What does it mean when someone asks you about who the stakeholders are in your business?
In our work with entrepreneurs we try to understand who are the stakeholders in our clients business, but what does this mean?
Many business owners do not know what is meant with the word stakeholders and have never considered who are all the stakeholders in their business. Typically the word is used by large corporates in their annual reports. But even small business have stakeholders!
Who are your stakeholders?
Research by Irene Inskip from Oxford University found that SMEs often fail to acknowledge the role of customers as key stakeholders:
Most small businesses have a rather limited view of important stakeholders as only the top management team and employees with only a distant recognition of customers
How to treat your stakeholders
- Proactive – which means you need to initiate the contact. Quite literally – out of the blue – they need to hear from you!
- You can’t just always talk about what THEY want – more money, a lower price increase, better quality. You need to also talk about what’s important to you – what YOU want.
It is time for your employees and your customers to take your call.
How to communicate to your stakeholders?
- A bi-monthly newsletter to staff in which you highlight areas of excellence and improvement.
- An end of year letter to customers in which you take your relationship in review. Highlight areas of mutual success, acknowledge frustrations and take a fresh look at the upcoming year ahead.
Stakeholder management is about recognizing who all the people are that have a material impact on your business, and making sure you talk to them about what is important to the success and growth of your business.
Thinking about it, all small businesses must be able to answer the question: Who are my stakeholders, and what am I telling them?
Want help with mapping out the stakeholders in your business?