A PESTEL analysis examines a company's external environment using the six criteria shown at the left. This analysis is often used in an international context--because a business model that works well in the United States might not translate to another country's business culture--but it can also be used domestically.
The analysis will give you a feel for the opportunities and threats facing your firm. It should also uncover trends to watch in the future. With this information, you can decide how your firm can be most competitive.