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Environmental factors

This is everything ‘green’. Climate change may hold some opportunities as well as threats. People’s and governments’ attitudes to environmental issues such as pollution, plastic waste, decarbonisation, packaging may impact on you. You may want to make some changes to boost your success in this area, and your reputation.

Economic factors

Here you consider the economic picture. Is the economic environment in which you are operating healthy, stagnant or heading for recession. What is happening with interest rates and what impact does that have on your organisation in terms of assets, debts and loans? Are you affected, and how, by currency instability and by exchange rates. What sort of situation are your customers in? Are they feeling economically confident or are they cutting back on expenditure. How much do your customers or potential customers earn and what are the prospects for growth or change?

Political factors

This is where you consider any political influences on your organisation and your plans. You may want to consider potential government changes, or existing government’s policies and plans that would affect you and which will support your plans, or negatively affect you. Does the government support development, have they launched a new business incentive policy that you can take advantage of?

Legal factors

This can feel like it overlaps with P and E sometimes. But see if there is anything in law that has a significant impact, or potential changes in law that would impact on you. What are the trade agreements that impact on your organisation. Are there Human Relations laws that you need to be aware of or changes in those? Competition laws might be appropriate to be aware of and monitor if you are planning changes.

Technological factors

T stands for technological, and again we are interested in what is happening that might open opportunities to you or present threats. How many people in your populations use mobile phones, tablets, computers for their business and leisure. Where are the gaps/strengths in the technological infrastructure where you are or want to be? Consider power, internet, transport infrastructure. And here you would consider the 4th industrial revolution and the advent of robotics and Artificial Intelligence. Can you harness these to improve your business. What does this mean for your populations?

Sociological factors

S stands for sociological, or sometimes this is labelled social or socio-cultural. Here we are interested in whether there are any trends revealing themselves in your populations’ behaviour. You may want to look at cultural differences, any changes in working practices (for example, after Covid people want to work more from home and there is an emphasis on staff wellbeing). What is the demographic profile (is the population young, or ageing, what does that mean for what they want from you?). What are customers’ attitudes towards social responsibility, ethics, vegetarianism. What are the trends in eating habits, who are the lifestyle influencers, what is popular culture (art, film, computer games, media) telling you about what people are or are not interested in?