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.

Join our Oslo Innovation Week event

Norwegian explorer Liv Arnesen made international headlines in 1994 as the first woman in the world to ski solo and unsupported to the South pole – a 50-day expedition that took her 745 miles.

Join our OSLO Innovation Week seminar, available to the CEOs & Founders of Norwegian startups and scaleups, to hear one of Norway’s greatest ever female explorers, Liv, share the battles and rewards when you dare to dream. It can be a lonely world when you work in a startup, and it can be a really lonely world when you travel 50 days unsupported to the South Pole.

In this powerful conference, TedX speaker Liv will share and discuss leadership in small teams, risk management and how to find the courage in yourself when the going gets tough. All startups will hit hurdles, especially when so many dream of going to new countries. Join this conference to find out more about the challenges you will face when you dare to explore outside of Norway.

Event details

Date: 25 September 2019
Venue: The Lounge @ Mesh, 3 Tordenskiolds gate, 0160 Sentrum, Oslo
Time: 10:00 – 12:30
Tickets: Grab your ticket HERE!

Tickets are available free of charge to Norwegian startup CEO & Founders. You must register using a corporate email account.

About Oslo Innovation Week

Oslo Innovation Week is an annual happening inviting people from all around the world to Norway’s capital city. Celebrating all things innovation, OIW brings together change-driven corporates, entrepreneurs, startups and organisations for conferences, pitching, workshops and networking. 2019’s edition in the 14th Oslo Innovation Week around, this year held between 23-27 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 2019 on oiw.no.

UK Investment Support Directory

Goodwille is one of the best service providers to support inward investment to the UK!

Department for International Trade (DIT) launched the UK Investment Support Directory in May 2019, to help overseas businesses with finding the right support when setting up or expanding in the UK. We are honoured to announce that Goodwille is one of the UK specialist firms listed in the Directory as experts in helping foreign businesses establish on the UK market!

About the UK Investment Support Directory

The UK Investment Support Directory is a collection of companies with skills and experience in helping overseas businesses establish or expand in the UK. The Directory includes service providers carefully selected by DIT based on their experience and expertise in the UK marketplace.

The aim of the Directory is to provide a link between foreign businesses and local experts; it helps overseas businesses to find the most appropriate local support by listing UK service providers by industry and experience, all in one place. If you need specialist advice within a specific sector or with specific language skills, the Directory makes it easy for you to find British businesses with just the expertise and experience you are looking for!

Goodwille is in a good position to assist foreign businesses with navigating the UK market. We have over 20 years of experience helping businesses mainly from the Nordics to set up an run successful UK operations. With clients ranging from tech startups to retail chains, we are well equipped to support businesses in any sector.

On our Business Profile Page you can read more about the services we provide for overseas companies thinking about expanding to the UK, as well as some examples of companies we have helped to achieve UK success.

The full UK Investment Support Directory is accessible on DIT’s website.

Are you looking to set up or expand your business in the UK? Contact Goodwille today to hear more about how we have helped over 1,800 businesses set up and run a successful UK operation. We are happy to share our experience and help businesses from abroad off to a flying start in the UK!

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

Advice for launching a fintech startup in London

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

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

UK business climate

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

Setting up a UK company

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

Payroll issues

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

Potential grants or funding

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

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

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

NSAwards Grand Finale

Nordic Startup Awards Grand Finale 2018 took place on the 30th October, and Goodwille as Nordic Partners of the NSAwards were of course on site in Copenhagen to celebrate the best of Nordic startups and entrepreneurs. Our Marketing Manager James Service gave a run down on the Awards, and below he reveals the highlights of the show and the startups and entrepreneurs that stood out extra among the best of the best Nordic businesses. 

It was a cold, wet and dreary Tuesday night in Copenhagen. But it was the Nordic Startup Awards Grand Finale, and Goodwille (a Nordic Partner) are one of a few service providers joining the elite in Nordic Tech at the Østre Gasværk Teater.

It’s got everything you could want from an awards ceremony, but it’s wrapped in an energy and warmth generated by the finalists. There is talk of collaboration not competition, with Thorbjorg Helga Vigfusdottir, winner of the people’s choice asking the other Nordic Countries to help her in raising the profile of Iceland.

For me, there were a few winners and speeches which really stood out, and I wanted to share them with you.

Best HealthTech Startup – Nightingale Health

Nightingale Health, a healthcare startup from Finland who are disrupting and revolutionising the healthcare sector – or, as their CEO put it, the sickcare sector. Nightingale Health are creating pioneering products for the active prevention of lifestyle diseases, with their blood testing technology providing 50 times more data than current solutions.

We heard their CEO speak earlier in a panel, and he asked the audience “What’s better than someone offering you $1Billion for your company?”.

“Telling them no”, he replied.

An excited Finn isn’t something found very often, but this guy was inspiring, warming and oozing with the entrepreneur mentality. Sadly Nightingale Health missed out on the Startup of the Year award, but we are excited to see them later this year at SLUSH.

Ecosystem Hero of the Year – Sissel Hansen

Sissel Hansen, the founder of the book series Startup Guide (available at good book stores, online and at the Goodwille offices) got the biggest cheer of the night from the crowd. An emotional speech in which she declared she was “passionate about passionate people”. Sissel launched her book series with no knowledge of publishing, but she had no problems telling the “expert” publisher who joined her on the journey that’s not how they were going to do it. She made it clear that if you do what you’ve always done, you’re going to get the same results. You could see how much it meant to both Sissel and the crowd for her to be recognised with this accolade; and for that, it was one of my highlights.

Best AI/Machine Learning Startup – Corti

An AI assistant that helps emergency service call takers better diagnose patients. Corti analyses everything the caller says and shares. The platform is used by the emergency services in Copenhagen right now and helping to save lives. The recipient of the award said he couldn’t wait to take it back to the team who were still working, in their basement, at 9pm. Whilst we all gathered to celebrate their success, the people who built it work tirelessly to improve it, for our future benefit – it’s this passion and commitment that’s inspiring.

Saga Robotics, who see Brexit as an opportunity for their robotic fruit picking business picked up the award for best Foodtech Agritech Startup. Whilst 657 Oslo, the home to over 225 talented individuals beat Maria01 and Minc to the prize of Best Coworking Space.

For the startups, it’s the recognition. They spend long hours, days and years, working on disrupting or revolutionising an industry that they are passionate about, with no guarantees of success. And it’s their commitment to their product which makes our world easier, more comfortable, safer or healthier.

For us it was a privilege to join the Grand Finale, and we look forward to developing our partnership with the Nordic Startup Awards, and supporting many of their winners and finalists, both past and present, with their future UK Market Entry.

Find out more about the Nordic Startup Awards & Goodwille by reading our partnership press release here.

In the picture: all regional winners at the NSAwards Grand Finale 2018

How socially-minded startups are changing the world of business

The nature of startups has changed. A 2018 study by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor revealed that one third of all startups are set up with a social or environmental focus rather than purely looking to make a profit.

What’s changed?

The change has been fuelled by young, socially-minded entrepreneurs who have had it with the moral failings of companies that they’ve grown up with. It’s been a decade since the Great Recession, when the incompetency and greed of Wall Street bankers sent the world into meltdown, and it seems that the start-up community have taken it upon themselves to create a new style of business leadership, and change what it means to be a ‘business’.

Examples of successful social enterprises are shoe company TOMS, who donate a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair they sell, and London-based Soap Co., who employ blind, disabled and disadvantaged people to manufacture their body care products.

Of course, these new startups aren’t charities. They still look to make a profit, and the entrepreneurs who head them up still want to have long and illustrious business careers. But the question that is asked now among start-up communities isn’t simply how much money you can make; it’s how disruptive you can be.

This disruption comes in more traditional forms, such as re-defining an industry by finding a niche in the market or changing consumer habits by providing simple solutions to complex problems, but now social enterprises seek another form of disruption as an indicator of success: how much can you better the lives of disadvantaged people?

The creation of social enterprises

The UK government currently facilitates the creation of social enterprises by offering grants, and loans are available from banks such as NatWest and Triodos to help socially and environmentally conscious entrepreneurs to set up UK businesses.

All over the world, communities should be smiling at the good intentions of these young business people who are rallying against the profit hungry corporations that hold so much influence over global trade. We can only hope that these big business giants take note of how social enterprises are redefining how businesses should behave. If they do, the world will become a much better place.

If you are looking at setting up a business in the UK, Goodwille can help you take care about the practical business aspects of your UK operation. This means that you can focus on disrupting the UK market and making the world a better place while we make sure you are good to go and comply with necessary regulations in the UK. Get in touch with us today to hear more about how we can support your startup.