Keep Your Business Afloat with Environmental Scanning

Updated: November 12, 2022 is reader-supported. When you buy through links on my site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

We live in an age where it’s more crucial than ever to understand consumer behavior. 

(The worst part?)

You have more competitors to compete against, on top of customer reviews and know-it-all family members. 

But there is hope.

While it’s easier than ever to start a business, not all enterprises leverage data that can enhance their customer’s experience. 

Without it, you’re bound to fail… and fail miserably, you will.

That’s why we’re going to discuss how environmental scanning can give you an edge in today’s competitive market.

Let’s get started.

What is Environmental Scanning?

According to the definition provided by TESU (Thomas Edison State University), “Environmental scanning is the process of gathering information about events and their relationships within an organization’s internal and external environments.”

The team that oversees environmental scanning is an essential tool for higher management. With their scan, they can give the decision-makers insight into which direction the company should go. 

Why Is Environmental Scanning Important?

There are several advantages to this type of scanning system. The most obvious and significant advantage is the ability for organizations to follow market trends. 

The market is ever-evolving. Environmental scans provide valuable information on the market trajectory. Use the insight to set SMART goals. By setting objectives centered around internal and external environments, your company survives. 

Take, for example, BlockBuster and GameStop. If they identified how streaming would impact their business, they’d still be thriving today. 

So ask yourself, “Are you a Netflix or a BlockBuster?”

How Does Environmental Scanning Work? 

The process of this analytic system takes place in various steps. First of all, proper scanning is discovering all factors affecting your business, both positively and negatively. 

Next, a monitoring system is carried out. Data gathered from the market, sales, and services team are used to identify trends and patterns. This helps the organization figure out prospects and customers’ needs and intent. With that data, you can set goals.

A numeric scale or binary scale is used to measure the results of your goal. 

For example, if your goal is to gain 200 new customers by the end of the quarter. 

A numeric scale will measure your results from a number 1-10. So if you only achieve 100 customers, your grade will be 5. 

The binary scale is a grade of “1” if you achieve the object and “0” if you fail. 

Environmental Scanning Techniques

Below are some of the most common techniques of environmental scanning:

  • SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) 
  • PEST (Political, Economic, Social, and Technological) 
  • ETOP (Environmental Threat Opportunity Profile)
  • QUEST (QUick Environmental Scanning Technique)

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