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SOC 1260 Market Research in Public and Private Sectors

PEST and SWOT Analysis

You have been assigned a research task to perform SWOT and PEST Analysis on a single company. Here are some suggested prompts to get started.

Look up the company website.
Smaller companies don't always have a website. Do they have social media accounts? You can sometimes find websites for smaller companies in databases like AtoZ Databases and Orbis. Once you find their site, look at their products, the company history and news/PR articles.

Read and watch news about the company, as well as any interviews you can find from the CEO or other employees. .
Search efficiently by looking at the news aggregators Access World News and Nexis Uni.

Find Company Profiles.
There are many sources for company profiles which will summarize information like a list of competitors or financial outlook. See the Company Research Guide for an overview of your options. Also consider company reviews from websites like the Better Business Bureau, Yelp, or Charity Navigator.

Identify competitors and how the industry operates.
Look for a variety of sources that describe the company as well as the industry they operate within. Try IBISWorld for big picture trends and Business Source Complete or Proquest Business for a good variety of sources including academic articles, trade literature, news and market research reports. For help identifying the right Industry see the BEO Guide to NAICS and industry trends research.

Look up the political & regulatory environment.
Aggregate sources such as NexisUni and individual publications like The Economist and Financial Times will provide political & regulatory commentary.

Recommended for Assignment 1

To look up individual newspapers or journals, use the Journal Search:

Research Strategies

Published SWOT Analysis

You can find SWOT Analysis for large companies - mostly publicly traded companies - in some of the library business databases. It is unlikely that there will be a published SWOT or PEST analysis for the company you have been assigned, however, it is helpful to know how to find these. You can look up a SWOT Analysis for a similar company, and find valuable information about the industry and market that is transferable to your smaller assigned company.

If you are assigned: A local coffee shop
Look for: Peet's Coffee or Starbucks

If you are assigned: A small solar energy company
Look for: Tesla or NextEra Energy

How to find company SWOT reports in each database: