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!

Goodwille takes a seat on the Council of the Norwegian-British Chamber of Commerce

Goodwille are active members of the Chambers of Commerce for our core markets. Last year we reinstated our Partner Membership with the Norwegian-British Chamber of Commerce to strengthen our position in the Norwegian business community. In early 2019, our Marketing Manager James Service joined the Council of the Norwegian-British Chamber of Commerce to work more closely together with the Chamber to further support its important mission and role for the Norwegian business community in the UK.

In this interview with James, he shares his thoughts about taking a seat on the Council of the NBCC and the important roles of international Chambers of Commerce!

Why did you join the Council of the NBCC?

I think it’s an exciting time to be part of the Norwegian-British Chamber of Commerce! There has been a new sense of energy in the Chamber over the past 18 months and there is real opportunity for development and growth in the NBCC. I really look forward to being part of the journey!

There were three reasons why I chose to join the NBCC Council;

  • My experience and the value I can offer the Chamber
  • My own personal development
  • Goodwille investment (to get an understanding as to the direction of the Chamber)

What knowledge and experience do you bring to the Council and the Chamber?

I have been marketing the Goodwille brand into the Nordic region for about 10 years. There is a direct link between the work I do in my job at Goodwille and the areas I can support the Chamber with. I think with my personal connections and the experience I have working across the marketing mix (especially with websites, social media and event organising), we can spread the message further and ensure more companies benefit from joining the NBCC.

How do you think it will benefit you to be on the Council?

 It’s great experience for me to sit around the table with people who have such a wealth of experience. I sit on the Council with people from KBR and DNB, among other. When you are regularly in an environment with people who have this level of experience it can only benefit you both personally and professionally.

Why is it important for Goodwille to have a representative on the Council of the NBCC? 

I chose to join the Council mainly for my own personal development. However Goodwille puts a significant investment, both time and financially into all the Nordic Chambers, and it’s important for us to get an understanding as to the direction they are moving.

Why should companies get involved with Chambers of Commerce?

The NBCC offers a great platform for members to spread the message about their company. It’s a great context to be seen in, especially if you have Norwegian-British ties. Through direct introductions, industry leading events and networking opportunities, you never really know who you will meet. The NBCC provides the platform for you to meet new people, and if you have the resource to make the most of it, it will undoubtedly benefit you and your business.

Interested in knowing more about the Norwegian-British Chamber of Commerce? Read about their membership options, business and networking opportunities and upcoming events on the Norwegian-British Chamber of Commerce’s website

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.

Three key tips for expanding your business internationally

International expansion is the goal of many businesses, however it can seem like a daunting task. Nobody would ever pretend that bringing your products and services to foreign markets doesn’t require hard work, but with a steady hand and clear mind it can be easier than you think.

These three handy tips will help keep your mind and your business on track during the expansion process.

Make sure you’re ready

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 inevitable 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.

Do your research

It’s beyond important that you put the time in to understand as much about your intended marketplace as possible. It sounds obvious, but the expansion process can be easily stalled by unexpected issues.

Learn how the 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 to spend enough time in the new market before you take the big step to get to know the new market properly, and don’t underestimate the importance of local partners that can guide you through local customs and introduce you to the right people!

Language matters

There is nothing that turns away potential customers than a poorly written website or social media presence. Take the time to offer interactions with your business in your new market’s local language.

This also translates to local culture. The groundwork is important to understand the do’s and don’ts when it comes to marketing in the area. For example, a campaign which goes over well in Europe may have widely different cultural connotations in Asia. The last thing you want to do is offend your new customers.

At Goodwille, we are experts in helping overseas businesses get off well in the UK. We offer advice and support on everything from business culture to practical help with your UK business – from legal issues and compliance, to finance, HR, payroll and office admin. Our vast experience and broad network of partners offer you the best possible start when entering the UK market. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help your business in the UK.

Dynamic business culture: the UK vs. Germany vs. the Nordics

The nations of Northern Europe have much in common; large, powerful economies, liberal and social democracies, open minds and forward-thinking attitudes.

When it comes to business, however, there are some huge differences in culture that are important to understand. Research conducted by Richard D. Lewis, a British linguist and communications expert, highlights some of the key elements of negotiation style country by country:

Germany

On the whole, the German business approach is extremely straightforward, direct and logical. Both parties are expected to do their due diligence before a negotiation, amassing evidence and clarifying their points prior to any debate. Germans like to work through problems by realistic examinations of facts before working towards cautious, yet firm and pragmatic agreements.

Great Britain and Northern Ireland

The Brits and the Irish have a penchant for understated, excessively polite and occasionally humorous negotiation tactics that can often leave their more direct business partners at a loss. This style can either be extremely effective or completely fail to meet it’s objectives, depending on how it’s deployed. However, similar to the other countries of Northern Europe, Brits value clarity, punctuality and an understanding of the facts and technical details of the situation – they might just take longer to directly state their goals.

Sweden

Mr. Lewis identified the Swedes’ discussion techniques as amongst the most holistic and wide-ranging in Northern Europe, often bringing in points which might otherwise be glossed over. Following an open discussion, negotiations will tend to be simple and clear. The Nordic nations value a direct approach towards language, and Sweden is no exception.

Denmark

Denmark appears to have adopted a blend of styles, a combination that has proved particularly effective in business negotiations. Danes are meticulous about evidence similar to the approach taken by many Germans. At the same time they take broad consideration of the evidence like their neighbours, the Swedes. They mix this with a tendency to talk around, or avoid if you prefer, certain sensitive points like the Brits. There have been several high profile business cases proving the Danish negotiation approach in recent years.

Of course, these are generalisations and not a description of how every nation will operate. However, thinking about how cultural differences might affect your negotiation tactics can be a powerful tool for understanding the current economic and political landscape of Europe.

Goodwille work with helping companies from the Nordic and Germanic region enter into the UK market. With 20 years of experience bridging the gap between our clients’ home market and the UK, we can help your businesses with the transition into the UK to ensure a smooth entry. If you are thinking about expanding your business to the UK, get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you. 

Making Tax Digital

Making Tax Digital (MTD) is part of the UK Government’s recent efforts to ensure companies and individuals keep on top of their contributions. From 1st April 2019, all VAT registered businesses (with taxable turnover above the current threshold, currently £85,000) are required to use HMRC approved software to keep their tax records digitally, and that includes international organisations that may process accounts within their home countries.

Those operating from nations such as Sweden, Finland or Norway, but trading within the UK will need to follow the UK Government’s guidelines closely to ensure they comply and avoid any penalties. The best way of achieving that goal is to outsource the bookkeeping process to experts like us at Goodwille.

Goodwille specialises in helping non-UK businesses to expand into the local market, and their team can assist with many or all back-office tasks to ensure entrepreneurs and company owners are free to focus on the more important elements of their expansions. For more than 20 years, Goodwille has helped hundreds of international businesses open UK offices, launch UK subsidiaries, and deal with their ongoing compliance.

Key Points:

  1. Record keeping – International and homegrown businesses can no longer keep manual financial records for VAT. From 1st April 2019, companies must use a compliant approved accounting system that connects to HMRC through an Application Programming Interface.
  2. VAT submissions – While returns must be submitted to HMRC via approved digital software, there is going to be a soft landing period during the first 12-months, which means companies can still copy and paste data between software, but this will change on 1st April 2020.
  3. Brexit – Making Tax Digital for VAT comes into force at the same time the UK plans to leave the EU. There are concerns that businesses dealing with VAT transactions between the UK and EU will become affected, and so it is vital that all companies keep on top of their understanding of any changes brought into force to ensure their systems comply. The best way of doing that is to outsource.

Outsourcing:

By 2020, it is expected that nearly all businesses will also need to keep their corporation tax records digitally using specialist approved software too, which means that now is the best time to put an outsourcing solution in place to ensure a smooth transition.

Making Tax Digital is all about bringing the tax system into the modern age and helping businesses to save both time and money. However, organisations based in Northern Europe and Scandinavia could encounter the opposite outcome if they don’t remain ahead of the game and select an outsourcing partner like Goodwille as soon as possible.

For more information about the many ways in which specialists like those at Goodwille can remove some of the strain from the situation and ensure your business can thrive in the new Making Tax Digital landscape, visit www.goodwille.com today. Companies that fail to comply with MTD requirements could face fines or worse in the UK, and so it’s vital not to delay this move.

Outsourcing presents the opportunity for businesses to remain focused on their growth and expansion goals rather than getting bogged down in alterations to the tax system. So, take the first step today!

3 main factors to consider when recruiting UK employees

For many UK-based businesses, taking on a new staff member can be a daunting and intricate process. With no reachable source of guidance, it will definitely feel burdensome.

Whether you are planning to launch a startup or expand your international business, employees are critical to the process. Get started on the right foot by attracting the best job seekers and avoid legal consequences due to improper recruitment practices.

Here are 3 key factors to consider when recruiting UK employees:

Know the law

UK employment laws protect both employees and employers, so it’s vital that your HR department knows and understands these laws. By keeping up to date with the legal obligations in the UK, you can easily make sure your recruitment procedure complies with the regulations. Such laws include: anti-discrimination policies, immigration laws, pre-employment checks and many more. It is also vital to know and understand the various post-employment regulations in the UK. If you don’t know the law or fail to comply, it can be detrimental and costly for your business.

Determine your employees’ pay

Always pay the correct rates. From their first day of employment, all employees have the right to be paid at least National Minimum Wage. However, their total pay will likely exceed the national wage to include pensions, travel expenses, loans and meal subsidies.

Also, paying the National Living Wage to your potential workers can help them afford a better standard of living. This is something you need to consider as it motivates employees to perform better.

How you will reach out to quality candidates

Just as vital as it is for HR to understand how job seekers are searching for roles, they must also consider the type of information they seek.

A survey conducted by Glassdoor in May 2018 revealed that online job sites are the leading job source platforms. Therefore, using top job sites facilitates the hiring process as experienced and talented candidates will be able to find and access relevant information about your company.

The study by Glassdoor also highlighted the critical pieces of information UK job seekers are looking for on a job description. These include the salary, the location of the job, and any work-life benefits.

When opening a UK office, quality should also be your top priority. To attract quality candidates, you must be able to tailor your adverts in a manner that entices job seekers and portrays your company in a positive light.

Goodwille is here to support your business with everything related to HR and employment. Check out our HR services and get in touch with us today if you need help with your UK employees!

Brexit – noteworthy dates

Brexit has brought an air of uncertainty for companies operating in and doing business with the United Kingdom.  As no country has left the EU before, no one knows what the process looks like and what impact it will have on businesses. The negotiations are still ongoing and in order to be as prepared as can be, companies are advised to keep an eye on official updates from the European Union and the British government so as to know where to focus efforts.

Below are some noteworthy dates to keep in mind to stay up to date with the latest updates on the Brexit process.

2018

17-18 October

EU summit. The official deadline for setting out the terms to be included in the withdrawal agreement for the “divorce” between the EU and the UK.

End of October

The Withdrawal Agreement is expected to be finalised.

November

EU has suggested this month as the latest a deal can be finalised. However, an exact date has yet to be agreed.

13-14 December

EU summit. This is the fall-back option in case no deal has been reached by October and both sides continue to want to reach an agreement.

 

2019

21 January

If the withdrawal agreement has not been presented by the government on this date, the Members of Parliament (MPs) will be granted powers to influence ministers’ next steps.

21-22 March

The final summit that the UK is expected to attend as a member of the EU.

Before 29 March

The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill needs to be approved and passed by Parliament to implement the agreement.

26 March at 11:00pm GMT

The UK leaves the EU.

23-26 May

Elections for the European Parliament in 27 EU countries – the UK will no longer be represented.

 

2020

31 December

Expected to be the last date of the transition period

 

Stay up to date on Brexit!

There are many ways you can stay updated about Brexit with Goodwille.

Sign up to our Brexit Newsletter to receive updates and developments of the Brexit negotiations straight to your inbox.

On our Brexit page, we have also consolidated everything discussed about to date to provide you a resource where you can track the developments of the negotiations as they happen.

Additionally, Goodwille has created a committee to monitor the progress of Brexit from a European perspective as well as the UK one. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about how Brexit will impact your business in or with the UK post-Brexit.


This update is for general guidance only. Specific legal advice should be obtained in all cases. This material is the copyright of Goodwille Limited (unless otherwise stipulated) and is not to be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written consent.

Chequers Plan

The Chequers Plan is a potential agreement presented by the British Government on 12th July 2018. The purpose of the agreement is to retain certain areas of the pre-Brexit arrangements with the European Union and to ensure a smooth transition from EU dependency to Brexit independence.

In the table below, 4 of the main points of the Chequers Plan are outlined and compared to the current agreement applied through the UK’s EU membership.

Current Agreement

Chequers Plan


Free movement permitting UK and EU citizens to work, live and study freely in the UK and EU.
A mobility network terminates the free movement arrangement. In addition, it restricts citizens working, living and studying in the UK and the EU.

The restriction will require for EU citizens to apply to work and/or study in the UK, and vice versa.


Export and import of trade goods and agriculture between the member countries without tariffs and trade barriers.
A common rule book for all goods to secure the trade of goods and agriculture with EU member countries subject to the rules the British Government may choose to implement.

The regulations chosen by the British Government may have trading consequences.


A shared customs union, common agricultural policy and a common fisheries policy ensuring standardised quality and quantity control.
The UK will leave the customs union, common agricultural policy and the common fisheries policy to regain control over these areas, allowing the UK to set its own quotas and price levels.


The European Court of Justice interprets EU law and ensures that the laws are applied equally across all EU member states.
A joint institutional framework will be put in place to interpret UK-EU agreements. In the UK, this would be done by UK courts and, in the EU, this would be done by EU courts.

Any decisions by UK courts would need to take into account the EU laws affecting the Common Rule book.


In summary

The Chequers Plan is intended to provide the UK with an independent trade policy with freedom to implement its own tariffs and trade barriers independently of the EU’s laws. However, the UK will take steps to ensure continuous smooth trade between the UK and the EU by keeping a common rule book.

Further to this, The UK aims to take control over people entering the country to work and study, as well as restore the supremacy of British courts and end the European Court of Justice’s role in UK affairs. Lastly, it seeks to end the annual contributions paid to the EU and reduce these contributions to only be paid for joint actions in specific areas.

If you wish to look into the agreement with greater depth, the following links provide additional information and clarifications of the above:

The future relationship between The United Kingdom and The European Union’, published on 12th July 2018 on gov.uk.

What is the Chequers Deal? Theresa May’s contentious plan explained’ by Simon Rushton, published on 17th October 2018 on inews.co.uk.

What Is the Chequers Brexit Plan? Everything You Need To Know’ by George Bowden, published on 4th September 2018 on huffingtonpost.co.uk.

Chequers Brexit plan explained – what is Theresa May’s EU proposal and will MPs vote against it?’ by Tariq Tahir and Aletha Adu, published on 15th October 2018 on thesun.co.uk.


This update is for general guidance only. Specific legal advice should be obtained in all cases. This material is the copyright of Goodwille Limited (unless otherwise stipulated) and is not to be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written consent.

Nordic Startup Awards announces Goodwille as a strategic UK partner

Press release 3 October 2018.

Clever Nordic businesses have spent the past five years battling it out to be crowned the Nordic Startup Awards, Startup of the Year. The Nordic Startup Awards maps, connects, promotes and celebrates the Nordic startup ecosystem, across all five countries, internally in the region as well as to the rest of the world.

NSAwards are excited to announce Goodwille as their strategic UK based Nordic Partner. Goodwille, whose roots are firmly tied to the Nordic countries have helped hundreds of tech businesses, including regional & national finalists of the Nordic Startup Awards, enter the UK market.

Kim Balle, Co-Founder & CEO of the Nordic Startup Awards says “It’s exciting to have Goodwille onboard as a Nordic Partner. Goodwille have an unrivalled track record of helping Nordic businesses with their expansion to the UK, and their experience will prove invaluable to our entrants and finalists”.

Nordic businesses often look to the UK when expanding outside of the region for the first time, and Goodwille have shared their vast experiences at London Tech Week, Oslo Innovation Week & later this year, SLUSH.

James Service, Marketing Manager of Goodwille says “We’ve been working closely with the Nordic startup scene for over two decades. This partnerships with the Nordic Startup Awards cements our position as the market leader in helping businesses from the Nordic region with their expansion to the UK.”

Over 2,500 companies were nominated for the Nordic Startup Awards in 2018, and the regional finalists received tens of thousands of nominations from across the Nordic countries.

With the five regional finals drawing to a close, the regional winners will battle it out at The Grand Finale in Copenhagen on the 30th October to win one of thirteen awards, including Founder of the Year, Best Accelerator or Incubator & Startup of the Year.

Press Contacts

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

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