It used to be that small business owners believed that all they had to do was serve their customers effectively and make sure that their stock maintained or increased its value. It’s now more usual, however, that business owners also must be concerned with their stakeholders.
What are stakeholders? They include shareholders, of course, but they also include other individuals and entities that have a “stake” in the business for any number of reasons.
Filler & Associates defines a stakeholder as someone who has an interest in decisions or proposed actions of a business. For example, those who:
- Have decision-making power or authority over some part of the business entity
- Are affected by the outcome of the proposed action of a business or by the products and services being offered
- Would be part of implementing a business or project
- Can stop or delay business plans or projects through litigation or other means
7 Reasons to Involve Stakeholders in Decision Making
It can be a very bad idea to ignore stakeholders when making any small business decisions. Here are some reasons why:
- The law may require it
- It’s important for public relations purposes
- You will see more ideas and insights than if you just stick with your own managers, as stakeholders add direct experience
- It shows your business is fair, transparent and ethical.
- It can increase consent and even assist with implementation.
- The long term stability of the business decision may increase
- You may get a clearer idea of risks involved, thus saving you time and money later
Who Are Your Stakeholders?
To answer this question completely, Filler & Associates would need information about your business, your industry and what you are trying to accomplish. Each small business and project has different types of stakeholders. They can have a broad set of interests, or they may only be concerned about one project or narrow aspect of a project. When identifying stakeholders, remember to think beyond the obvious groups. Filler & Associates can work with you to develop a full idea of how they are for your small business. Contact us and we’ll assist you in determining how to best involve stakeholders in your Maine-based business.