External factors, environmental factors and environmental scan are often used as interchangeable terms and reference trends external to a business and its industry. We recommend conducting a STEEP analysis, which is more rigorous than listing external threats and opportunities.

SKU STEEP analysis Category Tag


A thoughtful strategic plan includes the evaluation of external elements, and does this before a market analysis is performed. Such external impacts could be organized into five sections: Social, Technological, Economic, Ecological and Political. To better understand these trends, we would typically conduct a STEEP analysis—a framework to gauge how external factors will impact demand.

We look for trends that could impact our industry in the next three to five years or longer. By conducting a STEEP analysis, the strategists review trends that are also the considerations for a scenario plan.


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