whether you should set up an entity in another EU country if you do not currently have such an entity. This will be particularly relevant for companies registered in one of the UK jurisdictions but having their central administration in a “Real Seat Country”.  Those types of businesses may risk to be regarded as unincorporated associations following Brexit, thus potentially losing their status as legal entity in those other member states.

On the flip side, if you are currently operating an entity outside the UK and are carrying out regular business with the UK, you may not have the benefit of being regarded as legal entity in the UK. Depending on your exposure to the UK market and business plans, you may wish to consider setting up a UK Limited company to strengthen your base. Whilst it is not possible to advice on what precisely will happen, we have seen this used as a contingency approach during less certain times.

Watch this space for a detailed analysis on any indications we have seen so far on how the UK is looking to fare with your Corporate Mobility!

 

 

If you have any questions about Corporate Mobility,
get in touch with Tessa Schrempf,
Corporate Legal Controller at Goodwille.
tessa.schrempf@goodwille.com


This update is for general guidance only. Specific legal advice should be obtained in all cases. This material is the copyright of Goodwille Limited (unless otherwise stipulated) and is not to be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written consent.

Free Movement of Goods

The free movement of goods is one of the cornerstones of EU law and business. It essentially is a two-sided coin, and provides for tariff‑free access to the single market and the elimination of non‑tariff barriers such as product regulation and approvals.

The issue concerning the status of UK rules vis-à-vis laws pertaining to the movement of goods and services, as well as changes to the VAT system, increasingly captivates our interest day by day. As the UK hopes to achieve a bespoke agreement, the British government will seek to maintain the closest relationship with the EU and, as UK Prime Minister Theresa May was heard saying during her Florence speech, a frictionless trade agreement between the bloc and the UK. The Draft Withdrawal Agreement published on 19th March 2018 supports this approach. One of the clauses both parties have agreed on stipulates that any good that was lawfully placed on the EU or UK market before 31st December 2020 should be able to continue to circulate freely until reaching the end-user. The existing rules on free movement of goods will largely remain in force during the Transition Period, with some applicable exceptions.

These developments are at least an interim departure from Mrs May’s ruling out of remaining in the single market or customs union. It remains to be seen how the post-Transition Period deals with the matter of freedom of goods, but future developments do not necessarily threaten frictionless EU-UK trade. UK industries and their respective sectors are highly integrated with the single market; the Office of National Statistics (ONS) state that over 59% of UK imports are of EU origin, whilst 48% of UK exports end up within the community.

It would not be in Britain’s interest to lose free-trade access to the EU, as the UK would lose access to countries with which the EU and European Economic Area (EEA) have also been negotiating free trade agreements. Moreover, a weakened Pound Sterling at the outset of the June 2016 Referendum, has seen demand for UK-built goods abroad increase, as exports became cheaper, and tourism saw improvement, where visiting the UK became more affordable. There is scope to protect frictionless trade in goods and services and to secure proper VAT processes following Brexit.

VAT and the flow of goods and services are symbiotic, and they will adhere too much of PM May’s rhetoric concerning the maintenance of seamless trade with the EU – predictability. Voices that declare that Brexit means “taking back control” are purported, as past decisions made by the European Court of Justice will be influential in the continued interpretation of VAT law in British law. The EU VAT Directive have been soaked up by British courts, and this is another signal that the path Britain is taking concerning goods, services and VAT will be governed by the virtues our company seeks to aspire to: predictability and reliability.

Additionally, issues concerning the future of services or goods do not seem to be so challenging at this stage, many self-accounting rules for VAT on services bought from the EU will remain broadly unchanged and there could be further opportunities; especially if one considers that EC Sales List declarations may not need to be completed. This suggests an orderly process of transposition and transition in a post-EU UK as being the name of the game.

In areas concerning the exchange and freedom of movement concerning technologies, the UK seeks to maintain its position as a leading provider and market for hi-tech industries. Upon reading the UK’s Industrial Strategy Paper in November, the UK seeks to increase innovation by raising total research and development investment to 2.4% of GDP by 2027. Over £1 Billion will be invested to boost Britain’s digital infrastructure, £176million for 5G and £200million invested to foster full-fibre networks in the UK. Equally important is the UK’s drive to invest £20 billion into innovative and high potential businesses.

 

 

If you have any questions about Free Movement of Goods,
get in touch with Alexander Goodwille,
CEO at Goodwille. 

alexander.goodwille@goodwille.com

 


This update is for general guidance only. Specific legal advice should be obtained in all cases. This material is the copyright of Goodwille Limited (unless otherwise stipulated) and is not to be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written consent.

Free Movement of People – Individual Mobility

By law, this freedom is called “Freedom of Workers”. We have expanded the notion here as in practice, it relates to more than just EU workers and includes for example family members and jobseekers, but also students and unemployed Union citizens. We have picked out the three most relevant categories here below.

Brexit for Employees

There has been a lot of speculation over the past 2 years around Brexit which has perhaps meant that many non-British citizens are questioning the security of their current situation in the UK. The key information is that there will be no change to the legal rights of EU nationals living in the UK until at least 31st December 2020, or later if there is an extension.

In December 2017, the UK Government announced that an agreement had been reached with the European Commission on citizens’ rights, whereby EU citizens who arrive in the UK by 29 March 2019 will be entitled to apply for “settled status” (see below) when they have five years’ continuous residence in the UK. However, the Draft Withdrawal Agreement published on 19th March 2019 confirmed that free movement of people will be extended to the start of 2021. This recent assurance means that EU Nationals arriving in the UK would be able to stay in the UK indefinitely and also access work permits via the new immigration regime.

Did you know…

  • Currently, citizens of EEA countries and Switzerland plus any non EEA family members can live and work in the UK and do not need any specific permission to do so at present, however in the interests of security and perhaps reassurance, it could be beneficial to formally request documentation.
  • There are pro’s and cons regarding applying for Permanent Residency at this time and also criteria as to whether an individual has this option open to them, i.e. one stipulation is that an individual must have been a continuous resident in the UK for 5 years or more.
  • Currently anyone who is an EU citizen living and working in the UK does not have to make an application to preserve their rights at this time; and indeed the Home Office are encouraging EU citizens to not make applications just now as they are inundated with applications.
  • There will however be the need to demonstrate via documentation in the future that an individual has the right to live and work in the UK. This could be via Permanent Residency, British Citizenship or Visa, but the longer term plan would be that individuals who do not hold visa status will apply for Settled Worker status (which will be discussed later in the newsletter). Those currently holding Permanent Residency will also need to apply for Settled Worker status.
  • Key areas which individuals may want to consider are whether they wish to be British (British Citizenship or Settled Worker), whether they would like the right to vote in the UK, whether holding dual citizenship is a possibility, whether they have EU family members who they would like to bring with them to live in the UK (as the British Immigration rules may be more restrictive than those currently enforced under the EU) and their taxation status.

Brexit for Employers

As discussed above, immediate uncertainties over the immigration status post-Brexit were addressed in the Draft Withdrawal Agreement confirming EU citizens’ rights to remain unchanged until 31st December 2020. As previously, this means for the moment there is no issue for EU nationals to live and work in the UK. Irrespective of the recent assurances, employers need to think about future proofing their business, which of course means looking at how the company can support both current non British employees and also potential hires from outside the UK.

Some thoughts to bear in mind:

  • Consider the workforce and how many non-British employees are in the business or British employees who may have non-British spouses.
  • What can your business afford by way of assistance? Consider presentations explaining the current status re immigration and Brexit and also presentations to assist with applications. Perhaps you can afford to pay for some legal support for employees who may be affected?
  • When you are hiring non-British employees, consider that they may wish to have some reassurance from you that post Brexit, should they not be in a position to stay and work in the UK that they will have some support, this could be by way of a clause in a contract, legal assistance, relocation package etc.
  • There is an expectation that there will still be a high requirement for EU talent in the UK post Brexit. There is a continuing skills shortage in the UK particularly within Tech.
  • There may be a greater need for UK Companies to apply for sponsorship licences to perhaps cover both EU talent and also of course talent from outside of the EU (as is current practice).
  • There are an expanded list of sponsorship licence categories and Companies need to decide which (if any) are more appropriate for them if needed.
  • There is an expectation that there will be greater restrictions on low skilled workers looking to work in the UK with visa’s capped at 2 years. This cap is also to extend to high skill workers with some visa categorisations, where they will be able to stay for 5 years without settlement status.
  • Companies should think about ensuring they are tightening up their compliance checks, including Right to Work checks (which are the minimum which an employer has a responsibility to carry out currently). Compliance is extremely important for sponsorship licences and failure to comply could mean loss of licences and the personnel sponsored by the Company.

Settled Worker Status

In December 2017, the Government announced that it had reached an agreement with the European Commission on citizens’ rights, under which EU citizens arriving in the UK by 29 March 2019 will be entitled to apply for “settled status” when they have five years’ continuous residence in the UK. This will give them the right to stay indefinitely. Settled Status is currently known as Permanent Residence, however those currently living and working in the UK under a Permanent Residence agreement will need to also apply for Settled Status.

Applicants who are not able to give evidence of five years’ continuous residence necessary to obtain settled status, but who can evidence that they were resident before the specified date, will be given temporary status. This means that they will be given the opportunity to build up the required longevity of residency to be able to apply for Settled Status.

 


If you have any questions about Individual Mobility,
get in touch with Jacqui Brown,
HR Manager at Goodwille. 

jacqui.brown@goodwille.com

 


This update is for general guidance only. Specific legal advice should be obtained in all cases. This material is the copyright of Goodwille Limited (unless otherwise stipulated) and is not to be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written consent.

Goodwille hosts Launch in London during London Tech Week 2018

Join us on 14 June for Launch in London – London Tech Week’s hottest event for any business establishing in the UK!

Hosted by Goodwille at Level39, one of the world’s most well renowned and connected tech hubs, Launch in London will provide you with everything you need to succeed with your business in London. Get inside tips on the Do’s and Don’ts when starting up in the UK, how to navigate Brexit, the British business culture and how to grow your network with the right people while overlooking London’s skyline.

This is THE event for startups, entrepreneurs and businesses looking to establish in London, as well as for mentors and advisors helping tech businesses succeed on London’s tech scene.

SPEAKERS
Alexander Goodwille, CEO of Goodwille will share the best tips, and the pitfalls to avoid when starting up in the UK.

Mark Leaver, Creative Industries Specialist of DIT – Department for International Trade will discuss why despite Brexit, the UK is still very much open for business and why you should start your business in London during 2018.

Joanna Dodd, Director of Rochester PR will share helpful insights on marketing, PR & how to get connected with the right people in the UK.

Joanna Smit, Owner of SMIT Training will help you understand the British people and culture and provide you with the intercultural skills you need to make your transition in to the UK market.

The seminars will be followed by a Q&A session, drinks, canapes & networking (plus opportunities for panoramic photographs of London!).

EVENTS DETAILS
Date: Thursday 14 June 2018
Time: 10am-1pm
Location: Level39, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AB
Free entry

REGISTER FOR THE EVENT HERE


If you have any questions about the event, get in touch with our Marketing Manager James Service on james.service@goodwille.com or 020 7795 8100.

Top reasons why the UK is the best place to grow your business

There are several reasons why the UK is the #1 destination for European companies expanding beyond their home market. These are the top reasons why the UK is a good place for doing business and why it should be the next stop on your growth journey.

Business-friendly environment
It is easy to start a UK company, laws and regulations very much encourage doing business, and the tax levels are much lower compared to many other countries. This creates a foundation for your business to succeed without too much bureaucracy and administration from your end so you can focus on growing the business!

Language
As everyone learns English in school these days, you will never face communications issues when doing business in the UK! Being able to communicate with anyone helps in case you ever face difficulties or have questions. And Brits are a very friendly bunch and always keen to help out!

Culture and diversity
The UK is a diverse country when it comes to nationalities and cultures. The diversity is one of the key strengths of the UK that have contributed to the breadth of businesses and opportunities. Coming from outside Britain is definitely an advantage, and playing on your cultural heritage can enhance your brand.

Market size
The UK market is big, but not TOO big. Both B2B and B2C companies, regardless of industry, have all possibilities to thrive. Being one of the main hubs for finance, startups, fashion and manufacturing worldwide, there’s definitely opportunity for your business to succeed without getting lost in the big crowd.

Any questions on the opportunities for your business to succeed in the UK? Goodwille can help make the international move smooth and give you a kick-start on the UK market, get in touch with us today!

3 top tips for expanding your startup to the UK

Although the UK is certainly a land of great opportunity for foreign entrepreneurs, there are a number of important considerations to note for anyone with aspirations to set up a UK company.

Pitching your products and services

No matter how many times you’ve successfully sold your products and services in your home country, when you enter the marketplace in a new location your pitch needs to be tailored to meet local standards. In some cases, a few minor tweaks to your content or format may be all that’s required. However, in some cases, a total overhaul might be necessary to reach your target market.

When researching your new market, be sure to look at potential changes to your pitching early so that you are well-prepared and not taken by surprise by cultural differences.

Build on previous successes

If your product or service has been successful at home, there’s no reason to think that it won’t achieve similar or even greater heights following your overseas expansion. In fact, the more success you have had at ‘home’, the more likely you are to succeed in a new location.

Be sure to capitalise on your successful track record as it will make your UK pitch much stronger.

Choose the right HQ

The location that you choose for your new UK expansion headquarters is very important to your success. There are a number of factors to consider, including whether your business is sales or product driven. You must also research potential talent pools, since recruiting the right staff will be essential to the success of your new venture.

Ease of communication by road, rail and air are also very important aspects of your location to consider, especially if you are intending to commute regularly from your current home base abroad. Logistics are also very important if you have a product to distribute, and locating your business somewhere central to the main motorway network may also be something that is important from both a practical and costings perspective.

In summary

If you are looking to expand your business to the UK, it is essential that you conduct expansive and appropriate research prior to making the move. Goodwille have been helping businesses relocate internationally for many years. Why not contact our helpful team today to find out how we could help make your expansion go smoothly.

Goodwille exhibiting at Welcome to the UK

On 20 February, the event Welcome to the UK will take place in Stockholm, and Goodwille are happy to announce that we will be attending and exhibiting at the event.

Welcome to the UK is the event for any individual or company looking to learn more about expanding to the UK and the business potential of the UK market. As Goodwille have over 20 years of experience helping Swedish businesses expand to and establish in the UK, we are happy to share our experiences with aspiring and growing companies, and look forward to an evening filled with interesting discussions, exchange of ideas and of course helping businesses with answering any questions about doing business in the UK.

If you wish to meet us in Stockholm and hear more about how we can help your business establish on the UK market, send an email to johanna.bjarschfollin@goodwille.com.


The event is hosted and organised by the Swedish Chamber of Commerce for the UK, Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, and the British-Swedish Chamber of Commerce. If you wish to attend the event, sign up here

Setting up a UK company: How many shares should the company issue?

Setting up a private company limited by shares is one of the most common ways to start a business or expand a business into the UK. However, the law relating to shares in the UK and share capital can be complicated, so it is important to understand your options when it comes to initial share issue. The right number of shares initially issued to shareholders will depend on your specific circumstances, and this post looks at some of the main things you may wish to consider when deciding how many shares are right for your circumstances.

What is the purpose of initial share issue? 

The purpose of issuing shares at the beginning of the company, is to raise capital. For example, if three people wish to start a company, investing £10,000 each at the outset, the simplest way for this to be represented is for the company to issue £30,000 shares at £1 each. However, this is not the only method of raising money for the company.

Alternatively, the company may issue only 3 shares at £1 each, and the company founders can lend the £10,000 each to the company. Under each of these circumstances, each shareholder owns one third of the company, and they will have the same voting rights and powers within the company. For many businesses, both methods are suitable. But, there are certain legal, practical and taxation issues which may make one method preferable over the other.

When the £30,000 is locked into the company as share capital, it is more difficult to get this money back out of the company in comparison to when the company is given a loan. Where a company is loaned the money from the shareholders, the money may be repaid at any time. Furthermore, if the company becomes insolvent, the shareholders may claim the money lent as creditors in any insolvency proceedings. However, share capital is important when the company is seeking finance from lenders, investors and other business contacts. In particular, banks wish to see that share capital is ‘locked in’ to the company, and that it has substance.

There are many things to consider in relation to share issue when setting up a UK company. To get it right and make sure you do the best for the specific circumstances of your company, get in touch with our experts today for advice.