Business is all about stakeholders. That sounds like a pretty bold statement to make, but it’s true. Let’s take a look at what a stakeholder is, the importance of getting to know them and how you can ensure they are happy.
A stakeholder can be split into two pools. Internal stakeholders are entities within a business. This includes your employees, managers, the board of directors and investors
External stakeholders are entities not within a business itself but who care about or are affected by its performance, this includes consumers, regulators, investors and suppliers. Knowing this, you can begin to see why relationships with your stakeholders are the key to building and growing a fantastic business.
If we look at the internal stakeholders, you need to ensure you understand your staff, what they like, their strengths and weaknesses and how they perform under pressure. Your employees are going to be representing you when you are not able and are a direct link to the consumer and the supplier. So ensuring they are happy is going to ensure they are enjoying their work. This will radiate out of them and be better for you. Think about incentives schemes, have an open door policy for staff to communicate with you, treat them to days out where you can. A strong and well bonded team will care about each other, helping meet deadlines and supporting the team when others are ill. You will be responsible for the relationships you have with investors and the board of directors so get to know them too. Understanding their personalities will ensure you can make them happy. Find out what is important to them and make sure you apply that to the business. Also understand what makes them mad, it could be that one of your directors hates mobile phones being on show in meetings. Make note of this and ensure you don’t fall into an easy trap and put their back up.
External stakeholders can be a little more tricky to keep happy. You can take on lots of market research to get to know your client base a little better but you will never be able to please all the people, all of the time. So try to focus on best overall care then deal with any issues individually as they arise. Your suppliers need nurturing too. If you work in the sports sector and use a multiturf company to supply your clients, then get to know the other ways your suppliers products could be used and support them in other ways too. Giving something back to the supplier will make them remember you and want to do their best when delivering a service.
Never undervalue the importance of happy stakeholders and how a few small details can mean a better workplace or a happier customer. Every single stakeholder you have is the key to your businesses being a success and without them? Well you don’t have a business at all. Take the chance to make the most out of each and everyone.