The External Environment Discussion Forum

When developing your products or services, it is crucial to identify the external factors or forces that are either opportunities or threats. As a reminder, the macro factors discussed in this module are political-legal, economic, social, and technological. For instance, when considering political factors, be sure to think about policies, environmental issues, and laws or regulations. For economic factors, consider the impact of globalization, taxes, and the current state of the economically. Social factors are determined by the people. You’ll be considering how your customers, target market, and buying habits affect profits and purchases. Lastly, technological questions focus on technology related to your business, such as the tech you use daily, and how advancements provide a competitive edge.
For this discussion forum, discuss why environmental scanning is important. Then, select one question from each of the four external environment factors below. (In other words, you will only be answering four questions rather than all twelve, one question from Political, one question from Economic, one question from Social, and one question from Technological factors). Answer the questions as if you were the manager of the company. It can be a made up company or one that you have a particular interest, but either way, please be sure to mention the industry.
Answer only one of these Political questions :
What trading policies impact business?
What regulations must you follow, and have they changed in the last 5, 10, 20 years?
What environmental issues, if any, should be addressed (i.e Eco-friendly resources/products, natural disasters, pandemics, etc)
Has new legislation passed that affects your organization?
Answer only one of these Economic questions:
How much does globalization affect your market share?
What taxes must you follow, and how does it affect your service offerings (if at all)?
Is the economy stable, unstable, or growing for your industry?
How does the current economic climate affect your consumers and their spending habits?
Answer only one of these Social and Cultural questions:
Who is your target market?
How are consumer opinions changing regarding your product or service?
Is the population demographic growing or slowing down and if so, how is it affecting your business?
Have you documented changes in how and when your customers purchase your products?
Answer only one of these Technological questions:
What technology is critical for your day-to-day operations?
What new technology is available that could streamline decision-making and product development?
Do you depend on 3rd parties for any tech support or solutions?
Are you using technology to stay ahead of the competition and if so, how?

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