Now the election is over, how is your PESTLE looking?

retailers, zero emissions, net-zero
Carbon footprint concept – 3d rendering

In the lead-up to the 2022 Federal Election, there were, as always, many vox pop interviews along the lines of, “How will you be voting?”

As always, there were are number of “I don’t know, I don’t take any interest in politics” type answers.

That attitude may be okay for some, but it’s certainly not a luxury that the small-business owner can afford. With all the hats that an SME owner/manager has to wear, there’s no shortage of tasks to be done.

However, one task is often overlooked – doing a continuous PESTLE review. No, not grinding up some spices. It’s being hyper-aware of your business environment. It is an acronym that means:

  • P–Political
  • E–Economic
  • S–Social
  • T–Technological
  • L–Legal
  • E–Environmental.

With the national government having changed for the first time in 10 years, the result will be a cornucopia of PESTLE issues for us all to consider. I thought I would canvas just a few of them to get us all thinking.

Political

This is the big one currently, following a monumental change in Australian politics. Everything the new Federal Government does will have the potential to affect us all.

  • Taxation – will the stage 3 tax cuts go ahead?
  • Wages – will there be a rise in the minimum wage? Will it only be for those already on the minimum wage?
  • International relations – will Australia’s relations with China improve or decline? That can seriously affect our international trade, both good and bad.
  • Europe is again hosting a war, this time in Ukraine.
Economic

This is another important item as we watch wobbly sharemarkets.

  • Will our economy continue to recover from the pandemic downturn?
  • Will our unemployment rate continue to fall, or start to rise again?
  • What will happen to interest rates – up or down? The answer to this will flow through to housing prices, something that Australians watch with even greater interest.
Social

Already, significant social trends are emerging in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. I contend that even more will become visible with the change of government.

  • The rise of business for purpose. The good thing is that business with purpose does not mean business without profit. The two are inextricably linked.
  • Post pandemic, will society value and reward the traditionally woman-led occupations that carried so much of the COVID burden – nurses, childcare workers, teachers…?
  • Diversity and inclusivity are on the up and up.
  • Mental health is now a live health issue – no longer hidden and not discussed. This has implications for us all as owners/managers/leaders.
Technological

Technology changes are notoriously hard to predict, but we all need to remember that huge economic upheavals such as a global pandemic beget huge technological changes.

  • Blockchain technology may (or may not) be the ‘new internet’ where, in a decade’s time, we can’’ imagine life before we had it.
  • The technologies to lower carbon emissions will increase, improve and accelerate.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) is shaking up entire industries. Supply chains, so devastatingly crushed by the pandemic, are rapidly moving from efficiency to resiliency with the help of AI and automated processes.
Legal

With a new government, everything is on the table!

Environmental

Australia is finally ready to start the transition to a low-carbon economy, and every other letter in the PESTLE acronym will also come into play. To my mind, the environment is the number one, big-ticket item for every SME owner and manager to consider. If we get it right, the positive impacts will be enormous. If we get it wrong, the negative impacts will be enormous …

Now it’s your turn. Remember, you are not just looking for negative effects. There are massive opportunities in all these trends, so grab a coffee, summon your team, and start your post-election PESTLE analysis.