The Business of Trust

On Sunday I was on my sofa reading some articles about cultural transformation and new business models, when I was struck by an interesting piece on ‘sharing economy’.

For those who have never heard the term before, sharing economy is an umbrella term that encompasses many realities and different characterizing elements. Generally speaking it is a new economic model based on the sharing of goods and services – therefore no longer based on purchasing and ownership – where the personal element is fundamental.

Car2Go, Uber, Airbnb – to name but a few – rely on the use of an object/service rather than on its purchase. UberPop, Rover, and Bell Family offer platforms which put people looking for a service in contact with those who can provide it. They all have a key common denominator: they all revolve around trust.

If I decide to rent my home to a stranger via Airbnb, if I ask an UberPop driver to pick me up and drop me off somewhere at 2am, if I use Rover or Bell Family platforms looking for someone who can take care of my dog or my daughter respectively, in all these cases I will blindly trust in someone I don’t know. This individual might be incompetent, unreliable, mischievous or even worse. Nevertheless, the mentioned businesses are successful and keep customers keen on their goods/services. How is it possible?

Again, it is all about trust. Trust enables every human exchange; arguably our society couldn’t function without it. The belief we have in each other’s promises is so great that it even transcends our immediate circle in the physical world. We order books, book hotel rooms and experience new restaurants and cuisines on the word of others who have recommended them.

Similarly, trust is also the foundation of many trust & corporate services providers, like Abacus. Abacus is not merely an organisation that creates value or exchanges services for money. Abacus is the promises we make to our clients in return for their trust. When we put a price on a service or a ‘contact us’ button on our website, we are inviting people not just to pay for something or to contact someone randomly, but to trust that we will deliver on the promises we have made to them.

Both Abacus and our service offerings have grown significantly over the last 40+ years, yet the original principles and promises of applying integrity, independence and insight across each client’s requirements are still very much prevalent within the business to this day.

Every day presents a new challenge and a new opportunity. We look forward to the tough calls, the challenging clients, and the constant push to keep our services and expertise relevant in the changing market. But at the heart of it, we are in the people business. It is the relationships we forge – and the trust we create – that matter most to our success at the end of the day. In business as in private life, all successful relationships run on trust. Trust is a non-negotiable trait.

The first and last goal of every business should be to make promises and then to keep them. After 40+ years, we at Abacus are still keeping ours and we work every day to repay the trust that our clients place in us. How about you? What are you promising to your clients?


“The people when rightly and fully trusted will return the trust.” (Abraham Lincoln)


Written by Marta Bellamoli, Marketing Co-ordinator