Philanthropist and serial investor Roman Semiokhin benefits from an in-depth understanding of the tech industry. This article will share strategies and tips to help brands create a firm footing for global expansion.

For business owners who are prepared to venture beyond the comfort zone of their home city, state or country, a world of opportunity awaits. Expanding across borders helps companies to grow their audience, breaking into new territories and reaching untapped markets.

Prior to taking the plunge, business owners must undertake adequate due diligence, narrowing down the markets for their first phase of global growth by determining which are most viable for the products or services they offer. Other aspects they need to weigh up include market size and entrance; labour and resource supply; legal regulations; geographical constraints; and cost efficiency.

Localisation helps to fuel international business expansion. Expanding companies therefore need to develop a comprehensive localisation strategy, creating a blueprint defining how they will adapt their products, services, messaging, content, marketing and brand to appeal to specific target markets.

Attempting to pull together a local team from scratch is a time-consuming and risky strategy that is likely to slow time to market. It is much more sensible to use proven senior interim executives, enabling the enterprise to hit the ground running, with the executives quickly validating assumptions and driving key readiness initiatives while the company recruits the right senior management team.

A critical consideration for any business expanding overseas is how they want employees to communicate with each other. Developing a corporate language strategy is integral to breaking down communication barriers and building an organisation that is truly global. According to Harvard Business Review, choosing which language to operate in and ensuring all staff adopt it is one of the biggest challenges facing multinational businesses today. All too often, employees receive inadequate training to bring their language skills up to scratch, culminating in multilingualism, which in turn leads to chaotic and inefficient working environments.

Cultural sensitivity is vital for companies expanding to new regions. Websites and landing pages need to be carefully curated to ensure they appeal to target customers. Rather than assuming that what works at home will work in new territories, businesses need to appreciate the unique challenges associated with building emotional connection in a global context. It is crucial for expanding enterprises to use content and visuals that resonate with the culture and its various nuances. To achieve this, it would be sensible to enlist the help of local professionals.

Founders with aspirations of expanding overseas need to visit the country and start establishing personal relationships. Although doing business online is much more convenient, virtual interactions omit the vital human element that is integral to building relationships and trust. Business owners must visit each country they plan to do business in to gain a better understanding of who they are working with, interacting with outsourced staff, suppliers, partners, customers and the media.

Market research enables businesses to assess the most widely used marketing mechanisms and platforms in their target country, including search marketing, online marketing and social media. Business owners can use this information – as well as gathering data on forums, blogs, email marketing and other channels – to help them get their marketing messages across in the most effective way possible.

A critical consideration for businesses expanding overseas is international billing and payments systems. Due to rapid expansion in the payment gateway market, it has become a lot easier for brands to work with customers in different countries in recent years, enabling them to deliver invoices in various currencies and languages and access the appropriate fee and tax guidelines.