Are you an entrepreneur or a small business owner? Do you know the difference?
An entrepreneur can be a business owner, but are all business owners entrepreneurs? How do leadership styles differ, and what characteristics do these essential roles posses? Is one role more important than the other?
There tends to be much confusion between the terms small business owner and entrepreneur, and the two titles are often used interchangeably. But what really is the difference?
What Separates Entrepreneurs from Other Business Owners?
Very simply put, entrepreneurs start companies with a clear vision in mind, and continue to strive towards it’s growth. Small business owners have decided to succeed on their terms, by starting their own company.
Research conducted, discussed in detail in the Harvard Business Review, has found a certain of skills and characteristics of individuals with an entrepreneurial mind. They predicted the people who would become serial entrepreneurs, with over 90 percent accuracy, by assessing five key traits. These included:
- Personal accountability
- Goal orientation
- Interpersonal skills
The general consensus seems to be that a main difference in defining entrepreneurs, is the tenacious ability to take on big risks when it comes to developing their brand or business.
Most small business owners, on the other hand, are generally not extremely eager to take on such risky endeavors. Rather, they are driven by taking control of their success, and maintaining the daily rhythms of the business.
Entrepreneurs tend to be very high energy people. The journey of an entrepreneur starts with a thought; a simple idea. An entrepreneur will nurture and feed this idea, until it blossoms into a thriving entity. An entrepreneur is not defined by rules, he or she makes their own. They don’t follow the path, they make their own. Entrepreneurs are what you would call, trailblazers.
An entrepreneur is excellent at predicting what people need now and in the future, and knows how to provide exactly what the market is void of.
When starting their own company, entrepreneurs start from the ground up, forming the unique identity of their business or brand as it grows. They design, launch, and run their business from the very beginning, which is often very small. Entrepreneurs are the unique faces behind the brands.
Open-minded and ready to adapt to changing times, entrepreneurs are focused on the bigger picture. They don’t primarily concern themselves with the techniques and methods, but the purpose and uniqueness of the service or product, and continued growth of the business or brand. These individuals have a special drive that takes their ideas and passions to bigger and better places helping and serving as many people as they can.
The small business owners, focused on operational efficiency, do exactly what needs to be done in order to implement efficient strategies to get all of the smaller tasks and projects done.
Financially successful small business owners must be excellent communicators, who can manage a team of employees with a positive and professional attitude. They oversee many employees, with many tasks and projects to accomplish, and deadlines to meet.
In contrast, entrepreneurs are truly focused on growing the business and adapting to the market. Scaling and building their brand is extremely important.
Financially successful entrepreneurs tend to surround themselves with experts, continuously gaining knowledge, networking, and improving their small business.
How this unique? What am I offering that nobody else is? How can this be improved? These are essentials questions financially successful entrepreneurs ask themselves.
Even though entrepreneurs tend to take on bigger risk, big risks usually mean big rewards, and that’s the name of the game for entrepreneurs. These creative, born leaders start from nothing or very little, and work their way to the top using sheer passion, determination, and above all, vision. They do all the work from the beginning, such as finding resources and marketing. They are unique compared to someone who simply inherits a business, or manages a business that sells products or services.
Entrepreneurs continue to change and adapt to the world and people’s needs. The main force behind an entrepreneur is one of passion and not just profit. They are always seeking the next big idea that relates to their business. Never satisfied, always hungry, entrepreneurs strive to take their ideas and business to the next level.
Designing, developing, and growing your unique business and brand is very different than just owning and running your own business.
Most small business owners are focused on operational efficiency and happy employees. Financially successful business owners tend to be great motivators, workers, and communicators who can manage a team of employees with a positive and professional attitude.
The small business owner does what needs to be done to implement the proper strategies to complete daily projects and goals. This is where the small business owner shines.
Small business owners have employees to manage, many tasks and projects to accomplish, and deadlines to meet. To be a financially successful business owner, one must handle affairs with efficiency and professionalism, ensuring the business continues to maintain steadiness and success.
While the world will always need brilliant, creative, and passionate individuals to develop the products and services that benefit us, we also need the talents, skills, and work ethic of dedicated small business owners. By providing quality services and products for their communities, small business owners are essential in connecting people, forming relationships, and affecting many parts of the community. So, which one are you? Entrepreneur or small business owner?