Business driver – definition and meaning

A business driver is a component, condition, process, resource, or rationale that is vital for a business to thrive. In other words, it is something that has a major impact on a business’ performance.

It may also be a situation which would improve a company’s financial health. For example, a shoe-shop manager may aim to reduce the percentage of ‘no buys.‘ ‘No buys’ are people who walk in and buy nothing. The manager’s aim would be a business driver to improve sales.

Businesses should identify their business drivers. Additionally, companies should try to maximize any that are under their control.

A company’s strategy and goals are dependent on the business drivers it identifies, and their order of importance.

Not every business driver is good

We must accept some drivers as necessary evils because we cannot control them. Examples include trade relations with other countries, the price of raw materials, geopolitical unrest, and economic conditions.

Identifying a company’s business drivers gets harder as it becomes more complex. There are computer programs that help firm’s clarify and track their business drivers.

The term ‘business driver’ has become a fashionable catchphrase that refers to any key part of a business.

The business drivers of software companies, for example, are technological innovation, better products, and optimum marketing.  First class customer support is also a key business driver.

The most common business drivers are:

  • Legislation and government policy
  • Litigation
  • The price of resources or commodities
  • Competitors’ activities
  • Customer demand
Business Driver in the oil and gas industry
The image shows the top 10 business drivers for the oil & gas industry for 2015. (See video below)

Internal and external business driver

Examples of internal drivers are the staff and different departments within a business. Especially those that contribute to product sales, marketing, production, and development.

The sales personnel, for example, boost demand for a product. They also work to make sure the company’s goods reach their customers on time.

A business’ internal drivers support its work. The internal drivers also have a common goal, such as aiming for a percentage market share. Market share refers to a company’s sales relative to the size of the whole industry.

Examples of external drivers include customers, the economy, competitors, and regulatory agencies.

Drivers that influence performance include those that help generate sales. Examples include how many calls people make, the company’s follow-up service campaign. How many visitors come to the company’s website is also a business driver.

Key drivers are not the same in all industries. In a law firm, for example, thoroughness is much more important than speed of delivery. For a pizza delivery service, however, speed is king.

According to BisShifts-Trends, business drivers are:

“Critically important factors that determine, or cause, an increase in value or major improvement of a business… business driver is a resource, process or condition that is vital for the continued success and growth of a business.”

Video – Oil & Gas business drivers

This video looks at the top 10 oil & gas business drivers that influenced the market in 2015.