“There are three constants in life… change, choice and principles.” – Stephen Covey.
Understanding the stakeholder’s requirement is the first principle to be followed for any type business. Bet it small or big, but the principles never change. The stakeholders of an organization consists of customers, suppliers, employees, statutory bodies, regulatory bodies and the society. The needs and expectations of the stakeholders needs to be understood to mitigate the unforeseen risks in a business. Understanding means identifying the requirements if not readily available.
For a small business, if you think the same may not be applicable, you are at fault. In fact, it is much required for the small and medium business as the risks are higher and critical to mitigate. We will see how the needs and expectation could be identified in the small business.
Ask your Customers!
Simple and Powerful tool.
Most of the customers will be reluctant to say the satisfaction level on your product or service. But, if you ask them with the appropriate questions, like,
- Where I should improve in my service?
- Which product do you like most and why?
- Do you want to include some more services in my business that can benefit you? If so, what?
- What are the three things you don’t like in my business?Do not ask close type questionnaires, as the answers would be only yes or no. for example,
- Are you happy with the service?
- Is my product perform well?
Survey is a sophisticated method to obtain the expectations of stakeholders but still a valid option where we don’t know who our customers are or if they are huge in number. In order to conduct the survey, you may be required a pre designed template with all the questionnaires to identify the product requirements and need to be validated as well.
There are many online tools and free websites available for preparing the survey questionnaire which can be mailed to the stakeholders to obtain the feedback.
(If readers want to know the detailed steps to prepare survey questionnaire, please send me a mail, refer contact session)
Act on issues!
We are running the business amid competitive environment. Changes in business are unavoidable and predominant in nature. In this circumstances, the issues are many and every issue has an opportunity and risks associated with it.
The concept is to identify the issues being faced by the organization externally and internally. Once identified, we should analyse, how the issues would transform the business. Depending on the negativity of issues, actions must be taken.
For example, an issue of poor relationship with one of your highly dependent supplier will make you to identify a new supplier.
So, it’s like this …Ask your Customers! Do Survey! Act on issues!
And finally UNDERSTAND the stakeholder’s requirement!!!