Eliminate Your Blind Spots – Part 1

As you’ve built your company you’ve made every effort to develop the perfect business plan, have a strategy in place that aligns with your vision, and take the right steps to ensure success in every area of your business – that is, every area over which you have control. But what about those factors outside your business over which you have no control?

Dwelling on those external – sometimes referred to as environmental – factors looming over everything you’ve done right can be unnerving. But even though they are out of your control, they are not unforeseeable. There are steps you can take to eliminate your blind spots, become aware of, and even prepare for changes that will occur externally. And remember – not all external changes are detrimental!

Which external influences are most likely to have an impact on your
business?

The global economy is one of the biggest external factors that will affect most businesses at one time or another. No business, industry, or market stands alone but is dependent on the success of other businesses and consumers to maintain their own financial health.

Market fluctuations can occur for many reasons but are often tied to politics, wars and currency devaluation and eventually have an impact on commerce.

Interest rates and the availability of credit are impacted by Wall Street and the solvency of major banks and other financial institutions.

Changes in local infrastructure include housing or commercial development, highway or utility construction or improvements, and modification of zoning laws. Especially for businesses whose success is closely tied to their location, changes in infrastructure can range widely in terms of their impact – from highly beneficial to disastrous.

Changes to local, state or federal laws that change the legality or level of regulation of a product can directly impact businesses associated with those products. But any business can be impacted by changes in laws or government regulations that affect the environment or communications.

Advances in technology and evolution in trends related to its use can impact both your business and marketing strategies and how you communicate with customers.

Changes in your customer base or target audience can be tied to a variety of demographic and cultural shifts – which may happen abruptly or over time. These types of changes can boost your business or take business away.

Severe Weather and other natural disasters such as wildfires can directly impact the ability of some businesses to open their doors. But even those that are not dependent on being able to serve the public can suffer trickle-down effects from severe weather. These natural events can also affect transportation of goods and the availability of supplies, materials and natural resources.

Temporary or permanent changes within an industry can be tied to any of the external factors mentioned above but may have a broader impact within a particular economic or business sector (example – the auto industry) and on particular categories of consumers than more isolated changes.

Having an awareness of the external factors that affect your business is the first step in being prepared to meet them head-on when they come. And they will come! But it’s possible to do a little forecasting and put contingency plans in place. My next blog will look at how you can take a proactive approach to elements that are out of your control.

I’d welcome the opportunity to help you assess the external factors that may impact your business success and its sustainability. Contact me to schedule a one-hour, complimentary review of your financial situation or book a time that works for you at www.Calendly.com/Rick-126.

Rick Arthur

Written by

Rick Arthur is a CFO whose expertise is built on Financial Intelligence and 35 years in senior financial roles. Coupled with a CEO’s perspective and the experience of building his own $20 million company, he brings a unique depth of insight into business from the top down. Wired to get to know people, Rick works hand-in-hand with business owners of intentional, growth-oriented companies, solidifying relationships as a trusted advisor and confidant to his clients. He leverages his experience to help business owners gain traction and stay laser-focused on the company’s vision, cash flow, and profitability – all while creating big picture solutions for strategic planning, growth and sustainable success.