What does it take to be an entrepreneur?
Well first of all, if our straw poll is anything to go by, most entrepreneurs wouldn’t describe themselves as “entrepreneurs”!
In our survey the most common words business owners used to describe themselves were “positive, determined, optimistic”. Not one of them described themselves as an “entrepreneur”. This is understandable, because the truth is not all business owners are “entrepreneurs”.
If Wikipedia has quoted the Austrian Economist, Schumpeter correctly then “Entrepreneurs are innovators who use a process of shattering the status quo of the existing products and services, to set up new products, new services.” So using Schumpter’s definition, to run a business you do not have to be an “entrepreneur” – you could run a very unsuccessful business, you could be very fortunate to receive finance from a benefactor, or you could inherit a customer base unable or unwilling to move. There are probably lots of other ways to run an “unsuccessful” business, but this article is about business owners and entrepreneurs who need to innovate to deliver results.
Businesses need to innovate to make money to employ people, sell more, invest to grow the business, pay suppliers and contribute to the wider community. The ability to make money from your vision, hard graft, and superior offer is what drives a successful business owner. To do this the business owner has to have a firm grasp of their value.
The value of the business owner could be defined by existing customers. What do the customers perceive to be of value? Is it the business owners insight, experience, customer focus – if it is all of these things you are running a successful business! Equally the business owner needs to understand the monetary value of their time, and stay focussed on the business goals
And if all this sounds like hard work, then you are right it is- that is why as well as the ability to innovate, true entrepreneurs have to be “determined, positive, and optimistic” – so better get on with it!