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Sunday, 4 December 2011

What Can Be Done in a Nightmare Scenario? Use PEST Analysis!

I have so far scrupulously avoided any religious or political discussion in Ivan’s Blog but events have overtaken me and I feel that I must state a case for the leaders of SMEs in the UK (possibly everywhere).

The number of column inches devoted to the eurozone crisis is limitless.  TV and radio cover the whole process with enthusiasm and drag “experts” out of any closet they can find to pontificate on the dreadful scenario.

Words like, “cataclysmic”, “unprecedented”, "catastrophe", “nightmare”, “desperate”, and many others are being bandied about and everyone in the media seems to be saying that the end is nigh.

The cold facts are that as leaders of SMEs, there is virtually nothing that we can do about the situation which comes well into the PEST analysis (political, economic, sociological and technological) all of which are external influences over which we have no control.
Who really knows what will happen in Europe?  Summit meeting follows summit meeting within a few days and the markets react, positively or negatively as is their wont.  The fact is that the concept of the euro was faulty in the first place – one size DOESN’T fit all and it certainly doesn’t fit a lot of very differing cultures in the hotch-potch of cultures which make up Europe.

In 2008 I suggested that we were in an L-shaped recession and were subsequently in a New Normality.  This has been repeated and we are back into a Newer Normality again.  

Leaders of SMEs particularly need to understand that the world hasn’t stopped.  There is still a vast amount of business out there provided that we go for it in a competitive way, not by discounting prices but by offering a service second to none.

Boom times may return but it is certain that it will not happen for some years.  New Normality means that what is out there isn’t going to change significantly so redesign your business and your activities according to what IS out there.

So what to do right now?  Ask yourself questions for each criterion such as "What political/economic/social/technological events could affect the business?", then discuss with your people what you could do to ameliorate the potential effects.

Do your PEST analysis and see where you can be as prepared as possible for an uncertain future, take immediate action and then go for it,  Good luck!

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