Online course in Business & Management

Starting a Business 3: Customers and Competitors

Find out how understanding and targeting your market can help your business stand out from the crowd.

  • Duration 2 weeks
  • Weekly study 2 hours
  • Learn Free
  • Extra benefits From $39 Find out more

Why join the course?

To run a successful business you need to understand who your customers are and more importantly, how you are going to reach them. Whether you have an idea for a future venture or you already have a side-line business whilst studying, this course will help you to recognise and understand your target market. It will give you the time to plan and help you to start documenting your thoughts in a structured business plan while allowing you to share your ideas with others.

This course is the third in a series of six about ‘starting a business’.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 9 secondsThis is the third course in a series of six, designed to help you on the journey of entrepreneurship. In this course, we focus on the importance of understanding customers and competitors when starting a business. To run a successful business, you need to understand who your customers are, and importantly, how you're going to reach them. You will learn how to understand the difference between a market and an industry. This will help you to define your market and the product or service you can offer to that market. Through videos, activities, and quizzes, this series of business courses introduce case studies of young entrepreneurs who are already only on the journey.

Skip to 0 minutes and 46 secondsThey share their business challenges with you and a panel of business advisers. Through discussion and activities, you have plenty of opportunity to define and work on your business plan, as well as helping others.

Skip to 0 minutes and 59 secondsSign up now to "Starting a Business: Customers and Competitors."

What topics will you cover?

  • Define a market: identifying customers and competitors
  • The theory of understanding markets: the differences between a market and an industry
  • Analyse a market: the market size and its potential
  • How to determine a business’ target market
  • Competitor analysis
  • How to target specific customers
  • The business plan: customers and competitors

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

  • Available now
    This course started 25 Nov 2019

What will you achieve?

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

  • Assess the importance of understanding customers and competitors when starting a business.
  • Discuss the difference between a market and an industry to help define the market and the product or service to offer to that market.
  • Evaluate the entrepreneur’s business challenge: Which markets should Ashleigh target for her product?
  • Explore the market for a business plan.
  • Discuss the size, scale and characteristics of your market.
  • Summarise your key competitors or those of another business by performing a competitor analysis.

Who is the course for?

This course is part of the Going to University collection which has been specifically designed for students at schools and colleges. They provide a taster of undergraduate study at the University of Leeds and help students to decide which subject to study at university.

Completion of the courses will also enhance students’ university applications.

The courses can also be used as a teachers’ classroom enrichment resource.

Courses in this collection are also great for people that want an introduction in the specific subjects discussed in each course.

Who will you learn with?

Sarah Underwood

Sarah Underwood

Associate Professor of Enterprise at University of Leeds.

Passionate about supporting and developing creativity and entrepreneurship.

Who developed the course?

As one of the UK’s largest research-based universities, the University of Leeds is a member of the prestigious Russell Group and a centre of excellence for teaching.

Join this course

Start this course for free, upgrade for extra benefits, or buy Unlimited to access this course and hundreds of other short courses for a year.

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  • Access to this course for 4 weeks

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  • Access to this course for as long as it’s on FutureLearn
  • Access to this course’s tests as well as a print and digital Certificate of Achievement once you’re eligible
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  • Access to this course, and hundreds of other FutureLearn short courses and tests for a year
  • A printable digital Certificate of Achievement on all short courses once you’re eligible
  • The freedom to keep access to any course you've achieved a digital Certificate of Achievement on, for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn
  • The flexibility to complete your choice of short courses in your own time within the year
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