• The Open University

This course is part of the Start Your Own Business ExpertTrack

Start Your Own Business: Marketing a New Business

Gain the skills to develop a compelling sales proposition that entices your customers to buy into your product or service.

Female business owner wearing apron in zero waste stock store
  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    5 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Included in an ExpertTrack

    Course 2 of 4
  • Get full ExpertTrack access

    $39/monthFind out more

Develop a brand and positioning strategy to meet your customer needs

Understanding who will be interested in your product or service and what will motivate them to buy it is an essential part of your business plan.

On this two-week course from The Open University, you’ll start by deconstructing the product or service you intend to sell into its essential components. Based on this, you’ll then develop your unique selling proposition (USP) – a brand and positioning strategy that clearly defines your business in the minds of your target customers.

Gain practical business planning skills

You may have a very clear vision of what your product or service will look like, or you may have just scratched the surface of your idea. Wherever you are in your journey, this course will provide you with tools and techniques to ensure your business or product appeals to the right people.

Using practical examples and case studies, you’ll gain the skills to create objectives, design distribution and promotional strategies, and set the best prices for your customers. You’ll also discover how to find your competitors and what you can do to set yourself apart.

Develop the expertise to effectively leverage marketing opportunities

The course will act as a vital checklist to ensure you have considered all options in the promotion and distribution of your offer and that you have answers ready for stakeholders who ask about your product or service design.

Once your product or service is defined, you’ll focus on how to create cost effective marketing and communications that appeal to the right people, and how you can leverage marketing opportunities through your network.

By the end of the course, you’ll have the tools to create a product or service that responds to market needs and create plans to take your offer to specific customer segments.

What topics will you cover?

  • Understanding customers’ motivation
  • Product and brand development
  • Customer segmentation
  • Comparisons with competitors
  • Promotion, pricing and distribution

Prove you're job ready

Highlight the new, job-relevant skills you’ve gained and supplement existing qualifications with a hard-earned, industry-specific digital certificate – plus one for every course within your ExpertTrack.

  • Learn the latest in your chosen industry or subject.
  • Complete each course and pass assessments.
  • Receive certificates validated by the educating organisation.
  • Impress employers with learning outcomes you can add to your CV.
  • Make your career dreams a reality.

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Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Design a product or service that meets the needs of specific customer segments
  • Create a brand identity that resonates with customers
  • Develop a communications plan that cost-effectively influences potential customers
  • Develop a distribution strategy that manages reward and risk for your venture
  • Design a pricing strategy that maximises value for you and your customers

Who is the course for?

Whether you plan to create a full-time venture or part time ‘side-hustle’ alongside a day job; you’re starting a brick-and-mortar business or an online venture; or you plan to utilise established platforms such as Etsy, Amazon and the like, this course will teach you how to get started.

It is suitable for learners at all levels, whether you haven’t ventured into self-employment and entrepreneurship before or have previously run a business and wish to refresh your skills for the current landscape.

Who will you learn with?

Haider is a Senior Lecturer in Marketing at the Open University and a visiting Professor at other Universities. He has consulted & taught globally and published in the Journal of Marketing Management.

Who developed the course?

The Open University

As the UK’s largest university, The Open University (OU) supports thousands of students to achieve their goals and ambitions via supported distance learning, helping to fit learning around professional and personal life commitments.

  • Established

  • Location

    Milton Keynes, UK
  • World ranking

    Top 510Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020

About this ExpertTrack

Gain the knowledge and practical skills to turn your small business ambitions into reality, with The Open University.

Start learning today - free 7-day trial

After your free trial you can:

  • Pay $39 per month to keep learning online
  • Have complete control over your subscription; you can cancel any time
  • Work at your own pace and set your own deadlines at every stage
  • Only pay while you’re learning; the subscription will cancel automatically when you finish
  • Complete online assessments to test your knowledge and prove your skills
  • Earn digital course certificates and a final award that you can share online, with potential employers, and your professional network
  • Keep access to the content of courses you complete even after your subscription ends

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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