Page 2: Political factors
Businesses can be affected by many aspects of government policy. In particular, all businesses must comply with the law. They must also consider the impact of any forthcoming legislation on their operations. This may require taking action before the legislation comes into effect.
Legislation and regulations
One issue that affects manufacturers and retailers of electronic goods is the disposal of these products at the end of their life. Recycling is high on the public agenda. There are government initiatives to promote more recycling. These initiatives are sometimes backed by legislation.
For example, the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations are designed to reduce the amount of electronic waste going to landfill sites. Businesses must obey these environmental laws. However, a company that goes further by taking other measures to minimise its environmental impact will be seen more favourably by consumers.
Jessops responded to the WEEE regulations by contributing towards a national fund to assist local councils to develop collection facilities for electronic goods. The company is working to increase awareness of the WEEE regulations. It has set up convenient battery recycling points in its stores.
These responses show a dedication to minimising the company’s environmental impact. This could give Jessops a competitive advantage over competitors that have not taken these initiatives.
Businesses also have to take into account the more general political ambitions of the government. The current Conservative-led coalition government is cutting jobs in the public sector and is hoping that the private sector will grow to create new jobs in the economy.
The private sector consists of small single-owner businesses (sometimes known as sole traders), partnerships and companies, like Jessops, owned by shareholders. The government’s emphasis on private sector growth could provide opportunities for Jessops if it leads to a more buoyant economy.