What Are Controllable And Uncontrollable Variable In Business?


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Rebecca Hunt answered
Within businesses there are a number of variables that can have an impact on the way it runs that are classed as controllable or uncontrollable. The former is an independent variable that can be manipulated or controlled by the business. The latter are variables that cannot be controlled by a business and need to be adapted to.

These variables can appear in a number of different circumstances and sometimes the boundary between controllable and uncontrollable is blurred. The best way to look at the controllable and uncontrollable variables in a business is to choose a specific industry. The descriptions below show the controllable and uncontrollable variables that affect the retail industry.

  • Controllable variables
Within the retail industry the main independent variables that can be controlled include; store location, managing a business, merchandise managing and pricing. Each of these factors are something that the business management can make all of the decisions about and their actions will have an affect on the end result.

For example, choosing the store location is a decision that needs good market research. The shop opener will need to choose the location based on the type of customer that is already found in that location, what competitors are nearby and how the space can best be adapted to suit the retail company.

It could be argued, however, that the money available to the store opener will have an influence on the store locations he or she can choose from. This could be said to be something out of his or her control.

  • Uncontrollable variables
The principle uncontrollable variables that can affect a retail business are consumers, competition, technology, seasonality, economic conditions and legal restrictions. These are all factors that cannot be adjusted by the business management, they will simply have to be adapted to.

For example, seasonality can be adapted to in retail by introducing products that are seasonal. Within a clothes store this could be the introduction of jumpers in the winter and sun dresses in the summer.

Both controllable and uncontrollable variables have a big impact on how a business runs. Good business management requires a steady grip on the factors that can be controlled and the ability to adapt quickly to those that are uncontrollable.

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