How to land and grow your tech business in the UK

“Tech Growth UK – How to land and grow your tech business in the UK from people who know what it takes” a webinar at London Tech Week. Andrew Elmwick & Chris Moore from the Department for International Trade, Joanna Dodd from Rochester PR, James Blackmore from JMB Partnership and Sarah Kenshall from Burges Salmon are sharing their knowledge on expanding to the UK. We attended and here are some of the key takeaways.

Tech during and after the pandemic is as strong as ever

The world is a very strange place at the moment but the technology sector is as strong as ever following the Covid-19 pandemic. Our dependency on tech is only going to grow in the UK during and after the Coronavirus pandemic.

The UK is the number one tech scale-up market in Europe 

The turnover of UK digital tech businesses has grown since 2018. The United Kingdom is number 1 in Europe for Tech Scale-Ups. 10% of the UK’s revenue comes from the technology industry. The UK’s Digital Tech sector has also grown 6 times bigger than the rest of the UK’s economy over the past 8 years and now withholds 10% of the UK’s employed workforce.

Why is the UK so leading in the tech industry? 

The reason the UK is succeeding in tech companies is that the UK remains the hotbed for tech talent, employing 5% of all high-growth tech workers globally. You can find 4 of the world’s top 10 universities and 8 or Europe’s top 20 universities in the UK.

The United Kingdom also has a huge number of accelerators driving the growth of international start-ups from the country. Many of them are also sector-specific and corporate-backed.

The main reason for the UK’s tech success is, however, innovation. Different innovation centres can help advance the best digital ideas to market. This is related to emerging technologies like for instance, IoT, Future Networks and AI.

Coronavirus and expanding to the UK

Covid-19 has delayed some element in your expansion journey, but there are some things you can still do:

A virtual office allows you to set up a legal entity without a physical presence in the UK and you can start trading and bringing in revenue to your company. Having a UK address and phone number also gives your customers more confidence and trust in that there is someone here in the UK with knowledge ready to answer their queries.

How to establish a presence when setting up in the UK

The key elements of establishing a presence in the UK is by knowing your market, sectors and competitors. It is important to do a great amount of research before entering a new market because it will make you understand your position. Another important element is to ask yourself if you are relevant and how you can stand out. Why do you stand out from your competitors? Use combined-media opportunities, paid, owned, earned, and shared to get effects for the effort you are putting in. The most important element in creating a presence in the UK however, is to be adaptable. Listen to the advisors around you and listen to your customers.

How long does it take to expand and establish a business in the UK?

You should think like a start-up when entering a new market regardless of how established you are in your home market. You have to get your name out there using PR-efforts, key messaging, making sure that you create opportunities. It can take time, but if you do these things in the start and show the market that you are serious it will show results in the long run.

How the legal framework supports you in your UK entry

Customers trust in your supply chains and there is a great deal of support in the UK’s legal framework for companies scaling to the UK. Topical areas where UK laws assist in creating a trust for your customers are in cybersecurity, personal data, artificial intelligence and smart contracts.

For us, it’s always interesting to see the number of businesses from overseas that are looking to enter the UK market, and hearing that the UK remains a highly attractive market despite the challenges around coronavirus and Brexit is reassuring. To find out more about establishing your business in the UK, do not hesitate to contact us.

Brexit: why expanding your business into the UK might be a smart move

The knee-jerk reaction to the UK leaving the EU is to perhaps avoid doing business in Britain, however the smarter organisations are thinking ahead, being brave and setting up businesses in the UK – and it looks like they’re set to reap the rewards.

One major point to note is that the UK hasn’t left the EU yet. Once the government triggers Article 50, it still has a full two years to negotiate withdrawal. This gives a fantastic window of opportunity for businesses to set up and grow their market while the country is still in transition.

Here are some of the advantages of expanding to the UK right now:

Recruitment

Many companies, such as those in the tech scene, might benefit from more selective immigration requirements available to a post-Brexit UK. More work visas can be granted to experienced specialists from areas other than the EU, such as India and China.

Currency

A weaker pound will lower export costs from the UK. This could help EU-based companies lower their production costs and so be more competitive. The UK is also still right next door to Europe, so having cheap production close by also offers huge advantages.

Regulation

The UK is now free to establish its own regulations in sectors such as tax, finance and legal, tailored to its own needs. Agreements can be varied on a country by country basis, so a deal with Sweden may differ from a deal with Germany. This could increase competition which in turn provides great opportunity for growth.

Flexibility

A UK not tied to the European Union can react quickly to global events and market shifts. This could be very advantageous to smart, agile organisations with lofty ambitions.

Opportunity

The UK is also dealing with some internal questions over its own union. Should Scotland break away but remain in the EU, there will be a huge benefit to accessing the EU via Scotland, while simultaneously taking advantages of non-EU freedoms in England or Wales.

It really is worth considering setting up a business in the UK, even though there are so many unanswered questions. Fortune favours the brave they say, and at Goodwille we can make it much easier by giving you expert legal and financial advice to help you focus on the business benefits of setting up in the UK. Contact us today if you need help!


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3 challenges of setting up business overseas

Whether you’ve just moved to the UK and are looking to start a business here, or you’re the owner of an established business in Germany, Norway, Sweden or elsewhere that is looking for opportunities to expand overseas, setting up business in another country can be daunting. Developing an in-depth understanding of a country’s laws, politics, culture and the way they do business can take a long time, which you may not have if you’re looking to establish your company quickly. Here are just a few of the many challenges faced by business people who want to start a business overseas.

1. You’re not accustomed to the different laws

Of course you have done your research thoroughly, and you have more than the basics cemented firmly in your mind, but you may not know all of the subtle differences between trading laws in the country you have just left and the UK. It is these subtle differences that could affect your entire business model and the way your company will operate. You need to be fully aware of them so you can be safe in the knowledge that your business is legally compliant.

2. You aren’t familiar with the culture

Only after spending a considerable amount of time in a particular country can you fully understand its cultural nuances, so if you haven’t had that opportunity before setting up business, you may feel like you’re at a considerable disadvantage. Being familiar with cultural differences is important for even the most basic sort of communication, navigating business deals and solving problems in the workplace.

3. Hiring the right people

Recruiting the best people for your company is difficult enough in your home country, but it can be even more complicated when you’re in unfamiliar territory. Even if the language barrier isn’t a problem, you have to know where the best places are to look for candidates, and be able to determine whether they have the experience to fit your requirements.

Goodwille understand how difficult it can be to set up business in a new country, and we can support you every step of the way. We will help you to navigate UK trading laws, take care of financial administration, find the most suitable people for your company, and more. Get in touch to see how we could assist you.

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