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BUS 280: Entrepreneurship

Conducting a Business Environmental Scan

An environmental scan includes an industry analysis where you will discuss the external environmental factors that have, or could have, an impact on product, activity or service you are considering.

The suggestions below are meant to start you thinking about the situation analysis requirements for your particular marketing communication plan. If you need more specific suggestions please consult us at the Library.

Competitive environment

COMPETITIVE

Who are your leading competitors? What are their products or services and how do they compare to your product or event idea? What market segment do they target? How easy is it for new competition to enter this market? What are your competitors' strengths and weaknesses – and how this can help you distinguish your company? What can you learn from watching your competition?

Best bets

Look for an association representing your business. Some ideas include:

Many association websites include a membership directory:

Regulatory environment

REGULATORY

What existing laws must you be aware of? Are there any any new laws and regulations that may affect your business?  What might be the financial impact?

Best bets for general sources:

There may be specific regulations that govern your service or product. For example:

  • Are you hiring employees or need to protect yourself? Go to WorksafeBC to review WCB regulations and to the Employment Standards Branch to familiarize yourself with labour standards
  • A Commercial Vehicle License is mandatory if you are going to be transporting your clients – find out what type of license you'll need at Passenger Transportation
  • How about the insurance needs of your company? The Small Business BC has a good list of your possible business insurance needs
  • If you're planning on serving alcohol, then you'll need to apply for a liquor licence

Economic environment

ECONOMIC

What economic indicators are most relevant for your company? What economic trends might affect your business? What is the buying power of your target market?

Best bet

The bigger picture in Canada:

The local picture:

What do BC residents spend their money on? Find out how much we spend on travel, child care, pet care and more!

The "Survey of Household Spending" from BCStats provides the most recent data on BC and how we compare to Canada overall. You can also look at StatCan's "Survey of Household Spending" and limit your results to individual provinces. 

Social environment

SOCIAL

Victoria often ranks as one of the best places in Canada to live or work - rankings that are usually based on climate, prosperity, access to healthcare, home affordability, crime rates and lifestyle. This is the social environment that your business or activity has to operate within. 

Sources:

Technological environment

TECHNOLOGICAL

How is technology affecting your product/service? How soon can it be expected to become obsolete? Is your company equipped to adapt quickly to changes?

Sources:

Best bet

The Statista portal includes consumer market and digital market outlooks. The best place to start!

Additional options:

In the library catalogue try a search combining the term “trends” with your service or industry e.g. food & trends, recreation & trends, etc.

The latest information will be found in a periodical/journal index. Try your product or service as a keyword in combination with “technological innovations”, “technological change” or “trends”.

  • “sporting goods industry” & “technological innovations” or be even more specific and search “golf” & “technological innovations”
  • “tourism” & “trends” or “food” & “trends”
  • “forecasts” & “technological change”

There are several good websites tracking consumer trends or uses of technology