They do not have the same attitude towards relatively small business firms. Similarly, a competitive firm will start a price war if its rival firm in the industry is relatively small. If the rival firm is a big one which is a capable of retaliating any adverse action from its rival, a competitive firm will hesitate to start a price war. We explain below important factors or forces of micro-level external environment.

Suppliers of Inputs:

An important factor in the external environment of a firm is the suppliers of its inputs such as raw materials and components. A smooth and efficient working of a business firm requires that it should have ensured supply of inputs such as raw materials. If supply of raw materials is uncertain, then a firm will have to keep a large stock of raw materials to continue its transformation process uninterrupted. This will unnecessarily raise its cost of production and reduce its profit margin.

To ensure regular supply of inputs such as raw materials some firms adopt a strategy of backward integration and set up captive production plants for producing raw materials themselves.

Further, energy input is an important input in the manufacturing business. Many large firms such as Reliance industries have their own power generating plants so as to ensure regular supply of electricity for their manufacturing business. However, small firms cannot adopt this strategy of vertical integration and have to depend on outside sources for supply of needed inputs.

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