Are you an entrepreneur or a small business owner?
The difference is in the change you are aiming to make and how do you build your business to get there
It’s not like someone can decide ‘You are an entrepreneur’, or ‘no, you are a small business owner’.
However from the last eleven years I’ve been working with entrepreneurs and startup founders I have noticed, there are three main differences:
At first, only startup founders were considered entrepreneurs. In time, a new type of entrepreneur evolved, who started small, aiming to earn money from the early stages, bring new ventures, and create a big difference in their field.
Today, this trend has gone a step further. It seems like everyone is leaving their ‘9 to 5’ jobs to open their own business and calling themselves entrepreneurs.
So what are the differences between becoming an entrepreneur and opening a small business?
A. Making a major change
The first difference is about how far you would like to go.
It’s mainly about looking to make a change that will affect others, not only your own business and family.
It’s about creating something new and looking to improve lives.; Most entrepreneurs who have the courage to go bold and make a change are looking for a meaningful business.
A lot of people are hoping and aiming to make a change, and a lot of people are making changes that effect others, but aren’t entrepreneurs. A teacher can change dramatically the lives of many pupils. It’s a fantastic and much appreciated vocation, yet it doesn’t make them entrepreneurs.
However, there are, for example, teachers that decide to leave their teaching jobs and become entrepreneurs trying to change their world. On the site “Teach dot com” there is a series of interviews with teachers that have chosen to become entrepreneurs.
In an interview with Sheila Jane, who made the shift from being a teacher to entrepreneurship she talked about what drove her to become entrepreneur: “During the last several years in the classroom, I had an itch to impact teachers’ lives on a wider scale. My creative spirit was hungry to be a strong voice for teachers.”
Entrepreneurs usually aim big, looking to create a meaningful change and effect many people.
B. The courage - how big are the risks you are willing to take?
There are risks in any business, yet there is a big difference between working in a familiar industry with well-defined services or products and to create something entirely new.
The courage I’m talking about is about looking ahead; aiming to create new routes, alternatives, and options in the field you choose to become an expert in.
C. Building your business as the leader of the market
This is maybe the biggest difference that, unfortunately, most entrepreneurs misunderstand. As a small business, you start by reaching out to the closest customers who you hope to sell to.
While as an entrepreneur aiming to lead the market, you should locate and focus on the customers that not only will be the first to adopt and buy the new product or service, but will also impact the next level of customers, in order to reach the full market potential.
Building a leading entrepreneurial business
Now, when the differences are clear, what are the steps to building your entrepreneurial business to become the market leader of a new market and to maximize the potential of this new market?
Here are the eight golden rules for building the most successful entrepreneurial business:
Golden Rule 1 – The Customers
Identify the customers that are ready, right now, to adopt and buy the product
Golden Rule 2 - The Product
Define the new product from the customer's perspective
Golden Rule 3 - The Category
Find the market category the product can lead or play in
Golden Rule 4 - The Value Proposition
Find the value that will motivate the customer to purchase the product
Golden Rule 5 - Setting Objectives and Goals
All marketing activity begins by defining the objectives and measurable goals.
Golden Rule 6 - Find where are your Customers are Once you’ve identified the best customers, you need to learn what are they doing, watching, following and more.
Golden Rule 7 - Setting the Marketing Communication Plan
Decide which media channels to use to communicate with the potential customers
Golden Rule 8: The Marketing Message
Choose the best marketing messages to motivate the customers