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!

Interview with Alexander Goodwille: 2 years as CEO of Goodwille

On 1 March 2017, Goodwille announced that Alexander Goodwille, the eldest son of our founder Annika Goodwille, was taking over the family business as CEO of Goodwille. To celebrate the 2 year anniversary of the role as CEO, we decided to catch up with Alexander on how the past two years have been for himself and the business, what he loves about the job, and also peeking a bit into his plans for the future.

Starting off with the very classic question – How does it feel?

It feels really good! We are getting the foundations in place to be able to move to the next stage of our growth and we have some really exciting projects lined up. We know where we’re going and we know we’re heading in the right direction, so it’s a very exciting time!

How have the past 2 years been for Goodwille?

We were all chucked in the deep end a bit with the craziness following the loss of our founder, but I’m happy to see how we reacted and made something good of it! We have come together strongly as a group and we’re working very much together. The team is better than ever, and we have got fantastic strength across the whole company. Where the business was historically centred around the founder, it’s now centred around all its staff members, which is how I think it should be.

We have seen strong growth over the past couple of years, and revenues are higher than ever. We also have the highest number of staff ever, all our departments have had at least one more headcount and we keep hiring more people across both our offices. Team stability and staff retention has also increased over the two past years, which means that we can offer an even better level of service to our clients.

Looking back at your time as CEO of Goodwille, what are you most proud of?

Surviving! Jokes aside – you spend so much time in your workplace so it’s important you get on with the people you work with. At Goodwille we laugh a lot, everyone gets on with everyone and last weekend we went to Dublin together – not on a work trip, but it was a team trip! People like to spend time together, which shows that people like each other. Building that environment and that team spirit, I’m proud of that.

Of course, we always need to keep an eye on the figures as well. Goodwille has experienced strong growth in the past two years, and we continue to grow and hire more people. It’s all heading in the right direction, but to me it’s all about who you’re doing it with.

What have you found most challenging?

I have found it challenging to strike that new balance between being just one on the team and being the person managing the team. Goodwille is a flat organisation, I know everyone feels they can come and speak to me whenever about whatever, but there are certain expectations on you as CEO that ensures you must change your behaviour slightly whether you want to or not. As much as you want to be the person you have always been in the office, you have the eyes on you and have to set example. Adjusting to that has been a big challenge for me personally.

From a company perspective, having lost important key players has of course been challenging. Re-establishing relationships takes time, but we are actively addressing those deficits and trying to build new relationships. You will see Goodwille representatives at almost every event organised by our strategic partners, and we also organise our own events with clients and partners. It’s great to have the whole team involved in building on Goodwille’s relationships!

How have you changed as a leader?

I have always had an idea of the kind of manager I want to be, and I think I’m still true to that idea, but I have grown more confident through experience and seeing that my ideas work and have taken hold. While historically I used to always think that my ideas were the highway, I guess I have become more consensus-driven. The days of authoritarian leaders are gone – “No involvement equals no enthusiasm” right. Everyone in a team needs to be engaged in a vision to drive that vision forward.

Have you put your own touch or influence on the business, and if so – how?

It’s really important to me that we offer our clients a fantastic level of service. We have slightly adjusted the way we work, and we encourage our team to build stronger relationships and friendships with our clients. Tying to that Goodwille is a founder business that used to be quite centric to the founder, I have focused on driving accountability and spreading responsibility across the business as much as possible. Instead of there just being one person standing out, there are now a number of characters that get the chance to stand out. Together we are Goodwille, so that was one change I felt needed to happen.

On the more personal side, I would like to say that I have brought a more fun, ‘work hard, play hard’ attitude to Goodwille. We have a lot of fun together, both at work and outside the office. If you like the people you work with and have fun together, you will also work better together, and by adding an element of fun to work and making sure the team enjoys working with each other, I think we can accomplish more together.

What do you love most about your job?

It’s funny, but it’s probably what my mother used to say – it’s the variety! There is always something different happening; new exciting clients we work with from a variety of different sectors and countries, new sides of myself I explore and new areas where I see the business can develop.

When I stepped up as CEO of Goodwille, I left a job in tech which is something I’m very passionate about and find extremely fascinating. Tech is one of our biggest core sectors, so another thing I love about working at Goodwille is that I get to geek out on the really cool tech companies that want to come to the UK market.

So instead of looking at what’s been, what’s in the pipeline for the future?

We are building our 5-year plan and considering the two past years have seen great growth, planning for the future is really exciting! Team Goodwille has grown rapidly in the past years, so we are making arrangements for continued and future growth. And of course, we are constantly looking to develop our service offering and adding new services to continue providing foreign businesses with the support they need to succeed on the UK market, and strengthening our partner network to provide our clients with a better global reach.

 

Related articles

Goodwille Strengthens Its Management
Press Release announcing Alexander Goodwille as CEO of Goodwille

MEET: Alexander Goodwille
Interview with Alexander by the Swedish Chamber of Commerce

How to be a good leader

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

Listen to people

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

Do what you say you will do

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

Always acknowledge mistakes

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

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

Launch in London – London Tech Week 2018

London Tech Week is getting closer, and so is our event Launch in London! We have a great outline of speakers, lots of interesting people signed up and a superb location boiling of creativity and entrepreneurship so we are certain that this will be one of the highlights of London Tech Week 2018!

There are still some free tickets left, but since capacity is limited we advise you to grab yours as soon as possible! Get your tickets through this link, just click the purple ‘Register’ button on top of the page, type in your details and you’re good to go!

ABOUT LAUNCH IN LONDON

Join us on 14 June for Launch in London – London Tech Week’s hottest event for any business establishing in the UK!

Hosted by Goodwille at Level39, one of the world’s most well renowned and connected tech hubs, Launch in London will provide you with everything you need to succeed with your business in London. Get inside tips on the Do’s and Don’ts when starting up in the UK, how to navigate Brexit, the British business culture and how to grow your network with the right people, all while overlooking London’s skyline.

This is THE event for startups, entrepreneurs and businesses looking to establish in London, as well as for mentors and advisors helping tech businesses succeed on London’s tech scene.

SPEAKERS

Alexander Goodwille, CEO of Goodwille will share the best tips, and the pitfalls to avoid when starting up in the UK.

Mark Leaver, Creative Industries Specialist of DIT – Department for International Trade will discuss why despite Brexit, the UK is still very much open for business and why you should start your business in London during 2018.

Joanna Dodd, Director of Rochester PR will share helpful insights on marketing, PR & how to get connected with the right people in the UK.

Joanna Smit, Owner of SMIT Training will help you understand the British people and culture and provide you with the intercultural skills you need to make your transition in to the UK market.

The seminars will be followed by a Q&A session, drinks, canapes & networking (plus opportunities for panoramic photographs of London!).

EVENTS DETAILS

Date: Thursday 14 June 2018
Time: 10am-1pm
Location: Level39, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AB
Free entry

REGISTER FOR THE EVENT HERE


If you have any questions about the event, get in touch with our Marketing Manager James Service on james.service@goodwille.com or 020 7795 8100.

HR Management Tips

If you’re planning to set up a UK company or open a UK office to expand your overseas operations, getting the best from your workforce will be crucial to your success.

In fact, there are usually just two reasons why your employees aren’t performing consistently at their best:

1. They can’t
2. They simply don’t want to

Your staff either lack that essential something that prevents them from performing with excellence, or they never achieve what they are capable of because they simply have no desire to do so.

It’s important that managers think about these causes as separate issues, requiring different approaches and strategies to remedy them.

Employees who don’t perform because they can’t

Sometimes, irrespective of how much you ask, demand, instruct or cajole your staff for a certain level of performance, you just don’t get it, because they simply are not able to give it to you. Some employees are masters of the ‘can’t’ syndrome as an excuse for laziness and lack of motivation.

Tackle this by asking them one question: “What makes it difficult for you to do your job in the way I’m asking you to, with excellence, consistently?”

There are four legitimate barriers that could be the problem: physical barriers, time barriers, wherewithal barriers, and know-how barriers.

It’s a simple task to identify these barriers. If your staff are given an opportunity to communicate their issues without fear of recrimination, it will be easy enough to compile a list of problems.

The easiest way to eliminate all these barriers to performance is to listen to your workers. Most people will offer a solution to their problems given the chance; you might often hear them say, “If I was in charge of this department, I’d …” Ask your staff for their ideas and give them the power to implement the solutions. If the solution doesn’t work, give them another chance and praise them publicly when success is achieved.

Employees who just don’t want to

Having removed all the barriers to excellence, you have effectively left nothing for the lazy to hide behind. Once the “can’ts” have been removed, what’s left are those who excel, and those who clearly need replacing.

It’s never easy to replace staff but it can be a necessary evil. Staff members who perform to a high level will not tolerate lazy co-workers who they have to carry and may eventually become resentful or even leave for fear of not being appreciated. Therefore, getting rid of slackers is a necessary part of managing excellence; in doing so you raise the bar for everyone and reward those who have been carrying the dead-wood.

The first step…

Set your employees up for success by removing barriers and listening to their challenges and you will find the mystery of HR management simply disappears. For more expert HR advice, contact Goodwille today.

HR tips: how to manage your remote employees

With over four million UK workers now regularly working for home, it seems businesses are slowly coming round to the benefits of allowing their employees to work remotely. But, with distractions aplenty, no pressure to be productive and a lack of supervision, how do you ensure flexibility works out for both the staff and the business?

Here are four top tips for managing your remote workers:

1. Set overarching goals

When employees are present in the office, it’s easy to keep an eye on their workflow and what they’re achieving, whether that’s through regular meetings or informal conversations. Forbes recently reported that 93% of employees are at their most productive when they work from home, but how do you translate this into traceable and measurable achievements?

It’s important to set goals to ensure things are getting done, whether on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, but try not to micromanage. After all, if you can’t trust the person to do their job, what are you letting them work from home for?

2. Make use of technology

There are a plethora of online tools and software applications out there to track where people are up to with tasks and to communicate what needs to be done, so use them!

Whether it’s a ticketing system to allow you to know when a job has been completed, a fully-integrated project management system or simply Skype, communication regarding work doesn’t have to stop just because staff aren’t in the office.

3. Be flexible

In an office, 9 to 5 is the norm and is often unavoidable, but such strict scheduling isn’t always necessary when someone is working from their home office.

If employees are required to be online at these times, make it clear to them, but also outline that hours are flexible if other things need to be prioritised. Your employees will appreciate your acknowledgement that a work/life balance needs to be maintained.

4. Be open

Remote working can be isolating. As well as encouraging staff to make use of co-working spaces and the like, ensure you let them know that you’re approachable and there to listen to any questions or concerns they may have. If possible, set up regular face-to-face meetings or ‘office days’ so workers can meet up and talk things through.

At Goodwille, we can act as your HR adviser or provide you with a fully outsourced HR function to keep you up to date with current UK best practice. If you need help and advice on how to manage your remote employees, don’t hesitate to contact us or read more about our HR service offering here.

Goodwille Strengthens Its Management

The untimely loss of its founder inevitably presents any company with a challenging period of reflection regarding matters strategic and managerial. Goodwille Ltd has been no exception, but when we wrote to our clients and other friends of the company in July 2016 to impart our sad news, we made it clear that there would be no immediate change in the strategic direction of the company.

With regard to the future management of the business, it was always Annika’s wish that her family continue her work by further developing Goodwille Ltd.

We are therefore pleased to announce that Alexander Goodwille, Annika’s eldest son, who has been providing IT consultancy services to the company for the last two years, will become CEO as of 1st March 2017.

Svend Littauer, who has played a major role in the company over many years, most recently as Annika’s COO, has decided to seek new challenges elsewhere. He has agreed to delay his departure to ensure a smooth transition, while he hands over his day-to-day management responsibilities. Kevin Rutter, who for the last year and a half has been head of Financial Administration, will join the management team as CFO, supporting Alexander in the general management of the company.

Alexander Goodwille, CEO, comments:
“Goodwille has been built on the foundation stone of delivering outstanding service to its clients. I very much look forward to expanding and developing the business, together with Kevin and the rest of the dedicated team at Goodwille. I am very grateful that Svend will be assisting us to ensure a smooth handover of his responsibilities. The company and the family extend their sincere thanks to Svend for his dedicated service to the company over many years.”

Svante Adde, Non-Executive Chairman, comments:
“Annika would have been delighted to see that the family is continuing to build the firm that she had created. Alexander is bringing to Goodwille the complementary skills in IT and support services gained during his 10 years of working in Investment Banking IT.”

Kevin Rutter, CFO, comments:
“This is a great opportunity for me to assist Alexander in consolidating, and building on, the great work done by Annika, Svend and others, in bringing the business to where it is today.”

Svend Littauer, COO, comments:
“I have greatly enjoyed working at Goodwille and helping to build the business over the last 9 years. With a new generation taking over, I am confident that Goodwille has a very bright future.”

The entire team at Goodwille is confident that the company is well positioned to sustain its growth over the foreseeable future. We will continue to build on the great work that Annika did in creating and building this business, while embracing new opportunities for even greater success in the future.