Welcome to the course

Welcome to the third course in the Starting a Business series. In this course you consider customers and competitors.

This course is just one of a series designed by the University of Leeds for school-based learners and their teachers. As this is an open course, other learners are also welcome; as you will have seen from the welcome area, we have a diverse cohort signed up. However, it is important to recognise that this course, and the content and activities within it, has been specifically designed to help those studying at school or college make the transition to studying at university or the work place.

You can use the course map to help you navigate your journey through the course. Select the image to access it, or you can download the map from the Downloads section.

An image showing the course map - find the full version in the 'Downloads' section below

The first week of the course will be of interest to you whether you already have an idea for a business or you just have an interest in how businesses start. You will hear from Dr Sarah Underwood a lecturer in enterprise. You will also meet Ashleigh, an entrepreneur trying to determine her business’s target market.

A photograph of Ashleigh

Sharing your ideas

During the second week of the course, you will have the opportunity to share your business ideas with fellow learners. You can refine your thoughts and improve your business plans by asking others to challenge your ideas. You may find learners with similar ideas; collaborations might prove a possible route forward.

However, it is important to remember that this is a competitive world – if you do have an idea for the “next big thing”, you may choose to keep some of the details to yourself.

You need to weigh up the risk of sharing your ideas against a great opportunity to receive feedback and learn from others. Whether you discuss your ideas in full or part is completely up to you; just take a moment to consider the possible repercussions before you get involved.

To find out more about protecting your intellectual property, you can access the UK Government site in the See Also section.

It is anticipated that it will take around two hours to complete the tasks during each of the two weeks. This includes watching videos, joining discussion, reading articles and completing any exercises. If you have more time, you can explore the links provided to additional reading and resources.

Have your say:

Now we’d like to hear about you. Please use the comments to introduce yourself and share your reasons for joining this course. Please also let us know where you are from; this course is open to learners world-wide.

Take some time to read the posts from other learners. If you come across someone with similar interests to you, you may choose to Follow them. You can then filter the discussions to only view the comments from those you are following. This can help to make discussions easier to manage.

If you are mentioning the course on social media, remember to tag comments with #FLbizCustomers. You can also follow us on Twitter or Facebook where you can find the latest news and updates about all our online courses.

Next steps

When you are ready to continue, click Mark as complete. You can monitor your progress through the course by selecting Progress at the top of page.

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This article is from the free online course:

Starting a Business 3: Customers and Competitors

University of Leeds