Understand The Social Cultural Environment To Succeed In Business
Knowing the social-cultural environment surrounding your business helps you to position yourself well. Not many business people, especially beginners, think about this vital aspect. But if you are already in business, it’s high time you thought about discovering the social-cultural aspects that affect you. I would recommend that you seriously begin to follow up carefully the social-cultural environment in which you operate your business. It will help you to improve on the way you do things.
How do you follow up on the social-cultural environment of your business?
Well, it’s not easy for most businesspeople, but if you try, the benefits for your business are numerous. In our company we do it in two ways:
#1 – Keeping record of customers and new business contacts
For every customer we get, we maintain a record on them. The records we keep may include mainly a name, where they come from, how they get to know us, their contacts (e.g. email, telephone number) and others. This information helps us in various ways. For instance, we get to know the type of customers to target in our marketing strategies, basing on the information available from our existing customers.
However, you have to be tactful when collecting this information. If you ask anyhow, some of your customers may feel uncomfortable giving you information. The onus is therefore on you to learn effective ways of getting useful information from your clients unnoticed.
#2 – Tracking the people who visit our business website
We installed a tracking system to provide us with information on who visits our site, where they come from, their sex, interests, how they get to our website and much more. We regularly get time to look at this information and analyse it. It helps us to improve our marketing campaigns.
The social-cultural environment affects your business operations because it controls the demand for the product or services you offer. You should, therefore, keep a keen eye on finding out those specific issues that impact on your business operations.
What factors affect the social-cultural environment of your business?
This question is vital for you to have answers as you try to study your business social-cultural environment. In this article, let’s focus on six specific aspects that you should know as a business person. They’ll probably enable you to understand what to look for as far as your social-cultural environment is concerned
First, the general population
When you start a business, you need to, first of all, think about the people in your country before you consider people in other countries. I am saying this because you will have to market your business first to the people in your country. These are the people with whom you physically interface as you do your business.
It’s crucial to study your country’s population because it creates the demand for your products and services. For instance, what’s the percentage of your people that can buy your products or the services you offer in your own country?
Secondly, age structure and distribution
Analysing the social-cultural environment basing on the age structure and disposition of the population is very important. Why? It’s because you get to understand where to focus your energy and time. It means that you need to know the fraction of the people that have the purchasing power for your products or services.
For instance, in developing countries, a significant proportion of the population is below the age of 20. Uganda is not an exception. However, a small percentage of the people in that age bracket can buy products because most of them are unemployed.
In another example, most people in developing countries have limited knowledge and skills in computer usage. If your business is entirely internet-based, you will have a small target group.
With our first example, it will be unwise to focus all your energy, money and time marketing to people below 20 years old if you sell cars in your business. Why? Because that age bracket has a low or no purchasing power for vehicles.
In the second example, if your target market mostly comprises of educated people, then using the internet to market your products may turn out to be effective in a developing country like Uganda. Why? Because they are the ones with the ability to use the internet. Secondly, they have the purchasing power for the products and services you offer online.
Thirdly, geographic distribution
To analyse fully the social-cultural environment in which you operate your business, you need to consider the geographic distribution of the population that does business with you. It also helps you to direct your effort where you will best benefit.
For instance, in developing countries, people who buy products or services online are found mainly in towns because that’s where you find high levels of computer literacy. Additionally, people who live in developed countries have higher computer literacy levels than those in developing countries.
Fourthly, people’s background
Exploring the social-cultural environment with particular reference to people’s backgrounds helps you to know their behaviours and how they impact on your business operations. People of different backgrounds prefer to buy different products and services partially due to their cultural exposure.
For instance, in our engraving business, I have noticed that it’s the educated people who buy laser-cut wedding invitation cards. They attach a lot of value to them. The uneducated people look at them as far beyond their means. Besides, most of them do not even give out cards on their wedding ceremonies, especially in the rural setting.
Men and women have different buying roles in many societies. For example, men usually pay school fees, while women buy food for their families. In your business, it’s necessary to identify who buys what so that you can target them and speak to them directly to make a sale.
For instance, in our business, we noticed that women have more influence on which wedding card to make for their wedding. Surprisingly, men also give up to women to decide because many times they are considered to know more on such issues in Uganda. It means that if we target women and concentrate on convincing them with our marketing campaigns, we can quickly get more orders for wedding cards.
The learning process we acquire through our cultural and social education determines the importance we attach to the ownership of goods, use of services and accumulation of wealth. For instance, we learn to consume by socialising with others and watching their reactions. Religion is a strong cultural element that influences human behaviour.
For example, because of religion, the role of women varies from one culture to another. Women may be restricted to do certain things. It is not something you should leave to pass unnoticed when investigating the social-cultural environment in which you operate.
As I conclude, starting a business and succeeding in it requires you to understand the business environment in which you operate. One of the pillars of your business environment is the social-cultural environment. Understanding your social-cultural environment is one of the critical steps you should undertake to succeed in your business.
Hello! My name is Charles Kiyimba, a creative engraver, a professional teacher, a passionate blogger, a confident graphic/web designer and the founder of Goleza Designers Ltd, an engraving business that turns images into real products. Through my hands-on experience, I share with you free helpful information on our products and services, business, marketing and personal development. Always dive in for more!