Entrepreneurs are usually particular with their business numbers; sales figures, revenues figures, profit margins, inventories, expenses and the likes. Most end up relegating their employees, distributors and suppliers [stakeholders] to the background.
They result is a gradual eroding of trust, interest, commitment and patronage from these stakeholders.
If you’re a business owner and you’re not paying enough attention to your stakeholders [employees,suppliers,distributors]…then be ready to lose them to your competitors, because they are paying keen attention to what you are not getting right…yea that’s right!
In this post you’ll discover how to take care of your stakeholders and why it matters so much in your business.
Employees are supposed to be the greatest assets of any business. They are the internal customers of any business. These guys are the ones that said “YES” to your vision and mission and signed up to help you achieve your dreams, goals and business objectives.
It’s unfortunate that many business owners treat their employees poorly. These business owners always take advantage of the high unemployment rates to treat their employees badly…believing that they’d soon get their replacements whenever anyone is fired or leaves the company.
What you should do as an entrepreneur is to take care of your employees very well. Pay them good salaries, train them and provide a conducive work environment for them.
Remember, if you take good care of your employees, they in turn would take good care of your external customers.
A motivated employee is a great asset in your organisation.Treat them badly and they’ll make sure that all your external customers that have an encounter with them would have a taste of their bitterness, which is pretty bad for your business.
Your suppliers have a tremendous influence on your business process. If you’re a manufacturer of goods, then you’d understand that all goods that you’ll manufacture is a function of the quality of raw material that you work with and also depends on the availability of these raw materials. With this in mind, it’s only pertinent that you learn how to treat your suppliers well. Michael Porter in his book Competition outlined the bargaining power of suppliers. In a particular industry it is common to have most players in that industry sourcing raw materials from the same suppliers. Thus putting so much pressure on them.
Any business that strikes a negative cord with any of her suppliers is likely going to be blacklisted by the supplier and this’ll spell doom for that manufacturer. You shouldn’t give your competitors room to bring better products into the marketplace because of your inability to manage your relationship with your supplier. If you fall out with your tier one supplier you lose grip of one of your sources of competitive advantage…because you’ll be forced to deal with tier two suppliers whose products may not be quite nice or of a good quality.
Your distributors are your conduit to reach the final consumers. They have the network and capabilities to spread your products far and near which is why they are called distributors in the first place. Given, these guys can be demanding and forceful. But you need to devise ways of reaching a compromise or a win-win bargain with them at all times.
The era of building a mouse trap and the whole world would beat a path to your door steps is gone. You need to form alliances in the market place with your distributors…in fact see them as partners and allies in the marketplace. Nurture them and provide mouth watering incentives and deals for them…this’ll keep them committed to your brand without easily switching to your competitors with similar price points and products at the slightest poaching.
So, in a nutshell, take care of your stakeholders they way you would take care of your other business functions;[sales,marketing,promotion,new products development,taxation…etc].
You will find out that you would have positioned your business for a long term growth and a business with happy stakeholders is a magnet for attracting investors and venture capitalist.
What’s it going to be? Care for your stakeholders or Carelessness…the choice is yours!