What is a virtual office?

A virtual office provides all the benefits of having a physical space without the need to actually purchase one. It allows you and your employees to work remotely while accessing certain business functions on the web or through a virtual office service. It also enables you to build a presence in any location in which you desire to do business, so it’s a great option when you are just starting up in a new market and don’t want to make too much investment before you know if you will be successful in that market or not.

But virtual offices are not only good for business just starting up in new markets. There are many great services to take advantage of when you open a virtual office regardless of the type and size of your business. Here are a few examples:

A postal address

You might be working remotely or outside of the location that you’re providing services to, but you can still have a registered business address for that location. This is highly beneficial as it enables clients and potential clients to put more trust in your business.

Telephone answering

You can have a kind of virtual assistant or receptionist to answer incoming calls to your business, before forwarding them to you. Not only does this make your business seem more professional, it also provides you with a helping hand. The person answering your calls can take messages and help you stay organised in the same way a real-life receptionist would. This also means that instead of having all business calls going to your mobile or personal dial, you have a gate-keeper sorting out sales calls so you only need to take the important and relevant phone calls. You are also left without the distraction of always having to watch your phone to not miss any calls for the business.

Meeting rooms & hot-desking

You may not be ready to make the commitment of having a full-time office space. Nevertheless, you will probably need a physical space from time to time if you’re running a business. Remote colleagues may need to meet and collaborate or you may need to hold meetings with clients. Virtual office services can provide you with such a space as and when necessary. In places like London, rents can be high even for the smallest office space and contracts are often signed for a longer period of time, why a virtual office is often a good solution when you want to test out a new market or if you’re not yet ready to make the commitment and investment.

What kind of businesses use a virtual office?

Both small and large businesses can benefit from a virtual office. Small to medium-sized businesses may be eager to expand within their own country or internationally but may not have the capital to do so. That’s when a virtual office becomes an affordable solution.

Larger businesses may wish to use a virtual office for a different reason. A virtual office allows a large business to test out a location before making a commitment or investing. They may even wish to test two or more locations simultaneously using virtual offices to see which is most successful.

For expert guidance on virtual offices and how to get started in the UK using Goodwille’s Virtual Office services, check out our Virtual Office page or get in touch with us today.

Meet James Service

Our Marketing Manager James Service is more than just a Marketing Manager. Besides marketing activities and reaching out a helping hand to businesses thinking about starting up in the UK, he is involved with most aspects of the business, which he knows inside out as he has been with Goodwille all his working life.

James spared us a few moments in between speaking to foreign businesses about doing business in the UK, organising social activities for Team Goodwille and chilling in the bean bags to answer some questions about what makes Goodwille a good place to work and what it’s really like to work with a bunch of Scandis…

What do you do at Goodwille?

I’m the Marketing Manager at Goodwille and it’s my job to make sure people find us, remember us & choose us when they are searching for the thrilling topic of outsourced business services in the UK. My unofficial job here is social klubb lead, table football champion & beanbag officer. (I’ve lost the table football champion title, but I’m clinging on to the other three fulltime positions.)

What is your background and how did you end up at Goodwille?

I studied Geography at University with a focus on conservation & the natural world, and worked part-time at ‘Enlink’. Many older clients & partners will remember Enlink which was started by my oldest sister, Kate. It was meant to be a part time stopgap which I didn’t have to go for interview for. Where most people spent time having fun at university I spent mine working late and putting paperwork in numerical order. Goodwille ultimately acquired Enlink (and my soul) about seven years ago, and here I am, still clinging on without ever being interviewed. Maybe I’m doing something right, or maybe they just haven’t noticed I’m still here.

You have been with Goodwille for 11 years, what made you stay this long?

I’ve moved around a bit whilst I’ve been here, from Office Assistant, Client Support, Marketing Executive to Marketing Manager. The job gives me responsibility, the opportunity to try out my ideas and have fun. I hear about people who dread going to work, and I’m glad that’s not me <insert standard comment from colleagues saying that’s because you do nothing>. Some people think they have it tough until they change jobs, and realise the grass is rarely greener.  I’d hate to work for some stiff corporate where I have to wear polished shoes and a tie every day to work, that’s not me and that’s not Goodwille.

As a Brit working in a company strongly influenced by the Nordics, what have been the most fun/enjoyable and most difficult things to get used to?

I like Nordic people, they’re a lot friendlier than us Brits. I think Goodwille is increasingly influenced by the Nordic startup feel that many companies have, where the people are at the core of the business. I really like that. One thing I’ve found difficult though is trying to understand their love of Rye bread. I’m concerned these people don’t have Warburtons in their life, now that’s real bread….

Best and worst thing about your job?

I love the variety my job offers, the people I get to work with, the team spirit and fun that we all have along the way. I love winning new business for Goodwille. Nothing gives me a greater sense of achievement than when a company joins us off the back of the teams marketing activities. The worst thing about the job is probably organising events. They always go well, but I can’t relax and enjoy them. I spend so much time running through every micro detail in my head beforehand. That’s stress I don’t need in my life.

Tell us something most people don’t know about you!

I read the Daily Mail every day and I take what I read as gospel. Their love of fake news isn’t helping anyone, but it’s fun and more interesting than the broadsheets even if it’s not real. I’m sorry!  On a separate note I can be a bit obsessive. I find a new hobby, buy all the gear and then I’m bored of it a month later – I’m talking fishing, walking, scuba diving, stamp collecting. I think I’m old before my time. My current obsession is growing my own vegetables, lets see how long the fad lasts.

Will you be around at Goodwille for another 11 years?

Who knows what the future holds, but I’ll be part of the furniture by then. It’s scary to think it’s been my entire working life so far. With the direction the company is going, and the ideas and mentality new blood is bringing to the company I hope I am. That said, the dream was to be working with turtles in Costa Rica. I’m sure that step in my career is just around the corner, should the works lottery syndicate ever actually come off.

Describe yourself in 3 words!

Last one standing.

 

7 quick questions – did working at Goodwille affect your Britishness?

Victoria sponge or kanelbullar?
Victoria Sponge..

Go hiking or go to the pub?
I’d probably say go hiking, and then go to the pub after.

Sauna the Finnish way or Afternoon tea?
I’ve heard weird things about them Finnish sauna’s, I’m taking the afternoon tea.

Bangers & mash or wurst & sauerkraut?
Bangers & mash, I’m British!

Invite people over for a home-cooked meal or eat out at a restaurant?
Invite people over! I like entertaining. I’m the always the organiser and host.

Crisps or pick & mix?
Pick & Mix, sweet stuff over savoury all day long.

Salty liquorice – Yay or Nay?
Yay, for sure.

Avoid these three common tech startup mistakes

As you try to set up a UK company, you’re going to want to do everything you can to make sure you avoid falling into the same traps that so many other new businesses make. Statistics vary, but it’s a commonly known fact that starting a new business is a risky thing to do.

With that in mind, you want to make sure that you’re able to learn from the mistakes that in certain cases have cost others their businesses. These are three highly common, yet often fatal, mistakes that are made.

Failure to specialise

What exactly does your business do? Is it IT support, computer networking or video production? If that’s not a question you can answer quickly and concisely then you have some work to do. The marketplace is crowded and customer attention is precious, so you need to make sure you have a concise offer to attract potential clients.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that if you offer more general services you’ll appeal to more customers, but the truth is that if you want to avoid your business collapsing in on itself you need to offer a specialised service and be seen to know exactly what you’re doing. Find the one thing or the one area where your product or service outperforms all competition – that’s where there’s room and opportunity for you to succeed!

Financial mismanagement

From day one you’re going to need to keep a very close eye on your business financial records to ensure you’re always aware of how healthy your finances are. You don’t need to be an accountancy prodigy, but you do need to pay close attention.

If this isn’t something you can do, then it’s really worth the investment to outsource it to a specialist who will be able to provide you with accurate reports and advice, allowing you to make informed business decisions.

As an entrepreneur, you might we used to do things yourself and outsourcing may not appeal to you but the truth is that outsourcing all tasks that are not within your business’s core will free up more of your time to do what is valuable to the business and your customers.

Employee retention

Building a successful startup will take blood, sweat, tear, time and devotion and it’s nothing you can or want to do on your own. You need a team that work together, that share the same vision and dream of creating a successful business. The recruitment process to find your team can be a costly one, both in terms of time and resources, so when you make the decision to hire someone you need to ensure that you’re going to be able to make a return on the investment you make in them.

If you fail to provide opportunities for employee engagement and progression, you could end up with a “revolving door” policy, which will make finding the right people difficult. Make sure you offer your teammates a good remuneration package, room to grow and that you engage everyone in the success.

Goodwille work to support startup and business getting started in the UK with all non-core support functions you need to succeed on the UK market, so you can focus on your core business and creating value to your clients and employees. We can help you with corporate legal issues and ensuring legal compliance, everything finance-related, HR and people management including payroll and also a virtual office service for your UK base. Get in touch with us today for more information on how we can help your startup succeed.

The World is Ready for Norwegian Tech (but are you ready for the world?)

Are you ready to take your Norwegian business to international markets? As part of Oslo Innovation Week 2018, Goodwille and 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 all about what it takes to expand your businesses abroad – from raising investment and making the right decisions, to raising your profile, building a sustainable and productive work culture, as well as all the do’s and don’ts from experts and other Norwegian startups that have succeeded in taking their business from Norway onto international markets.

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 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. We will also hear the success story of a Norwegian startup and advice from someone who has done the full journey and succeeded.

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 made the journey, as well as experts that can advice you on what to think about when taking your businesses onto the international arena. We will also offer 1-2-1 sessions with all speakers for those interested!

Speakers

360 Leaders – Learn about the importance of building the right company culture and getting the right people when going from startup to scaleup and expanding into new areas. 360 Leaders is a market-leading executive search firm that provides leadership talent to the world’s most innovative tech companies, including Apple, Facebook, iZettle and Schibsted Media Group.

Deliberate PR – As a small, Nordic business ready to take on the world, you need to showcase to potential investors, strategic partners, employees, and users what makes you unique and scalable. Deliberate PR helps Nordic startups and concept make the news with creative strategies and clever news themes. They will speak about how you can use news to your advantage and show examples of how they have created PR campaigns that helped Nordic startups succeed around the world.

No Isolation – With the help of Deliberate PR, Norwegian startup No Isolation made a huge buzz in the media as part of their UK launch campaign. They will share their amazing story and the decision to expand internationally early on, and provide both inspiration and advice on expanding abroad from Norway.

Goodwille & Escalon – The co-hosts of the event! Together we’ve helped businesses from Norway expand into the UK & US markets for decades. We will share our insights and tips to get to market quickly, and the opportunities in the UK and US markets for Norwegian businesses.

Events details
Date: Tuesday 25 September 2018
Time: 10am-1pm
Location: Oslo House of Innovation (OHOI), 4th floor, Skippergata 22, 0154 Sentrum, Oslo, Norway
Tickets: Grab your ticket HERE!

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/.

How to be a leader

Start-ups might be fledgling, flexible and all over the place, but if they are to succeed they need one thing more than anything: leadership. If you want to set up a UK company, you will need to inspire your people and drive them forward in pursuit of a common goal. Here are three ways you can do that.

Listen to people

While managers might dictate, leaders do something different: they listen to people and they learn. Leadership, fundamentally, is about listening. Think about it. What do employees look for in senior management? People who are bloody-minded and driven only by their own aims? Or people who believe in a more democratic approach, listening to what their employees feel rather than ruthlessly pursuing goals? We bet you it’s the latter. Great leaders are a blank slate – they keep their eyes and ears on the ground and keep in pulse with their people, making changes as necessary.

Do what you say you will do

We have all read blogs that adopt leading by example as a crucial leadership trait. However, if you say you are going to do something, then do it. Make sure you do it by the time you said you would and exactly in the way you said you would execute it. Whatever it may be, and even if it is not a popular thing, your employees will respect you for it. Importantly, leading by example is about a whole lot more than being a great leader. It is a fantastic way to galvanise your staff and effect change in your start-up. If your people see you leading by example, they’ll do it too.

Always acknowledge mistakes

We have all seen awkward interviews with chief executive officers trying to limit damage to a company fall-out, anxious as they are to ensure the latest blip does not become an international public relations disaster. Time and time again, these apparent leaders only serve to engage in blaming, evasive language and the dreaded corporate-speak. Genuine leaders do not seek to assign blame where blame isn’t due, duck from questions or fail to give answers. If they, or their company has made a mistake, they admit it. So be honest and move on.

Goodwille help start-ups in the UK by supporting with everything practical you need to run a business. Don’t waste time on things that aren’t your core business, let Goodwille take care of it and focus on being a good leader and getting your business to where you want it! Get in touch with us today for more information on how Goodwille can support your UK start-up.

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.

Good Effort: Team Goodwille run the British 10K for charity

Sunday 15 July 2018 was incredibly warm, with a temperature of 25 degrees Celsius before the clock had even struck 10am. But despite the heat and the fact that there were no clouds in sight, nothing could stop Team Goodwille from running the British 10K in Westminster to raise money for UNIQUE – a charity with the mission to inform and support anyone affected by rare chromosome and gene disorders.

Yes it was warm, yes the run was a bit more sweaty than most 10K’s, and YES they still all finished with great results! Definitely a Good Effort by all runners, not only from #teamgoodwille, but everyone participating in the run. The atmosphere during the run was amazing, and it was fantastic to see that most runners were running for charities and to support Good Causes.

Running for charity has become a tradition at Goodwille, and our employees partake in several races every year to raise money and awareness for different causes we care about. This year we chose to support Unique, and we hope that by raising awareness of rare chromosome and gene disorders and donating all the money raised from running the British 10K to UNIQUE, we can make a difference to individuals and families in the UK.

There is still time to help us make a difference and donate to our cause. All donations and contributions, however large or small, make a real and lasting difference.

DONATE HERE.


About UNIQUE
Unique provides much needed help and information to those caring for a family member with a rare chromosome disorder. These lifelong disorders affect 1 in 200 live-born babies and those affected are often sick and severely disabled, unable to walk or talk. For more information see www.rarechromo.org

Differences between German and British Work Culture

It’s not uncommon to hear Germans being highly regarded around the world for their supposed workplace and office efficiency. British stereotypes, however, remain based in caution and class structured hierarchies. Despite knowing that stereotypes never truly match up to the reality, it is true that German workers are more productive than the rest of their European neighbours, while still taking more sick days and holidays, especially in comparison to British workers.

A better work-life balance?

One of the reasons that this may be the case is supposedly due to Germany’s better understanding of a work-life balance. By truly finding that sweet spot between work and play, Germans can be far more productive within the office, while also unwinding and relaxing more efficiently.

Lots of references to this balance can be found in German vernacular. ‘Brückentage’, or ‘bridge days’, is a common German adage which means to take time off around bank holidays, where most workers will take an extra day or two off work in order to refuel, preparing themselves mentally for the work ahead. Another common German expression is ‘Erst die Arbeit, dann das Vergnügen!’, meaning ‘first work, then pleasure’. While there are similar phrases within English, they are not often heard, and even more uncommonly stuck to. As such, there seems to be an ingrained culture within Germany of working first and then focusing on relaxing, all while understanding that taking time to recharge will help you be more productive in the future.

Sickness

There is a trend within British office works to come to work, even when they are ill, and to downplay any sickness in front of management. While this does lead to more time in the office, it has serious negative effects on productivity and creates the risk of illnesses passing between colleagues. However, in Germany, there is a strong feeling that if you are sick you should stay at home – ‘Wenn man krank ist ist man krank’, translating as ‘when you are sick, you are sick’.

Not only does this mentality protect other office works, but it also allows the individual to rest and recover properly, meaning they are fit for work and more productive in a shorter space of time.

Understanding the differences between office and business cultures is crucial in whether an international expansion is successful or not. At Goodwille, we pride ourselves on helping new companies establish themselves in the UK market, offering advice and services to ensure that your business flourishes in the United Kingdom. For more information about how we can help you, get in touch with us today.

We’re recruiting – Office Assistant

Goodwille is a forward-thinking, ambitious company dedicated to providing foreign businesses with the kind of professional services required to establish themselves and flourish in the UK. These include Corporate Legal, Finance, People Management, Payroll & Virtual Offices.

We are looking for an Office Assistant who thrives on providing great customer service to join our Front of House team in London. Within your role you will be responsible for:

  • Meeting & Greeting visitors
  • Post handling & telephone answering
  • Meeting room bookings
  • Supporting a busy reception area
  • Support clients with administrative tasks
  • Working with onboarding new clients
  • Liaising with suppliers
  • Order Handling & Sales Processing
  • Supporting departments with adhoc requests

The applicant should be computer literate, have an strong understanding of the Microsoft Office suite (Outlook, Word & Excel) and experience working within an administration/reception role. You should be passionate about providing great customer service and be able to confidently work independently to ensure the smooth running of the reception area. In joining us, you will become part of a modern, forward-thinking and inclusive organisation, capable of offering a stimulating environment for you to work in.

This is your chance to join #TeamGoodwille – check us out on Instagram. When you join Goodwille you get access to a whole range of employee benefits, all designed to ensure an enjoyable work/life balance. Some benefits for all employees include:

  • Office fruit every week
  • Employee perks, rewards & benefits including discounts on supermarkets (Sainsbury’s, Tesco etc.) high street stores (Topshop, John Lewis etc.) & gyms
  • Complimentary phone insurance, as we know how important it is to stay connected
  • Access to the well-being & lifestyle platform, including eating advice, exercise routines and yoga videos
  • Generous social budget for team lunches, parties and for you to hang out with colleagues.

Job type: Permanent, full time
Location: London
Salary: Depending on experience/skill set

If you like the sound of this vacancy and all the features and benefits you get by being part of a team like Goodwille, then please contact james.service@goodwille.com
www.goodwille.com

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.