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GCSE: Case Studies

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What is SWOT analysis?

  1. 1 This is one of the commonest ways in which a business analyses its position. It will use a SWOT analysis as a basis for deciding on new strategies. It can also be used by business students to analyse a business as it methodically goes through the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats faced by a business.
  2. 2 Strengths relate to internal factors that make the business better than the competition. It might be a wider product range, lower costs, better established brand name or any other factor that the business thinks it is strong in. Once identified it will look for ways it can build on its strengths.
  3. 3 Weaknesses relate to internal factors that the business feels it is worse in than its competitors e.g. less well known, less well developed in certain products or markets, lack of expertise etc. It is important for a business to be honest in assessing the weaknesses. It will look to minimising the effects of weaknesses or developing them.
  4. 4 Opportunities are external factors which the business could develop. They might relate to a market the business could move in to, a weak competitor, a new product area with strong possibilities of growth or a change in the law which presents business opportunities.
  5. 5 Threats are external factors that threaten the success of the business. It usually relates to a competitor’s action e.g. a competitor that is ruthlessly cutting prices or a new piece of legislation that is threatening to reduce the market. A business will look for ways to reduce the threats once it is aware of it.

How can I find out more about a business?

  1. 1 A company web site is a good place to start but bear in mind that this is written by the company itself and should be treated with some suspicion as a business will use its web site to sell itself.
  2. 2 For more detailed financial analysis, the annual report is a good source. Public Limited Companies must publish details of their finances e.g. profit and loss account and balance sheet. These can be accessed through the web site. Try going to investor relations if you are struggling to find it. The pay of all directors must be stated.
  3. 3 Newspaper articles will give useful information. Go to the web site of a quality paper or the BBC and search on the name of the company.
  4. 4 Try putting the name of the company onto a search engine. You will find that there often there are web sites giving a different perspective e.g. criticising their customer service, ethical policy or products. Do not put too many words into a search engine.
  5. 5 Develop the important skill of skim reading so that you can quickly see if a page is likely to have useful information. Follow links and skim them quickly as well.

How to analyse the external factors that affect a business

  1. 1 PEST analysis is a systematic tool which can be used to analyse the external factors affecting a business. Businesses use it on themselves when doing this and it is effective to use it as a student as it categorises the broad areas of external factors affecting a business. The word PEST comes from the initials of Political, Economic, Social and Technological.
  2. 2 Political factors can have a big influence on the laws affecting business, the purchasing power of consumers and the attitude of government to businesses. A business should analyse how politically stable a country is and any laws that will affect its operation.
  3. 3 Economic factors can have a big effect on the success of a business. It needs to analyse the economic state of countries it is in and the influence this will have on the business. If a country is in recession, this will affect the products and the best approach to marketing.
  4. 4 Social factors can have a big effect on business. Is the population ageing or predominantly young, what do the population think about 'green' issues, what is their attitude towards women?
  5. 5 Technological factors can have a big impact on business. Is a break through in manufacture likely, is there an advance in design and function that affects demand for a product, do customers increasingly want to buy this on the internet in some markets?

  • Marked by Teachers essays 4
  • Peer Reviewed essays 28
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  1. Peer reviewed

    Mcdonalds Training

    4 star(s)

    There are different types of training given to the employees at McDonalds. * Induction Training * On-Job Training * Off-Job Training * Job Rotation All these trainings take place at the workplace. Induction training is given when an employee starts to work at the workplace, this would include a tour of the work place so that the employee knows what is kept where. He/she would also be given training on how to use the equipments he has to work with. Employees are given a guide to health and safety rules and the people working in the kitchen must follow the health and safety rules, if he/she needs more time to get familiar with the health and safety rules they are given time.

    • Word count: 975
  2. Peer reviewed

    Competitive Advantage - Microsoft Case

    4 star(s)

    To put it another way, the usage of MS's resources and capabilities can be better understood in light of isolating mechanisms. On one hand, MS focus on increasing customer retention. Software is an experience good. It can be tell exactly from the name - Windows XP - where XP is short for experience. For an experience good, the search costs, training cost and learning cost are high, which in turn help to increase customer retention.

    • Word count: 513
  3. Peer reviewed

    Type of Ownership

    4 star(s)

    Personal belongings are safe). A lot of small businesses are private. Public Limited Company (PLC)- A Company owned by shareholders, unlimited amount of shareholders. It must have �50,000 of capital, and may allow its shares to be bought by the general public via the stock market. The business has limited liability. Every PLC must send an annual return to Companies House at least once every 12 months. Franchise- Franchising refers to the methods of practicing and using another person's philosophy of business. The franchisor grants the franchisee the right to distribute its products, techniques, and trademarks for a percentage of gross monthly sales and a royalty fee.

    • Word count: 730
  4. Peer reviewed

    Birmingham International Airport - Environmental Contraints

    4 star(s)

    testing, which although a different matter, proves the fact that the public are indeed become more aware of the effects of the climate change and what they can do about it personally. Businesses are always trying to make it look like they are supporting the environment, and they will usually include references to something like, "we only use environmentally friendly fuel to power our businesses" to it places trust within them to the customers so they believe if they purchase their products from, in turn, they, in a small way, will be helping the environment.

    • Word count: 847
  5. Peer reviewed

    Birmingham International Airport - Location

    4 star(s)

    Surrounding population. BIA will generally by targeting the population around the airport for the most potential customers, so if there aren't any or there are very little, this is a bad start. Cost of buildings / work. If the building is already built, BIA won't pay over the odds for it, and the cost of the building are usually affected by the cost of land, if that is too high, then this is not suitable place. The reason any business won't really want to pay too much is because money doesn't grow on trees, and start-up capital is always limited.

    • Word count: 922
  6. Peer reviewed

    Birmingham International Airport - Competitors

    4 star(s)

    own game, and therefore will always stay on top, which has been proven in my other parts of work (how big they are). Referencing to the 'Master Plan' again, they are going to develop the airport fore dramatically which shows again they are always growing bigger, and reducing the opportunity for any other airports to get in edgeways. If you were to contrast this airport against their major rivals you will see that London's Heathrow has become the biggest mainly because of the flights, facilities and the number of runways that are on offer.

    • Word count: 930
  7. Peer reviewed

    Business Activity & PLC

    4 star(s)

    The reason Tesco sells their products so cheap is because they buy them in bulk and gain low prices. Also selling products at low prices helps to gain customer loyalty which has helped the store a great deal, and helped them to gain huge profits. Tesco's main income is through food and drink but they sell other products as well. This diversification has helped the firm to raise �280 billion. Some of the items that are sold are clothes, household goods and electronics etc. Tesco aim their products at different types of people e.g. Family pack of tomatoes at families and value tins of tomatoes at people on a low income.

    • Word count: 927
  8. Peer reviewed

    Suggest and justify any changes that each of your businesses could make to enable them to meet their aims and objectives more effectively

    4 star(s)

    This would mean that the airport would loose money until the facilities have been built and are running and are making sufficient profits. As this would mean money loss, the airport could find another way of making money as it is being built. They could charge retailer more, this would mean taking a higher percentage of the retailer's profits. This would mean the airport would make more money but the retailers would make a decrease in profits. This could also cause retailers not wanting to set up in Manchester Airport as the company will make less money and could make more by going to a different airport.

    • Word count: 675
  9. Peer reviewed

    I am going to relate the stock control and forecasting techniques that Cadbury use

    4 star(s)

    This is the reason for why Cadbury needs to ensure that the time series analysis is accurate and up to date so that Cadbury can produce enough products so that there is no wastage or shortage of products, this is also meeting the customers demands. If Cadbury decided to purchase more stock than needed then Cadbury would be overspending its money and the wastage figure is likely to increase because more products than needed are being produced and it would be wastage because if the trend continues that the time series analysis shows then customers are less likely to purchase more products (Cadbury would be purchasing more products than customers would purchase).

    • Word count: 813
  10. Peer reviewed

    Customer needs - Sainsbury.

    4 star(s)

    > They carry out disability audits and are currently installing hearing loops in stores. > They support the Shop Mobility scheme, where disabled people travel to a shopping centre by bus where they borrow wheelchairs for the day, giving them independence. > They were voted the best corporate chain store for their commitment to providing better service to our deaf blind customers at the Deaf blind Friendly Corporate Awards 2001. > They won the supermarket category in the 2001 EASE (EASE of Access, Service and Employment) awards, which recognise companies and organisations, which show good practice for people with disabilities.

    • Word count: 897
  11. Peer reviewed

    In this part of the assignment I will be comparing two organizations (ASDA and Post Office), then I will be describing each businesses aims, objectives and mission statement.

    3 star(s)

    Objectives Mission Statement for ASDA and Post Office: Aims for ASDA: ASDA's aims are to provide goods/services that are cheap and affordable to consumers or the public, reducing the cost of their items/products, recycling their waste, packaging their products well, supporting voluntary sector services, to provide food hygiene and safety and diet and healthy food.

    • Word count: 458
  12. Peer reviewed

    Do you learn better by yourself or with a teacher?

    3 star(s)

    First, whenever we study and read the new topics or subjects, questions regarding those matters start to appear. At that moment, we need someone to answer those questions and tell us more details about them. From my own experience, when I was a high school student, I had a hard time understanding integral calculus. Although I spent a lot of time studying that particular subject, I couldn`t not only catch up with the required assignment but figure out how to solve the problems by myself.

    • Word count: 424
  13. Peer reviewed

    Business Case Study - Hormaz

    3 star(s)

    mainly due to the soaring inflation in India. Furthermore, the financial strength of Hozmallo Pumps has not been good. After calculating, the Current ratio of the business is 0.98. Armand found his fathers Budgets for the business (fig. 1.2). Many other problems have occurred in the business too over the last 2 years. Young and ambitious, Armand has set certain goals for the future to improve Hozmallo Pumps: > Reduce costs > Increase profits > Spread risk of the business > Increase market share > Expand into new countries Fig.

    • Word count: 432
  14. Peer reviewed

    Primary, secondary and tertiary classifications of a business.I will be using Tesco as an example.

    3 star(s)

    For example it has now started selling electronics they also offer many other Tesco is found everywhere in the UK making them a national company Primary: Tesco get's its food from farms around the country side.

    • Word count: 248
  15. Peer reviewed

    HBS Case Study - Priceline.com

    3 star(s)

    The system required flexibility from customer's end with respect to their choice of brand, product features and sellers. f. Benefit o the customers: economical transactions g. Benefit to the sellers: incremental source of revenue Answer 1 The extracts of the annual report of the company indicates that the company recognizes the offer price paid by customers as revenue and the cost of services ordered as product cost. Price of the Plane ticket = $250 Amount of commission= 20% of the ticket price = $50 Therefore, Cost of ticket for the company = $250 - $50 = $200 So the accounting entry passed by the company to record the transaction would be: 1)

    • Word count: 692
  16. Peer reviewed

    HBS Case Study - Starmedia Case

    3 star(s)

    Nothing is charged for the content or to be part of the community. Answers: 1. There are two options available for recording the reciprocal transaction. a. The company can record $5.5 million in revenue from advertisement s and $5.5 million in expenses for advertising. b. The company need not record the transaction in its books but can mention this as Notes to accounts in the financial statements. 2. As the CFO, I would recommend that the company choose option (a)

    • Word count: 558
  17. Peer reviewed

    HBS Case Study - Amazon.com

    3 star(s)

    3. Operating and staffing costs shown as Marketing and Sales Costs 1. Prior to reclassification of fulfilment costs as a part of costs of sales instead of Marketing & Selling Expenses, the Income statements of Amazon are as follows: 1999 1998 1997 Net Sales $1639839 $609819 $147787 Cost of sales $1349194 $476155 $118969 Gross Profit $290645 $133664 $28818 Operating expenses: Marketing and Sales $413150 $132654 $40077 Loss after marketing & Sales expenses $ (122505) $1010 $ (11259) Post Reclassification of fulfilment costs as a part of costs of sales instead of Marketing & Selling Expenses; the Income statements of Amazon are as follows: 1999 1998 1997 Net Sales $1639839 $609819 $147787 Cost

    • Word count: 590
  18. Peer reviewed

    McDonal's "seniors" Restaurant

    3 star(s)

    III. Factors Affecting the problem at least 5 factors with brief explanation a. Place or location- Place or location is one of the factors why there are a lot of seniors because they are situated in a place where there are more seniors than the younger generation. b. Image of McDonald's- The image of the restaurant is a factor because it is know for being a fast-food-chain but in their case they are beginning to be perceived as "old people's restaurant." c. Perception of the younger generation- This is a factor because when the younger see the restaurant as non-fast-food restaurant they might get discourage to dine at that place.

    • Word count: 768
  19. Peer reviewed

    Advertisement Analysis

    3 star(s)

    the technician would be needed to 'hook up' or fix medical and other types of equipment, like x-ray machines or even light bulbs. 3) We had in mind many options for publishing the ad. We thought about putting the ad in certain jobs magazines but after conducting a small questionnaire sometime in the past we found that the Gulf Daily News was the most read newspaper, and was read by many students which was the target audience. 4) We asked the applicants to write an application form as well as sending a supporting letter to show how much the applicant actually wants the job and also to analyse the applicant's English ability and standard.

    • Word count: 522
  20. Peer reviewed

    tyoes of ownership

    3 star(s)

    Franchise A business where the new comer buys permission or to copy the business ideas of the established company. * Greater chance of success. * Benefits from using the brand name. * The franchiser provides support. * Have to share the profits to the franchiser. * Expensive to set up. * Will not be able to sell the business Co-operative A business where the workers own the business * Members are able to set their own terms and conditions * Every member is a shareholder and is committed to the business.

    • Word count: 480
  21. Peer reviewed

    Competitor Analysis

    3 star(s)

    - Cost and availability of land/premises. - Availability of labour - Government incentives GAME is highly respected due to its prices and quality of its products. So therefore it is important to target in that particular area so my business can compete well. GAME almost offers everything to do in terms of gaming entertainment. They sell all the latest consoles, games and gaming accessories. But most significantly, in terms of business, is that they deliver their goods for free, which can be a concern for my business as it's new to the market and therefore cannot afford to lose money on deliveries.

    • Word count: 879
  22. Peer reviewed

    The loot is a multi branded discount store, offering customers a wide range of products with a minimum of 25% and going up to 70%

    3 star(s)

    All accessories shelved are vibrant and trendy, those that'll you can put on casually for daily use. The range of jeans is very wide, and picking the right shade can be a problem. The jeans sport shades of grey, blue, olive green, brown. They are available in various fits and patterns like boot cut, low waist, straight fit and mid waist. Apart from the known Indian brands the store also sources products from the global markets, most of which are unavailable in the Indian market. The store stocks exclusive products from brands like Tuscan Verve and Thomas Scott.

    • Word count: 682
  23. Describe how customer service can be monitored and evaluated investigate a range of organisations

    Any complaints given by customers are noted in a log. This will help to identify if there are any problems that keep arising. This customer feedback is taken from every customer therefore it is an ongoing process in monitoring customer satisfaction. Manchester College Questionnaires All results are collected and collated to come up with a overall view of the students theses are then passed onto managers who can tell the departments areas were the students are not happy.

    • Word count: 443
  24. The Carphone Warehouse has several internal and external customers. An internal customer is customers who have an interest in the business who work within the organization.

    They will expect that they will receive discounts of products within the business and maybe get special deals on any new promotions the business has. In Carphone Warehouse the general staff work on commission for the sales that they do therefore they would expect to have a good commission rate on top of the basic rate to make then earn a healthy living.

    • Word count: 539
  25. Comparing Manchester Airport to Starbucks

    This shows that both of the company care about other people because they provide something to customers so that it's suitable in the condition they live in. Differences They are also different because Manchester Airport runs only in tertiary sector because they provide a service to people. Starbucks runs on entire sector primary, secondary and tertiary because they pay farmers to grow the beans so they are primary, they are in the secondary sector because they roast the beans into coffee, and they are in the tertiary sector because they sell the products and provide a service to customers.

    • Word count: 992

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