Go virtual – how a virtual office can support the success of your UK business

International expansion is the goal of many businesses and while launching your business in a new marketplace is very exciting, it’s critical that you spend your time doing the things that bring value to your business. For companies, and startups in particular, the most important resources you have to play with for the new market launch is time and money. A virtual office solution is one of the many ways in which you can reduce your costs, and save yourself time, so you can’t afford NOT to consider it when you are starting a UK business.

What is a virtual office?

A virtual office is a cost-effective solution for creating a UK presence without renting a physical office space and employing office staff. It provides all the benefits of your own office space, but for a fraction of the cost. You might disregard these tasks as trivial, but they really can eat your time and be a distraction from the activities you should be focusing on to grow your business.

Virtual office solutions can cover a range of different services. Some of the most common virtual office services include:

  • Telephone answering
  • Post handling
  • Customer support
  • Meeting room hire

How can a virtual office support the success of you UK business?

A virtual office brings several benefits and could increase the chances of your success in the UK market. Here are some of the main reasons our clients choose to use a virtual office solution to ensure their UK business thrives.

Focus on your core strength

A virtual office gives small businesses that are entering the UK market access to the support functions needed to run the business operations without having to employ someone to do it. When you establish in a new market and only have a few employees you need them to add direct value, at all times, and contribute to growing the business. A virtual office is a great solution to maximise your resources before the business warrants creating a permanent job for tasks like answering the phone and other administrative tasks.

Flexibility

Finding the perfect office takes time, especially in London where office rents are exceptionally high. Jump too soon and you might find yourself caught up with an expensive lease that is not fit for your longer-term growth plan. And even if the goal is of course a successful UK expansion, unforeseen situations can occur that might result in that you want to exit the market.

It’s just simply not worth risking the cost and investment for an office when you just start out in a market, as your key to a successful market launch is flexibility. A virtual office gives you just that – flexibility, while at the same time offering all the benefits and processes needed to give you a head start on the UK market.

A good impression

But a virtual office also offers another very important advantage for companies operating in UK– it gives the impression of an established and more serious presence in the UK. Business is all about relationships and a UK phone number and address gives you credibility as a business as it shows commitment to the market.

A UK presence sends an important message to potential clients and suppliers. Just think for yourself –would you rather do business with a company that is in the same country, or someone who is elsewhere in the world (and likely a different time zone).

So is a Virtual Office only for companies launching on the UK market?

Not necessarily! Businesses of any size and at any stage of growth can reap the benefits from using a virtual office solution. It all depends on your business’ needs and what services you require. Virtual office services provide the flexibility to grow with your business while always maintaining a high level of professionalism, so it’s an excellent solution also for scaling businesses. By outsourcing your non-core business activities, you give yourself more time to focus on growing your business, regardless if you are just starting out or if you are more established on the UK market.

So as you can see, a virtual office solution gives you both a better chance at impressing potential clients, as well as more time and money on your hands. If you are just starting up in the UK and want your UK business to get a head start without involving too much risk and capital, or if you are a more established business that want to streamline your operations and maximise resources, then a virtual office is definitely something you should consider.

Goodwille’s Virtual Office service, available in both London & Warwick, provides you with a selection of services to suit your needs at any stage of your business’ growth. Read more about our Virtual Office services here or contact our Front of House Manager Evy Rune to find out how we can help create a UK presence for your business.

We’re recruiting – Financial Assistant

Goodwille provide essential business services to overseas companies looking to enter, grow or scale in the UK. These services include Corporate Legal, Finance, Human Resources, Payroll & Virtual Offices.

We are currently looking for a Financial Assistant to join our Finance team in London. As a Financial Assistant at Goodwille, you will work along the Financial Controllers to support our large client base of international clients, mainly from the Nordics and central Europe, with their day-to-day UK Finances, as well as ensuring efficient and effective processes within the Finance team.

You will be responsible for:

  • Posting purchase invoices onto systems (various software)
  • Checking supplier statements and request copy invoices
  • Reconcile accounts payable to the creditor’s control account in general ledger and the accounts receivable to the debtor’s control account
  • Updating accounts payable with new suppliers
  • Raising & posting sales invoices
  • Updating sales ledgers with new customers
  • Various reconciliations of general ledger accounts
  • Checking expenses, credit card and petty cash and ensuring correct authorisation
  • Reconciling payroll and pension accounts
  • Supporting the Payroll Manager with processing of client payrolls
  • Working with and updating Goodwille’s Standard Operating Procedures
  • Setting up payments within agreed routines and across various banks

To excel in this role, you should be a team player with great attention to detail. Being organised, motivated by working towards deadlines and proactive in reaching out to clients with an excellent client service manner is essential. We are a small but strong and diverse team, so being sociable, engaging and communicative is important as we put a lot of emphasis on team and company culture.

The ideal candidate should have at least 6 months experience from a similar role, but we are happy to train anyone with the right attitude and aspirations. We believe that you are interested in pursuing a career in finance, and will support training for an AAT qualification. International or cross-border experience would be an advantage, as many of our clients are based outside the UK.

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
  • Office massages twice yearly
  • 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: Kensington, West 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 kevin.rutter@goodwille.com.
www.goodwille.com

Goodwille Joins the Regional Jury for Nordic Startup Awards

Press release 13 May 2019

Following a successful first year, Goodwille are excited to announce that they have strengthened their strategic partnership with Nordic Startup Awards (NSAwards), and joined the Regional Jury for the NSAwards Grand Finale 2019.

For the 6th year running, the NSAwards will be recognising the individuals, startups and ecosystem supporters that contribute to the boiling hot Nordic startup scene. The prestigious startup competition and events series culminates in the Grand Finale that not only celebrates and showcases the great achievements in the region, but also provides the network and connections to go further. The winners of the Nordic Grand Finale will compete in the Global Finale to be crowned the best talents of the global startup ecosystem in 2019.

Kim Balle, Co-Founder & CEO of the Nordic Startup Awards says “We’re very pleased to have Goodwille on the Regional Jury this year. Their experience helping Nordic businesses to get a foothold in the UK where many Nordic startups begin their international expansion makes them a great addition to the jury, as they know what the world outside the Nordic region is looking for in startups”.

Goodwille has vast experience helping startups and tech businesses, including previous NSAwards nominees and winners, with expanding to the UK from the Nordics. Goodwille first became a Nordic Partner to the NSAwards in 2018 to strengthen their position as the leader in helping businesses from the Nordic region with their expansion to the UK.

James Service, Marketing Manager of Goodwille says “We’re excited to continue our partnership with NSAwards and to offer our support to Nordic startups with the ambition to expand globally. We’re proud to share our experience of helping startups and tech businesses establish in the UK and provide invaluable insight to what’s needed to succeed internationally”.

Show your support for the actors that will shape our future – nominate your startup superhero to Nordic Startup Awards 2019! The national nominations for NSAwards open mid-May and the nomination deadline is 26th August. Seize the opportunity to apply yourself or nominate the individuals, startups and ecosystem supporters that you think deserve it the most.

CLICK HERE to get to the nomination page – and remember! Anyone can nominate anyone in any category, so spread the love and may be the best ones win!

Press Contacts

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

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

Goodwille sponsors London Bootcamp

Sweden is great at producing innovative startups, many that have grown to become unicorns! The international opportunity is great for Swedish startups, if only they dare to take the leap!

Goodwille, who has supported Swedish tech businesses like iZettle, Readly and Tobii in the UK, have a special love for Swedish startups with the ambition to conquer the world outside the homeland. That’s why we are happy to sponsor London Bootcamp that gives selected Swedish startups the boost they need to take the step!

About London Bootcamp, Tech Forum and Tech Fest

London Bootcamp is a newly introduced accelerator programme for Swedish startups, organised by the Swedish Chamber of Commerce for the UK and the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth (Tillväxtverket). The one-week programme takes place in London, Europe’s hotbed for startups and tech businesses, and coincides with London Tech Week. It offers selected startups the opportunity to learn everything the need to know about scaling up their business.

London is one of the top destinations for ambitious and innovative Swedish startups that want to expand internationally. The tech delegation of startups will during London Bootcamp meet with leading experts in scaling tech businesses. Goodwille, with vast experience helping Swedish businesses establish in the UK, will share our best tips for UK success. Our session presents the typical journey for setting up in the UK and the options, risks and costs associated with expanding to the UK. We will reveal common pitfalls to avoid, key success factors and the practical steps necessary to launch in the UK. The startups will leave with hands-on advice and be better equipped to tackle an international scaleup.

The Bootcamp culminates in Tech Forum, this year themed ‘Scaling future technologies’ held at Google’s UK HQ on Thursday 13th June. Tech Forum invites startups, investors and anyone with an interest in tech to come together to discuss what defines disruptive technologies. The Forum is succeeded by Tech Fest, offering excellent networking opportunities while overlooking London from Google UK’s rooftop, where the Bootcamp participants get to pitch to leading tech experts and investors.

If you are not one of the lucky startups to participate in London Bootcamp, you should definitely join the Tech Forum and Tech Fest! It will, without a doubt, be one of the highlights of London Tech Week 2019!

Read more about London Bootcamp and the events here.

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, 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!

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

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.