5 Major Differences Between Solopreneurs and Entrepreneurs

— July 2, 2017

People who are passionate about creating new businesses fall into the general category of entrepreneur. But within that larger classification are many other types of entrepreneurs, from infopreneurs to intrapreneurs to ecopreneurs, localpreneurs, mompreneurs, and even fauxpreneurs.


Solopreneurs are a specific type of entrepreneur who prefer to work alone. MBO Partners’ 2016 State of Independence in America report estimates there are 40 million entrepreneurs and 16.9 million solopreneurs. They may rely on others, such as independent contractors or consultants, to run their businesses, but solopreneurs make all decisions themselves, and they like it that way.


While there are a number of differences, the five major differences between solopreneurs and entrepreneurs are:


Long-term plans

Entrepreneurs are all about the start-up process. It’s where they typically add the greatest value, because of their creativity and vision. But they don’t always stick around to run the business long-term. Once it’s running smoothly, they often exit to start another venture.


Solopreneurs, on the other hand, start businesses to fit their desired lifestyle and, in many cases, to pursue a personal passion. They have little interest in building an empire or a business they can sell off. They want flexibility and control, and they’re happy to stay focused on growing the company they started.


Workspace

Entrepreneurs are more likely to work in space outside the home, while solopreneurs are frequently home-based. According to The Solopreneur Life 2014 End-of-Year Survey, 80% of solopreneurs work from home, though that figure was down a full 10% from 2013.


Management

The role of an entrepreneur is often as manager, whether that entails managing human resources, finances, equipment, or other business assets. Entrepreneurs often delegate tasks they know are not their strength.


Solopreneurs are typically more technician, or worker, than manager. They are very good at what they do and prefer to get the job done themselves. Rather than taking the time to explain to someone else how to complete a task, they’d rather just roll up their sleeves and do it on their own. Managing their time is their biggest challenge, and opportunity.


Marketing

Entrepreneurs are more likely to create brands that are distinct from their own personal identity than solopreneurs, and that affects the marketing methods they rely on. Entrepreneurs are more likely to invest in advertising, email marketing, and to use more sophisticated marketing tactics.


Solopreneurs, who are more focused on getting the work done, have a harder time squeezing marketing in. They are also less likely to invest large sums in marketing campaigns, relying instead on networking, social media, and word-of-mouth.


Scalability

Entrepreneurs generally work to create businesses that can easily ramp up or scale. They develop systems that enable the company to quickly expand.


Solopreneurs, however, are less interested in growth beyond what they themselves can handle. They’re less interested in scaling.


Solopreneurs are entrepreneurs, but their business methods are often different because of their focus, which is on building a successful business they can run themselves.

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Author: Marcia Layton Turner


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