Lately, I have seen a lot of people confuse the word entrepreneur with business owner, so generally a woman who sells hair or a fashion retailer refers to themselves as entrepreneurs. Quite a number of people do not realise the difference between these two words and often interchangeably used them together.
Business owners and entrepreneurs have a lot of similarities. They both provide job opportunities for the unemployed, give solutions to customers and help in developing the national economy. However, they are not the same kind of people.
Who then is a business owner?
According to the business dictionary, a business owner is an individual who owns a business entity in an attempt to profit from the successful operations of the company. A business owner generally has decision making abilities and first right to profit.
An entrepreneur on the other hand is an individual who rather than working as an employee, runs a small business and assumes all the risk and reward of a given business venture, idea, or goods and services offered for sale. This simply means that an entrepreneur is commonly seen as a business leader and innovator of new ideas and business processes.
From the two definitions above, I believe it is safe to conclude that there is a huge difference between been an entrepreneur and being a business owner. An entrepreneur is much more than an individual who is willing and able to secure the funding and resources to make their idea happen. A real entrepreneur is someone who has a desire to create the future. I get the chance to talk to a lot of business owners like me, and their main objective is to secure and sustain the revenue source, to compete in the red sea just like I spoke about in my last article and trying to get a bigger pile out of it.
Nevertheless, I have compiled a few differences which sets an entrepreneur from a business owner
Entrepreneurs are inventors
Entrepreneurs invent things; they are often technically minded and look to do things in different ways. Small business owners are more likely to do something that already exists in the market such as opening a shop.
We nowadays usually talk about Steve Jobs and everything Apple does, let’s take a step back and ask ourselves this question: if you were a computer or a software manufacturer, would you have the ‘GUTS’ to take a 360 turn and start making a phone? Okay what about computers or even digital music players? Or better still would you have thought about a platform to sell music, videos, games or even books? The incredible story of Apple and so many other brands comes from their ability to much more than just be business owners. It comes from the entrepreneurial spirit to innovate.
Entrepreneurs are forward thinkers
Entrepreneurs are often forward thinkers, they are mostly concerned about creating the future, they tend to skip the now and focus on the future of the company. Business owners on the other hand make decisions as the day goes by.
Most entrepreneurs eventually become business owners
Business owners think a lot less about creating the future because they are so concerned with minimizing mistakes and mitigating risk. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a business owner, but is an important distinction to make. The minute most entrepreneurs have a semblance of success, they start to look more like a business owner.
Entrepreneurs focus on scaling
Entrepreneurs always want to grow and grow they will. Although they may not focus on selling the business, they often times set it up to run without them. They surround themselves with experts while they end up being the rainmaker.
Nigeria needs business owners to hold the economy and entrepreneurs to propel it forward. One isn’t better than the other. But the question needs to be asked: Are you a small business owner or an entrepreneur?