Early in my career I had the unique opportunity to live and work in Sao Paulo, Brazil for the Belgian tech company Barco. When a colleague asked me how long I was planning to stay, I answered him I was in Brazil to work on a 1-year project. He advised me to forget about the 1-year term and to stop mentioning it. Customers and friends would only invest time and energy to develop a trusting relationship with me, when I’d be there for the long run. He couldn’t be more right.
Also when your company expands to a new country, it is increasingly important to show commitment. It means being serious about building a business in a new country, investing time and money to achieve ambitious goals. It means never settling and refusing to throw in the towel when things are getting tough. Showing commitment opens doors, builds trust and attracts many good things to your business.
Customers | This is especially true for products which require after-sales service or if the integration of your solution implicates significant change . Customers want to know that you are easy to reach and that you guarantee fast response.
Potential Partners | Showing commitment builds trust, one of the crucial fundamentals for a strategic partnership. A potential partner will only be willing to invest the time and money in a potential new venture if he knows you are in it for the long term.
Employees | One of the challenges of companies that are expanding to a new market is finding good employees, especially in competitive markets such as New York or Silicon Valley. If you can show that you are committed, you have already come a long way to attract the best.
Investors | If you want to raise money, it is important to show that you are serious about building a strong company in the home market of the investor.
Distributors | Even for products where the end customer might not really care or know how serious you are, your distributors will. They will only go the extra mile to successfully launch and sell your product to their customers if they feel you are committed to their business.
Referrals | In relationship-based businesses (like mine), referrals are the coin of the realm. People will only give referrals if they know you are serious about your business and that their contact will get excellent results.
Ultimately, commitment attracts success.
Are you putting in enough effort to show commitment? It is good to take a step back and look from the perspective of the different stakeholders you want to reach in the new market. Does it make sense for them to quit their current job, to change their current supplier or way of working and switch to you?