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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?

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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

Marked by a teacher

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