“Give a man a fire and he’s warm for the day. But set fire to him and he’s warm for the rest of his life.” Long – Terry Pratchett
A couple who ran out of options in the formal job market started a hand and body lotion small business to bring in income for themselves. Slowly, surely they began to make sales at morning markets and spread the word about their new hand and body lotion. Some time now down the track they are doing well with sales still at morning markets but now including retail outlets and online. This business is serving them well and it suits their stage in life.
When you start out as an entrepreneur, you need to know what entrepreneurial path you wish to follow. Your choice is important because it will determine how you will run your business and how it will match your lifestyle. Not knowing what type of entrepreneurial path you wish to follow can lead to personal conflict will conflict with possible partners or investors.
What are the three main types of entrepreneurs and which one are you?
Aspiring entrepreneurs dream of starting a business. They want to be their own bosses but have not yet made the leap from employment into the uncertainty of a start up. While these days this type of entrepreneurship is glamorised one needs to watch out for nonsense that says it’s easy. You need to invest in a lot of training and experience, understand risk and know how to sell to start your own small business. That’s why it’s best to start something on the side rather than selling your main asset like your house and throwing everything on an unproven business model.
Lifestyle entrepreneurs develop the business that fits their individual circumstances and lifestyle. They want to earn an income for themselves and their family. Often these businesses are started after many hours of careful thought, careful testing of market demand and learning the ropes of how to run a small business.
Growth entrepreneurs possess the desire and ability to grow as fast and large as possible. These type of businesses are usually found in high-growth, high risk areas such as technology and pharmaceuticals where investors are prepared to fund. The growth entrepreneurial business could turn out to be a job creator. These start-up businesses require much planning, a network of advisers and a solid business plan.
These definitions from Ray Smilor provide a basic description of three generic kinds of entrepreneurs. There are several variations. I have personally catalogued more than a dozen for on-on-one training. But the point here is that if you choose to be a lifestyle entrepreneur you will need to retain control of your business. You won’t want to sell any part of it to get cash to fund growth. Growth entrepreneurs will sell parts of the companies to raise cash. They are willing to trade control for growth and wealth creation. Some, like the couple who started the hand and body lotion small business, want to stay reasonably small and retain control.
Whatever route you decide to take, you will need to find and assess ideas, convert an idea into an opportunity, formulate a successful business and marketing plan and learned to run and operate your small business. Developing a network of trusty suppliers and advisers will also form a necessary part of your entrepreneurial venture.
If you are serious about developing ideas into business opportunities and want to better understand the process, get yourself a copy of “Breakthrough Ideas”. It’s a hands-on, practical and helpful step-by-step guide to help turn your idea into entrepreneurial reality.
Avoid the so-called business experts that want you to pay hefty upfront fees for flimsy training on cash flow, for instance, and those who have no or very little hands-on, real-world experience of running their own business through good times and bad. It will save you a lot of money. Stay very clear of business gurus on talk show radios who will give you a barrel full of nonsense for nothing. Keep well clear of any institutionalised entrepreneurial training which is merely part of a certificate sausage machine and an absolute waste of money. Get real. Find yourself someone who has done it, failed and survived.