Britain will always be open for business: Alexander’s 5 tips to secure UK success

This is an advertorial by Goodwille, originally posted in The Link Magazine April 2019 issued by the Swedish Chamber of Commerce for the UK. Read the magazine here.

Goodwille, a Patron of the Swedish Chamber, have been helping Swedish businesses with their expansion to the UK for over 20 years. Alexander Goodwille, who recently celebrated his second year as CEO, shares his top 5 tips to give you the best chance at UK success.

1. Pitching your products and services

No matter how many times you’ve successfully sold your products and services in your home country, your pitch needs to be tailored to meet local standards when you enter a new market. 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 the UK 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.

2. Build on previous successes

If your product or service has been successful in Sweden, there’s no reason to think that it will not achieve similar or even greater heights following your UK expansion. In fact, the more success you have had at ‘home’, the more likely you are to succeed in a new location. Remember that the UK market is highly competitive, so be sure to capitalise on your successful track record as it will make your UK pitch much stronger.

3. Choose the right location

The location that you choose for your new UK office 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 travel by road, rail and air are also important aspects of your location to consider, especially if you are intending to commute regularly from Sweden. Logistics are also 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.

There are often government grants available, designed to attract businesses to certain regions, so it can be worth looking at cities other than London.

4. Make sure you’re ready, not just wanting

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 inevitably 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.

5. Do your research & ask for help

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

Learn how the UK 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 you spend enough time in the UK and get to know the new market properly. Do not underestimate the importance of local partners, like Goodwille, that can guide you through local regulations and introduce you to the right people!

To find out more about how Goodwille can support you with your UK expansion, or existing UK operation, please contact me directly on alexander.goodwille@goodwille.com

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, capacity, and competency. 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 start-ups, 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!

Get to know the speakers!

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

Expand to England – Slush 2018 Side Event

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.

This year, Slush takes place 4-5 December in and around Helsinki. It’s a mix of a festival and conference only dedicated to tech, with several side events taking place all around the Finnish capital. Goodwille together with DIT – Department for International Trade are proud to host the Slush side event EXPAND TO ENGLAND on the 4th December. The event will provide startups with everything they need to expand abroad!

EXPAND TO ENGLAND

Are you ready to take your business out of the Nordics to the UK or other European markets?
Are you ready to scale your team and expand internationally?

Join this SLUSH side event with speakers responsible for helping some of Finland’s fastest growing tech companies scale into the UK!

The UK is repeatedly ranked one of the best locations for European businesses looking to expand internationally – it has access to a pool of talent, capital and investors, it boosts a large tech community and it is perfectly located in the middle of time zones. The UK is also a big gateway through which to enter the US market.

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.

EVENT DETAILS

Date: 4 December 2018
Venue: Meeting Park Forum, 20 B Mannerheimintie, 00100 Helsinki
Time: 17:00 – 20:00
Registration: The event is free of charge but requires registration. Grab your free ticket HERE!

ABOUT THE EVENT HOSTS

Goodwille help businesses from the Nordic region expand into and scale in the UK. We have over 20 years of experience supporting businesses with all the essential services needed to operate on the UK market. We 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 us take care of the practical UK side of your business while you focus on your core business!

DIT – Department for International Trade is the UK government agency for international trade, economy and investment. If you want to expand into the UK, DIT can provide you with market and sector data that will facilitate your entry to the UK.

Why startups are flocking to Oslo

Oslo is fast becoming the place to be for tech startups, rivalling the more traditional Silicon Valley area as somewhere to make money and develop new products.

Once a city known for its maritime industry and rich oil reserves, Oslo is keeping up with the digital world by pushing innovation in cutting-edge tech. Indeed, according to last year’s State of the City report for Oslo, Norway’s capital saw an impressive 160% rise in startup investments in 2017, representing the largest rise in Scandinavia bar Sweden.

A move away from oil to eco-friendly tech

Oslo’s focused efforts on tech have in part been prompted by competition in the oil market. Low oil prices in Venezuela and the Middle East have had a significant effect on the sale of Norway’s primary export. In an effort to retain the country’s spot as the eighth wealthiest country in the world and to assuage the effects of climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels, Norwegian leaders are turning to green tech.

This fits in with Norway’s recent commitment to sustainability. Currently, it is one of the only countries in the world to have introduced a carbon emissions tax, with the government offering a subsidy of 25% for fuel-efficient vehicles. In this way, Oslo is the perfect place for startups looking to make money while retaining their green credentials and helping to fight the ever-encroaching problem of climate change.

Socially-minded – the next big thing in the startup world

The question of how a startup will benefit society in general – as well as the customers it directly serves – is becoming an increasingly pressing issue for entrepreneurs everywhere. According to the State of City report, around 15% of tech investments in Norway in 2016 were tailored towards sustainability, demonstrating the attractiveness of green credentials to socially-minded investors.

A move away from Silicon Valley

Whether deciding to opt for Oslo or not, it is generally becoming accepted that Silicon Valley is no longer the mecca that it once was for tech entrepreneurs. Since 2014, the number of so-called ‘unicorns’ (startups valued at over $1bn) in the area has declined by almost 50%, with more popping up in Asia and Europe, particularly Nordic countries.

If you are looking at expanding your startup beyond your home market, you should talk to Goodwille. We have spent the past 20 years helping overseas businesses expand to the UK and have a large network of partners that can support international expansion to the UK and elsewhere in the world. Get in touch with us today for more information about how we can help your startup succeed in international markets.

Nordic Startup Awards announces Goodwille as a strategic UK partner

Press release 3 October 2018.

Clever Nordic businesses have spent the past five years battling it out to be crowned the Nordic Startup Awards, Startup of the Year. The Nordic Startup Awards maps, connects, promotes and celebrates the Nordic startup ecosystem, across all five countries, internally in the region as well as to the rest of the world.

NSAwards are excited to announce Goodwille as their strategic UK based Nordic Partner. Goodwille, whose roots are firmly tied to the Nordic countries have helped hundreds of tech businesses, including regional & national finalists of the Nordic Startup Awards, enter the UK market.

Kim Balle, Co-Founder & CEO of the Nordic Startup Awards says “It’s exciting to have Goodwille onboard as a Nordic Partner. Goodwille have an unrivalled track record of helping Nordic businesses with their expansion to the UK, and their experience will prove invaluable to our entrants and finalists”.

Nordic businesses often look to the UK when expanding outside of the region for the first time, and Goodwille have shared their vast experiences at London Tech Week, Oslo Innovation Week & later this year, SLUSH.

James Service, Marketing Manager of Goodwille says “We’ve been working closely with the Nordic startup scene for over two decades. This partnerships with the Nordic Startup Awards cements our position as the market leader in helping businesses from the Nordic region with their expansion to the UK.”

Over 2,500 companies were nominated for the Nordic Startup Awards in 2018, and the regional finalists received tens of thousands of nominations from across the Nordic countries.

With the five regional finals drawing to a close, the regional winners will battle it out at The Grand Finale in Copenhagen on the 30th October to win one of thirteen awards, including Founder of the Year, Best Accelerator or Incubator & Startup of the Year.

Press Contacts

Kim Balle, Co-Founder & CEO, Nordic Startup Awards
kim@globalstartupawards.com

James Service, Marketing Manager, Goodwille
james.service@goodwille.com

Oslo Innovation Week 2018

Oslo Innovation Week is getting closer and so is our event The world is ready for Norwegian tech (but are you ready fore the world?)! Join us at Oslo House of Innovation on 25 September for all the tips and advice you need to take your tech business to the next level! We have a great lineup of speakers covering everything tech startups need to know to conquer the world – from hiring for scale-up and winning PR tricks, to raising investment and getting up to speed quickly in new markets. And speaking of speakers, we have some great news to share!

We are happy and excited to announce that we have added Alliance Venture to the list of speakers at the event! Being the leading early stage investor in Norway, Alliance Ventures bring insights on what’s cooking on the Norwegian tech scene, opportunity in international markets (and where to go) and what to think about when raising investment for your startup. A great addition to the mix of advice on how to make a Norwegian startup an international success that startups attending the event can expect!

Tickets are free for tech businesses but you need to sign up to attend. Click HERE to get to the event sign up.

About the event

The event targets Norwegian Tech businesses that are ready to expand  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.

Alliance Venture – Scaling your business and expanding to new markets can be costly. Venture Capital firm Alliance Venture is the leading early stage investor in Norway that invest in tech companies with global potential and work with them to expand internationally. They will talk about the exciting tech scene in Norway and how to leverage that in international markets, what they as investors see as the hottest tech right now and what they look for in companies they invest in.

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 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 on how 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/.

What are the advantages of international expansion?

The benefits of expanding operations into overseas markets are not reserved only for large corporations. Small businesses can tap into them as well, as long as the necessary planning is in place and a patient approach is taken. Particular attention will need to be paid to cultural differences that could necessitate alterations to the ways you do business, but the benefits are there to be seized. Here are some of the key advantages of international expansion.

Untapped markets

Your company may offer services or products that are not available in some parts of the world, where demand is consequently very high. If you expand your operation into markets such as these, you can attract a hungry new customer base with minimum threat of immediate competition. You may even find the nation’s government sweetens the pot with incentives for expanding into their territory, because you’ll help boost their economy and create jobs.

Positive business climate

Other countries may offer superior economic conditions to your own. Recessions or restrictive policies from governments make it hard to turn a profit, and expansion into an area not affected by these things can offer a prosperous alternative. In essence, a new nation could offer a more ‘business-friendly’ economic climate, with advantages like lower taxes or less stringent environmental regulations.

Increased exposure

International expansion increases a business’s exposure, helping to create a global footprint. This can lead to greater brand recognition across the world, and potentially facilitate further expansion in the future. This can also help you gain more respect from customers and businesses in your domestic market as they’re more likely to view you as a major player in your industry.

Breathing new life into your business

It is not only a thriving business that can grow through international expansion; entering overseas markets can help rejuvenate a struggling enterprise. If you are operating in a saturated domestic market, or your market share is shrinking, you may find new outlets for your services or products in a different country. If you depend on certain resources or demands that are in short supply in your home country, you may be able to find exactly what you need overseas.

Goodwille have helped overseas businesses expand into the UK for over 20 years. We have experience helping business with everything from setting up a UK company and ensuring compliance with UK employment law, to help with introducing you to our expensive and international network and bridging any business culture gap. If you want to know more about how we can help your business expand internationally; to the UK or elsewhere, contact us at Goodwille and we’ll tell you more.

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.