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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
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  1. Human Resource Management at the Palms Hotel.

    head of his department in order to record and approve the extra time and work that is done by the employee, also employees that work over time get paid one and one-half times their regular rate. Based on the analysis through this chart above as well the online employee reviews, I have realized that employees were satisfied with the work schedule policies, which shows the success of the hotels work policy. Although Several employee stated that they are unsatisfied with the policy due to the fact that The Palms Hotel & Spa have a schedule that is not set which

    • Word count: 974
  2. Describe the features and facilities that attract visitors to three UK destinations

    The theme parks also have special offers to attract tourists so for example if you stay in the Big Blue hotel which is owned by Blackpool Pleasure Beach they give you free entry to the theme park and free wristband to get on all rides, other offer are that if you book your visit online the wristband are cheaper than they are at the gate.

    • Word count: 516

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