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The Concept of Fit: Your Business’ ability to adapt to its Changing Environment.

Do you know that your business operates within a larger external context?

Are you aware of the significance of understanding your external environment?

Do you recognize the importance of assessing your external environment as part of your strategic thinking process?

As a growth-focused leader, it is important to incorporate an assessment of your external environment into your strategic thinking and planning process. By doing so, you gain valuable insights into market trends, customer behaviour, industry shifts, regulatory changes, technological advancements, and competitive dynamics. This understanding allows you to make informed decisions, identify growth opportunities, mitigate risks, and align your business strategies accordingly. Neglecting this aspect of strategy means overlooking something of utmost importance that can either make or break your business. Let's take a closer look into that critical aspect that you should carefully consider.

The Concept of Fit and your External Environment

The first thing that you need to acknowledge as a growth-focused leader is that every business exists within a specific environment and each environment possesses its own unique characteristics and dynamics. No business can control its external environment and no business is too big or too small to be affected by changes in its external environment (E.g. Covid19, Brexit). The only thing a business can do is to remain adaptable because changes can have a positive impact - accelerate growth, a negative impact - impede growth, or no impact at all.

Once you acknowledge this reality, the next step as a growth-focused leader is to prioritize the concept of fit. This concept involves assessing how well your business aligns with and responds to the external conditions and demands it faces. It requires considering factors such as market trends, customer needs, regulatory changes, technological advancements, and competitive forces. By focusing on fit, you ensure that your business is well-positioned to navigate the external landscape, seize growth opportunities, and effectively manage potential obstacles.

Below are some key considerations and essential questions that must be addressed when assessing Fit:

Examine the current state of the external environment in terms of Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal, and Environmental factors. How does my business fit within its external environment?

Key considerations:

  1. Market Demand: The business must identify and respond to the needs and preferences of its target market.

  2. Competitor Landscape: A business needs to be aware of its competitors and their strategies within the industry.

  3. Regulatory and Legal Framework: Compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and industry standards is crucial for a business to operate smoothly..

  4. Technological Advancements: This involves assessing how technology can improve operational efficiency, enhance customer experience, and enable new opportunities for growth.

  5. Socio-cultural Factors: Businesses must consider the social and cultural aspects of their target market.

  6. Economic Conditions: The business needs to adapt to economic fluctuations, such as changes in inflation rates, or overall market conditions.

Essential Questions:

  1. Are there any significant changes occurring in the external environment?

  2. Do these changes present potential growth opportunities for my business?

  3. Is there a possibility that these changes could have a negative impact on my business?

  4. If adaptation is necessary, what measures need to be implemented?

By posing these simple yet impactful questions, you adopt a proactive approach as well as position yourself to make more informed decisions. In addition, integrating an evaluation of the external environment into your strategic thinking and planning process allows you to stay ahead of the curve, capitalize on opportunities, and effectively steer your business towards long-term success.

The above article is part of the Make Growth Happen Series which is tailored to help business owners take a more Holistic Approach to Business Growth.

Janice is a Certified Business Coach whose extensive knowledge and experience in various aspects of business has set her on a mission to help business leaders turn their Vision into Reality. She works with them to develop the right strategies, structure and skills needed to take their business to the next level. She is the Author of The Ten Commandments of Crisis Management. Janice also works with Christian business owners who desire to run their business based on Biblical Principles.

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