Roman Semiokhin: Readying Your Company for Global Expansion

Roman Semiokhin: Readying Your Company for Global Expansion

Roman Semiokhin is an experienced entrepreneur and business leader with in-depth knowledge of the gaming, education, real estate and tech industries. This article will run through aspects to consider for companies expanding their operations internationally.

For companies that are prepared to venture beyond their own city, state or national borders, it is possible to increase their target audience exponentially, driving up sales in the process and taking their business to the next level.

However, in the rush to show the world what they have to offer, many enterprises fall into the trap of biting off more than they can realistically chew. It is crucial for business leaders to conduct careful research and due diligence, narrowing down their markets of opportunity and identifying which are the most viable for what their company has to offer. To achieve this, they must weigh up a variety of different factors, including the size of the market, geographical constraints, legal regulations, cost efficiency and resource and labour supply.

In preparing to expand across international borders, companies need to be culturally sensitive. All content, be it corporate literature or a website landing page, needs to be created with a customer-centric approach. Businesses need to consider how they can engage with target audiences in a new country. Rather than merely replicating strategies that worked at home, they need to invest in learning what will work abroad, as creating an emotional connection with consumers is even more challenging for foreign brands.

In order to overcome these challenges, it is crucial for expanding businesses to enlist the help of local experts, providing the benefit of their insights and local knowledge on how the business should best go about engaging with its target audience. Accepting their help on everything from social media to website content can help avoid in embarrassing cultural faux pas. Take for example MENSA, the world’s oldest and largest high-IQ society. Rather than being recognised as an international society of people with high IQ’s, MENSA’s direct translation in Spain is ‘stupid woman’. In Germany, on the other hand, the word means ‘cafeteria’.

Businesses branching out overseas need to learn the language, since language barriers can impede their global reach. Business owners cannot assume that global audiences understand content published solely in their native tongue. At a bare minimum, companies should invest in location-detection tools, converting website content into other languages for visitors from other countries. Savvy business leaders seeking overseas expansion enlist the help of translators, generating multiple versions of websites and providing content in different languages. Alternatively, many businesses start out by expanding their operations in countries that share the same native language until they feel ready to take on other languages.

Companies considering venturing into foreign markets need to develop strident localisation strategies, creating a solid plan for adapting products, content, marketing, messaging and branding to meet the needs of a whole new demographic. Effective localisation strategies cover many different aspects of planning, including cultural customisation, language translation and design modifications to ensure that products are relevant and appeal to local customers.

In order to deliver remarkable customer experiences, localisation must be prioritised at a tactical level within business initiatives and projects. In addition, localisation must also be represented in high-level strategic discussions.

Localisation marketing requires a deliberate decision to invest resources in scaling marketing efforts through localisation. Businesses may do this in tandem with other measures, such as launching locally driven campaigns and creating native content. Alternatively, they may lean on localisation as their primary method of marketing in another country.

The term ‘localised marketing’ generally refers to any process through which messages are created to appeal to other markets. Localised marketing goes beyond mere messages. Its ultimate goal is to adapt an entire customer experience to make it more appealing for consumers in another country.

One of the most significant decisions a company can make is how it wants its staff to communicate with each other. Developing a corporate language strategy is critical to breaking down communication barriers, paving the way for the creation of a truly global and collaborative company. This is a strategy that must start from the top, filtering down to every level and every employee. It is worrying to note how many international organisations lack a language strategy, potentially culminating in chaotic and inefficient working environments.

Transforming a small business into a multinational organisation is a complex and ambitious undertaking that requires business leaders to gain a deep understanding of their target markets, the competition and current local market trends. In addition, decision-makers need to learn about cultural differences in terms of regulations, language and local customs.

For small businesses, ‘going global’ is an ambitious undertaking that offers scope to disrupt existing business activities. Therefore, it is crucial for business leaders to conduct careful research, weighing up the possible impact on their business, to determine whether the rewards outweigh the risk.

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