Five ways to improve your networking skills

Striking a rapport and building personal connections with people is incredibly important when it comes to developing good working relationships. In the modern world, these interactions don’t have to be face-to-face, either – a telephone call or Skype conversation can be just as important, particularly if you’re liaising with overseas colleagues or clients while chasing international expansion.

With that in mind, here are 5 ways you can improve your networking skills in 2019:

Understand your target audience

When you set up a UK company, you should have a good idea about your target audience. Networking works in much the same way. Learn about the communities you’re meeting with through online research or simply asking questions.

Don’t be afraid to work the room

If you’re taking part in a networking event, take the opportunity to mingle. Try to develop more than one greeting, and push yourself to interact with as many people as possible. Encourage conversation, and engage with others in a warm and friendly manner.

Find some common ground

Be inclusive and try to understand how making connections can be mutually beneficial for all involved parties. Finding common ground and synergy can work wonders – even with competing businesses.

Always follow up

After making a connection with a potential client, remember to follow up on the initial conversation. Arrange a working lunch or coffee, get in touch via the phone or simply send an email highlighting your commitment to creating a beneficial working relationship. Remember, all relationships take commitment and effort – some work, some don’t, but you’ll never know until you take the initiative to follow up on your initial meeting.

Ask how you can help

In retail, this is a concept as old as time – but it can be applied to networking, too. Don’t wade in with both feet first giving it the hard sell. Instead, enquire as to how you can help serve the needs of your potential clients. When people get the impression that you’re offering your services with the right motives and for the right reasons, it becomes easier for a relationship to grow naturally.

With a bit of practice, networking will begin to feel like a natural extension of every working interaction you have. Don’t be apprehensive; you’ve got nothing to lose, and the next attempt at networking could yield a great deal or contract.

Want to practice the above at an event with UK business professionals? Sign up to our newsletter and tick the box that you want to receive invitations to our events to get plenty of opportunities to grow your network with good people!

We’re recruiting – Financial Controller

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 currently looking for an aspiring finance professional to join our Finance team in Warwick as a Financial Controller. As part of the Finance team at Goodwille, your job is to support our large client base of international clients, mainly from the Nordics and central Europe, with their UK Finances.

In your role, you will be responsible for:

  • your own portfolio of international clients
  • day-to-day financial control support to your clients
  • producing weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly reports on behalf of your clients
  • control over cash flow, preparation of accounts for audits, assist accountants with year-end work, and compile VAT returns and EC Sales Lists
  • some task supervision, but this is a hands-on role with you being responsible for maintaining quality standards

Reporting to the Senior Financial Controller and primarily working with your colleagues in the Finance team, you will also find yourself liaising with all other departments, such as HR, Payroll and Corporate Legal departments on a regular basis, attending frequent team, company and client meetings.

Having a professionally recognised accountancy equalisation is desirable, as well as the kind of excellent communication and customer focus skills that will allow you to explain financial information to the team and, more importantly, your clients at all levels. An excellent working knowledge of accounting software and Microsoft office (particularly excel) are essential.

We are a strong and diverse team, so being sociable, engaging and communicative is important as we put a lot of emphasis on team and company culture. International or cross-border experience would be an advantage. An international language is not mandatory, although being able to speak an additional language would be beneficial.

In joining us, you will become part of a modern, forward-thinking and inclusive organisation, capable of offering a stimulating environment in which to accelerate your career in finance and accounting.

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 a 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: Warwick
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 our team, then please contact kevin.rutter@goodwille.com.
www.goodwille.com

The tech problems that startups will address in 2019

Each year, evolving demands for technology-based solutions and emerging worldwide trends create a set of problems that tech startups look to solve in innovative and exciting ways, making them financial successes and disruptors on a global scale.

As we dive into 2019, these are some of the tech areas that we predict tech startups will try to address this year.

Blockchain technology

Bitcoin’s blockchain network is frequently criticised for requiring hugely intensive computing power in order to run. A recent study by Elite Fixtures discovered that in South Korea, one of the world’s leading Bitcoin hubs, the cost of electricity to mine a single Bitcoin is $26,000. In addition to these costs, the cost of setting up and maintaining a blockchain network.

Moving forward, startups will need to look at how they can improve cost and time efficiency for blockchain systems. If this is achieved, cryptocurrencies have a real chance of becoming adopted as a legitimate form of tender for many more companies and customers globally, as the benefits will outweigh the costs to a much greater degree.

Internet of Things

There are currently around 14 billion devices connected to the internet, and this is due to rise in the coming years as the Internet of Things drives innovation and convenience in people’s everyday lives.

Voice-activated devices have begun to have a meaningful presence in people’s homes, but the technology can often be unreliable, inaccurate and expensive, leading to a poor user experience overall. Startups that can create connected devices that are affordable to all demographics and which boast seamless command tools will enjoy a hugely successful 2019.

Payments

Card payments have overtaken cash in 2018 for the first time, but consumers want even more when it comes to paying for their goods. While in stores, contactless cards are all well and good, but the speed and simplicity are nullified if shoppers are still made to wait in lengthy queues to pay.

Technology that allows shoppers to pay for their shopping on-the-go or automatically in stores, creating a fully interactive and swift shopping experience, will be a major trend moving forward in retail. Startups that can produce the necessary technology to create completely frictionless shopping experiences will be successful in 2019 and beyond.

Goodwille has helped some of the hottest Nordic tech startups with starting up in the UK. If you need help with launching your tech startup in the UK, get in touch with Goodwille today.

Three key tips for expanding your business internationally

International expansion is the goal of many businesses, however it can seem like a daunting task. Nobody would ever pretend that bringing your products and services to foreign markets doesn’t require hard work, but with a steady hand and clear mind it can be easier than you think.

These three handy tips will help keep your mind and your business on track during the expansion process.

Make sure you’re ready

International expansion is a noble goal, but you can’t hope to succeed unless your business is sorted at the local level. It’s not just about ensuring you have the funds to cover expansion either.

Growing your business into new markets will take a lot of your time and focus. Unresolved problems in your local marketplace will inevitable interrupt your dedication and expansion plans. If the problems are serious, it could even hamper the success of your expansion, so make sure you have a firm footing before you leap.

Do your research

It’s beyond important that you put the time in to understand as much about your intended marketplace as possible. It sounds obvious, but the expansion process can be easily stalled by unexpected issues.

Learn how the market operates and what it requires. Not only will it make your entry as seamless as possible, it will also give you the best possible chance to achieve success in the long run. Consider every aspect of your operation from supply, through delivery, and into customer aftercare. Make sure to spend enough time in the new market before you take the big step to get to know the new market properly, and don’t underestimate the importance of local partners that can guide you through local customs and introduce you to the right people!

Language matters

There is nothing that turns away potential customers than a poorly written website or social media presence. Take the time to offer interactions with your business in your new market’s local language.

This also translates to local culture. The groundwork is important to understand the do’s and don’ts when it comes to marketing in the area. For example, a campaign which goes over well in Europe may have widely different cultural connotations in Asia. The last thing you want to do is offend your new customers.

At Goodwille, we are experts in helping overseas businesses get off well in the UK. We offer advice and support on everything from business culture to practical help with your UK business – from legal issues and compliance, to finance, HR, payroll and office admin. Our vast experience and broad network of partners offer you the best possible start when entering the UK market. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help your business in the UK.

Dynamic business culture: the UK vs. Germany vs. the Nordics

The nations of Northern Europe have much in common; large, powerful economies, liberal and social democracies, open minds and forward-thinking attitudes.

When it comes to business, however, there are some huge differences in culture that are important to understand. Research conducted by Richard D. Lewis, a British linguist and communications expert, highlights some of the key elements of negotiation style country by country:

Germany

On the whole, the German business approach is extremely straightforward, direct and logical. Both parties are expected to do their due diligence before a negotiation, amassing evidence and clarifying their points prior to any debate. Germans like to work through problems by realistic examinations of facts before working towards cautious, yet firm and pragmatic agreements.

Great Britain and Northern Ireland

The Brits and the Irish have a penchant for understated, excessively polite and occasionally humorous negotiation tactics that can often leave their more direct business partners at a loss. This style can either be extremely effective or completely fail to meet it’s objectives, depending on how it’s deployed. However, similar to the other countries of Northern Europe, Brits value clarity, punctuality and an understanding of the facts and technical details of the situation – they might just take longer to directly state their goals.

Sweden

Mr. Lewis identified the Swedes’ discussion techniques as amongst the most holistic and wide-ranging in Northern Europe, often bringing in points which might otherwise be glossed over. Following an open discussion, negotiations will tend to be simple and clear. The Nordic nations value a direct approach towards language, and Sweden is no exception.

Denmark

Denmark appears to have adopted a blend of styles, a combination that has proved particularly effective in business negotiations. Danes are meticulous about evidence similar to the approach taken by many Germans. At the same time they take broad consideration of the evidence like their neighbours, the Swedes. They mix this with a tendency to talk around, or avoid if you prefer, certain sensitive points like the Brits. There have been several high profile business cases proving the Danish negotiation approach in recent years.

Of course, these are generalisations and not a description of how every nation will operate. However, thinking about how cultural differences might affect your negotiation tactics can be a powerful tool for understanding the current economic and political landscape of Europe.

Goodwille work with helping companies from the Nordic and Germanic region enter into the UK market. With 20 years of experience bridging the gap between our clients’ home market and the UK, we can help your businesses with the transition into the UK to ensure a smooth entry. If you are thinking about expanding your business to the UK, get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you. 

The EU Settlement Scheme: Everything You Need to Know 

With Brexit just around the corner and a no deal looking more likely, what are the implications for EU citizens? 

Brexit is now looming uncomfortably large for everyone. For all the difficulties surrounding the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK is still due to leave the EU on 29th March 2019. However, while many of the details about how the UK will leave remain up in the air, the Government has at least confirmed that the European Settlement Scheme (EUSS) will still be implemented even in the event of a no deal.

Already being trialled in some parts of the UK, the EUSS is intended to give EU citizens in the UK a degree of certainty. It implements the citizens’ rights aspect of the Withdrawal Agreement and allows EU citizens to achieve either pre-settled or settled status.

In many ways it goes further than the withdrawal agreement, but with that agreement looking unlikely to pass parliament – at least in its current form – there may still be changes to the way it is rolled out.

Getting ready for Brexit

Goodwille, together with the expert immigration lawyers at North Star Law, have compiled in diagram format three main questions which we feel address the primary issues surrounding EU citizens’ rights in post-Brexit UK.

The diagram is aimed at both EU citizens, who are currently resident in the UK, as well as non-EU family members of an EU citizen (who is resident in the UK), and who arrives to the country before December 2020. However, although a no deal scenario would remove the transition period and mean any new arrivals would have to enter the UK by March 2019 in order to be eligible for the EUSS, we have also considered this scenario and shown what might then be done.

In either case, EU citizens living in the UK can apply for either settled or pre-settled status. Those EU citizens who have lived in the UK for less than 5 years when applying will have to apply for pre-settled status, whereas those who have lived more than 5 years in the UK will be able to apply for settled status. Moreover, the diagram also considers those persons who already hold a permanent residence document and are thinking about applying for British citizenship.

The deadline for applying for pre-settled or settled status will vary depending on whether the UK leaves with or without a deal. Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, you can apply for settled or pre-settled status up until June 2021, but this is shortened to December 2020 under a no-deal scenario.

However, if you’re an Irish national, the good news is none of this applies to you. You’ll be treated as settled in the UK, but any non-EU family members will have to apply under EUSS. If you come from Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland or Switzerland, you are not currently covered by EUSS, but you should be by March 2019.

Applying is relatively simple and straightforward, and the government has recently announced that the application fees will be scrapped.  If you fulfil all the requirements, you should have few problems having your status confirmed, unless you have any criminal convictions. You may also have to provide additional evidence if HMRC records do not prove five years of continuous residence when applying for settled status.

We understand the uncertainty surrounding the fate of all EU citizens in the UK in a post-Brexit Britain can be distressing, and we hope our diagram will shed some light on the process, forward you to relevant sites and offer professional guidance concerning any aspects of the relevant law, and hopefully, provide you with a piece of mind.

Access the diagram HERE.

Making Tax Digital

Making Tax Digital (MTD) is part of the UK Government’s recent efforts to ensure companies and individuals keep on top of their contributions. From 1st April 2019, all VAT registered businesses (with taxable turnover above the current threshold, currently £85,000) are required to use HMRC approved software to keep their tax records digitally, and that includes international organisations that may process accounts within their home countries.

Those operating from nations such as Sweden, Finland or Norway, but trading within the UK will need to follow the UK Government’s guidelines closely to ensure they comply and avoid any penalties. The best way of achieving that goal is to outsource the bookkeeping process to experts like us at Goodwille.

Goodwille specialises in helping non-UK businesses to expand into the local market, and their team can assist with many or all back-office tasks to ensure entrepreneurs and company owners are free to focus on the more important elements of their expansions. For more than 20 years, Goodwille has helped hundreds of international businesses open UK offices, launch UK subsidiaries, and deal with their ongoing compliance.

Key Points:

  1. Record keeping – International and homegrown businesses can no longer keep manual financial records for VAT. From 1st April 2019, companies must use a compliant approved accounting system that connects to HMRC through an Application Programming Interface.
  2. VAT submissions – While returns must be submitted to HMRC via approved digital software, there is going to be a soft landing period during the first 12-months, which means companies can still copy and paste data between software, but this will change on 1st April 2020.
  3. Brexit – Making Tax Digital for VAT comes into force at the same time the UK plans to leave the EU. There are concerns that businesses dealing with VAT transactions between the UK and EU will become affected, and so it is vital that all companies keep on top of their understanding of any changes brought into force to ensure their systems comply. The best way of doing that is to outsource.

Outsourcing:

By 2020, it is expected that nearly all businesses will also need to keep their corporation tax records digitally using specialist approved software too, which means that now is the best time to put an outsourcing solution in place to ensure a smooth transition.

Making Tax Digital is all about bringing the tax system into the modern age and helping businesses to save both time and money. However, organisations based in Northern Europe and Scandinavia could encounter the opposite outcome if they don’t remain ahead of the game and select an outsourcing partner like Goodwille as soon as possible.

For more information about the many ways in which specialists like those at Goodwille can remove some of the strain from the situation and ensure your business can thrive in the new Making Tax Digital landscape, visit www.goodwille.com today. Companies that fail to comply with MTD requirements could face fines or worse in the UK, and so it’s vital not to delay this move.

Outsourcing presents the opportunity for businesses to remain focused on their growth and expansion goals rather than getting bogged down in alterations to the tax system. So, take the first step today!

Why specialist legal advice is essential when you expand your business into the UK

If you plan to set up a UK company from your overseas location, you really should consider the benefits of specialist legal advice. Launching any business in the UK could be a legal minefield, and specialist legal advice for your new business will help you avoid risks and potential problems.

How will legal advice help with my UK startup?

Specialist business solicitors provide the essential assistance to ensure the right decisions are made when launching your UK startup. The type of legal advice offered includes:

Support with the creation of your company structure

This can be particularly important if you launch your company in partnership with others. You might possibly need a partnership arrangement or shareholders’ agreement drawing up to protect the value of investments made into your new business. Your legal expert also offers support and advice relating to the best structure for your business, such as opting for a limited company, partnership or limited liability partnership (LLP), or if you should consider a UK branch.

Help to narrow down your choice of suitable business premises

This is another important way legal advisors can help with the launch of your UK company. You need to understand all the terminology in any lease agreement, so you don’t get locked into a commercial rental agreement that is wrong for your business. Types of assistance offered could include reviews of landlord rent increase and service charge requirements and the use clauses relating to the property.

Sourcing loan financing and grant solutions

Grants, finance and tax issues can all be reviewed by your specialist legal advisor, who can also help you source suitable grant or loan financing to fund your new business over the initial trading months. There are a variety of different business financing solutions in the UK and your advisor will help you narrow down your options and inform you of any potential legal implications. Your legal expert will also advise you about tax liabilities in the UK and help you make decisions on tricky payroll and HR issues.

Setting up contractual terms

Companies selling goods or services in the UK have a number of legal obligations to meet. Your advisor can assist you in setting up the contractual terms under which your business will provide goods and services and also inform of any product liability issues that could arise in your marketing or sales campaigns.

There are many more ways in which expert legal advice can help smooth the launch of your UK startup. Goodwille offers specialist legal, HR, accounting and payroll support to overseas businesses planning a UK launch. Get in touch with us for more information on how we can support your business in the UK.

3 main factors to consider when recruiting UK employees

For many UK-based businesses, taking on a new staff member can be a daunting and intricate process. With no reachable source of guidance, it will definitely feel burdensome.

Whether you are planning to launch a startup or expand your international business, employees are critical to the process. Get started on the right foot by attracting the best job seekers and avoid legal consequences due to improper recruitment practices.

Here are 3 key factors to consider when recruiting UK employees:

Know the law

UK employment laws protect both employees and employers, so it’s vital that your HR department knows and understands these laws. By keeping up to date with the legal obligations in the UK, you can easily make sure your recruitment procedure complies with the regulations. Such laws include: anti-discrimination policies, immigration laws, pre-employment checks and many more. It is also vital to know and understand the various post-employment regulations in the UK. If you don’t know the law or fail to comply, it can be detrimental and costly for your business.

Determine your employees’ pay

Always pay the correct rates. From their first day of employment, all employees have the right to be paid at least National Minimum Wage. However, their total pay will likely exceed the national wage to include pensions, travel expenses, loans and meal subsidies.

Also, paying the National Living Wage to your potential workers can help them afford a better standard of living. This is something you need to consider as it motivates employees to perform better.

How you will reach out to quality candidates

Just as vital as it is for HR to understand how job seekers are searching for roles, they must also consider the type of information they seek.

A survey conducted by Glassdoor in May 2018 revealed that online job sites are the leading job source platforms. Therefore, using top job sites facilitates the hiring process as experienced and talented candidates will be able to find and access relevant information about your company.

The study by Glassdoor also highlighted the critical pieces of information UK job seekers are looking for on a job description. These include the salary, the location of the job, and any work-life benefits.

When opening a UK office, quality should also be your top priority. To attract quality candidates, you must be able to tailor your adverts in a manner that entices job seekers and portrays your company in a positive light.

Goodwille is here to support your business with everything related to HR and employment. Check out our HR services and get in touch with us today if you need help with your UK employees!

Right to Work Checks

If you are looking to set up a company in the UK, Right to Work Checks are an essential part of taking on employees and casual workers. This post gives a brief overview of some of the main questions those entering the UK market might have about Right to Work Checks.

What is a “right to work check”?

Employers must check and ensure that any employees or workers they take on are legally allowed to work in the United Kingdom before they employ them. This is a legal requirement, and it is illegal to hire anyone, formally or informally, who is aged 16 or over and is not able to work in the UK.

What happens if an employer does not carry out Right to Work Checks?

Employers in the United Kingdom have a legal obligation to prevent people from working illegally. If it is discovered that an employer has hired an illegal worker, and there is no evidence of a Right to Work Check having been carried out, the employer may receive a civil fine of up to £20,000 for each illegal worker discovered.

Who needs a Right to Work Check?

Right to Work Checks should be carried out on all employees before they begin work. Carrying out Right to Work Checks on only certain groups of people may be in breach of discrimination laws. Employers should not make assumptions about a person’s right to work in the UK based on colour, nationality, ethnicity, accent or the amount of time they have been a legal resident in the UK.

If I know the candidate personally, do I still need to carry out a Right to Work Check?

Yes, regardless of whether you know the job candidate personally, you must still carry out a Right to Work Check before they commence work with you.

How do I carry out a Right to Work Check?

Carrying out a Right to Work Check is a three step process. Firstly, you must see the applicant’s original documents that prove they have a right to work in the UK. You must then check that these documents are in fact valid, and you must check the validity of the documents whilst the applicant is present. Finally, you must take clear copies of the documents, in a way which means they cannot be altered, to record the date the check was carried out.

If you’re looking to enter the UK market, contact the team at Goodwille today for more advice and tips.