• University of Leeds

Starting a Business 3: Customers and Competitors

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

50,803 enrolled on this course

Starting a Business 3: Customers and Competitors

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’.

Download video: standard or HD

Skip to 0 minutes and 9 seconds This 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 seconds They 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 seconds Sign up now to “Starting a Business: Customers and Competitors.”

Syllabus

  • Week 1

    Understanding your market

    • Welcome

      This week, you'll explore the importance of understanding your customers and market. But before you get started, take the time to meet your fellow learners and share your reasons for joining this course.

    • Customers and competitors

      This activity explains the difference between a market and industry, and the challenges you can face when marketing a new business. You'll also spend time analysing a specific market.

    • Ashleigh's business challenge

      In this activity Ashleigh shares her business challenge. This involves deciding which direction her business should take. You have the opportunity to join a team of advisers in helping Ashleigh move forward

    • Summary

      To close this week we would like to introduce you to some of the options for studying at the University of Leeds. We also look forward to next week.

  • Week 2

    Realising your vision

    • About week 2

      This week, you will perform a competitor analysis and identify how companies differentiate themselves from competitors. You will also think about how you can pitch a business idea to potential customers using the four Ps.

    • Your turn

      In this activity, you have the opportunity to perform a competitor analysis for a business or business idea. You will also write a pitch for a business considering the four Ps - Product, Price, Promotion, and Place.

    • Your Business plan

      Throughout this series of courses, you are encouraged to document your ideas and thoughts in order to produce a coherent business plan.

    • What next?

      Having reached the end of this course, you can test your understanding and then look forward to the next course in the series, or further courses from the University of Leeds.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. 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...

  • 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?

Associate Professor of Enterprise at University of Leeds.

Passionate about supporting and developing creativity and entrepreneurship.

Who developed the course?

University of Leeds

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.

Recommended

Ways to learn

Unlimited

Upgrade this course

Basic access

Choose the best way to learn for you!

$15.83/month

Billed annually at $189.99/year

$39

Free

Endless possibilities!Unlock your expertiseTry before you upgrade
Access to this courseticktickLimited to 4 weeks
Access to ALL eligible short courses with additional benefits, for a yeartickcrosscross
Discuss your learning in commentstickticktick
Tests to check your learningticktickcross
Certificate when you're eligibleDigital onlyPrinted and digitalcross
Join and Upgrade

Ways to learn

Upgrade this course for extra benefits, or buy Unlimited to access this course and hundreds of other short courses for a year. Or, join with basic access.

Upgrade this course

$39

Unlock your expertise

  • Access to this course
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Certificate when you're eligible

Unlimited

$15.83/month

Billed annually at $189.99/year

Endless possibilities!

  • All of the above for ALL eligible short courses, for a year*

*Digital certificates only

Basic access

Free

Try before you buy

  • Limited access to course content for 4 weeks

Find out more about certificates, Upgrades or Unlimited.

Available until 22 November 2021 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

Find out more about certificates, Upgrades or Unlimited.

Available until 22 November 2021 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • 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

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

Learner reviews

Learner reviews cannot be loaded due to your cookie settings. Please and refresh the page to view this content.

Do you know someone who'd love this course? Tell them about it...

You can use the hashtag #FLbizCustomers to talk about this course on social media.