Expanding into Global Markets: What Can Companies Do to Build Trust?

International trade has become increasingly accessible through advances in technology and infrastructure. Studies estimate that around 30% of international businesses produce goods and supplies for sale to consumers in other countries, while 70% of trade involves global value chains. Today, it is common for businesses to source products and parts from around the world to create finished items for sale. This type of trade requires strong relationships between companies and supply chain actors. In this guide, we’ll discuss how businesses can build trust and build strong connections as they expand into new markets and target new customers.

Ways to build trust in global trade

Growing a business and diving into new markets is an exciting prospect, but it comes with a series of challenges. When making connections and trying to make a splash in another country or region, building trust is essential. Businesses and brands can do this in a number of ways, including:

Get to know the people behind the company

Commerce revolves around the buying and selling of services or goods, but foster positive relationships, it pays to focus on getting to know the people behind the brand, as well as the mechanics of the deal or partnership. As a business owner, you want to be sure the numbers add up, but you also need to know that you’re working with a reputable brand that shares the same values. Connect with management team and employees and build relationships. Modern technology makes it easier than ever to interact and engage with business partners or customers. You can get to know people better through video calls, meetings, and virtual events than by reading web pages or social media profiles.

Understand the importance of due diligence

Every business owner understands that there are risks associated with expanding into new markets and moving from domestic commerce to buying and selling globally. A groundbreaking deal may seem too good to pass up, but no opportunity should be taken without doing the necessary checks. Due diligence before signing contracts or making offers is essential. Research companies, make sure they are legit, look for up-to-date information, and make sure the company is active and trustworthy. The use of standardized systems, such as an LEI code available from LEI register, simplifies and speeds up the process of performing checks. If an entity has a valid LEI, it means the business is genuine and is currently in operation.

Describe key objectives

Running a business that operates within a country’s borders is very different from targeting customers abroad. If you decide to grow your business, it is important to review your goals and set new goals for the growth strategy. What are your main objectives for international trade? Break down your goals for each market and adapt your strategy to ensure it matches your targets.

Setting expectations

Differences in cultures and lifestyles make the world such a fascinating and intriguing place. Living and working in one country can be a completely different experience from living in another. Recognizing this is key when trying to build a global brand. Understand the expectations of your new business partners, the companies you plan to work with or sell to, and your new clientele. Identify cultural differences that might impact the way you operate or communicate with your partners or customers, and be sure to respect traditions and attitudes. Communicate openly to make sure you’re on the same page. If you run a business in the UK or the US, for example, you may be used to strict deadlines. In other countries where the pace of life is slower and deadlines are a guide rather than an end point, businesses can be more relaxed. Understanding the expectations of both sides and communicating effectively can help minimize friction and prevent disruptions and delays.

Increase brand awareness

Reaching new customers can be difficult for businesses, especially in markets where there are established names with a large customer base. Increase brand awareness is about introducing your business to customers, explaining what you can offer them, and showing them how your brand is different. Go beyond telling potential customers the name and promoting products and services. Let people discover the company. You can use social media, email marketing, events and presentations, promotional videos and digital ads, and storytelling to show the human side of business and encourage customers to connect with you. Engage and engage with followers, get to know them, and encourage them to spread the word. It pays to use communication channels to give customers more information, especially if you’re targeting consumers rather than business customers. More than 70% of consumers seek to buy from brands that align with their values.

Set realistic goals

Keeping promises is the cornerstone of building trust. If you’re entering into deals with international companies or looking to sell to consumers abroad, it’s essential to set realistic goals that you can achieve. If you over-promise and under-deliver, you run the risk of disappointing customers and losing customers. The promises you make to customers must be viable. You can change and streamline operations once you’re up and running to improve efficiency and provide better service, but it’s best to start off on the right foot. Be honest about what you can offer your customers. Transparency is essential, especially in a world where bad press can go viral in an instant and where more than 90% of people read reviews before making purchases or entering into contracts with companies.

Expanding into global markets can provide incredible opportunities for businesses, but there are challenges. One of the most important goals to achieve is to establish trust. Businesses can create a positive impression and build strong, lasting relationships by prioritizing communication, getting to know the people behind brands, increasing brand awareness, and performing due diligence. Setting realistic goals, managing expectations, and understanding and respecting cultural differences are also essential.

(Devdiscourse journalists were not involved in the production of this article. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Devdiscourse and Devdiscourse claims no responsibility for them.)