The two year BTEC level 3 Extended Diploma allows learners to explore all aspects of business enterprise, as well as developing essential industry skills required to run a business. Learners will develop as individuals, giving them the confidence to stand out in the world of work either through self-employment or as an employer or employee.
What will you study?
These units are included in Year 1 of the course:
The Innovative Entrepreneur
Entrepreneurs are innovative by nature and new enterprises are usually built on innovation of one type or another. A new enterprise may provide entirely new products, or offer established products in a different way. In this unit, learners will start to explore different types of creativity including the development of new products or services, new markets and new business models. The common factors for business success include having a clear vision for the product or service being offered and satisfying the needs or aspirations of customers.
Business Planning and Pitching
It has been said that failing to plan is planning to fail and this is never more pertinent than when preparing to set up of a new business. Developing a business and bringing a product or service to market is a complex and creative operation, and systematic planning and reflection will enhance the chances of success.
Financial Planning and Implementation
A successful business or social enterprise needs to be financially sound. It is not just about how much money is needed to set up the enterprise, conduct market research, establish premises or pay for equipment etc., but the running costs that need to be met on a day-to-day basis such as advertising, rent, utilities and services that keep the business afloat. The measurement of a business’s financial performance requires an understanding of a basic profit and loss account and balance sheet. This unit gives learners the opportunity to prepare them.
Launching your Business Vision
It is one thing to produce a business plan and present it to prospective sponsors but it is another to implement it and carry out the actions needed to open the door to customers. Learners will use key project management principles to devise a strategy to carry out all the tasks required to move from a business plan to an up-and-running business.
Leadership and Teamwork
People are the most important resource for any business and entrepreneurs will need to work with a range of people for guidance, advice and training when setting up and developing their business. If the business is to grow and develop, entrepreneurs will need to employ staff and take a professional approach to working with others to ensure that the vision and values of the business are understood and shared. This unit will help learners understand the factors that contribute to teamwork and be able to practise working together in team situations, both as a member and as leader.
Operating your Business
Skills in ongoing management are vital in business. Entrepreneurs must be able to ensure that they can successfully respond to issues that arise in the day-to-day management of their businesses. This unit focuses on three aspects of this day-to-day management: networking, time management and understanding the business environment; these three skills are essential to the smooth operation of business. In this unit, learners will analyse the business environment that has an impact on all businesses.
Working as an Entrepreneur
An entrepreneur needs the skills and knowledge to oversee all aspects and operations of a business. Therefore, it is important for learners to have the opportunity to develop first-hand experience of entrepreneurial activities and be able to undertake a specific consultancy task with a host organisation. Running their own micro-businesses will give learners the benefit of first-hand experience of how other entrepreneurs and Businesses work.
E-marketing and Website Design
E-marketing uses the same principles as traditional marketing methods but with the additional aid of digital technologies to help sell goods and services. E-marketing is available 24/7, has a global reach, is cost effective and has the flexibility to complement traditional marketing methods; in this unit learners will examine the role of e-marketing in a modern marketing context and the benefits of this approach for both consumers and businesses.
These units are included in Year 2 of the course:
Monitoring the Performance of your Business
After all the planning and pitching, all new microbusinesses and social enterprises open their doors to their first customers and the business gets underway. At this stage there are many balls to keep in the air, from dealing with customers to ensuring that the business remains legally compliant. In this unit, learners will learn how to manage customer service processes, record transactions and maintain stocks and equipment so that both current and future customers can be served, and monitor the performance of the business, including using financial performance measures such as projected cash flows and break-even charts. Other performance measures relating to sales and marketing will also be investigated.
Business in an International Context
The growth of the internet and practice of e-marketing has made going global an easier option for entrepreneurs. However, doing business internationally is often more complex than doing business in the home market. This unit will help learners explore the issues facing a domestic (UK) business when it expands its operations into the international sphere. Also, learners can gain some insight by considering the issues faced as a result of overseas businesses expanding their operations by moving into the UK market.
Planning the Future Strategy of your Business
Growth is important both for microbusinesses that want to increase their trading and service provision, and for social enterprises that want to reach more people. The leap from micro-business to a business that has the potential to grow is a difficult one and one that many entrepreneurs do not attempt. The employment of others and the development of the management capacity of the entrepreneur are critical in the expansion of any business. Learners will develop knowledge of how to employ people, and the management role.
Market Research and Analysis
Entrepreneurs need to attract customers and it is important when setting up a business that sufficient research is undertaken to assess the potential demand for the service or product being offered. Marketing embraces the function of meeting customer requirements and getting the right product in the right place at the right time. It is important for businesses to make decisions which are based on the findings of market research. Learners will have the opportunity to carry out their own market research in a specific marketplace. This will enable them to develop skills in, and knowledge of, different methods of data collection and analysis and to interpret their findings.
Development Planning for a Career in Business
Business organisations operate in a rapidly changing global economy and their labour requirements are constantly changing. Implications for learners include the impact on the job and career opportunities that are available to them. In an increasingly competitive labour market, it is essential that learners recognise the importance of planning their career. This unit covers developing a career plan based on research and realistic targets.
One of the most important developments in business in recent times has been the increasing use of e-commerce. It has revolutionised many marketplaces and opened up opportunities never before imagined. Businesses that are not exploring the use of e-commerce are in danger of finding themselves being overtaken by those who are utilising this technology. E-commerce uses the internet to build and enhance relationships with customers, partners and other businesses. This can involve processing orders electronically, handling customer service and cooperating with business partners.
Business Project Management
This first part of this unit introduces the learner to the techniques involved in planning and preparing a project. The administration function invariably involves work tasks to be completed within a defined scope, timescales and budgets. These are in essence projects and can include running a conference, setting up new administrative systems or organising the relocation of a work team. The basic principles of project planning involve defining and agreeing project deliverables and outcomes, setting milestones for performance and quality, scheduling, and consideration of stakeholder requirements.
The second part of the unit introduces the learner to a range of processes which are used to ensure effective project management. There are various accepted techniques to support the management of projects, including Gantt charts, critical path analysis, risk assessments and contingency planning. Learners will have the opportunity to apply these in a realistic setting. Supporting projects requires excellent communication and time management skills for activities such as setting and monitoring a project budget, solving problems during the project implementation stage and reporting project outcomes.
Recruitment and Selection in Business
Recruiting the right people is the key to the success of many organisations. These organisations ensure that the processes and procedures involved in recruitment and selection meet their needs and are legal. In this unit, learners will develop an understanding of the impact of the regulatory framework on the recruitment process.
Business Markets and the Economy
Through a study of government activities, and the operation of different types of business market, learners will analyse markets to explain how they work and how producers and consumers behave as supply and demand for goods and services interact to determine product price.
Social enterprise is often regarded as the business model for the 21st century and the charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises of what is referred to as the ‘third sector’ are becoming increasingly significant in the business world. Social enterprises can be defined as businesses set up to tackle a social and/or environmental need.
The one year BTEC level 3 qualifications is a fast track course, ideal for those who have recently completed a programme of study and wish to explore and develop a business idea they may have.