How to Do a PESTLE Analysis for Your Service Business
The PESTLE acronym stands for Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal, and Environmental factors, and through a PESTLE analysis you unearth and record the various factors in these categories that may have an impact on your business.
A completed PESTLE analysis allows business owners to plan and strategize their next steps with a clear picture of the current and upcoming external factors that will impact their business.
Conducting a PESTLE analysis
Filling in the blanks isn’t a quick task. A PESTLE analysis only provides as much value as the time you put into ensuring it’s thorough, so to complete a proper analysis you’ll need to do your online research, talk to experts, talk to your peers and industry organizations, check in with your local laws, etc.
A variety of perspectives only strengthens a PESTLE analysis so think about involving some of your team members in your research. Your team members have work histories and client interactions that differ from yours, so they’ll likely have valuable additions and insights.
When to use PESTLE
The best time for you to use a PESTLE analysis is when you need to closely scrutinize the current and/or future state of your business or your particular service business industry. Whether you’re starting a business, looking to strengthen operations, thinking about your next marketing move, or planning to grow employee numbers, a PESTLE analysis can help you plan.
In general, a PESTLE analysis allows you to both anticipate and prepare for industry changes, and implement changes in your own business to adapt to shifting industry trends. In other words, a solid business strategy based on PESTLE research will help you get a leg up on your competition.
The general importance of the various PESTLE factors will vary depending on the type of service business you run and your concerns. For example, a pest control or lawn care company using various chemical treatments may have to pay more attention to the legal and environmental factors, and a company looking into business loans to aid with expansion will have to closely examine the political and economic factors of minimum wage and interest rates.
It’s important to note that a PESTLE analysis can quickly become outdated. Policies, laws, technology, etc. are always changing, so update or confirm items each time you use a PESTLE analysis to help guide your strategic thinking.
Let’s go through each factor and break down the information you need to capture.
Political factors usually involve things that impact your business from a government or legal standpoint. Political is similar to legal and social, but is a bit different, as political factors seem to change more often. Some examples are:
- Income Tax and other taxes
- Minimum wage laws
- Union influences
- Federal, state, and local environmental policies
Economic factors are financial fluctuations that are typically out of your control. For example, interest rates go down meaning your business loan cost more last year than it will this year. Some other examples include:
- GDP loss or growth
- Inflation rates
- Company debt
- Income of potential customers in your area
- Employee salary trends in the service business industry
Social factors refer to the cultural norms and attitudes of your targeted demographic and that of your employees, partners, competitors, etc. For example, an increase in demand of ‘green energy’ use can affect the energy source you use to power your equipment and vehicles. Other factors are:
- Customer age
- Cultural norms and traditions
- Population growth or decline
- Service career attitudes
- Religious influences
- Public health and safety
Technological factors have a direct impact on the cost of doing business and the efficiency of your business. Falling behind on technological trends, using outdated equipment or software, and examining the technological barriers your business faces to enter a new market all fall within this category. Other factors to consider include:
- Automation opportunities
- Technology incentives, like tax credits
- Better equipment coming on the market
- Service business software updates
- Improvements to mobile devices and other communications
At Jobber Academy we believe that a smart use of technology will help you run a better, and ultimately more competitive, service business. As the world moves in a digital direction, it’s important to consider the impact that software like Jobber can have on your business operations.
On that note, Jobber’s service software helps you run a better service business from start to finish. Using Jobber you can manage all of your clients and access their history in one place, automate your invoice process, eliminate duplicate entry when it comes to scheduling, and access it all as long as you have an internet or data connection, so being in the field no longer leaves you in the dark.
Legal factors will directly influence the company’s operations of your service business right now. Some legal factors can also determine your final cost of doing business and impact demand for your company’s services. These legal factors include:
- Consumer protection laws
- Various insurance laws and mandates
- Antitrust laws
- OSHA Policies
Environmental factors refer to anything that can impact your business from an ecological or environmental standpoint. This part of the analysis will matter more for some industries than others. For example, if you own a landscaping business, you’ll need to concern yourself with the weather every single day, while plumbers can work indoors. Other environmental factors may include:
- Environmental impact of service business practices
- Access by road, rail, air
- Waste management
- Local attitudes towards pollution