Everyone likes to call themselves an entrepreneur, but is there really truth in it? There's a big difference between someone who shows entrepreneurial skills such as innovation, creativity and competitive acumen and the guy who runs a successful car dealership franchise. Both are working for themselves, both want to call themselves entrepreneurs, but are they? Here's how to spot the difference.
The Leader vs The Manager -
A Business Owner is a manager. He trains and teaches a team in order to reach a financial target, usually monthly.
An Entrepreneur is a leader. He inspires, motivates and sometimes even goads his team into making serious changes within the landscape of his industry. An entrepreneur will even put innovation ahead of immediate financial gain.
Often, a business owner will get involved in the day to day running of his enterprise and tends to micromanage. An entrepreneur is far too busy wrapped up in his next brainwave to focus on the smaller details, and will have them in the hands of a trusted colleague.
An entrepreneur will work ON the system, not IN the system.
Filling A Niche or Meeting The Market -
A Business Owner provides a service or product that is already required, but lacking within his market.
An Entrepreneur creates the market, by finding a niche gap or innovating a product that combines a consumer's needs.
A business owner may be incredibly successful. He may also outrun the entrepreneur in growth of his business and client base, but he's not recreating the wheel. He's just packaging and selling it. The difference between an Entrepreneur and a Business Owner when it comes to his consumers is that an entrepreneur offers them something fresh; something they didn't know they needed. Something business owners of the future can rebrand and sell on years later.
Grasping Opportunities or Making Them
A Business Owner will grasp opportunities. They'll work hard, utilize contacts and make the most of their resources in order to build their business.
An Entreprenur requires innate ability and innovation in order to progress within the market with their product. They can't rely on luck or opportunities because they often don't exist; Entrepreneurs are changing the landscape of their industry. They can't rely on luck or good timing, and hard work alone isn't going to cut it. An entrepreneur is a creator, not a utiliser.
The Specialist Vs The Generalist
A Business Owner will know exactly what his company or outlet needs, and how to corner the market to ensure his profits remain healthy. He'll be up to date on the articles and forums relating to his industry and be able to quote the trends by heart.
An Entrepreneur is setting the trends. He's writing the articles, and isn't simply trying to keep up with the latest news. He is the latest news. Packaging and promoting something that already exists bores him. An entrepreneur will look at a product already on the market and think "Nice try, but I can do a better job."
When I set up PeoplePerHour, there were already forums and platforms on the market for freelancers to connect with clients, but it was all too generalised. It was a nice idea, but I knew what both parties were looking for. We are not for big corporate companies to find cheap by-the-hour workers because that benefits no one. Small-medium sized companies needed quick, quality work that they could trust. They wanted to see that they were choosing someone with a strong reputation, not just a glossy website. Hence our star rating and leader-board.
A business owner would have tried to combine the platforms already available, but an entrepreneur takes them as examples of how not to do it. I put all of the best concepts and then my own vision into a melting pot and out came a platform that outstrips its competitors by miles.
Simply, entrepreneurs have one main quality which sets them apart from business owners, and that's an insight to the future changes of their industry. We don't know where we got it, or how, but where business owners try to guess what's coming next, we intrinsically know. Reinforcing something I have always believed - An Entrepreneur is born, not made.