Wednesday, August 23, 2006


  1. · Supervisors should advise candidates to choose a question that will enable them to carry
    out personal research rather than summarising various secondary sources.
  2. Supervisors should discourage candidates from using very long bullet-pointed lists.
  3. Supervisors should advise candidates not to throw away marks unnecessarily on the abstract and presentation criteria.
  4. Supervisors should advise candidates to choose focused titles, which would allow more of the business criteria to be met.
  5. Supervisors should ensure that candidates identify relevant theoretical aspects before starting their research and ensure that candidates concentrate on one specific theory or a very small range of theories.
  6. Supervisors should encourage candidates to use focused, simple research questions.
  7. Supervisors should encourage candidates to base their research question on a problem or issue that is currently being faced, instead of one that has already been addressed.
  8. Supervisors should advise candidates - before they begin their extended essays - that the research question should be based upon an organisation that is willing to cooperate and provide information and, if the data is too difficult to obtain, an alternative research question should be considered.
  9. SWOT analyses should be used and opportunities should be external.

If Meditation is difficult to come by

August 23

If you find that meditation does not come easily in your city room,

be inventive and go out into nature. Nature is always an unfailing

fountain of inspiration. To calm your mind, go for a walk at dawn in

the park, or watch the dew on a rose in a garden. Lie on the ground

and gaze up into the sky, and let your mind expand into its

spaciousness. Let the sky outside awaken a sky inside your mind.

Stand by a stream and mingle your mind with its rushing; become one

with its ceaseless sound. Sit by a waterfall and let its healing

laughter purify your spirit. Walk on a beach and take the sea wind

full and sweet against your face. Celebrate and use the beauty of

moonlight to poise your mind. Sit by a lake or in a garden and,

breathing quietly, let your mind fall silent as the moon comes up

majestically and slowly in the cloudless night.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Most Expensive Cities to live in

(incl rents)
London 105.5
New York 100.0
Oslo 94.6
Tokyo 93.4
Zurich 87.3
Copenhagen 86.3
Geneva 85.8
Dublin 84.3
Chicago 82.2
Los Angeles 80.6

Most Expensive Cities. The index is based upon measurements of 95 goods and 27 services. London being the most expensive.
Lima is the 68th Mostexpensive city in the world.
What doyou think makes Lima acheaper city and what makes it a more expensive city?
Think about travel, food etc.
Lima 35.9

Below are a list of the various things that are measured when establishing the cost of living in cities

Food at Home

Domestic Services

Alcohol and Tobacco


Household Supplies

Food away from Home

Health and Personal Care


Clothing and Footwear

Sports and Leisure

Other aspects that will be measured, will be air travel, education, incomes.
Can you think of any others?

Monday, August 21, 2006

GDP in Emerging Markets

GDP is Gross domestic product. For a region, the GDP is "the market value of all the goods and services producted by labor and property located in" the region, usually a country. It equals GNP minus the net inflow of labor and property incomes from abroad.
What we can see here is how GDP has been changing in emerging markets, of which Peru is one. We can see that Peru will continue to grow. This is due to two main factors, firstly mining of which Peru has been a beneficiary of rising metal ore prices plus also the agricultural industry which has seen over 208% in the last year alone.


1. Use Credit Cards Sparingly.
2. Pay ALL Credit Cards in Full.
3. Get the best deal on a checking account.
4. Keep Track of your spending.
5. Set a Limit on Entertainment.
6. Shop at second hand shops.
7. Keep an eye out for free money.
8. Get a part time job with tips.
9. Walk or ride - Don't drive.
10. Look out for Student discounts.
11. Don't eat out all the time.
12. Avoid tax on stupidity.


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Adverts for Teenagers Nightmares

Monday, August 07, 2006

Semester 3: First Week Homework for Business




Friday, August 04, 2006

Giving a Great Presentation

Presentations are a vital part of business. It doesn’t matter if you are giving a presentation to 5 or 500 people, there are some basic ground rules which I am going to go through. If you apply the following to your presentations people will be impressed.

1. Choose the right style
Find out as much as possible about your audience before you give your presentation, forewarned is forearmed. What is the purpose of your speech? Is it formal or informal?

2. Check the venue
Make sure that all your equipment is working, is the projector working, does the microphone work. Go through your PowerPoint quickly to see if it all fits.
Do you have a glass of water ready?

3. Check your appearance
Appearances go a long way with your audience. If you are scruffy it will detract from the quality of your presentation. Check your tie, shoes and general dress.

4. Establish your precence
Once you have been introduced, pause. Take a deep breath, look at the audience, make eye contact, and acknowledge their presence. Relax your body and stand tall. Smile!

5. Establish who you are
Explain the reason you are there. Confirm what the audience expects of you by explaining what you are going to speak about.

6. Involve your audience
Get the audience involved immediately with a visual aid or something unexpected. Taking attention away from yourself often helps with stage fright.

7. Let your personality show
Feelings not facts convince people. Show your emotions, your audience will appreciates that.

8. Use positive body language
Stand tall, don’t slouch, don’t play with your hair, tie or jewellery. Move around naturally and use your hands for emphasis. Use ordinary facial expressions and where appropriate, smile.

9. Control your voice
Project your voice through standing straight and breathing deeply. Speak clearly and more slowly than usual. Avoid hesitation and watch your speech mannerisms, avoid over-repetition of expressions and don’t’ ‘um’ or ‘er’.

10. Build on your rapport with your audience
Keep eye contact and play to your cheerleaders, keep your audience involved all the time.

11. Introduce Humour
If you are confident, use humour to lighten the mood, but don’t abuse anyone in the crowd.

12. Face up to the unexpected
Don’t be fazed by anything unexpected that happens, take it in your stride and use it to your advantage if you can.

13. Improvise
If the presentation is coming across as too dry, change your presentation a little to suit your audience.

14. Conclude
Be brief, and end on a high in tone, energy and content.

15. Be positive when taking questions


Be yourself
Start and finish on time
Use Handouts

Try to cover too much in your speech
Use humour appropriately
Use too much technology, it detracts from the message

"Success - To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived; this is to have succeeded."
Bessie A Stanley (1803) Housewife

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The four things Peter Drucker, the world's most eminenent Business Guru, learnt in life:

1. The first one, I call Harry Truman's maxim. Which I heard him say many times. If it has to be explained, it won't work. It will only work if it's so simple that everybody says it's obvious.

2. And second, say "please" and "thank you," manners matter. They are the lubricating oil of human intercourse. They make it possible for people to work with one another.

3. Third, one that applies to me, as a professional writer, but it applies to anybody. If a sentence doesn't gel, don't rewrite it. It's not that the sentence is not right, your thoughts are not clear or not thought through.

4. And finally, never ask who's right. Start out by asking what is right. And you find that out by listening to dissenting, disagreeing opinions

SWOT Analysis - Example - Sungen Ltd


• Solar equipment is a niche market in Australia.
• JIT(Just In Time) production method and hence minimum risk.
• Sungen Ltd estimates it has 65 % of the market.
• Desirable product range.
• Products produced per customers’ specification.
• Eco-friendly company image.
• Strong sales growth.
• Departmental specialists to carry out the specialist functions.


• Unreliable suppliers.
• Demotivated employees.
• Conflicting management styles (Catherine & Tony)
• Unclear leadership.
• Delayed delivery.
• Weak financial situation (Negative gross profit margin, net profit margin and ROCE)
• Little working capital.
• Quality problems.


• Potential High market growth.
• Weak distribution channels.
• Market research says that 45 % of those questioned would consider fitting some sort of renewable energy generation system.
• Opportunity to enter new market segment.
• If the government accepts Sungen Ltd proposals (lines 88-90), it may lead to good business opportunity.
• Increasing consumers’ awareness (Global warming and rising energy prices)

• Trade union is threatening strike action.
• Unstable state of economy.
• Housing prices are set to fall.
• Increasing inflation and decreasing GDP

SWOT: Everything you wanted to know about SWOT but you were too afraid to ask.....

A SWOT Analysis is a great way to begin to analyse early stages of development and change in a business. It can also be used as a personal tool for self-development. It can help you decide where you might want to go in the future.

SWOT stands for

S = Strengths
W = Weaknesses
O = Opportunities
T = Threats

Strengths and Weaknesses include the INTERNAL elements of the company.
Opportunities and Threats are the EXTERNAL factors affecting the company.


• Good Framework for identifying the above
• A simple framework for developing suitable strategies and tactics
• Assesses Core Capabilities of Businesses
• Provides evidence for Change
• Allows for people outside normal decision makers to participate


• Can generate long lists
• Relies on descriptions rather than analysis
• Ignores prioritisation
• Can be overlooked or forgotten in further stages of development


Typical Strengths normally relate to public relations and perceptions, market share, or people. Other people strengths include:
• Happy, friendly, communicative staff
• Training and personal development
• Trusting company

‘Organizational’ strengths include:
• Customer loyalty
• Capital investment
• Strong Balance Sheet
• Efficient systems and well-developed social responsibility


This should not be used as an opportunity to be really critical about the situation, but to be a more honest appraisal of how things are going. Below are aspects that could be questioned:
• Poor communications
• Inadequate leadership
• Obstacles preventing growth
• Elements of the business that require strengthening
• Who is complaining?
• What are the weak links in the chain?
• Lack of new products or services
• Declining market for your business
• Poor competitiveness
• High prices
• Is the staff aware of the mission, objectives, and policies
• Absenteeism
• Absence of systems to monitor progress?


This is where you need to analyze the socio-economic, political, environmental, and demographic factors. You might include:
• New markets
• New technology
• New legislation and government
• Preferential change in interest rates
• Increase in GDP, peoples spending power
• Growing popularity in your sector
• Population age
You will want to know how you can deal with these opportunities.


This would be simply analysing the external market in reverse to the way you look at opportunities. All those mentioned above can have an inverse effect on your company or service. Other threats could include:
• Unemployment levels
• Political uncertainty
• Exchange rate fluctuations
You should consider worse case scenarios, i.e. in Peru for example, if terrorism returned to Peru.
An interesting point to consider is that opportunities and threats are very much challenges that can be perceived as either an opportunity or threat by the workforce and as a result, one can see how high moral is through this analysis.


Now you need to assess whether the SWOT ties in with the company objectives. You need to prioritize the list that the SWOT shows. Some things can be removed as not being relevant. Make sure that you take action on the SWOT analysis, otherwise it is a pointless, time consuming exercise.



• Be Analytical and Specific
• Record ALL thoughts and ideas
• Take a wide-ranging review of the external aspects
• Be selective in your final report


• Try to disguise weaknesses
• Merely list errors and mistakes
• Use the SWOT to blame other peoples mistakes
• Ignore the outcomes at the later stages of the planning process

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Case Study Examination Techniques Continued

Revise, revise revise – if you have revised properly then you will be more relaxed about the exam and you should therefore perform better.

Make revision notes yourself and do not simply rely on your teacher’s handouts.

Read the questions very carefully – many students answer a different question to the one set, so the examiner cannot apply the mark scheme to your answer.

Take your time choosing your questions – do not rush into a question and then realise that you cannot answer the whole question. This will waste time and make you rush your answer.

Write your answers in context. Your case study is based on a Electrical wholesale company. So when you answer questions always bear this in mind. E.g. If asked to write a marketing strategy for Sungen Ltd if must be specific to the company and not a strategy that can be used for any company. Use examples where you can.

Write neatly and clearly – if the examiner cannot read your answer he will not be able to mark it. In your case this is very important.

Draw large clear diagrams (be bold, brave and beautiful) – an examiner can only mark what he can read. Therefore a small cramped diagram will not gain many marks. Try and use a ruler and pencil and remember to label all the axes.

Never cross an answer out. If you cross out an answer, the examiner will not mark it. Many times students cross out answers that are actually worth marks and begin new questions, which they then answer badly, and are worth less than the original answer.

Remember exam technique is an extremely important skill that should be practiced in the weeks before an exam. A student with a good exam technique will greatly improve their mark, and will usually out-perform a student who has simply spent their time ‘revising’.

Always be aware of the marks available for each question and try to match your answer accordingly. A question worth 6 marks can not be answered in one or two sentences.

Sungen Ltd - Examination Technique - How to revise from a case study

Photocopy two copies of the case study. Keep one for note taking and keep one blank so that when you read the case study your rough notes will not divert your attention.

Read the case study for the first time without making notes so that you get a general impression of the topic.

Read the case study again and underline any term you do not understand – make sure you find out what these terms mean. It is likely that at least one definition from the case study will be required.

Read the case study again making notes about terms and how they may be asked in a question.

Read the case study regularly in the weeks before the exam so that you know it ‘by heart’ for the exam. You do not want to be hunting around the case study during the exam looking for relevant information.

Start looking for newspaper / internet / magazine articles about companies similar to
Sungen so that you can give relevant examples in your exam answers.

Develop some possible strategy scenarios involving marketing plans, ways of reducing costs and / or increasing profitability.

Command Words
Every single exam question has at least one command word. This is a word that is used by the examiner to help you so that you can guide your answer in the direction they want.

For example if the examiner asks you to list one advantage of being a private limited company, you could answer, they have limited liability.

A more detailed question may ask you to explain an advantage of being a private limited company. In this case you will need to say exactly what a private limited company is.

An examiner may ask for more detailed knowledge and they may ask you to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of being a private limited company. In this case you simply write 3 or 4 advantages and disadvantages and explain each one.
Finally the examiner may ask you to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of a private limited company. In this case you simply write 3 or 4 advantages and disadvantages, explain each one, and then based on your evidence say whether you would recommend a company becoming a private limited company in this instance.

The command words below have been broken into levels with level 1 command words requiring the simplest answer and level 4 the most complex.

Level One: List, Name, Explain, Define, Calculate, Construct
Level Two: Describe, Identify

Level Three: Examine, Discuss, Prepare, Analysis

Level Four: Evaluate, Recommend


Remember - You have 5 minutes reading time at the beginning of the exam.

The case study paper – paper 1 is 1 1/2 hours (90 minutes) long.

The paper is worth 60 marks.

90 minutes divided by 60 marks = 1 1⁄2 marks per minute.

Therefore a 2-mark question should only take 3 minutes.

You have to answer all the questions.

Remember to build in reading time for Paper 2 where it is very important to choose the correct question.

Also build in some time to read through your answers to check for any simple mistakes you have made.

It is very important that you get your timing correct. If not you will either rush your answers and not give enough detail or you run out of time and do not finish the paper. Both scenarios mean you will under-perform in the exam.

Practice your timing by answering past questions in the context of or use the questions written in your copybook. You can practice on past papers and case studies from 2002 onwards. Your teacher should have access to these (November and May) as well as comprehensive mark schemes.

Mr W's Guide to Report Writing

Reports that are good should include the following qualities: readability, interesting, good presentation and be NO longer than necessary.
The report should contain an clear structure, with a good summary and conclusions are essential.
Before you begin you should ask yourself the following questions:

1. When does the report have to be handed in?
2. Who is going to read it?
3. Do you understand what you are being asked to do?
4. Is there a specific style that you need to follow?

With regards to the IB, the following questions can be answered as follows:
1. When your teacher sets the date, try not to do it at the last minute, because you will only regret not having started it earlier!
2. Your teacher or the external moderator, so it should be written as well as possible, with as few mistakes.
3. Do you understand the Internal Assessment criteria, if not, ask your teacher or fellow pupils.
4. Look at as many examples of the Internal Assessments as you can, to get a feel of what the best examples should look like. Below is the basic skeleton of what it should look like.

• Research title (question)
• Introduction
• Statement of objective(s)
• Discussion
• Conclusions and recommendations
• Bibliography and references
• Appendices

This is what the Internal assessment has to contain and is discussed elsewhere in the blog. We now go on to the way you are going to write the report. Follow these rules and the assignment will automatically be easier to understand and alsoyou won't feel lost doing it.


1. Preparation

Before you even begin writing your report, you need to plan what you have to say. You should consider the following questions:
What is the purpose of the report?
What timescale do you have to write it?
What type of report should it be?
What scope do you need to cover?
When you have done that, you then need to consider the readership, who else might look at the report? What does the reader know or not know about your subject?

And finally, you need to have thought about how the report will finally turn out. Like athletes visualising the finish line, you need to have in your minds eye what the actual report is going to look like. Think in terms of outcomes instead of intentions.

2. Gathering Information

Obviously you aren’t going to have all the information in one place, so you will need to have to go and gather and collate as much relevant information about your report as possible. This can be done in a number of ways:
• Reading other reports
• Interviewing people
• Carrying out primary research
• Reading newspapers and magazines
• Carrying out surveys

There are many ways you can find the information, just remember don’t leave it too late; otherwise you will have problems finding the information. Make sure you plan for information gathering. Finally you need to get information that will give you a balanced picture.

3. Structure your information

Going back to the objectives of the report you now need to decide what information most important and what information provides supporting evidence. Consider the order in which you are presenting the information. If the order is not logical, restructure it so the message is easier to understand.
Plan the layout of the report. Use the format suggested by the IB. If not the IB then make sure you follow the layout that is required to allow your readers to understand it most easily. When you put information in the appendix make sure that it is not information that would be better in the main part.

4. Write the Report

The first time you write your report, think of it as a draft. The plan you wrote in step 3 should help you achieve what you wanted. The really best way to write the report is in one sitting. This allows you to put everything together and keep all the ideas flowing fluidly.
Set yourself a deadline.
By following these rules your writing will be as persuasive as it could possibly be:
• Keep it Simple Stupid! (But don’t oversimplify!)
• Include only the information that your reader needs to know
• Be logical in the way you layout your report
• Use short words, to be concise and clear
• Only use long words when they are absolutely necessary
• If using technical terminology, use a glossary in the appendix to explain.
• Write short sentences, and avoid too many subordinate clauses
• Use positive construction
• Write in the active, it is easier to understand than the passive and is more persuasive.

Graphics and pictures are definitely advisable. The reader always appreciates these things, but always make sure they are clear, properly labelled and introduced by the text itself. If the data is too detailed put it in the appendix.

5. Review what you have written

Always give yourself time to review the work. Put the work aside for a day or two, then you will be able to be more critical and view the work with more perspective. Keep in mind those original questions I mentioned at the beginning of the report. Does it fully cover your objectives? Try the readability statistic on MS Word (between 60 &70 is ideal). Make sure your spelling, punctuation, and grammar are correct. Get someone else to proofread it if you can. Ask them if they think it is easy to understand and whether the structure is comfortable.

Are your conclusions and recommendations those you actually got from the main body of the report? Do you express your own point of view?

6. Printing and Submitting the Work

Write the report with a 1 ½ line spacing, leaving lots of space and don’t be afraid to use a lot of paper. This is one of those moments, I am sorry to say, where you should not be too environmentally minded. Use good paper too. Remember presentation is key in any aspect of business.

Aim to submit your assignment ahead of the hand-in date. The receiver is always, always, always impressed if you achieve this and they are definitely going to to give it more attention if you do.






I hope this info is useful for you, keep these ideas in mind for any type of report you have to write. Remember above all who you are writing for.