How to Conduct an External Strategic Management Audit


External strategic business audits are essential for finding hidden opportunities and reducing the impact of future threats in a rapidly changing business environment. For example, when Palm Pilot did not correctly monitor the direction of the market, it nearly became obsolete in a matter of a few years due to smart phones. External strategic management audits provide management with both insight and preparation for the changing marketplace.

Gather Information

  • Research trends in the current environment. Gather information about economic, political, social, cultural, legal and technological shifts. In addition, determine changes in demographics and the aging population trends.

  • Evaluate direct and indirect competition. Collect competitive information on current and potential competitors, which includes strategies for increasing market share, distribution channels, marketing mediums and value chain structures. Also notice if competitors are at an advantage through handling of inventory, suppliers and distributors.

  • Survey the target market. The target market and its needs can shift quickly, so what was once true yesterday may no longer be true today. Survey the company’s current target market to find if there has been a shift in demographics, needs and demands.

Analyze Results

  • Examine the external environment with current market. Compare the information collected when researching the external environment to the target market survey. Look for shifts in the external environment that will have an effect on the target market which could provide opportunities or be potential threats.

  • Analyze the competition with current market. List the names of all your competitors, as well as your company's name. Review the list of demands and needs in the market survey. Include next to each competitor which demands and needs are being fulfilled. Take note if there are particular needs and demands that are not being satisfied.

  • Redefine the target market. The target market study may reveal the target market is not composed of what your company initially expected. Define the current composition of the target market, then review trends to determine needs of the target market within the next five years.

Plan Strategically

  • Pursue opportunities. Review the notes created while analyzing the results. List all the opportunities then determine which are feasible for the company to pursue. Construct a plan with milestones and deadlines to reach the opportunities.

  • Plan for threats. Review the threats and determine if any are avoidable or can be minimized. Develop a detailed plan on what your company can do to best position itself to overcome the threats or reduce their impact. Set milestones and goals for dealing with each threat.

  • Monitor environmental and market trends. Develop a system to continuously monitor external forces and survey the target market so the company can move swiftly to any shifts or changes in the market.

Related Searches

  • Photo Credit globe and chess pieces image by Infocus from
Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • What Is an External Audit?

    An external audit is a review of the financial statements or reports of an entity, usually a government or business, by someone...

  • How to Perform an External Audit

    External audits are essentially assessments of some aspect of a company’s operation. The audit may be focused on the structure and propriety...

  • How to Conduct a Quality Audit

    Quality audits are an important part of helping small businesses grow and prosper because they provide a way to assess the business's...

  • How to Prepare for an External Audit

    According to The Institute of Internal Auditors, external auditors provide an annual opinion on whether an organization’s financial statements comply with generally...

  • How to Conduct a Process Audit

    A process is simply a way of doing something. Most people have the same process for going to work in the morning....

  • How to Write a Planning Report

    A new project approaches. It is now up to you to tell all involved how it will unfold in the form of...

  • How to Conduct External Strategic Management Analysis

    An external strategic management analysis is part of SWOT analysis, referring to a company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The first two...

  • How to Conduct a Brand Audit

    A brand audit is a comprehensive way of looking at how your value proposition -- reasons customers would buy your products --...

  • How to Conduct Audits

    An audit is a third-party review of a company's financial information or operational compliance. Publicly held firms must undergo frequent audits to...

  • What Is an External Communications Audit?

    Most organizations wanting to manage communications efforts can benefit from an external communications audit, or a strategic evaluation of how the organization...

  • Summary of Strategic Management

    Strategic management consists of internal and external analysis, strategy formulation, implementation and evaluation. A strategic approach is important because firms must constantly...

  • Strategic Management & Strategic Planning

    In order to succeed, businesses need to have a well-defined strategy to leverage their internal strengths and exploit opportunities in the market....

Related Searches

Check It Out

Are You Really Getting A Deal From Discount Stores?

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!