Isn’t entrepreneur just a fancy way of saying business owner? In some cases, yes.
But anyone can be a business owner. What sets entrepreneurs apart from those who simply start a businesses is how they manage the business and what they do to keep it growing.
Today I’ve asked Anita Campbell, CEO of BizSugar, to give you three things you can do to make the transition from business owner to entrepreneur.
One of the most effective business-building methods you can employ is networking.
People have been starting and running businesses for years, and they all have a lot more experience than you do as a new entrepreneur. If you’re not tapping into the rich vein of advice your fellow entrepreneurs can offer, you’re missing out.
One way to network online is become a member of a good business networking site. You’ll be able to connect with other business owners in your industry, ask interesting questions to entrepreneurs, and build relationships that may help your business grow down the line. And once you’ve established yourself, you can return the favor by helping those who come after you.
Establishing yourself as an expert in the space will create even more positive marketing for your business. Don’t discount the power of networking when starting your business.
Make time for it.
2. Control Spending
The day you get your first corporate credit card in the mail can be both exhilarating and terrifying. You hold a lot of spending power in your hands, and making the wrong choices can permanently damage your business.
Some people start a business and begin treating the corporate coffers as their own personal checking account. It happens more often than you might think, and is a big reason many businesses fail. If you want to move from being a business owner to an entrepreneur, you have to get control of your spending.
Successful entrepreneurs are frugal, sometimes to a fault. With the numerous free resources available on the Internet today, it can sometimes be difficult to justify spending.
Why pay for document creation software when free suites can be downloaded at the click of a button?
There are a few areas where you don’t want to compromise—accounting software, for example—but finding ways to save money and put it back into the business is what keeps a company not just afloat, but growing.
3. Hire Smart
You’ll be able to get away with doing everything on your own for a while, but you’ll eventually reach a point where running your business is too much for just one person.
You’ll need to hire staff, whether it’s just one other person, or a few employees to create a team. Hiring—and firing—are two of the most crucial decisions you will ever make throughout the life of your business. They can also be the most difficult.
A business owner will hire people to fill positions and get the work done, but may not consider the effect just one person can have on a growing business.
An entrepreneur, on the other hand, looks for someone who can do more than just accomplish certain tasks.
You started a business because you have a passion for what you do, and goals you want to accomplish. Seek out employees who share your vision, and have the ability—and flexibility—to not only get things done, but roll with the many changes that will occur as your business grows.
Startups need people with initiative, ideas, creativity, and above all, a good attitude. You’re the boss, but you never know when someone you hire may come up with a great idea to improve the business. Look for those kinds of qualities, and don’t hire based solely on a list of accomplishments on a résumé.
It really comes down to making good choices, using all the resources available to you, and planning for the long term.
Only then will you be around long enough to graduate from business owner to entrepreneur.