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BUS 100, Introduction to Business: Company Situation

This guide is your road map to completing your BUS 100 project. We can't possibly list every resource you might need, or anticipate every stumbling block, but we've included the ones that address most companies and situations. If in doubt, ask for help.

Section Overview

In this section of your analysis, you will: 1) assess the company's current situation within the industry using both SWOT and PESTEL analyses; 2) identify and discuss critical issues, and 3) discuss the major implications for the company in terms of future strategy.

SWOT Analysis

The SWOT analysis is a snapshot in time of your company's situation. Any issue that arises for your company can affect the overall analysis, so your SWOT analysis should be as current as possible. The following sources may provide a SWOT analysis for your company, but remember:

  • the SWOT analyses in these reports provide a starting point for your own analysis; and
  • these SWOT analyses may or may not be timely - be sure the check the date and modify it to reflect your company's current situation.

Remember that a SWOT analysis is a snapshot of your company's current situation, and any existing SWOT analysis you find is only a foundation for your own analysis - you will almost certainly need to update it to reflect anything that has happened with your company since the SWOT analysis was created.

The following databases and sources can serve as useful sources for current news and events affecting your company:

SWOT analyses are not available for all public companies; here's a helpful strategy for finding something to get you started:

  1. Locate the profile for your company and note the names of its competitors.
  2. Now locate SWOT analyses for one or more of your company's competitors. You cannot assume that the issues your company faces are exactly the same as the competitors', but at least you have a starting point for creating your own SWOT analysis.
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Completing a PESTEL Analysis

A PESTEL analysis looks at the following elements or conditions in relation to your company:

Political How does the current political climate affect your company?
Economic How does the current economic climate affect your company?
Social What impacts do societal trends have on your company?
Technological What impacts do technological changes have on your company?
Environmental What impacts do environmental trends have on your company?
Legal What impacts do legal trends have on your company?

You won't find a pre-made PESTEL analysis in any of our databases. Instead, use the tabs corresponding to each element listed above to explore questions and resources that will help you find information to complete a PESTEL analysis for your company.

How does the current political climate affect your company?

Think about which political party is governing the country: 

  • Has there been a recent election?
  • How does the ruling party view trade, corporations and industry?
  • Which other countries does the country have good trading relationships with and which ones do they not?
  • Are foreign governments introducing measures that greatly affect your company's production (e.g., free trade agreements or lack thereof)?

Not all of the following issues will be relevant to your company but some of them will be:

  • government regulations or deregulation;
  • intellectual property (e.g., copyright, patents, trademarks);
  • trade control;
  • taxes;
  • specific funding aimed at certain industries; and
  • trading partners and relationships.

Government Web Sites

Note: It is impossible to include links to every country that your company might originate from. Remember to look for the appropriate government website if it is not listed here.

News Databases

How does the current economic climate affect your company?

Think about the following questions:

  • What are the government's fiscal policies?
  • Do people have a lot of expendable income?
  • What are the current interest rates? Are they going up or down? Is the economy of the country on a good footing?
  • Do he union / non-union trends of the country affect your company?
  • What is the consumer price index?
  • Is your company in a trade relationship with a country that is struggling/thriving economically

Databases & Government Web Sites

What impacts do societal trends have on your company?

  • What are the current societal trends? For example, people used to eat at McDonald's happily; now that is not necessarily the case.
  • Does the current age of population affect your company's production?
  • What are the impacts of current health trends and beliefs?
  • What are people's attitudes towards price, product quality, sustainability?
  • Are people's attitudes towards their jobs, careers, or retirement changing?

Other things to think about include education levels, beliefs about buying local or locally made, adoption of new hobbies, or behaviours.

What impacts do technological changes have on your company?

What are the current technological trends? For example, how is Telus changing as telephone landlines become a thing of the past?

  • Is your company an industry leader or follower?
  • Are they using social media effectively?
  • Are they keeping up with technological change to maintain effective production rates, logistics, competitive edge?
  • Does the country have the appropriate infrastructure? Think about charging points for electric cars, hydrogen gas stations...
  • What is the government doing or thinking about doing that may create technological change? What is their spending on research and development?
  • If your company relies on a free, open Internet, what will it do if the Internet becomes regulated, policed, locked down?

What impacts do environmental trends have on your company?

What are the current environmental trends?

  • What is your company's relationship towards climate change?
  • Is the government introducing laws or signing agreements that will affect your company?
  • What is your company doing towards "greening" its image? Is it enough? 
  • How does your company approach sustainability?
  • How does your company deal with waste?
  • Does the company or the company's product's limited lifespan have to potential to become an environmental disaster?

What impacts do legal trends have on your company?

What are the current legal trends? For example, there is a great deal of debate about the Internet, net neutrality, net security, and who pays whom. If Netflix is your company how would these debates affect them?

  • How do changes in the current laws affect your company?
  • Is there environmental, copyright, or other legislation that proves costly for your company's production, waste management, and/or business practices?
  • Is there a trial in court that may have larger ramifications? Changes in consumer protection? Consider examples such as smokers taking tobacco companies to court.
  • Are your company's employment practices up to code? Do they rely on sweat shops abroad? How do they abide by international employment laws?
  • Does your company have a copyright or patent that is about to expire? Are there outstanding lawsuits about copyright, trademark, or patent infringement?
  • Is the company being taken to court for inappropriate dismissals, book keeping, record keeping, sexual harassment, computer software cheats, data hacks or (you fill in the blank)? Or if the courts are not looking at your company yet, will they? Soon?
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Industry Profiles

Industry profiles offer an important context for your company's situation. Are the critical issues your company is facing unique to the company, or prevalent within the industry? Are there critical issues faced by your company's competitors that are not an issue for your company? Are there industry trends that are not reflected in your company's strategic directions or reports to investors? Industry profiles will give you a chance to gauge your company's situation against the larger industry.

Passport GMID offers news, profiles, analysis, reports, and data for industries in the fast-moving consumer goods sectors. It's also a good place to find related demographic and economic data for countries around the world. A search for an industry reveals a variety of types of information:

  • Briefings (global and country) by category or strategy
  • Company profiles
  • Datagraphics
  • Market statistics (market size, company and brand shares, distribution, pricing)
  • Opinion pieces
  • Podcasts and videocasts
  • Product ingredients
  • Topical articles
  • Trade statistics (exports, imports, volume)

To find industry data:

  1. Choose an industry from the drop-down Industries menu [1].
  2. The industry landing page include a dashboard, as well as the most recently-added analysis, news, and research. Choose the type of data you want from the dashboard:
    • Search Tree [2]: Select one option from available categories and sub-categories, then click "Go." On the next screen, you'll be able to select additional categories and sub-categories, as well as specify one or more geographies (world, country, region, or international alliance).
    • Analysis Finder [3]: Choose the type of analysis (default is "all") and one country or region and click "Go." You'll see a list of relevant articles. Filter results by survey topic, type of analysis, or data, or change the geography using the lists provided.
    • Rank Countries [4]: Choose a category or sub-category and rank by size, growth, or per capita. You can choose from historical or forecast data. Click "Go." Presented as a data table.
    • Rank Categories [5]: Choose a geography and rank category by size, growth, or per capita. You can choose from historical or forecast data. Click "Go." Presented as a data table.
    • Review Top Companies [6]: Select a company, then a category, from the lists. Click "Go." You'll be presented with a data table showing company shares by country.
    • Visualise Data [7]: Select a category from the list and click "Go." Data will be overlaid on a world map that you can customize.

 

 

APA Citation Format

References

Euromonitor International. (2015a, June 29). Beer: What's brewing on the horizon? Global briefing. Retrieved from http://www.portal.euromonitor.com/portal

Euromonitor International. (2015b, June 30). Sales of beer by category: Total volume 2009-2014 [Table]. In Beer in Canada category briefing. Retrieved from http://www.portal.euromonitor.com/portal

Euromonitor International. (2015c, July 6). The growth in popularity of craft beer in New Zealand [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from http://www.portal.euromonitor.com/portal

Euromonitor International. (2015d, July 8). Beer in Sweden category briefing. Retrieved from http://www.portal.euromonitor.com/portal

Telford, H. (2015, June 24). What does craft mean in carbonated soft drinks? Opinion Retrieved from http://www.portal.euromonitor.com/portal

In-Text Citation

(Euromonitor International, 2015c)

(Telford, 2015)


Note:Provide the URL of the publisher's home page (in this case Euromonitor). Do not provide the direct URL to the report, or the name of the database (Passport GMID).

Industry profiles from Business Insights: Global are global in scope and offer an overview of the industry (key facts, top countries, and top companies), as well as a variety of documents related to the industry:

  • Industry essays (industry snapshot, organization & structure, background & development, current industry conditions, industry leaders, further reading)
  • Associations
  • Market research from journals and magazines
  • Market share reports
  • Rankings

Tip: Always check the date on the profile - while many are relatively current (within the last year), some are older, particularly in smaller markets, like Canada.

To find a profile:

  1. Enter the name of the industry in the search box, and select "Industry" from the drop-down menu.
  2. Select an industry from the list.

APA Citation Format

Reference

Commercial banking. (2018). In Encyclopedia of American industries. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale. Retrieved from http://bi.galegroup.com/global/

In-Text Citation

(Commercial banking, 2018)

 

Industry profiles from Business Source Complete offer a great deal of data about an industry. A profile will typically include the following:

  • Market Overview
  • Market Data
  • Market Segmentation (by category, geography; market share; market distribution)
  • Market Outlook
  • Five Forces Analysis (buyer power; supplier power; new entrants; threats of substitutes; degree of rivalry)
  • Leading Companies
  • Macroeconomic Indicators (e.g., country data)
  • Industry Associations

Tip: Check the date on the profile - while many are relatively current (within the last year), some are older, particularly in smaller markets, like Canada.

To find a profile:

  1. Enter keywords describing the industry and the term "industry profile" in the search box(es) [1].
  2. Industry profiles are often associated with a specific country or region, but there are also global profiles that look at the industry worldwide [2]  - you probably want to view all that relate to your company's geographic distribution.
  3. Take note of the date [3] - ideally, you want the most current data available, so you may need to look for updated data, if it's available. (Note the source of the data in the report and go directly to the source for updates.)
  4. Click on the "PDF Full Text" [4] link to view the profile.

APA Citation Format

References

MarketLine Industry Profile. (2012a, February). Global Pet Care. Retrieved from http://www.marketline.com/

‚ÄčMarketLine Industry Profile. (2012b, February). Pet Care in Canada. Retrieved from http://www.marketline.com/

In-Text Citation

(MarketLine Industry Profile, 2012a)


Note: Take the title from the title page of the report, not the listing in the database. Provide the URL of the publisher's home page (in this case Marketline). Do not provide the direct URL to the report, or the name of the database (Business Source Complete).

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Other Information Sources

Newspapers can be a good source of information about your company. Most newspapers have a business section that focuses on local business as well as business news in general.A good source of information for critical issues facing your company, product launches and reviews, key trends, personnel changes in the executive ranks, and industry news.

Not all product review sites are created equal, and it's good to treat product reviews with a healthy skepticism. There are essentially two types of review sites:

  • Consumer or customer reviews: these offer reviews based on individual experience with products, and may or may not compare products. Always seek customer reviews from multiple sources and reviewers, so that you get a fuller, more balanced picture.
  • Product testing reviews: these reviews focus on multiple brands in a product category and rate each brand tested using the same criteria and methodology. The best of these sites will explain their criteria or methodology and document any outside sources.

Both types of review sites are valuable. The best strategy is to read multiple reviews from both types of review sites, and look for patterns of agreement or disagreement. Here are a few that we can recommend:

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