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!

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.

How to find the best employees

If you’re planning to set up a UK company, then hiring the right employees will be an essential part of your role. However, this can be a tricky process if you’re not experienced in doing it. Here’s our guide to some of the steps you can take to find ideal employees every single time.

Make sure you know exactly what you’re looking for

Almost every company will have hard skills in their head when they want to hire someone new. They’ll know which language they want their developers experienced in, or what sort of clients they’d like their account managers to be confident handling.

This is great, but it’s worth bearing in mind what ‘extra’ skills you’d like your ideal employee to have. Do you want your copywriters to be comfortable presenting to clients? Do you want your developers to be alright handling troubleshooting phone calls? What about travelling between offices?

It’s all very well getting the hard skills in place, but the soft skills can make more of a difference than you think, so know what you want from them, too.

Don’t be afraid to build relationships with candidates

Let’s say that you’ve hired one person over another, but in an ideal world you’d have liked both of them on your team. Well, make the effort to keep in touch with the candidates you’d like to hire in future. Even if it’s just having them on your LinkedIn, it makes a difference to keep your company in their minds.

If you do this, you’ll then be able to get hold of them easily and ask them to apply for a suitable role when one comes up. Don’t let the best candidates slip through your fingers.

Focus on what people have done, not what they say

Some candidates interview well but are mostly talk rather than performance. Always ask them to demonstrate specific situations where they’ve used the skills you’re looking for.

So, if they’ve claimed to be a problem solver, ask them to talk about problems they’ve solved. If they’ve said they’re pro-active, ask them to specifically demonstrate what they’ve done off their own back to improve themselves. The more specific the examples they can give, the better. If a candidate isn’t able to give specific examples, the chances are they’re less qualified than they say.

If you’re about to open a UK office and are looking to recruit people, contact us at Goodwille for HR advice and help. We help companies with everything related to employing people in the UK – from employment contracts, to pensions, employee benefits and questions and issues regarding employment law, and we can also assist in your recruitment process. Read more about the HR services we provide on our People Management service page.

How a telephone answering service could benefit your business this summer

In order for a new small business in the United Kingdom to remain profitable, it’s important that customers receive good service all year round, including during the school summer holiday period. Sometimes, co-ordinating your own summer break with that of your employees and maintaining good customer service at the same time can be challenging.

However, a good telephone answering service could be the answer to your dilemma. Here are a few of the benefits of a telephone answering service that your business could enjoy this summer.

Lower overheads

Although big corporations may have the luxury of in-house customer service staff to pick up the slack when it comes to holiday cover, smaller companies often rely on paying their employees overtime or employing temps in order to cover staff shortages.

However, a competitively priced live answering service could help you to cut the cost of paying for temps or forking out on overtime.

Customer satisfaction

One of the main complaints of customers is unanswered phone calls. Unanswered phone calls lead to frustration, client dissatisfaction and negative feedback or reviews that can quickly ruin your company’s reputation.

A good telephone answering service will be able to respond to customer enquiries 24/7, giving you peace of mind whilst you enjoy your summer break.

Company image

A telephone answering service will provide a tailored response based on your own scripts. Callers, therefore, receive the impression that their calls are being handled by an in-house employee, making your business appear larger and thus boosting your business’ credibility.

Happy holidays

Managing a small business is often stressful, and it’s important that you take time out to enjoy some downtime with your family during the summer school break. A telephone answering service means that you won’t have your break constantly interrupted by your company mobile phone.

You can keep your company growing, ensure your customers’ satisfaction and give your staff the relaxing summer break they deserve by hiring telephone answering service. To find out more about how a live telephone answering service could benefit your business this summer, contact us at Goodwille today.

Managing HR in the UK market

HR is an important concern for new start-up businesses and existing companies. How you manage your staff will have a significant impact on the success of your business, so it’s vital you get it right.

Although English employment law offers protection to both employers and employees, it can be complicated. Due to the complexity of the law, it’s always advisable to seek expert help when you’re hiring and managing staff.

Launching in the UK

With many companies eager to open a United Kingdom office, there is high demand for professional services. If you want to set up a UK company, there are lots to consider. While you may be operating successfully in an overseas territory, your existing framework may not be completely compatible with English employment law.

In addition to this, there are cultural and practical issues which may affect the way you do business. When transporting your company to the UK, it’s vital to recognise how these differences will affect your day-to-day operations.

By working with a network of international advisers, you can ensure that your business operations flourish across multiple jurisdictions. As well as helping you to meet your legal obligations under English law, people management specialists can assist you in a variety of other areas.

Outsourcing your HR

Depending on your company’s existing structure, you may require support from a full-scale HR department. Rather than attempting to hire numerous staff, why not outsource your needs to existing HR specialists?

As well as having an in-depth knowledge of English employment law, Goodwille HR specialists have a wealth of experience when it comes to moving business operations from one country to another. In addition to providing on-going HR support, you can gain access to independent advice regarding employee benefits.

If you’re expanding your business from overseas, you may be keen to offer secondments to existing staff once your UK office is up and running. If so, our people management advisers can ensure that the appropriate contracts are in place and that your employees are fully supported during their move.

Whether you need full HR support or people management advice, we can help. Read more about Goodwille’s HR and People Management, or contact us today to find out more about starting up in the UK.

Expanding into the UK – all you need to know when starting a business in the UK

The UK is ranked one of the best locations for businesses looking to expand internationally. Starting a business in the UK can be challenging, but with the right set of tools and knowledge it’s a great place for business opportunities. The global environment, ease of doing business and strong market potential are of particular interest for overseas companies starting up in the UK.

When setting up a company in the UK, there are a number of registration requirements, regulations and obligations that need to be taken into account. This article highlights the most important things to consider when expanding your business into the UK.

Legal structures for market entry

When setting up in the UK, there are several legal structures to choose from. The company structure most suitable to you will depend on your type of business, where you are based and whether you have employees on board or not. Below are some of the most common legal structures in the UK;

  • Limited company
  • Branch office
  • Limited liability partnership (LLP)
  • Sole trader
  • Partnership

Limited company (LTD) is the most common form of business entity in the UK. A LTD company is a separate legal entity, owned by shareholders and managed by directors. The profits of a limited company are liable for UK corporation tax. Setting up an LTD company in the UK is a well-recognised structure that is quick and cost-effective to complete. With share capital starting at just £1, and with the risk contained within the subsidiary company, this is often the preferred route for international businesses expanding into Great Britain.

An international company may consider registering a branch office in the UK, rather than a LTD company. A branch office is not a separate legal entity from the head office company and full responsibility for the operations, debts and liabilities of the UK branch lie on the overseas parent company.

To find out more about the best option for you when expanding to the UK, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Goodwille’s Legal Department. 

Set-up and registration

A company can typically be registered with Companies House in 48 hours once all documents are completed. A UK company must register for corporation tax with HMRC, within three months of starting to trade. The paperwork for registration is not too extensive, however, certain statutory documents will be required.

Bank account

In order to make any transactions, you’ll need to open a UK bank account for your business. Opening a bank account is a time-consuming process as you will need to go through a money laundering process to ensure your company is credible for a corporate bank account. Therefore, prepare to have time and patience for this stage, it can easily take up to six months or more to complete.

Check if your bank in the company’s home country has any operations in the UK. In some cases, this might speed up the process, as it may prove some creditworthiness for the business.

Regulations

The regulatory system in the UK is open and transparent, making it easy to do business. In general, the UK aims to minimise bureaucracy and deregulate marketplaces in order to allow companies to develop and expand. However, there are strict regulations e.g. with regards to employment, industrial emissions, pollution monitoring and control, and waste disposal. Make sure you are aware of the regulations that directly or indirectly affect your business!

All businesses operating in the UK are subject to UK law, and every company registered in the UK must have a registered address in the UK. By law, all UK companies must file their annual accounts with Companies House within nine months of the end of an accounting period. Additionally, a confirmation statement must be filed with Companies House every 12 months (within 28 days of the anniversary of incorporation).

To get all the details in order and prepare for the regulatory areas, you should look for specialist advice. Contact Goodwille’s Corporate Legal Department today if you have any questions regarding regulations or your business’ obligations in the UK.

Tax

Foreign businesses looking at overseas business opportunities in the UK will find a competitive and business-friendly tax regime. Companies need to consider their exposure to UK taxation, including corporate income tax, value-added tax (VAT) and employment taxes.

Companies may become subject to UK taxation in a number of ways, such as

  • Establishing a formal taxable presence in the UK, such as a branch or Ltd company, and making a profit.
  • Registering a company for VAT in the UK. Companies must be registered for VAT if their taxable turnover for any 12 months period is £85,000 or over. The current standard VAT rate in the UK is 20%.

It’s important to remember that an international business operating in the UK do not necessarily create a taxable presence in the UK. In order to be subject to UK corporation income taxation, an overseas business needs to be trading in the UK through a permanent establishment. To find out more about when you may need to register an entity in the UK, please contact us.

Employment

When employing people in the UK, you need to be aware of several regulations within UK employment law. To start with, make sure your employees have the right to work in the UK (that they hold a valid UK/EU passport or work permit/visa) and a NIN (National Insurance Number) for the deduction of taxes. Also, remember to follow the guidelines for UK employment contracts and provide these within 8 weeks of starting the employment.

In addition, you need to register you employees into a PAYE scheme (Pay-As-You-Earn: social costs of employment including income tax and National Insurance) and organise relevant company insurances. Every employer in the UK must also enrol their employees into the workplace’s pension scheme within three months after the start of the employment.

In terms of the remuneration, you must ensure the employees are paid at least the National Minimum Wage in the UK. As the recruitment market in the UK is highly competitive, also make sure your remuneration package is attractive enough and fits into the scope of the role.

If you are recruiting in the UK, you may want to turn to specialists who can help you with all the employer regulations and responsibilities you need to consider in the UK. Goodwille’s Human Resource Department deals with these issues daily and are happy to help if you have any questions regarding UK employment.

To conclude

The UK market provides great opportunities for expanding your business, however starting up a business in the UK is a challenging process full of regulations. In order to get the set-up processes and ongoing compliance right, it’s good to turn to professionals who are able to provide you with advice and all the necessary help you need to get your business operations up and running correctly from the start.

If you are a foreign-owned business looking to expand into the UK, either through setting up a UK subsidiary or employing staff in the UK, Goodwille can help you to get the inside track. We have helped businesses expand into the UK for 20 years, and are experienced in Corporate Legal, Finance, HR and Payroll services in the UK. With a track record of supporting almost 2,000 businesses, we have extensive experience to help you grow your business. Get in touch with us today, if you are planning to expand to the UK or have any questions regarding the UK market.


Useful contacts for your business

When expanding your business to the UK, there are many organisations you may find useful.

Networking-wise, it’s good to get know your local chamber of commerce and see if their network is worth accessing. For example, Finnish-British Chamber of Commerce and Swedish Chamber of Commerce provide good opportunities for professional networking.

Also, when developing your strategy for the new market, Department of International Trade (DIT) provides free advisory and supports companies with their UK strategy and planning.

LAUNCH IN LONDON | Speaker introduction: Alexander Goodwille – Goodwille

London is a great place to be for tech businesses – it has access to great pool of talent, capital and investors, it boosts a large tech community and it’s perfectly located in the middle of time zones. With all these possibilities available – how can businesses and entrepreneurs utilise these to the best extent possible, and what else is needed to succeed?

On 14 June, Goodwille are hosting the event Launch in London as part of London Tech Week. The event targets startups, tech businesses and entrepreneurs with aspirations to launch in London, and will provide insights and expert advice on everything you need to succeed with your tech business in London.

One of the speakers at the event is our very own CEO Alexander Goodwille. If you read our blog on a regular basis, you might already be familiar with Alexander and what we do at Goodwille, but reading the introduction below we’re sure you’ll learn something new about Alexander, the Goodwille family business and why we are hosting Launch in London during London Tech Week!

During Launch in London, Alexander will speak about:

With over twenty years (twenty one to be exact!) experience helping companies expand in the UK, Goodwille have seen many businesses succeed, and also some businesses struggle with their UK operations. Alexander will share his best tips, and the pitfalls to avoid when starting up your business in London. He will provide common mistakes that he has seen over the years and give examples of unpleasant situations you might end up in if you haven’t done your homework!

About Goodwille and why we host Launch in London during London Tech Week 2018

Goodwille help businesses succeed with their UK operation. Founded by Swedish business woman Annika Åman-Goodwille, Goodwille take care of the administration and practical issues associated with running a business in the UK, so businesses can focus on clients and growing their business! Covering five integrated department, including Corporate Legal and Compliance, Finance, People Management and HR, Payroll, and Virtual Office and Meeting Rooms, we provide a solid foundation for you to grow your business.

At Goodwille, we think that startups and entrepreneurs should focus their efforts on value creation instead of admin and trying to learn the systems and requirements to run a UK business, and Tech is one of the most represented industries in our client-base. We want to provide startups, entrepreneurs and tech businesses with not only the administrative support they need to succeed in the UK, but also to give them valuable advice on how to interact with British clients and colleagues, how to make a name of yourself on London’s big tech scene, and also where and how to look for help to maximise your potential. We hope that Launch in London will provide just this to growing businesses, British or foreign, that wish to conquer London in 2018.

About Alexander

Alexander is the Computer Engineer that after 10 years in Investment Banking in March 2017 stepped up as CEO for the family business that his mother had founded 20 years earlier. He has a deep passion for all things tech and entrepreneurial, and he loves seeing people grow and succeed. Growing up in the UK with a Swedish mother and Scottish father and having seen the Goodwille business grow from the first client to nearly 2,000 companies helped to date, he has seen and experienced several culture clashes between cultures that are seemingly similar, but maybe more importantly – he has seen many foreign companies succeed in the UK.

LAUNCH IN LONDON – EVENTS DETAILS

Date: Thursday 14 June 2018
Time: 10am-1pm
Location: Level39, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AB
Tickets: This event is fully booked, email hello@goodwille.com to be put on the waiting list

Do’s and Don’ts when starting up a business in the UK

Goodwille support foreign businesses with expert knowledge on how to run their UK operations. Launching a new business in the UK require an understanding of the market, the people and the business environment, and we have many partners in our network that offer complimentary services to us that can support your market entry. One of these partners are Rochester PR, a PR agency specialised in market entry PR.

Earlier in 2018, Rochester PR released the book ‘Are you ready for business in the UK?’ which is a collection of advice, thoughts, comments and observations from firms operating in London on how to enjoy and make the most of setting up a business in the UK, and especially in London.

Having over 20 years of experience supporting and advising foreign businesses in the UK, Goodwille were asked to contribute to the book with our best advice on how to succeed on the UK market. These are our CEO Alexander Goodwille’s Do’s and Don’ts when starting up a business in the UK:

Do

  • Take specialist advice, don’t just wing it! Things can get difficult and expensive if you get it wrong.
  • Research your competition. It’s a competitive market.
  • Network! Tap into everywhere you can get help – nothing work 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.

So… Are you ready for business in the UK? Goodwille has over 20 years experience helping foreign businesses establish in the UK. We can help making your transition into the UK market smooth and efficient and make sure you’re equipped with the advice you need to succeed with your business. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can support you.

Do you want a copy of the full book ‘Are you ready for business in the UK’?
Send an email to hello@goodwille.com and we’ll sort it!

Opportunities for startups in Birmingham

If you’re planning to start up your new business in the UK or transfer an existing overseas business to the UK, Birmingham could be an ideal location. Being the second biggest city in the UK, Birmingham recorded the highest number of UK startups in 2016 and is currently just behind London when it comes to startup numbers. The Start Up Loans Company, UK Government backed business named Birmingham  “the most entrepreneurial city” outside of London in 2017.

Advantages of starting up a business in Birmingham

Some of the benefits of opting for Birmingham as your choice for startup location include:

1. Birmingham has a great geographic location in the Midlands, central England, so it’s quick and easy to travel to from anywhere in the UK. It only takes around 90 minutes to travel from Birmingham to London by train, and the motorway network is superb for accessing any area of the UK in the shortest possible times. If the proposed HS2 rail developments go ahead, the train journey to London will be cut to just over 40 minutes.

2. The commercial rents in Birmingham are a lot lower than those in London and labour costs are a lot lower than the UK average. The average weekly earnings for full time employees in 2016 were around £497 per week.

3. There are four major universities in Birmingham, so businesses have access to a talented workforce. Furthermore, over 220,000 people within the working age population are qualified at NVQ level 4 or above.

4. The NEC, one of the largest conference and trade show facilities in the UK, is very close to Birmingham city centre. Every year, the NEC hosts a number of high profile business events.

5. Birmingham is home to a thriving tech startup zone, known as Silicon Tech Canal and the local enterprise zone is very supportive of startups. There are a wide range of grants, funds and initiatives available to Birmingham startups that make a commitment to providing employment in the city.

6. While the city’s tech scene is growing, the Midlands has traditionally been home to heavy industry and manufacturing businesses and the area remains the go-to region for these types of businesses. If you are running a business focused on heavy industry or manufacturing, the Midlands the natural area to establish in due to its industry clusters and the infrastructure.

If you need any advice on which UK city that’s most suitable for your business, or anything else related to starting up a business in the UK, Goodwille can help. We have helped nearly 2,000 businesses with their UK operations and can provide you with all the advice and support you need to make sure your business can grow and flourish in the UK. With offices in Midlands and London, we can offer you location-based and industry-specific expertise. Get in touch with us today to learn about how we can ensure the success of your business.

Can London tech businesses boost economic growth in a post-Brexit UK?

Brexit continues to occupy much of the space in the British and international media, with debate ongoing as to what the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will mean for business.

Recent government impact studies have shown that as much as 8% could be chipped off Britain’s GDP if the UK leaves the EU with no deal in place. Five percent of GDP will apparently go missing if they conclude a free trade agreement with the EU, according to the leaked reports published by BuzzFeed.

Even if Britain stays in the European Economic Area after leaving the EU, the damage will still be around 2% of GDP, according to the leaked impact assessments. Those figures suggest that some serious innovation will be required by businesses to keep the British economy on track and moving in a positive direction.

So what can be done? Well, tech startups in London could be a big part of the answer. If anyone is wanting to set up a UK company of this type, London is a good city to choose. There are a number of reasons for this.

Tellingly, London has a youthful, dynamic and diverse population, that is also very large. A massive chunk of the city’s population is classed as being millennials, a demographic which is naturally drawn to technology companies.

An indicator of the opportunities available to companies who set up in this part of the UK is that in 2015, London-based start-ups created 20,000 new jobs. They also managed to raise £1.3 billion. Now, in 2017, there is also a massive availability of investment platforms and accelerators, which can help a new business in London grow. These include TechStars, Crowdcube and Shell Livewire.

If you are looking to set up a new company in the UK, or diversify some of your operations by expanding your current business from overseas into the UK, then London is a good place to look. This is especially true for tech companies. There is a ready supply of workers and customers in one of the world’s most international cities. Brexit may well be on its way, and casting a shadow over the UK economy, but the opportunities to thrive in a city like London are still there to be grasped.

With years of experience helping foreign tech startups establish in the UK, Goodwille can help you with everything you need to succeed on the UK market.
Get in touch with us today if you need any advice or help with your company expansion.


Are you worried about what impact Brexit might have on your future possibilities to do business? We have consolidated everything you need to know about Brexit on our Brexit Tracker. The Tracker is updated as discussions go along, so it’s always up to date with the most recent progress of the Brexit negotiations. You find the Brexit Tracker on goodwille.com/brexit.