Editor’s note: This is a sponsored post for UKTI
After Plan Brothers won the “Take That Tech To The UK” pitching competition organised by UKTI, they received an establishment package in London which included: setting up a company, getting a business address, receiving legal & tax advice and much more.
We wanted to follow up with them on their international expansion process to learn more about what it actually takes to take the jump.
So let’s get right into the nitty-gritty. When talking to Anthony Jones, now the country manager for the UK, perhaps the first thing that you notice is the importance of getting ready to move.
Getting Your Personal Things Sorted
This is not something you really think about when you are planning for expansion of your startup. But the harsh reality is that when you will need to make the move, you need to be ready.
That means that your boyfriend/girlfriend needs to be on-board, family needs to be aware and friends should show some support. Otherwise this often overlooked detail might become a major problem for the key team-member, who will be making the move.
As Jones commented, “First thing I had to do, was to check it with my girlfriend.”
Delegating Responsibilities At Home
If you are a small team and are getting ready to move one or more team-mates to your brand new expansion, it is very likely that they would not be able to perform all the tasks they were doing locally, from the UK.
At least for a while, they would be busy setting up the company, offices, hiring, etc.
What that means is that you need to dedicate time towards delegating the responsibilities of these team-members to make the move as smooth as possible.
For instance, for Anthony Jones, he had been spending 60 hours weeks working with key customers and all that work had to be delegated before moving to the UK.
It is not just about the company
Opening the company is one thing, but moving there yourself is another. For instance, you might now know that in order to do anything in the UK, you must have a proof of address (Utility bill), which means it will take time.
There are ways of speeding this up if you start preparing before you actually go.
“We talked to one of the banks in Finland who would have a business office in London. If we talked to them in Finland first, then that would allow us to get the bank account much faster.”, says Jones as an example.
Getting Outside Help
Often overlooked, especially by startups. But getting help from lawyers, accountants and consultants might actually save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
Plan Brothers received a lot of help from the get-go, thanks to the relocation package and Jones said that the help was definitely something that came in extremely handy.
Not all of this help needs to be expensive, you could always start with talking to UKTI, who can help you in the right direction.
“I do suggest that any company establishing a subsidiary, to have a consultant or an accountant to help. UKTI here in London was very helpful. Pointed us in right directions and told us where to look for people when hiring.” says Jones.
All in all, you should think about key questions before you make any moves. From personal things such as: how often will I travel back? To more business related questions such as: How will you do the hiring? Do I know the sales culture in the UK? Which company will pay the salary?
Here is what Jones said when it comes to the biggest tip of relocating to the UK: “Move over and be present. You need to talk. More than in Finland. People want to do business face to face. Especially when it is B2B.
Tap into your networks. Ask for introductions. That is how we got all of our initial meetings.”
And if you need more specific tips, then please reach out to UKTI, who are always happy to point you in the right direction.
UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the Government Department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. They also help overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK’s dynamic economy. Their extensive network provides market and sector specific information, location and office space guidance and practical help (e.g. company establishment, taxation and hiring personnel) to get your UK operation up and running. Their services for Finnish companies are confidential and free of charge.
London skyline photo by Shutterstock