The PEST Guide
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Figuring out what you really want is critical. Once you’ve got that information, though, you have to put it into the context of the external and internal environments in which you’re operating. A PEST analysis (Political, Environment, Social & Technological Trends) can help you contextualize your plans.
You can find all kinds of worksheets and explanations for PEST Analyses by doing a quick Internet search. The following provides a list of the factors I consider when conducting a PEST for my business.
The PEST Factors
To conduct a Political/Economic/Social/Technological analysis, you’ll examine the environment that you’re working within based on the following criteria:
Current Legislation within Domestic Market
Future Legislation within Domestic Market
Current/Future Legislation within International Market as appropriate
Regulatory Bodies and Processes
Domestic Economy Current Situation
Domestic Economy Trends
International Economic Trends
Market and Trade Cycles
Specific Industry Trends
Consumer Attitudes and Opinions
Consumer Buying Patterns
Population Age & Ethnicity Distribution
Changes in How People Use Technology
Maturity of Current Technologies
Life cycle of Technology/Technological Obsolescence
As you look at these areas, describe the current state of affairs and try to identify any emerging trends. Look for opportunities as well as threats. Examine your goals and figure out how you can use your understanding of the PEST factors to strategize more effectively.
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