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More than 18,000 new businesses launched in 2012

According to the Business Register, some 18,110 new companies were registered in 2012, including 2212 self-employed persons (FIE).

The Estonian Tax and Customs Board said that out of these newly established companies, only 5684 (or more than a quarter) started to pay taxes. The office’s Director General Marek Helm said that recent trends show that half of newly established companies will reach a taxable level only by their third year of operation. “It cannot be assumed that entrepreneurshipness is shown by the number of business registered in the Business Register,” he said.

Mart Maasik, director of the business development division of SEB, said that most new companies started in the trading sector whereas the largest growth was in the service sector, which saw an increase of 15% compared to 2011.

One of the recently launched companies, Kohviekspress OÜ, started importing coffee machines and coffee pads (small round coffee filters). The owners said that they saw a hole in the market in this particular product and decided to start a company. The company has advertised itself via mass media, but switched to social media advertising later on as the mass media ads are expensive.

IT solutions company Articeye OÜ owner Jaan Tammik launched a company with his own savings, but plans to get more funds from EAS.

Source: Stadnik A. (2013). Alustas üle 15 000 uue ettevõtja. Äripäev Online, 29. jaanuar. Aasaru H. (2013). Maksuriske võib olla 12 protsendil uutest ettevõtetest. ERR Uudised, 11. veebruar.

Estonia’s euro adoption is a justified decision, premiere says

Estonia’s decision to adopt the euro as its currency two years ago has justified itself as the country’s exports, foreign direct investments as well as corporate profits have jumped, Estonia’s premiere Andrus Ansip said in an interview to Bloomberg.

“Lack of currency risk has certainly helped to increase export volumes as two thirds of (Estonia’s) exports goes to European Union member states,” Anspip said.

In 11 months in 2012, Estonia’s export volumes were up by 5.2%. FDI showed an annual increase of 10% in Q3, whereas corporate profits showed a rise of 14%.

Ansip said that Estonia can be more optimistic about its future compared to other EU nations. “Although last year’s budget could have been in deficit after the surplus in 2010 and 2011, the deficit remains much smaller compared to the government’s estimate made in last August, which was 1.2% of GDP,” Ansip said. He added that it was not ruled out that there could have been a budget surplus in 2012.

Source: Sormunen R. (2013). Ansip: euro on end õigustanud. Äripäev Online, 1. veebruar.

Estonian Post expands parcel terminal network into Latvia

eesti_post_laieneb_err_uudisedEstonia’s main postal service company Estonian Post has expanded its parcel terminal network Post24 into Latvia. Its parcel terminals can now be found in all major towns in Latvia.

Parcel terminals enable customers to send and receive packages at special terminal areas, located in different shopping centres, working on a self-service basis.

Meelis Atonen, Chairman of the Board of Estonian Post, said that in a logistics service it is all about the scale of business – the more parcels there are to send, the better prices you can offer. That is why the company has been very active in expanding its parcel terminal network in recent years.

Their competitor, Itella SmartPOST, thought that expansion into Latvia is quite risky. “There is already a local postal service company plus another player in the market. In Lithuania, there are three companies in this business. One may believe that this competition will be very fierce and some will be left with no space in the market,” said Risto Eelmaa, managing director of Itella SmartPOST OÜ.

Eelmaa added that despite the fact that Latvia and Lithuania have larger populations, its package market is the same as Estonia or even smaller. Estonia’s population is 1.3 million compared to Latvia’s 2 and Lithuania’s 3 million inhabitants. Eelmaa said that Itella started making a profit in Estonia only when it had a 30% market share. “We have also considered expanding into Latvia and Lithuania, but we thought that making a green entry would be very expensive and risky. That is why we decided to focus on our home market Estonia as well as Finland,” he added.

Estonian Post’s Post24 network has in total 113 package terminals, including 50 in Estonia, 35 in Lithuania and 28 in Latvia. The state-owned company plans to invest 15 million euros in the development of its services in all three Baltic countries. In Lithuania, Estonian Post has bought one of the largest logistics company Unipakas UAB, through which it is operating in Latvia.

Source: Nergi, A-M. (2013). Eesti Post laieneb hoogsalt Balti riikides. Eesti Päevaleht, 30. jaanuar

A new way to measure customer satisfaction - HappyOrNot®

happy_or_notHave you ever wondered what your customers really think of you? It’s not surprising that most organizations don’t really know too much about the customers perceptions of service quality during their shopping or service experience. Traditional methods of gathering this information fall short in gathering information from a representative percentage of customers. So the data provided through those means don’t allow for effective operational improvements.

The company HappyOrNot offers in cooperation with the market research company HakmanVision a service which provides clients with point-of-experience devices that are so easy and fun to use that an average of 15-20% of consumers use the service to give feedback on a daily basis. With some clients it goes as high as 80%. The results are automatically reported at desired intervals and can be accessed via a handy web interface or by an automated email service, thereby giving location management and corporate management effective tools to improve service quality and the customer experience.

In Estonia, the service is already being used by Tallink Hotels, business campus Technopolis and Tallinn airport.

Also all Heathrow airport terminals are equipped with HappyOrNot meters, for instance customer satisfaction is continuously measured after each security checkpoints. Kevin Rendle, Head of Operative Systems of Heathrow, BAA explains: “We expect that the service will become an integral part of measuring passenger feedback and the results will be integrated into our management system which is reviewed on a daily basis by the terminal team. The units have had an interesting effect on the behavior or our security teams. Without any prompting the security staff is encouraging passengers to use the feedback units.  This is hugely encouraging as it is a positive interaction between our staff and the passenger, it really enforces to passengers that their feedback is important to us”.

HappyOrNot is being used by over 80 leading retail and service chain organizations, like Decathlon, Expert, Sodexo, Heathrow, Newcastle and Lyon Airport, DocMorris Pharmacies and Lloyds Pharmacies, Vodafone and many more industry leaders. The service has already generated over 10,000,000 customer feedbacks across 12 countries.

www.happy-or-not.com

Export Morning - How to increase your power in international sales negotiations?

Successful business negotiation in global markets requires effective cross-cultural communication between buyer and seller. How to develop sales negotiations skills? Is price or sustainable cooperation the most important?

This Export Morning to these and other questions will answer Maksim Kedrin (Head of Supply Department, WorldWide Supply) and Argo Saul (Chairman of Management Board, Nordic Houses). Both experienced managers will introduce with different tips and tricks how to succeed in international sales negotiations within different industries and countries.

 

Following topics will be included in the discussion:

- Preparation, strategies and possible outcomes
- Multi-cultural challenges and costly mistakes - How to achieve a win-win scenario
- How to reach potential clients
- Which topics have proved to be important in the negotiations
- What is the basis for a sustainable cooperation

Most of the event will be held in Estonian.

Fee: 10 EUR + VAT

Register: ej.uz/Ekspordihommik

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