IB Business and Management was personally quite an enjoyable subject for me. Although I did SL, it was at least a subject I had no troubles understanding or applying to real life situations.
I managed to get a level 6. In fact, I was one mark off the grade boundary for a level 7. Not going to lie. I’m still a bit peeved about that to this day but hey. A level 6 is better than a level 5.
So today I’m going to share 3 essential tips that you need to remember when studying for IB Business. They’re a bit unorthodox so bare with me here.
Discuss More With Your Teacher
You read that right. Your teachers are a goldmine of information when it comes to developing your own thinking. I think I talked to the teacher and discussed certain topics of study at least once per lesson.
I did this partly out of curiosity and also partly because I wanted to strengthen my evaluative skills by being confronted with different opinions.
Now, personally I believe that if you’re genuinely interested in what the teacher has to say, you’ll retain more information in the long run. This is why I was always asking my teacher about course topics or businesses that interested me.
Personally, I remember closely following HTC and their decline in market share. I also remember asking about Samsung and their massive marketing budget.
So regardless of whether it’s related to the course or not, you should try to take advantage of the fact that your teachers are great sources of study. They will be able to help develop your perspective and how you analyse Business information.
You can discuss businesses, topics in the IB Business course, or you could do a mix of both where you ask about how certain businesses apply the theory you’ve just learned.
As I said before, it’s a bit of an unorthodox tip.
Remember, you shouldn’t discuss with your teachers if you’re just going to sit there and not take anything in. If you’re genuinely interested in something business related, then discuss it with the teacher. Otherwise it’s fruitless trying to use this tactic.
Don’t Just Memorize in IB Business. Try To Find Real Life Examples.
Let me clarify. Memorizing is certainly a part of the whole studying process but what I mean by this is that you should try to put theories into context.
For example, are there any businesses you visit often? Are you a consumer of books, electronics, clothes, make-up, shoes, movie tickets, RC cars? Which brands do you shop at the most? Where do you do your groceries more often?
As I stated earlier, HTC is my favourite smartphone company and all my phones have been of their brand. I’ve followed news from HTC for the past 5 years. Naturally by the time the IA came around, I knew exactly what business to research.
My point here is that when you’re studying theories, try to think of a business that you shop at or search for regularly and see if you can make sense of the theory by applying it to them.
I did this a lot with smartphone companies. Apple, LG, Samsung, Blackberry (very good to apply theory to in my opinion), Sony, HTC, Huawei, Lenovo, Asus etc. I was relating theories as best I could to businesses I was familiar with because I was always following news about these businesses.
So try to apply what you learn to businesses you’re following. Doesn’t matter what type of company it is. It helps if you can put theories into context because they become much easier to understand or in the very least, you know how the theory works with real life examples.
This also helps with how you apply theory to businesses. You’ll be given case studies in your Business exam papers so it will help if you get used to applying the theories you learn to real life or case study scenarios since it’s part of the marking criteria.
Stay Up To Date With A Business
You may find that once in awhile it’s good to Google your favourite brand or a company (or one that you have some form of interest it). I’ve already mentioned the importance of applying theory to real life and discussing business with your teacher. This is third and final unorthodox piece of the puzzle.
You see, I find it very difficult sometimes to understand theories of any subject without having something to relate it to. In my case, I was lucky in that every time I needed a new smartphone, I did a lot of research before my next purchase. This meant that I developed a natural curiosity with the businesses I looked at for my smartphones.
I can’t really emphasize it enough. Being able to have a real life example to look towards as far as theory goes is far more useful than simply trying to understand what you’re reading without context.
I mean sure you could go:
“Alright so this is what above-the-line promotion means so Samsung for example could do ABC. There. I understand it now.”
Uh no. You probably don’t.
Every business has their own unique methodology of operating their business. Reading up on the latest business news regarding these companies helps you understand the different approaches each one can take.
For example, Apple doesn’t need to use pricing penetration strategies because they’re already an established brand with a system of their own. Xiaomi, a much smaller company can’t say the same as it has a smaller market share globally and is in a more competitive market (Android). Xiaomi may NEED to use price penetrating strategies to establish themselves as a brand.
That’s just an example of why you can’t just generally apply the theory wherever. Each business is different and you will discover this if you follow at least one business.
It also helps to develop your analytical thinking because you’ll always be asking yourself:
“OK so what theory can I apply to Top Shop in their recent marketing campaign?”
“So today Apple announced it’s new Apple car… what kind of theories are they implementing to succeed in this diversification move?”
Those are just examples. If you follow a specific business, it will give you something to discuss with your teacher. It would be interesting to see how a more experienced person would judge or analyze the business you follow.
So there you have it. A very unusual trio of tips but nevertheless still very helpful. I used these tactics myself so just remember that they might not work for you. Just as each business operates differently, so too do we as humans.
Either way, I hope they’ve been interesting and have at least been a little bit helpful!
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