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How to Write a PEST Analysis

Updated on June 26, 2015
  • The PEST analysis is designed to help you analyze the political, economic, socio-cultural, and technological changes in your business environment. It can also help you understand the big-picture forces of change as well as the opportunities that are present. The PEST analysis is useful for several reasons:

    • It helps you spot business and/or personal opportunities
      • Gives you advance warning of significant threats
    • It can help reveal the direction of change within your business environment, which can help you work with change rather than against it
    • It helps you avoid starting projects that are likely to fail for reasons beyond your control
    • It can help you break free of unconscious assumptions when you enter a new market or region by giving you a more objective view of this new area

    The PEST analysis differs from the SWOT analysis because the PEST looks at the big-picture factors that may influence a decision, market, or potential new business, while the SWOT analysis looks at these factors at an individual or product level.

    In using the PEST, consider thinking about the changes that are happening around you. Think about opportunities that arise from these changes and threats or issues that could result from them

Personal Development Plan – PEST Analysis Table

 
Factor
Opportunity
Threat
Political
• A new amendment to the “No Child Left Behind” act passed in April called “Every Child Achieves Act”; this act offers federal funding to Florida after school and summer camp programs.
• Additional funding could potentially offer the after school program that I work at budget leeway. This would allow the program to purchase more resources to enrich our program and attract more parents and children.
• If the program does not receive federal funds then the program may have to cut some of its staff to stay on budget.
Political
• The school district has a set standard that all after school programs in the county must adhere to.
• If the after school program meets all of the standards and impresses the school district then the program may receive additional funding.
• If the program fails to meet district standards the program may have to be completely restructured which could result in a new director and current employees being fired.
Political
• The school district has recently implemented a new training program that requires all after school counselors to attend twelve hours of district training classes per year.
• Attending district training may help employees to improve job performance which could result in promotions to leadership positions.
• If employees were to fail to attend twelve hours of district training then they would be fired.
Economic
• The Children's Services Councils oversee property tax funds which are distributed to after school programs.
• Additional funding from the Children's Services Councils could allow the program to expand which would create a few higher level positions for current employees to fill.
• The program could fail to receive funding which could lead to pay cuts and firings.
Economic
• The program has increased the cost per child so as to fund clubs for the children to participate in.
• The increase in price per child will increase the program’s budget which will allow for a budgeting safety net.
• Parents may decide that the price increase is too much and remove their children from the program; a decrease in the number of children would result in a decrease in the number of needed employees.
Economic
• Staff members often leave the program after four to six year to move to non-temporary positions.
• As old staff leave there are opportunities for new staff to fill the open positions which may involve a promotion.
• If too many staff members leave at a time there is a risk of not having enough well trained staff to fill open positions.
Economic
• Florida’s minimum wage has been raised to $8.05 per hour.
 
 
Socio-Cultural
• Both parents often work full time instead of having a stay at home parent to watch the children.
• The fact that many parents both work full time could lead to an increase in children attending the program; this would lead to an increase in budget and the potential for promotions as more positions are created.
• The fact that many parents both work full time means that they have less time to spend with their children which may cause behavioral issues which employees are untrained to deal with.
Socio-Cultural
• There is a large Spanish culture in Florida which leads to many Spanish speaking children.
• There is the possibility of children who only speak Spanish joining the program; this would mean that there would be a need for an English language teacher or a translator.
• If more children who only speak Spanish join the program then the program may be forced to let go employees who don’t understand any Spanish to make room for employees who could understand Spanish.
Socio-Cultural
• Special needs children are integrated into the program.
• The integration of special needs children into the program creates opening for counselors who can work one on one with the child, this often comes with a raise.
• As special needs children are integrated into the program counselors may experience a pay cut so that the program can pay one on one counselors more.
Technological
• iPads prices have recently decreased allowing for other school districts to have them available for afterschool children.
• Having new technology available for children such as iPads may entice parents to enroll their children in the program.
• Having iPads around younger children may result in them being broken which could strain the budget if there was a need to repair or replace.
Technological
• Some after school programs in the district have begun to have e-readers instead of paper books.
• Switching to e-readers would allow the program to advertise its advanced technology to attract additional students and increase the budget.
• If e-readers are broken they are much more expensive then paper books to replace which could lead to budget strain.
Technological
• Some after school programs in the district have begun to have e-readers instead of paper books.
• The threat of viruses could potentially be used to convince the district to increase funding to the program to either get new computers or upgrade the software to prevent the technology from being infected.
• New viruses mean that it is more likely for children to click something they should not on a computer and infect it which would require the program having to pay for a new computer or repairs which could cause budgeting issues.

Reflection

At first I found it difficult to create the PEST analysis because I am an after school counselor and the program that I work for is not what I would normally consider a business. However the more I thought about it the more that I saw that after school programs do share many similarities with a business because there is a budget, employees, customers, and they depend on customer satisfaction for much of the funding. I wrote the PEST analysis more on my after school program as a whole instead of directly on me; to do this I wrote about how certain factors could threaten the budget or how it could cause employees to be fired. I found this PEST analysis very interesting as I had never thought of my workplace as a business before. The most thought-provoking thing I found from this PEST analysis is how easily I could lose my job to budget issues and how there may actually be room for promotion in the future as the program evolves to meet the current needs of their customers.

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