By Jowanna Daily
Can a PESTLE analysis help your coaching business?
New entrepreneurs sometimes mistake the business world as a setup of steps you follow, and then BOOM, you’re in business. In reality, running a successful business depends on a series of strategic activities that requires periodic adjustments.
Enter the PESTLE Analysis, a framework used by marketing professionals, business owners, and startups to see how the outside world might impact the company.
The acronym stands for:
There are other variations of the PESTLE tool; however, they are very similar in approach. Some also think of the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis as an alternative to the PESTLE, but I see these two as complementary strategic tools that help you manage your business’ opportunities and risks.
Overall, The PESTLE analysis helps you identify factors that could impact your business model. Let’s look at the different components.
The political component allows you to assess how and to what degree the government impacts your business. It includes areas such as:
- Tax policy
- Government stability
- Political unrest
- Import and export regulations and restriction
- Corruption level
- Freedom of press
- Government regulation or deregulation
- Competition regulation
- Voter participation
- Defense budgets
- Government subsidies
- Government sanctions
- Trade policy
The economic analysis enables you to look at various aspects of the economy and the outlook in each area. It includes:
- Economic growth rate
- Interest rate
- Inflation rate
- Exchange rate
- Credit availability
- Disposable income
- Consumer spending
- Federal government budget deficits
- Gross domestic product trend
- Unemployment rate
- Stock market trends
- Price fluctuations
The social factors enable you to know your consumers better and analyze what influences consumer behavior. Some areas include:
- Population size and growth rate
- Marriages and divorces
- Immigration and emigration rates
- Life expectancy rates
- Social classes
- Family size and structure
- Health consciousness
- Average disposable income
- Attitudes towards government and work
- Environmental concerns
- Consumer buying habits
- Ethical concerns
- Cultural norms and values
- Religion and beliefs
- Racial equality
- Education level
- Crime rates
- Attitudes towards savings, investing and retiring
- Attitudes towards product quality
- Attitudes towards customer service
- Attitudes towards foreign people
- Attitudes towards a diverse population
The tech component looks at industry innovation, trends, and perks. It includes:
- Innovation level
- Research and development activity
- Access to new technology
- Internet infrastructure
- Communication infrastructure
- The life cycle of technology
- Technological change
- Technology awareness
Legal factors are critical to every business, as this environment sets the tone for what you can and can’t do. Look at all aspects of the law including:
- Discrimination laws
- Antitrust laws
- Employment laws
- Consumer protection laws
- Copyright and patent laws
- Health and safety laws
- Education laws
- Privacy laws
These factors include how the physical environment may affect business, such as:
- Climate change
- Environmental policies
- Natural disasters
- Air and water pollution
- Recycling standards
- Attitudes towards green products
- Support for renewable energy
How to Conduct a PESTLE Analysis
Like any other business activity, a PESTLE analysis requires a well-thought-out approach. Solopreneurs and micropreneurs do not have the same resources as a big corporations. They, therefore, need a scope that matches the budget and resources they have.
- Determine the scope and budget for your research. Keep your scope to areas that affect your industry and your company. This information is important whether you do the analysis yourself or hire a consultant.
- Outline an approach to collecting data and evaluating the data. Data gathering is key to this exercise. Determine your team size and evaluation method to determine which risks or opportunities are impactful enough to address.
- Identify the sources of information. There is a wealth of resources out there to help you gather data. You can use a research company or collect information from government and industry-specific association sites.
- Gather information. Use a template of some sort to gather the data—it can be a spreadsheet, word document, or a custom template you make yourself.
- Group and assess. Depending on how you gather the information, you may need to group like information together. Rate the impact level and concentrate on the most important risk and impact factors. If you focus on all aspects, you run a chance of burnout and analysis paralysis.
- Conduct analysis. Analyzing the data is one of the most significant steps. This evaluation will define areas of opportunity and threats. It determines your strategic direction and affects whom you serve and your business model.
- Create a strategic plan. Build your approach to addressing these issues (in priority order).
- Take action. Decide what action you will take according to your plan.
Once you conduct a baseline analysis, plan on periodic research and analysis because things change all the time. Keeping up with outside factors can minimize the effort needed in future assessments.
The Bottom Line
While a PESTLE analysis is helpful, it’s easy to get lost in the data or underestimate its power. I encourage you to carefully conduct one or have a professional conduct one for you.
There is no doubt that this world needs life coaches; however, you can have a hard time navigating in the business world without a strategic approach to your market and its customers.
April Content Ideas
The unofficial holiday calendar is filled with days that life coaches can share valuable information and increase sales. Look through this list and select a few to build campaigns that connect with people.
- International Fun at Work Day: Work is not always fun, but you can find a way to make it fun on this fun holiday.
- National Walk to Work Day. Coaches can use this holiday to promote wellness, mindfulness, and fitness.
- Reconciliation Day. Relationship coaches, pay attention—this is a good day to promote blogs, workshops, courses, or other coaching services that help repair broken relationships.
- Don’t Go to Work Unless It’s Fun Day. Life purpose, career, or business coaches, this fun holiday is a perfect day to hold a free event to encourage people to do what makes them happy.
- Find a Rainbow Day. This colorful holiday makes me think of challenges. It’s a great day to challenge your audience to think of something good that came from an awful period in their life.
- Walk Around Things Day. Business and relationship coaches—use this holiday to help your clients have a proactive approach to managing risks or avoidable conflicts.
- National Go for Broke Day. Living life according to what makes you feel fulfilled, take risks. Life coaches all over the globe can challenge people to “go for broke” by making a small commitment that signifies major changes in their lives.
- National Walking Day. This day is another holiday that promotes wellness. Though it is an obvious observation for health coaches, other niches can also promote National Walking Day.
- World Health Day. Stress, bad eating habits, lack of exercise, and chronic conditions are examples of factors that affect our health. All professional life coaches can unite to educate their audiences about health-related issues and deal with them proactively.
- National Siblings Day. There’s nothing more special than siblings. Highlight your siblings or invite your followers to share theirs.
- National Pet Day. Use observance to share the benefits of having a pet. It’s also a great day to discuss the plight of animals (and those who are better in the wild and not as pets).
- Walk on Your Wild Side Day. Encourage your audience to do something daring, like take the first step to make a dream a goal.
- International Moment of Laughter Day. Laughter is good for the soul; share a joke and the benefits of laughter with your audience.
- Look up at the Sky Day. Pick a time in the day when you appreciate the beautiful sky and get lost in its beauty.
- Reach as High as You Can Day. This day is another day to encourage people to go for their dreams. You can use these days to string together a challenge.
- World Art Day. Therapeutic art coaches, I included this holiday, especially for you. Use this day to spread the therapeutic benefits of art.
- Husband Appreciation Day. This holiday celebrates husbands (with no children). Though the holiday highlights “wives,” in two-husband marriages, it presents a perfect opportunity to celebrate each other.
- Blah, Blah, Blah Day. This holiday is a perfect day to offer tools that help people work on goal-oriented tasks when they lack motivation.
- National Stress Awareness Day. Stress may be unavoidable, but it is manageable. Help people recognize ways to de-stress. April is also Stress Awareness Month, so have stress-education activities all through the month.
- National Hang Out Day. Life coaches seek to make the world a better place, which means taking care of the Earth. National Hang Out Day is about having fun and hanging your clothes out to dry.
- Volunteer Recognition Day. Highlight volunteers in your digital or local community on April 20th. Make this holiday about others instead of shamelessly plugging your accomplishment.
- National High Five Day. Use this day to celebrate your clients’ achievements. Remember—small accomplishments lead to big results.
- Earth Day. You can share organizational and personal practices you follow to make the world a better place on Earth Day.
- Take a Chance Day. Life coaches exist to promote growth and change. Use your gifts to help your clients get out of their comfort zone.
- Tell a Story Day. This holiday makes for a fantastic day to share your story or to have your clients share theirs (testimonials).
- National Teach Children to Save Day. Financial coaches, it’s never too early to teach healthy financial habits. Help parents by giving them tips to pass on to their children.
- International Dance Day. Use this holiday to encourage people to physically or symbolically dance like no one’s watching.
- National Honesty Day. You can use this holiday to have your audience face the “big lie.” Encourage them to look back at their childhood and see how it has shaped who they are. Help them change or eliminate beliefs that don’t serve them.
Jowanna is a business and personal coach, consultant, freelance blogger, and personal brand photographer. Jowanna uses her 20-plus years of business, information technology, business analysis, and project management experience to serve solopreneurs, microbusinesses, and professionals through consulting, coaching, training, and workshops. She is also a freelance blogger who serves corporate and non-corporate clients. Visit her website at https://www.jowannadaley.com/about/.