External Stakeholders: How to Work With Them

external stakeholdersAs your business grows, there are a wide variety of people and investors you’ll be working with besides just your employees. Along with those employees, you may be working with other colleagues and managers, including board members. These are what are called the internal stakeholders—people who have an interest in how well your company is doing because they’re directly a part of it. However, as time goes on, these people aren’t the only stakeholders you’ll be dealing with. This Udemy course for young entrepreneurs can help you learn to coordinate with people from outside your company.

What are External Stakeholders?

External stakeholders are people who, while they aren’t part of your business and may not have a direct connection with it, are still connected to you. One of the first levels of stakeholders you’ll be dealing with are your customers and suppliers. While you may not think of your clients or customers as having a stake in your business, remember that, as you’ve been saying in your marketing, you’re ultimately providing them with products or services that they want and sometimes that they need.

This is especially true for longer-term clients and customers. They’ve been investing their time and money in you, and they want to keep getting a good return for it, not that differently from outside investors in your business. It’s important to pay attention to the signals you’re getting—even indirectly—about how you might be able to adjust your business to better serve more people. As you can learn from this Udemy course, engaging your customers will help you make better business decisions.

Like customers, your suppliers are also stakeholders in your business, since they depend on being able to see to you. Unlike with clients and customers, you may have to take more initiative in communication to get what your business needs, although if you work closely with them, a good supplier will be a major asset to your business.

Outside investors are also external stakeholders. These are individuals who are emotionally invested in seeing your business succeed because they’re financially invested in it. They may have a certain level of interest in parts of your strategy and business plan in order to play an active role in ensuring they get their financial investment back.

You’ll need to work with them to see what kind of information they’re looking for from you, and to figure out how you might want to work their input into your business. These are still external stakeholders rather than individuals who are fully part of your business, so you’ll need to be careful about having them be too involved.

Depending on your business, there may also be community groups that have reason to be interested in your company, such as neighborhood associations, minority organizations and even government departments. On an ongoing basis, it’s important to keep an eye out for groups like this outside of your company and industry who might be affected by the success of your business and the way you run it, as well as standards you may be held to.

Particularly with government regulations, you’ll need to be clear on what you’re required to do and make sure you’re set up to fulfill those requirements. But in any area, good relationships are just as important outside your relationship as inside. As you can read here, ethical relationships are key to running your business.

Communication is key in all of your stakeholder relationships. As long as the external stakeholders in your business have a clear and realistic idea of what they can expect, you’ll be more easily able to work with them in order to get the support that you need, whether it’s financial support, supplies, or publicity. This Udemy business communications course will show you tools for managing your external relationships.

While you’ll necessarily be interested in the responsibilities that all of these groups have to your business, even customers who you’ll need to be treating you honestly and responsibly, it’s just as important to worry about what your responsibilities are to them, in terms of fulfilling obligations to customers, paying suppliers and investors, and working smoothly with other businesses and organizations in your community as well as government regulations. This Udemy course will help you understand what your customers really need, so that you can meet and exceed their expectations. It can be a great way to ensure that you are properly providing for all people connected to your company.