What is business?

There are dozens of definitions for the term ‘business’, many of which may sound complex or daunting to creative people who are considering starting a business. So let’s demystify things.

“Business is the mechanism by which trade is carried out.”

Nothing more complicated than that. And defining ‘trade’ is even simpler:

“Trade is the voluntary exchange of goods and/or service.”

If you design something, write something or do any of a million different creative things and someone pays you for it, you’ve exchanged goods or services and you’ve traded. You have conducted business and you can rightfully claim to be in business.

Trade is, in essence, a very simple thing. It consists of a client with a desire to purchase something and a supplier with a desire to sell it. The object of a successful business transaction is to match the demand with the supply for an acceptable fee.

Sometimes the supplier has to create or stimulate a demand. This is called ‘marketing’. And sometimes the client will need to find ways of satisfying their unique needs by commissioning a suitable supplier.

With creative work, the process of trade often requires negotiation in order to come to agreeable terms. This may involve dealing with issues of copyright and licensing and will usually concern delivery specifications and deadlines.

Being in business brings certain legal obligations with it, none of which need to be overly complicated, all of which can easily be dealt with. They just can’t be avoided. It also entails dealing with financial issues, but luckily there are lots of people eager to help with this.

Above all, being in business is not a mysterious art. Understanding and awareness go a long way in making things work. cibnet’s goal is to promote that understanding.

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