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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
  1. Marked by a teacher

    Business in the UK case study. Adidas PEST analysis

    5 star(s)

    Adidas could acquire labour at the same cost as they do in other countries, this would allows Adidas to cut out the transport costs of moving the produce to the UK, and could be spent on fundingnew products such as my own.If the UK government were to put a quota on Adidas products imported, only allowing a certain amount of Adidas products to be brought into the country each year. Adidas could overcome this by situating a factory in the UK, eliminating the quota, as if the products were being produced in the UK, there would be no need for

    • Word count: 3299
  2. Marked by a teacher

    Recruitment and training at Perrys Motor Company.

    4 star(s)

    * The internet on their own website * Recruitment agencies * Newspaper * Jobcentre If the Perrys are looking for a regional manger they will advertise in regional newspapers. It is essential that they advertise the jobs in the right place to ensure that people see the advertisement. Interviews The interviews are conducted by the human department staff and interview panel they have three to five interviewers depending on how big the position is. During the interview the applicant will be asked a range of questions that will have been selected before the interview was held.

    • Word count: 1054
  3. 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
  4. Peer reviewed

    Supermarkets compared - Pricing Low to high pricing Quality of the product and customer service. Availability 24 hours a day, easy to get, in stock Market segmentation

    4 star(s)

    If suddenly it changed back to clothes they would have to adapt back to clothes. If people became more eco-friendly then the business would have to become eco-friendly so as to keep it's customers happy and keep them coming in. All of those affect other businesses by trying to increase market share. The areas this affect are: Pricing - Low to high pricing Quality - of the product and customer service. Availability - 24 hours a day, easy to get, in stock Market segmentation - businesses focusing on small segment instead of the whole market. Marks And Spencer's Marks And Spencer's competitors are located all around the country; Waitrose is Marks and Spencer's main competitor.

    • Word count: 1025
  5. 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
  6. Peer reviewed

    explain how each stakeholders or groups influence a business - Which in this case, will be Sainsburys.

    4 star(s)

    Which include pay and working conditions, fringe benefits like a company car, discounts, and travel/health insurance. * Promotion. * Job security. However, the employee does have the influence which affects the reputation of the business and the quality of the service provided, as if this is not sufficient for the customer, he/she will go some where else. Managers The mangers influence in Sainsbury's is to carry out day to day tasks and help the efficient running of the business. Their responsibility broadens to other departments - which show how managers are important and have strong influences in Sainsbury's due to their connections to other areas like: employees, stock control, marketing and finance.

    • Word count: 1095
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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

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