​Why businesses need to talk to their neighbours 

If you work in a multi-storey office building, you may have had this experience.

You’re in the lobby, waiting for the lift. You notice someone looking at the Tenant Directory and they ask you: “Excuse me, I’m looking for [insert interesting, but unfamiliar company name here]. Do you know what floor they’re on?” 

Feeling a little inadequate, the best you can do is also scan the Tenant Directory. Saved by the arrival of the lift, you meekly apologise (or say you’re new here…), jump in, head to your floor. As you walk down the hall to your office, you notice, for the first time ever, that [interesting, but unfamiliar company name] is actually located just a few doors down from your own office.  

You’ve walked down that hall hundreds, maybe thousands of time, and you’d never noticed them before. And you certainly don’t know who lurks behind the frosted glass door. 

Turns out [interesting, but unfamiliar company name] has a gun graphic designer and that’s exactly what you’ve been looking for. What could have been a successful supplier relationship, was a missed opportunity. 

As a communication professional, it’s part of my job to help organisations to look through the frosted glass and start conversations.  

Recently, I’ve been working with a large educational institution to plan the buildings and facilities they need for the future. They’ve been talking to businesses and residents living nearby, as well as their large student and staff population. We even held a stall at the local farmers market – not exactly the place for in-depth conversations about planning and architecture (although there were some), but a great place to get closer to understanding what people really want. 

Being present in your community and your neighbourhood is as important for business as it is for individuals. Research on the impact of social isolation on individuals is pointing to all sorts of negative mental and physical health effects. Similar parallels can be drawn with business isolation. Getting to know your stakeholders helps business to address issues and opportunities from different perspectives. It opens up those closed doors and reveals wider benefits that you might never have contemplated. 

If your business needs help getting to know the people in your neighbourhood, talk to Mulberry Seed Communication. We can show you the way. 

Oh, and before you head home today, check out those other offices on your floor. You never know what help might be lurking inside. 

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