Introduction: Introduce the firm, itâ€™s background and recent history. Do not provide too many unnecessary details about the companyâ€™s history, etc. Provide some summary of the firmâ€™s financial performance over the past five years and how that performance compares to its competition. That performance should include gross and net profit margin and stock price and how all three compare to key competitors in the industry. From this and more qualitative data, evaluate your general sense of how the firm is performing. This should take approximately two pages with any graphs or tables you create placed in the appendix.
SWOT Analysis Conduct a high-level SWOT analysis of the firm, based on information that is not more than a year old. At this stage a solid but not extensive analysis is expected. Your SWOT analysis should take up about two pages and should provide more than a thumbnail sketch in a table.
Problem statement: Combine the most critical points from the Introduction and SWOT analysis to define a problem statement. The problem statement should summarize the essence of what the firm is facing as a critical issue or issues. Clearly indicate the specific points from your SWOT analysis that lead to this problem statement. Be pragmatic in your identification of a critical problem statement with due consideration to data availability. Do not just state profitability, growth or survivability as the critical problem because its not specific enough. Argue why the selected problem is critical in terms of its impact on profitability, growth or survivability. This should take about one page.