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A key part of business success is building and maintaining connections with your key stakeholders as well as with people and organisations outside of your business that may be able to help your business thrive. In the current world of instant communication, mobile devices and social media you may think that you are connecting with all the key people but is that really the case. Are you broadcasting about your company on social media but forgetting to interact and communicate with your customers? Are you busy developing Google adverts but not following up your website enquirers? Who are you and your business really connecting with?
To help you think about this here are some of the people you may want to add to your list of who you are connecting with:
Customers. You may have lots of customers but are you communicating and connecting with them? Do you understand how they feel about your products or services? What do they think of your pricing? What new products and services are they looking for? What would encourage them to buy more from you? What would encourage them to refer other customers to you?
Previous customers. How many ex customers do you have and do you connect with them? Why do they no longer buy from you? What would encourage them to work with you again? Do you continue to communicate with your previous customers?
Enquirers. How many enquiries to you get to your business each week? How do you connect with these enquiries whether they call you, email you, try to buy online or sign up for your newsletter? What would persuade your enquirers to buy your products or services? What could you do increase your conversion rates?
Suppliers. How do you connect and communicate with your suppliers? What knowledge do your suppliers have that can help you with your business? What are the latest trends they are seeing that may impact your business? What about potential new suppliers? How are you finding new suppliers?
Competitors. What are your competitors doing? What action are you taking to understand the competition, potential competitors and latest trends? Are you a member of any trade associations for your business area and what about attending their events? How else can you connect with your competitors?
Investors and funders. Are you looking to sell your business or wanting to access funding for your business? What investors, funders or connected people have you met recently? What about attending events that tell you how to accessing business funding and investment? Do you know any other businesses that have recently accessed investment or funding who could introduce you to the relevant people to connect with?
Industry experts. Which industry experts are you connected with? How do you find out what is happening in your sector? What are the latest regulations? Who are the key movers and shakers to follow on social media or to make contact with?
Other business people. Which business people do you connect with either on an ad hoc or regular basis? Are you a member of any business networking groups where you can meet other people in a similar position to you? How else can you connect with other business people?
Your business and other connections. Who have you met in the course of running your business? What other connections have you built up? How do you keep in touch with them? What about all your LinkedIn connections? How can these people help you with your business? Who do they know who they may be able to refer to you? What knowledge could they share with you?
Business support organisations and government bodies. Are there any organisations or government bodies in your area or online that support businesses like yours? How do you connect with them and find out about what they do? Do they have any funding available, business seminars you could attend or maybe even support in recruiting staff?
Business specialists. Which business specialists do you connect with e.g. banks, consultants, accountants, lawyers, trainers, HR consultants, IT providers, business coaches, business mentors etc.? When was the last time you connected with them? Are you missing out on specialist knowledge or support that could help you and your business e.g. the latest business tax relief etc.? What specialist help do you need?
Hopefully this has given you the impetus to connect with people and organisations that you are not currently connecting with that may be able to support the success of your company.
Author: Liz Makin
Published: October 2016
Makin It Happen has a range of personal development online courses to purchase, created by Liz Makin, including communication, resilience, time management, stress management and coaching. Liz Makin also provides personalised business coaching, business mentoring and stress management services to business owners, directors, managers and professionals.
Please call Liz on 01780 765270 or email Liz@makinithappen.co.uk
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