Category Archives: Introduction to Business

Hour of Code

On Tuesday we’ll be leading a session during the Hour of Code, but first we’re going to build the project in its entirety.

What Most Schools Don’t Teach

code_anywhereHTML and CSS

HTML and CSS are the backbone of the internet – you know that thing we use every day? Today, we’re going to learn how to code in those languages to build a responsive splash page which is sort of like what would happen if a business card and a webpage had a baby.


Finished Project


On Tuesday, we’ll use a slightly different tool that is easier to work with for first time coders. Check it out below.

Your classmates will write the HTML in the file below.

Lesson 0: Advertising

Before we take the deep dive, let’s take a look at a major component of  marketing by examining a few different mediums. Let’s see how each presents advertisements.

Where’s the ad?

In a small group, select one of the mediums below. Create a Google Slide and include a screenshot, picture, or embedded video of the advertisement. Explain whether you think the advertisement is effective and why?

  • YouTube
  •  Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Television
  • Magazines
  • Movies
  • BuzzFeed

When you’re done, share the file with Mr. Macfadden.

Lesson 2A: Career Exploration

In this lesson, you’re going to select three careers to explore and then present your findings about one of them.

Bureau of Labor Statistics

The United States government offers its citizens access to invaluable data about jobs and careers. Choose three different careers to explore, then visit the website below to learn more about them.

Afterward, choose one career that interests you most and complete the job profile below that has been shared with you via Google Classroom.

Career Profile

Lesson 4: Tasty Dog

In this lesson, we’ll take a look at some fictitious, though plausible, financial data for Tasty Dog, a fast food restaurant in Oak Park.

Tasty Dog

As you look through the financial data in the link below, consider what revenues (money coming in) and expenses (money going out) Tasty Dog must cope with.


  • How does a business owner use this info?
  • If you are considering starting your own business how might you use this type of information?

“The Profit”

Check out this clip from the show “The Profit” to see Marcus Lemonis break down the financial data of the restaurant Standard Burger (start at 34:29)

Practice Problems

Final Project

The final project for this class entails putting everything that you’ve learned into action for an idea that you generated during the 100 ideas assignment.

Lean Canvas

Choose your best business idea from your list of 100, and then click the link below to make your own copy of The Lean Canvas. Spend 20 minutes completing each section of the canvas to the best of your ability.


Follow the directions in the rubric below for this project. Make sure you examine each requirement carefully as this project is worth 50% of your final exam grade.

Lesson 2: The Law

Every industry carries with it its own set of rules, laws, and obligations that you are responsibility for knowing, understanding, and abiding. This lesson deals with something every business must consider – what legal structure to operate under.

Legal Structure

There are two major issues to consider when selecting a legal structure for your company.

  1. What legal protections can a structure provide you?
  2. What are the tax implications of a legal structure?

There exists an entire field of law dedicated to the issues above – corporate law. Within that field there are many sub-fields. For the purposes of this lesson, we’re going to look at two of the most common legal structures that small businesses, startups, and early entrepreneurs select.

  • Sole Proprietorships
  • LLCs or S corps

LLC vs Sole Proprietorship

Read the following article at to examine two of the most popular legal structures for small businesses:


Franchise Opportunities

If you’d like to own your own business, but don’t want to assume the risk of starting from scratch, you might find that a franchise makes a lot of sense. Check out the website below to search for franchise opportunities:

As you search, identify the following:

  • What sort of business is your selected franchise opportunity?
  • What is the minimum investment required?
  • What are the benefits of this type of franchise?

Lesson 1: Finance

The fact is, it costs money to start a business. In this lesson, we’ll explore two different approaches to raising that money to get started.


The term bootstrapping appears to have originated in the 19th century. Whatever its origin though, the term refers to starting, running, and maintaining a business without taking outside money.

The Chicago based company, 37 Signals, champions bootstrapping as they themselves bootstrapped their company early on. They even feature a section on their site, called “Bootstrapped and Proud” which features companies that bring in over a million dollars in revenue annually, didn’t take VC money, and are profitable.

Check out the page and examine one of the companies featured on the site:

After you check out one of the businesses, create 3-5 slides (in Google Slides) that:

  • Introduces your company
  • Describes their main product(s)/service(s)
  • Examine the company’s values or lessons learned by bootstrapping

Raising Money

Some businesses simply require more money than any one individual could ever supply bootstrapping. Equipment, infrastructure, personnel, expansion: all of these things add up quickly and significantly. In this part of the lesson, we’ll watch scenes from the hit show Shark Tank and examine the (sometimes endless) debate over money and equity.

  • Equity: the portion of a business divided amongst shareholders

As you watch the scenes, decide whether or not you think the “Sharks” were being too greedy, or if the company owners got a good deal.

Crowd Funding

In recent years, a new financing option has emerged on the scene called crowdfunding. In this model, businesses, projects, products, and ideas are funded in advance by a large pool of supporters. Visit one of the links below, find a project, and be prepared to share it with the class.


  • Be prepared to share your campaign with the class
  • Determine if you think the campaign will be successful – why?
  • Be prepared to explain why crowdfunding is less risky, in this instance, than other forms of funding

Divide the Pie

Unit 5: Business

Each of the topics in this unit merit their own course (or courses). Consider this section an overview of some of the issues you’ll have to address when you start your own business.

Table of Contents

Key Terms

  • Bootstrap/bootstrapping
  • Angel Investment
  • Venture Capital (VC)
  • Equity
  • Corporate Shield
  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • Y-Combinator
  • more soon…

Lesson 5: Split Testing

e-Commerce provides us with quantifiable measures that allow us to test our marketing strategies unlike at any other medium.

Split Testing

Split testing, also known as “AB” or multivariable testing, is a process of comparing two or more ideas in a small sample size before moving forward with a larger campaign. Certain software like MailChimp and Constant Contact have automated features that will optimize this for you, but we can run a simple test here in class to understand the principles of this process.

To learn more about Split Testing, check out this excellent article here:

The Test

Here’s how we’re going to run our own split test:

  • In your small group, write a morning announcement to promote the Good Notes fundraiser
  • Share the announcement with the class
  • Choose the two best to vote on as a class
  • Submit the winner of the split test to the SAO to be read during Tuesday’s morning announcements