Four lessons UK businesses could learn from the Nordics

The Nordic countries regularly top the world happiness indexes, while also sitting at the top of lists measuring economy and productivity. It’s no wonder, then, that businesses around the world tend to look for inspiration in the business cultures of countries like Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. As you would expect, there are many subtle and not-so-subtle differences between cultures in these countries. However, there are some common themes that businesses in the UK looking to innovate may want to take note of.

Less hierarchy, more democracy

Nordic businesses tend to be arranged in flat structures, with little respect for rigid hierarchies or displays of power. Fundamental to business in these countries is the idea of trust. Employees trust managers to keep their best interests at heart, and managers trust employees to act independently and get on with the job. Decision making is done in a democratic manner. In Sweden in particular, everyone is expected to have their say in company meetings.

Communication is key

Following the reduced importance of hierarchy, lines of communication in Nordic businesses tend to be short, with colleagues always able to confer with management. This leads to a generally informal culture – employees are usually on first name terms with management, and socialising with fellow colleagues is expected. If your Danish business associate suggests you grab a beer after work, it really would be rude not to!

Ethics first

Nordic countries tend to have a strong sense of ethics, with a low tolerance for corruption and high regard for environmental issues. A downside of this is that reaching a decision can sometimes take a long time, as each employee’s take on a matter is valued and the ethical impact of each decision is carefully weighed.

Benefits and welfare

Nordic countries are famous for their excellent benefits and strong welfare systems. Sweden, for example, has one of the most generous parental leave policies in the world. All employees in Denmark are entitled to five weeks of annual leave. And in Norway, a policy of transparency regarding salaries has lead to narrow wage gaps and strong pay equality. Higher taxes supports the strong welfare systems to minimise the fear of employment gaps for those not in work. These benefits and the security of the welfare systems have lead to happier employees and, in turn, more productive companies.

Nordic values are increasingly influencing businesses world-wide, and businesses form the Nordic region are highly regarded in the UK especially. If you are a Nordic business thinking about expanding into the UK, you should speak to us. We have been helping Nordic businesses successfully launch in the UK for 20 years and would love to help you too! Contact Goodwille today to find out more how we can help you get started on the UK market.

Good Connections – Goodwille’s Partner Network Guide

We have built a strong partner network over the past 20 years. Our partner network consists of a broad range of businesses, specialists and advisers that share our mission to make business as smooth and enjoyable as possible, in the UK and beyond.

By joining Goodwille, you get access to our larger network who are supporting our existing clients outside of the services that Goodwille can provide you with. Our network partners are companies and experts that we know well and recommend for services related to setting up and growing your UK business.

To help our clients navigate our network, we have compiled a list of partners in a Partner Network Guide. The simple aim is to make it easier for our clients to find someone with the answers to their questions. Whether you need specialist legal advice, office space, or help with marketing or recruitment, you can be sure someone in our network can help you!

Already strong in the UK and looking at expanding to other markets? We have partners in our network that can help you! If you like the way Goodwille works with helping businesses in the UK and are looking for something similar for your continued international expansion – look no further! We have service providers we recommend that can help you in other European markets & the USA.

So whenever you are faced with a question about the UK market or international expansion – come to us! We are always happy to recommend or introduce you to any of our network partners that we know can help you. That’s what Good Connections are all about, and that’s why our network is such an integral part of our business.

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    The best UK Market Entry Advice in 2019

    The UK is a great place for business! Successful growing businesses from abroad often look to the UK when planning an international expansion; it’s a business-friendly environment with a strong talent pool and good access to capital. Where else could be a better place to grow your international business?

    However, entering a new market require some planning and also, sometimes, some expert advice and support. Our friends at Rochester PR Group, a London-based PR agency specialised in market entry PR, have compiled the best UK Market Entry tips from leading market entry experts in the 2019 edition of their UK Market Entry Advice booklet.

    With more than 20 years’ experience helping foreign businesses enter the UK market, Goodwille was asked to contribute with our best advice on how to succeed in the UK. These are the top Do’s and Don’ts that our CEO Alexander Goodwille thinks businesses should consider when launching in the UK;

    Do

    Focus on what is important to you, delegate everything else. Take specialist advice, especially in areas where you have no expertise or which are not core to your business growth.

    Research your market and your competition. Find a niche and build from there.

    Network. Tap into anywhere you can to get help – nothing works 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.

    Want more advice on how to maximise your chances of success when setting up a business in the UK? Download your copy of the 2019 edition of the Market Entry Advice Booklet here.

    Goodwille has over 20 years’ experience helping businesses from abroad establish in the UK. Our services are designed to manage the practical aspect of setting up and running a UK operation, so you can focus on your core business! If you are considering the UK for your next international move, get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you.

    3 key questions: outsourcing vs. in-house

    The question of whether to outsource or keep tasks in-house is something the vast majority of businesses face today. In most cases, businesses find there are many benefits that come from outsourcing certain jobs. However, it is all about knowing when it’s best to outsource and when it’s better to keep things in-house. This comes down to the three C’s, which are cost, competency, and capacity. By considering these three key factors, you should be able to determine whether to outsource a specific task or keep it in-house.

    Cost

    This is undoubtedly one of the key factors that needs to be considered; however, it is something that is often miscalculated. This is because most business owners tend to simply look at the initial outlay when it comes to outsourcing, and assume that it is way too expensive. It is important to look at the costs over an extended period of time – for example, over the course of a year, as this will give you a true reflection. The initial expense may be higher when it comes to outsourcing, but when you keep things in-house you have on-going salaries and the related expenses to contend with on a monthly basis. Also, by outsourcing you only pay for what you actually need for services needed on a temporary basis only. For permanent tasks, the in-house approach could be much more cost efficient.

    Competency

    Competency is the ability to do something efficiently or successfully. If you don’t have this ability at your business, it would be better to look elsewhere. Accountancy and IT support often fall under this banner. Unless you operate an IT business, you are not going to have the experience required to support your own software. This could mean extensive downtime, which could lead to lost customers and be detrimental to your reputation. Managed IT services for businesses mean that you can have the peace of mind that your IT systems are supported efficiently and ticking along nicely in the background, enabling you to focus on the core of your business, i.e. what you do best. However, if you have the competency to handle a task in-house, there is no reason to shift the responsibility elsewhere.

    Capacity

    Do you have the resources required to carry out the task in question in-house? Or are you going to stretch your business too far by attempting to handle this project? If you don’t have the capacity, you need to get help. This is especially important for small businesses and startups, as entrepreneurs tend to like handling everything themselves. However, it is simply not feasible when you consider the variety of tasks businesses need to handle that aren’t directly related to the core skills of their firm.

    Hopefully, you now have a better understanding regarding the three C’s that should be considered when you are deciding whether to outsource a certain task or keep it in-house. By carefully assessing the cost, your competency, and your firm’s capacity, the decision should be a lot easier.

    At Goodwille we think that businesses should stay focused on their core and what they do best. That’s why we offer advice and practical support on the activities needed to run your UK business but that might not be at the core of what you do. Get in touch with us today to find out how letting us take care of your non-core activities can help you stay focused and grow your business!

    Goodwille takes a seat on the Council of the Norwegian-British Chamber of Commerce

    Goodwille are active members of the Chambers of Commerce for our core markets. Last year we reinstated our Partner Membership with the Norwegian-British Chamber of Commerce to strengthen our position in the Norwegian business community. In early 2019, our Marketing Manager James Service joined the Council of the Norwegian-British Chamber of Commerce to work more closely together with the Chamber to further support its important mission and role for the Norwegian business community in the UK.

    In this interview with James, he shares his thoughts about taking a seat on the Council of the NBCC and the important roles of international Chambers of Commerce!

    Why did you join the Council of the NBCC?

    I think it’s an exciting time to be part of the Norwegian-British Chamber of Commerce! There has been a new sense of energy in the Chamber over the past 18 months and there is real opportunity for development and growth in the NBCC. I really look forward to being part of the journey!

    There were three reasons why I chose to join the NBCC Council;

    • My experience and the value I can offer the Chamber
    • My own personal development
    • Goodwille investment (to get an understanding as to the direction of the Chamber)

    What knowledge and experience do you bring to the Council and the Chamber?

    I have been marketing the Goodwille brand into the Nordic region for about 10 years. There is a direct link between the work I do in my job at Goodwille and the areas I can support the Chamber with. I think with my personal connections and the experience I have working across the marketing mix (especially with websites, social media and event organising), we can spread the message further and ensure more companies benefit from joining the NBCC.

    How do you think it will benefit you to be on the Council?

     It’s great experience for me to sit around the table with people who have such a wealth of experience. I sit on the Council with people from KBR and DNB, among other. When you are regularly in an environment with people who have this level of experience it can only benefit you both personally and professionally.

    Why is it important for Goodwille to have a representative on the Council of the NBCC? 

    I chose to join the Council mainly for my own personal development. However Goodwille puts a significant investment, both time and financially into all the Nordic Chambers, and it’s important for us to get an understanding as to the direction they are moving.

    Why should companies get involved with Chambers of Commerce?

    The NBCC offers a great platform for members to spread the message about their company. It’s a great context to be seen in, especially if you have Norwegian-British ties. Through direct introductions, industry leading events and networking opportunities, you never really know who you will meet. The NBCC provides the platform for you to meet new people, and if you have the resource to make the most of it, it will undoubtedly benefit you and your business.

    Interested in knowing more about the Norwegian-British Chamber of Commerce? Read about their membership options, business and networking opportunities and upcoming events on the Norwegian-British Chamber of Commerce’s website

    Amsterdam startup scene

    It’s not hard to understand the reason Amsterdam is known as the startup capital of Europe! There are so many thriving new businesses in the Dutch capital, including Adyen, Elastic and Booking.com. Some of the reasons to choose Amsterdam as a base for your business expansion or European startup include:

    – It’s an attractive city in which to live and work, with a huge pool of international work talent to draw on for recruitment purposes. The city has an amazing history and a compact size, making it easy to travel between different areas. English is widely spoken so communication is generally not an issue for English speakers.

    – Amsterdam is a tech-savvy city, so it’s not surprising companies like Tesla, NextDoor and Netflix chose this location as a European HQ

    – Amsterdam has a great infrastructure and connectivity with other major European cities, like Paris, London, Berlin and Stockholm which makes it easy to grow any business. The capital is also home to one of the highest broadband concentrations in the world

    Setting up a business in Amsterdam

    Amsterdam is ideal for startups as business costs are remarkably low. KPMG highlight that the Netherlands is one of the top countries for low business location costs, particularly in the digital arena and for research and development.

    Starting up a business in Amsterdam is remarkably easy. If you’re based outside the EU you can apply for a Startup Visa and will just need an innovative business plan in place and the available financial resources to prove you can exist for at least a year in the Netherlands. What’s more, there are a variety of innovation incentives and R&D tax credits available to provide even more incentive to grow your new business in Amsterdam.

    When you initially start up your business you need to pay €50 to register at the local Chamber of Commerce, although incorporated businesses (like a BV) will need to pay for a notarial deed, which costs around €300. It’s not essential to have startup capital prior to registering a BV, either.

    Once your startup is registered with the Chamber of Commerce, all details are automatically passed on to the Tax and Customs Administration, known as Belastingdienst. The business is then issued a VAT registration number.

    The corporate income tax rate in the Netherlands is 20% on the first €200,000 of business profits, with 25% due on any profits over this amount.

    If you’re planning an international expansion, you should get in touch with Goodwille! We’re experts in helping businesses expand to the UK and can provide advice and support with everything you need for a successful expansion. 

    Advice for launching a fintech startup in London

    If you’re looking to expand your international fintech business or start up a new venture in the London area, you are probably already aware that London is known as the world’s fintech capital. It is an attractive startup location for foreign businesses wanting to expand internationally, and the most popular destination for Asian and American companies expanding into Europe.

    Goodwille specialises in assisting international businesses set up companies in the UK. Check out our advice for setting up a fintech company in the UK:

    UK business climate

    Despite Brexit, the UK startup scene is thriving and many businesses still look to London to launch European operations. The UK government offers comprehensive guidance for overseas businesses thinking about launching in the UK.

    Setting up a UK company

    Setting up a UK company is a pretty straight-forward and quick process. Company incorporation is done via Companies House, UK’s registrar of companies, which is responsible for holding information about all companies in the UK. Albeit the incorporation process in itself is simple, we recommend you seek specialist advice to make sure your company is set up with Articles of Association, minutes and other legal essentials. Goodwille’s Corporate Legal department can help with setting up a UK entity and help with ongoing compliance for your UK company.

    Payroll issues

    If you plan to employ workers in your company, you will also need to be registered for UK PAYE. PAYE, pay-as-you-earn, is the system used for the deduction of income tax and National Insurance contributions. The UK is in the process of making tax digital, so it is important to opt for a payroll provider that can meet all required obligations, now and in the future. Statutory pension contributions may also need to be deducted from employee salaries and your business is likely to be required to contribute towards employee pensions, too. Goodwille specialise in payroll and pension and can answer any questions about payroll or pension requirements in the UK.

    Potential grants or funding

    The UK offers access to a mature and streamlined business grants and funding sector. London fintech providers could well qualify for R&D tax credits or other funding awarded by Innovate UK.

    Goodwille can help you launch your London fintech business. We offer legal, finance, HR, payroll and insurance advice to ensure your new company meets all UK requirements. Get in touch with us today to find out more.

    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. 

    Get to know the speakers of our Slush 2018 event

    Expand to England – Event on scaling up and market entry to the UK

    Slush Helsinki is the world’s leading startup event, gathering over 20,000 techies with one common goal – to celebrate entrepreneurship, making a sustainable and positive impact through tech, and facilitate meetings between companies and entrepreneurs of the future.

    Slush takes place on 4-5 December in and around Helsinki, along with several side events taking place all around the Finland’s capital. Goodwille, together with Department for International Trade, are proud to host the Slush side event EXPAND TO ENGLAND on the 4th of December. The event will provide companies with everything they need to expand internationally.

    About the event

    Hosted by Goodwille and the Department for International Trade, EXPAND TO ENGLAND will provide you with everything you need to succeed in the UK. Attendees will learn how to raise investment, how to promote yourself internationally, and how avoid the pitfalls many others have fallen into.

    This event is for startups, SME’s, entrepreneurs and businesses looking to establish in the UK, as well as mentors and advisors helping tech businesses succeed on UK’s tech scene. It will be an interactive seminar with experts on international expansion, followed by networking and 1-2-1 sessions with the experts.

    About the speakers

    Goodwille help businesses from the Nordic region expand into and scale in the UK. Goodwille have over 20 years of experience supporting businesses with all the essential services needed to operate on the UK market. They know what’s needed to run a UK business, and this knowledge combined with understanding how business works in your home market makes the move from the Nordics to the UK smooth. Let Goodwille take care of the practical UK side of your business while you focus on your core business!

    DIT – Department for International Trade 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. In Finland, the free of charge and confidential services of the UK Department for International Trade (DIT) are available for those companies that are looking to set up a subsidiary, expand their current operations or carry out R&D in the UK.

    Business Finland is an accelerator of global growth by helping businesses go global and supporting and funding innovations. Their top experts and the latest research data enable companies to seize market opportunities and turn them into success stories. Business Finland aims to develop Finland to be the most attractive and competitive innovation environment in which companies are able to grow, change, and succeed.

    Rochester PR are specialist in market entry who advise international clients and brands on successfully entering the UK market. 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.

    Jester is a premier executive coaching and leadership development company that works with some of the fastest growing companies in the Nordics on change. Jester helps CEOs and their management teams to boost growth through leadership and manage change within the company.

    EVENT DETAILS

    Date: 4 December 2018
    Venue: Meeting Park Forum, 20 B Mannerheimintie, 00100 Helsinki
    Time: 17:00 – 20:00

    17:00 Registration
    17:30 – 19:00 Seminars with Q&A
    19:00 – 20:00 Networking, Drinks & Nibbles with 1 – 2 – 1

    I have got the timepiece for around Four a few months today, it's been to Japan along with replica watches time for England with me at night enduring extreme heat as well as the cool off associated with Britain with no problem in any respect, make sure you if you're planning on acquiring this, simply do it, you will not escape it.