Sunday, August 8, 2010

How to Perform SWOT Analysis

The SWOT analysis is a valuable step in your situational analysis. Assessing your firm’s strengths, weaknesses, market opportunities, and threats through a SWOT analysis is a very simple process that can offer powerful insight into the potential and critical issues affecting a venture.

SWOT Chart

The SWOT analysis begins by conducting an inventory of internal strengths and weaknesses in your organization. You will then note the external opportunities and threats that may affect the organization, based on your market and the overall environment. Don’t be concerned about elaborating on these topics at this stage; bullet points may be the best way to begin. Capture the factors you believe are relevant in each of the four areas. You will want to review what you have noted here as you work through your marketing plan. The primary purpose of the SWOT analysis is to identify and assign each significant factor, positive and negative, to one of the four categories, allowing you to take an objective look at your business. The SWOT analysis will be a useful tool in developing and confirming your goals and your marketing strategy.
Some experts suggest that you first consider outlining the external opportunities and threats before the strengths and weaknesses. Either Business Plan Pro or Marketing Plan Pro will allow you to complete your SWOT analysis in whatever order works best for you. In either situation, you will want to review all four areas in detail.

Strengths describe the positive attributes, tangible and intangible, internal to your organization. They are within your control. What do you do well? What resources do you have? What advantages do you have over your competition?
You may want to evaluate your strengths by area, such as marketing, finance, manufacturing, and organizational structure. Strengths include the positive attributes of the people involved in the business, including their knowledge, backgrounds, education, credentials, contacts, reputations, or the skills they bring. Strengths also include tangible assets such as available capital, equipment, credit, established customers, existing channels of distribution, copyrighted materials, patents, information and processing systems, and other valuable resources within the business.
Strengths capture the positive aspects internal to your business that add value or offer you a competitive advantage. This is your opportunity to remind yourself of the value existing within your business.

Note the weaknesses within your business. Weaknesses are factors that are within your control that detract from your ability to obtain or maintain a competitive edge. Which areas might you improve?
Weaknesses might include lack of expertise, limited resources, lack of access to skills or technology, inferior service offerings, or the poor location of your business. These are factors that are under your control, but for a variety of reasons, are in need of improvement to effectively accomplish your marketing objectives.
Weaknesses capture the negative aspects internal to your business that detract from the value you offer, or place you at a competitive disadvantage. These are areas you need to enhance in order to compete with your best competitor. The more accurately you identify your weaknesses, the more valuable the SWOT will be for your assessment.

Opportunities assess the external attractive factors that represent the reason for your business to exist and prosper. These are external to your business. What opportunities exist in your market, or in the environment, from which you hope to benefit?
These opportunities reflect the potential you can realize through implementing your marketing strategies. Opportunities may be the result of market growth, lifestyle changes, resolution of problems associated with current situations, positive market perceptions about your business, or the ability to offer greater value that will create a demand for your services. If it is relevant, place timeframes around the opportunities. Does it represent an ongoing opportunity, or is it a window of opportunity? How critical is your timing?
Opportunities are external to your business. If you have identified “opportunities” that are internal to the organization and within your control, you will want to classify them as strengths.

What factors are potential threats to your business? Threats include factors beyond your control that could place your marketing strategy, or the business itself, at risk. These are also external – you have no control over them, but you may benefit by having contingency plans to address them if they should occur.
A threat is a challenge created by an unfavorable trend or development that may lead to deteriorating revenues or profits. Competition – existing or potential – is always a threat. Other threats may include intolerable price increases by suppliers, governmental regulation, economic downturns, devastating media or press coverage, a shift in consumer behavior that reduces your sales, or the introduction of a “leap-frog” technology that may make your products, equipment, or services obsolete. What situations might threaten your marketing efforts? Get your worst fears on the table. Part of this list may be speculative in nature, and still add value to your SWOT analysis.
It may be valuable to classify your threats according to their “seriousness” and “probability of occurrence.”
The better you are at identifying potential threats, the more likely you can position yourself to proactively plan for and respond to them. You will be looking back at these threats when you consider your contingency plans.

The implications
The internal strengths and weaknesses, compared to the external opportunities and threats, can offer additional insight into the condition and potential of the business. How can you use the strengths to better take advantage of the opportunities ahead and minimize the harm that threats may introduce if they become a reality? How can weaknesses be minimized or eliminated? The true value of the SWOT analysis is in bringing this information together, to assess the most promising opportunities, and the most crucial issues.

An example
AMT is a computer store in a medium-sized market in the United States. Lately it has suffered through a steady business decline, caused mainly by increasing competition from larger office products stores with national brand names. The following is the SWOT analysis included in its marketing plan.

SWOT Chart

  1. Knowledge. Our competitors are retailers, pushing boxes. We know systems, networks, connectivity, programming, all the Value Added Resellers (VARs), and data management.
  2. Relationship selling. We get to know our customers, one by one. Our direct sales force maintains a relationship.
  3. History. We’ve been in our town forever. We have the loyalty of customers and vendors. We are local.
  1. Costs. The chain stores have better economics. Their per-unit costs of selling are quite low. They aren’t offering what we offer in terms of knowledgeable selling, but their cost per square foot and per dollar of sales are much lower.
  2. Price and volume. The major stores pushing boxes can afford to sell for less. Their component costs are less and they benefit from volume buying with the main vendors.
  3. Brand power. Take one look at their full-page advertising, in color, in the Sunday paper. We can’t match that. We don’t have the national name that flows into national advertising.
  1. Local area networks. LANs are becoming commonplace in small businesses, and even in home offices. Businesses today assume LANs are part of normal office work. This is an opportunity for us because LANs are much more knowledge and service intensive than the standard off-the-shelf PC.
  2. The Internet. The increasing opportunities of the Internet offer us another area of strength in comparison to the box-on-the-shelf major chain stores. Our customers want more help with the Internet and we are in a better position to give it to them.
  3. Training. The major stores don’t provide training, but as systems become more complicated with LAN and Internet usage, training is more in demand. This is particularly true of our main target markets.
  4. Service. As our target market needs more service, our competitors are less likely than ever to provide it. Their business model doesn’t include service, just selling the boxes.
  1. The computer as appliance. Volume buying and selling of computers as products in boxes, supposedly not needing support, training, connectivity services, etc. As people think of the computer in those terms, they think they need our service orientation less.
  2. The larger price-oriented store. When they have huge advertisements of low prices in the newspaper, our customers think we are not giving them good value.

Teaching The Slow Learner

A child can be considered an underachiever in school and can be grouped under a generalized classification much too easily. One child cannot be grouped with a group of underachievers and be placed under one certain classification and this happens much too often in our schools. A teacher needs to be able to be aware of very specific and very personal problems that can cause a child to be considered an underachiever or a slow learner.

The confusion on this topic needs to be reduced in our schools. Some teachers are just too quick to identify and also to attempt to correct learning disabilities without the proper training or knowledge on the subject.
There are general categories into which most teachers will tend to group each child who is a slow learner. The classifications will be made according to the likeness of a child with each group.

First, we need to realize that all children who are performing under their grade level are not necessarily underachievers. A lot of schools feel that all children should be exactly at the same level in each class and this is not true. Sometimes they will think that the children in this classification of slow learners are not capable of achieving at their chronological grade level. Sometimes, from the first grade on to other higher grades, a child just hasn't mastered the basic skills of learning. These children can get frustrated and even convince themselves that they cannot learn. In this instance teachers need to work with these students to teach the basic skills necessary for learning at the rate of normal student for his age.

There are some children that have problems with language development. A lack of language development can cause a child to be a slow learner. It is of much importance to see if a child has grown in the art of language and reading achievement, if not teachers need to work with these students to bring up their language levels so that they can reach maximum achievement in their class.

Some children have cultural disadvantages as they may come from homes where, for example, the parents are not speaking English and are speaking another language. They can be known as culturally disadvantaged as they do not have essentials necessary for learning. In this instance teachers
need to work with the students so that they can achieve and not be doomed to a failed and frustrated attitude. If this is left undone, then as the years pass there will be more and more problems in learning coming from cultural disadvantages in the home.

There may not be enough challenges in the particular classroom to hold some chhildren's interest and they become bored and don't reach their potential. A lack of challenge can bring a child down to below the level of the classrooms. Teachers need to be on the alert for this type of classification of underachiever as they will need to provide work that will stimulate them.

Other children may be of average capacity and be expected to achieve at a higher level of learning in the classroom. These children at times are incapable of achieving past a certain level for a child their age and this can lead to frustration and failure in the classroom. Teachers need to be aware of these children and not try to push too much on them in the way of learning in the classroom.

Children sometimes can be considered and classified as reluctant learners as these children will make good grades on tests but cannot function daily in the atmosphere of the classroom. Sometimes these children will not be motivated to learn and teachers need to be able to draw out these children and just get them motivated. Remedial help is sometimes used to get them motivated and to learn to the level of the others in their grade level.

Students needs to be identified that can profit from remedial and corrective teaching. Sometimes teachers will not provide this remedial and corrective teaching in their classroom and this needs to be changed. If professional judgment indicates that this special remedial and corrective teaching is necessary then a child should have this provide to help him.



Perkataan “disleksia” (dyslexia) adalah hasil gabuangan dua perkataan Greek iaitu “Dys” yang bermaksud kesukaran dan “Lexis” bermaksud perkataan atau dengan kata lain, kesukaran menggunakan perkataan. Istilah ‘buta huruf’ juga digunakan untuk kategori ini. Seorang Profesor Berlin pada tahun 1887, merangkap seorang pakar perubatan dan ‘ophalomotologist’ telah memperkenalkan perkataan ‘Disleksia’ (Hammond dan Hugges, 1996:3)“Disleksia ialah satu ‘Disorder’ dalam kanak-kanak yang telah terima Pendidikan Biasa, tidak memperolehi kemahiran bahasa, bacaan, menulis dan ejaan yang setaraf intelek” (World Federation Of Neurology, 1968) Selain itu terdapat juga beberapa perkataan lain yang berkaitan dengan Disleksia, diantaranya ialah:-
• Dyscalculia (Diskalkulia) iaitu seorang disleksia yang bermasalah dalam pengiraan ataupun matematik
• Dysgraphia (Disgrafia) iaitu seorang disleksis yang bermasalah dalam bahasa
• Dyspraxia (Dispraksia) iaitu seorang disleksis yang bermasalah dalam ko-ordinasi moto-mata-tangan

Disleksia adalah satu masalah pembelajaran iaitu kesukaran mengenal huruf, membaca, menulis, mendengar dan bercakap disebalik pengajaran yang cukup dan peluang budaya yang sempurna. Sebenarnya masalah ini bukanlah satu penyakit dan ia tidak memerlukan ubat untuk mengubatinya, sebaliknya dengan program pendidikan yang sesuai masalah ini dapat dikurangkan. Disleksia juga bukan disebabkan kecerdasan yang lemah serta penglihatan tetapi seseorang disleksia tidak mengecam sesuatu dalam keadaan terbalik. Ternyata sekali disleksia menghuraikan sesuatu kelainan dalam otak, selalunya ia adalah pemberian Tuhan yang terus berkembang dalam diri seseorang dengan cara yang berlainan.
Disleksia melibatkan orang dari pelbagai latar belakang tanpa mengira umur, jantina atau bangsa. Disleksia biasanya boleh diperturunkan daripada ibu bapa kepada kanak-kanak.
Jenis-jenis Disleksia
Disleksia boleh dikategorikan kepada tiga bahagian iaitu :
  • Disleksia visual (penglihatan)
Kesukaran utama yang dihadapi ialah untuk mengigat dan mengenal abjad serta konfugirasi perkataan. Simbol-simbol perkataan yang dicetak juga sukar untuk diterjemahkan. Kemungkinan untuk melihat abjad-abjad tertentu atau sebahagian perkataan adalah secara terbalik
  • Disleksia auditori (pendengaran)
Kesukaran untuk mengingat bunyi abjad, menganalisis bunyi mengikut suku kata perkataan dan menyusun atau menggabungkan suku kata bagi menyembunyikan perkataan. Bunyi percakapan yang tuturkan secara halus juga tidak dapat dibezakan. Masalah untuk membezakan bunyi vokal dengan konsonan juga dihadapi oleh disleksia auditori
  • Disleksia visual-auditori
Kesukaran mambaca yang amat teruk dan ini disebabkan oleh kelemahan untuk memproses tulisan secara visual dan audio
Mengikut Mercer, 1997; Hammond dan Hughes, 1996 dan Spaafford dan Grosser,1996, antara punca-punca disleksia ialah;
Keturunan atau genetik
Kebanyakan kes, terdapat beberapa ahli keluarga yang mengalami masalah-masalah yang sama. Kemungkinan punca ini boleh diwarisi yang membezakan adalah darjah keterukannya. Terdapat kajian yang dijalankan telah membuktikan disleksia desebabkan oleh kromosom 15, 1 dan 16 yang boleh diperturunkan secara turun-temurun
Sejarah kanak-kanak disleksia biasanya adalah semasa dilahirkan tidak cukup bulan, kekurangan oksigen semasa dilahirkan atau kelahiran yang amat sukar. Faktor-faktor ini menjadi punca kelambatan atau ketidaksempurnaan perkembangan. Sebahagian daripada kerosakan otak yang menyebabkan kanak-kanak ini mengalami masalah belajar dan kerosalan ini minimum
Terdapat kanak-kanak yang lambat perkembangannya pada bahagian tertentu dalam sisitem saraf. Pada kebiasannya kanak-kanak lelaki lambat matang daripada kanak-kanak permepuan. Kelewatan kematangan pada kank-kanak merupakan salah satu kemungkinan punca disleksia
Kanak-kanak pra-sekolah :
- Kemahiran bertutur yang lambat dan sukar memahami arahan
- Suka mengganti perkataan dan hiperaktif
- Kemahiran motor kasar dan motor halus yang lemah
- Seringkali terlupa nama benda-benda atau pelajaran yang dipelajari
- Tidak merangkak semasa bayi
- Suka mendengar bacaan tetapi tidak berminat membaca sendiri
- Sifat ingin tahu tinggi, berminat terhadap pekara baru dan suka bertanya banyak soalan
Kanak-kanak Sekolah Rendah :  
 6 hingga 9 tahun
-Kemahiran membaca, menulis dan mengeja yang lemah dan suka menterbalikkan perkataan, huruf dan nombor
- Menggunakan jari untuk mengira dan membaca
- Keliru dengan kiri dan kanan
- Tulisan cermin atau terbalik
9 hingga 12 tahun
- Kesilapan membaca, mengeja dan lemah dalam kefahaman
- Mengambil masa yang panjang untuk menyiapkan latihan
- Kesukaran menyalin maklumat dipapan putih atau buku teks
- Sukar mengikuti arahan lisan yang panjang
- Kelihatan tidak terurus semasa berada dirumah atau sekolah
- Kurang keyakinan dan menghadapi masalah tekanan jiwa 
Sekolah Menengah :
- Kesukaran membaca dan terkeliru dengan perkataan dan ejaan yang tidak konsisten
- Kesukaran menulis karangan
- Keliru dengan nombor-nombor dan arahan oral
- Kesukaran mempelajari bahasa lain
- Lemah dalam kefahaman dan tidak mempunyai ramai kawan
- Jenis orang yang suka senyap
- Bercakap dengan nada yang kuat atau menjerit daripada konsisten
- Kurang kemahiran bersosial
Masalah utama yang dihadapi kanak-kanak disleksia kebanyakanya adalah dalam proses pembelajaran. Permasalahan ini boleh dikelaskan kepada; 
Kelemahan mengeja akan menyebabkan kebolehan untuk menyampaikan pengetahuan yang diperolehi adalah terhad. Untuk tempoh jangka mas yang panjang kelemahan dalam proses mengeja akan memberi kesan terhadap kelemahan membaca. Timbulnya masalah ini adalah berpunca daripada masalah-masalah awalan seperti terdapatnya kekeliruan dalam mengenal pasti huruf-huruf seperti;
m – w y –g – j u – n m – n
c – e p – q h – n b – d
Terdapat juga kekeliruan dalam membunyikan huruf seperti
t – h f – v
Kesukaran ini menghadkan kebolehan kanak-kanak untuk mendapatkan maklumat daripada rujukan-rujukan yang berkaitan. Secara langsung ianya akan membuat kanak-kank merasa rendah diri dan tidak berkeyakinan. Mereka censerung menterbalikkan perkataan seperti:
Batu – tuba
Gula – lagu
Selain itu mereka juga melakukan pembalikkan dalam ayat. Contohnya seperti berikut:
pada masa yang sama – dapa masa yang masa
Kekeliruan perkataan antara Bahasa Melayu dengan Bahasa Inggeris. Contohnya seperti berikut :
Bahasa Inggeris dengan Bahasa Melayu
Jam – jem
cat – cat

Kanak-kanak ini juga mengalami kesukaran untuk memindahkan maklumat ke atas kertas. Mereka juga mengalami kesukaran untuk memegang pensel dan tidak dapat menulis mengikut garisan yang disediakan. Kanak-kanak ini juga cenderung menulis perkataan yang pelik-pelik
Bercakap dan mendengar
Terdapat juga diatara mereka yang mengalami kesukaran untuk bertutur. Mereka juga kelihatan seperti tidak mendengar atau mempedulikkan. Hal ini berlaku disebabkan kelambatan dalam proses maklimat yang diperolehi. Mereka juga tidak melakukan atau menyusun sesuatu mengikut susunan.
Kanak-kanak ini juga menghadapi kesukaran dalam pembelajaran yang berkaitan dengan matematik mental. Terdapat kekeliruan terhadap tanda dan simbol dan suka menterbalikkan nombor yang sama. Contohnya seperti berikut :
3 – 5 – 8
9 – 6

Masalah fizikal, pengurusan diri dan sosial
- Pakaian sentiasa tidak kemas tetapi tidak kotor dan pandai membutangkan baju, kidal dan pandai mengikat tali kasut
- Kelihatan berminat dalam pelajaran tetapi dilabel pemalas dan kelihatan bodoh
- Skop penglihatan yang terhad di mana keliru antara depan, belakang, kiri, kanan,, atas, bawah serta pengamatan yang lemah
- Membawa berjumpa dengan pakar pisikologi pembelajaran atau psikologi klinikal pada peringkat awal bagi tujuan menaganinya
- Membantu kanak-kanak memahami bahawa walaupun dia mungkin berbeza dalam banyak hal tetapi tetap disayangi.
- Menambah dan menggalakkan sebarang kemahiran istimewa bakat atau kebolehan semulajadi
- Sentiasa sabar melayani karenah mereka yang mana biasanya kecewa dengan kegagalan yang berterusan.
- Membacakan cerita untuk anak-anak serta menjadi ahli persatuan sokongan ibu bapa
- Memberikan bantuan dan latihan pembelajaran sebelum memasuki tadika
- Mengamalkan suasan kasih sayang serta bersikap perihatin dalam mengekalkan suasana harmoni
- Membuat aktiviti berkeluarga serta memberi bimbingan dalam bidang akademik
- Memberi kebebasan yang terbatas serta nasihat untuk mengenal identiti sendiri
- Mengamalkan konsep diri diberi ganjaran atau pujian contohnya bagus, pandai

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Selamat Datang

Selamat datang ke blog saya. Ini blog direka khusus untuk mata pelajaran EDU 3103 Murid dan Alam Belajar. Tujuan blog ini dibuat untuk memenuhi tugasan EDU 3103 disamping untuk memuat naik maklumat mengenai pendidikan khas.