How to open a pizzeria on a shoestring. 12: External Stakeholders
Posted on Saturday, April 17, 2021 by Alan Pizzaiolo Tribe — No comments
Although your little pizzeria will work well without putting any effort in maintaining a good rapport with your external stakeholders, in my experience having a good working relationship can help us more than we realise.
Just to make it clear an external stakeholder is someone that is affected or can affect the performance of the business, but does not work in the business itself. The list generally includes:
- Local community
- Investors (if you have any)
I won’t talk about investors as it’s obvious that you want to maintain a good relationship with them as they have invested in your project and allowed it to come to life.
As a small business having a supportive community is priceless. During the past year we have certainly seen small business being able to survive just because of their local community willingness to spend money and help out, in times of need. Most of your regulars will be part of your local community too. So what can you do to reciprocate?
We all had some problems or got frustrated dealing with the council. Councils are notoriously slow at making decisions, whereas private businesses thrive on adapting and making decisions on the go. Having said that, having someone at the council that appreciates your business can be very valuable. This could be about advance notice of events being planned (as sometimes they are not properly advertised) and more importantly, being informed about grants or tenders. Those are not always properly publicised and we may not be paying attention to the channels the council and government use as we are so busy with running our businesses. A typical example are town regeneration improvements or high street improvement schemes. Also councils many times have cash reserves, and if a project interests them and can improve the town both aesthetically and financially, sometimes funds can be found, all of sadden out of the blue.
It is essential to maintain good relationships with your suppliers. They are the ones that decide what discounts to apply and give you a heads up on offers and promotions. A coffee or a pizza here and there really go a long way, especially when you forget to order something!
I have seen my landlord once in 5 years, nevertheless you need them as much as they need you. Having an open channel for communication and their support is indispensable. If you can make them believe in your project and in the value that you can add to their property, they will go out of their way to accommodate you. Also when it comes to renewing the lease you definitely want to be on their good books