Conduct an environmental analysis to look at and comment on the world in which you will be operating. Unemployment rates for the past 2 to 5 years and the impact it has had on sales and the overall customer base is an effective way of demonstrating the effect of “external” pressures onto your business. Threats due to environmental conditions (like unemployment, layoffs, recession, high interest rates) reduce consumer activity, and should be explored in your marketing plan. Political and Legal • Identify the regulations, permits, insurance, liability, municipal zoning and taxation requirements that you must follow in order to operate your business. • The business climate of your town, village and surrounding area is an important influence on your day-to-day operations. Reflect on topics such as taxation, zoning and other factors. Demographics • Describe the population base that exists to support your product. Identify the market size for your product, and the people that make up your product/service’s consumer group. Provide information about: • Where they live, What products do they buy, How much they spend on similar products each year, • Where they shop for these products, etc. Indicate whether or not your product is geared towards a specific age group, with spending patterns and consumer demands. Indicate whether this group is shrinking, expanding or yet to be tapped into.