Intro to Entrepreneurship

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What is an entrepreneur? 

Have you ever wanted to open your own store or sell homemade products? Create your own hours and schedule gigs for yourself? You might be a future entrepreneur.  

It's easy to picture self-employed people as those who own big businesses and know all the secrets to success. An entrepreneur has a bigger definition. He or she can be anyone who works for themselves, whether they're a professional speaker, a tutor, an app creator, or a DJ. The possibilities are endless.  

You don't need to know everything about business to get started, just have an idea and the determination to create it. Explore the Resources section for tips and tutorials, or find inspiring stories from other blind and partially sighted entrepreneurs. Read through some basic business terms below to get started. 

A group of colleagues sits around a table with laptops and they point to a sheet of data.

So what do all these business terms mean? 


Target Audience: your audience you hope to reach with your business. Consider their demographics and psychographics. 

Demographics: Age, gender, location, marital status, income level, and education level are all important factors. 

Psychographics: Factors such as how the target audience feels about things, how they think, and so on. Used in consideration of target audience and marketing methods. 

Sales Channel: Channels through which you can make sales, e.g. online, in store, or at trade shows. 

Seasonality: factor that can affect sales. Some goods and services are more/only popular at certain times. e.g.,, hot chocolate and Christmas trees or winter coats are more popular around winter; flowers and ice cream are more popular and in demand in the summer. 


Direct competitors: Businesses who sell the same product as you, e.g., another cake shop, another DJ, another bookkeeper.  

Indirect competitors: Indirect Competitors are companies that offer a product in the same category as you, but don't necessarily sell the same thing, e.g. if you're a DJ, your competitor might be a music streaming service. 


Cashflow Statement: measures how much money is going out vs. how much is coming in to your business. 
Balance Statement: Measures your assets versus. liabilities. To be successful, assets should be higher than liabilities. 
Assets: things that make you money, i.e. funds in the bank that gather interest, or things you own like real estate, intellectual property (such as software, patents, songs or scripts) and investments like bonds. 
Liabilities: things that cost you money, such as rent, your phone bill, or vehicle upkeep. 
Top Line: The revenue, a.k.a. gross. What you make from all sales. 
Bottom Line: A business's profit, a.k.a. net. The money left after expenses. 
Angel investors: People and groups who invest large amounts of money in businesses. 
Venture capital (firms): Investors that will usually write a cheque between 7 to 8 digits (Often in the $5 million range.) Usually, you have been successful and active for a while, but need cash to grow. 
Private equity: money borrowed in very large sums (typically billions). Used generally for huge businesses, like airlines. 

Types of Businesses 

Small business: Small scale, often local businesses like family owned shops or chef-owned restaurants. 
Medium business: A mid-range business that often spans multiple locations but is usually owned privately. For example, a small franchise of sporting goods stores that's only in one city. 
Enterprise: Big, usually publicly traded businesses. They might be in multiple regions or countries and have a large workforce, like Bell and Air Canada. 

Methods of Business Transaction 

Business to business: companies that sell to other businesses, e.g raw material suppliers for manufacturing. 
Business to consumer: sells directly to consumers, e.g. grocery stores, boutiques, or taxis. 
Business to government: Sells  to the government, e.g. selling boots to park rangers or tanks to the military. 
Marketplace/two-way business: Hosting a public marketplace, but not selling directly to businesses or consumers. e.g. Amazon marketplace, Kijiji, and eBay. Often take a small percentage of the sales.