One of the differentiating factors between entrepreneurs and business people is imagination and an ability to visualise the bigger picture. Typically a business person is focused on the accounting, inventory, human resources and other mechanics of running a company. By contrast, the entrepreneur will delegate functional tasks to specialists and continue to move forward with planning, networking, attracting venture capital and selling or promoting his ideas to further the business.
Left and right brain
The difference between the two types of individuals is considered to be associated with left brain versus right brain thinking. The left brain is known as the ‘logical brain’ and is responsible for logic, analysis, numbers, lists, sequence and words. A ‘business person’ is more inclined to operate with left brain tendencies, analysing profit and loss, determining the most appropriate sequence of events for growth and applying an objective approach to what happens in the business.
The right brain is the ‘creative brain’ and is responsible for colour, spatial awareness, imagination, daydreaming, rhythm, holistic awareness and dimension. Entrepreneurs tend to take a less structured approach to business, allowing their imagination to conjure possibilities, developing a holistic view of success and weaving an intuitive path towards it.
Interestingly, each needs the other to varying degrees to succeed. Even the most successful entrepreneurs in the world need to outsource their analytical processes and critical judgment to professionals who specialise in those fields.
There is no reason any person should choose to be an entrepreneur over a business person or vice versa. However research indicates that there is incredible value in thinking and acting like an entrepreneur. Envisioning new markets, creating new income streams and being able to paint a picture of success will all help to attract investment and other forms of support.
Entrepreneurs know that stagnation is one of the biggest killers of business growth. To maintain a competitive edge, or even to appear above the radar, a business must constantly innovate. Developing new products is just one way to do this but it is important also to breath new life into the business on a regular basis.
To achieve this it is advisable to:
- Be on the lookout for forward-thinkers who can bring passion and specialised skills to your business.
- Brainstorm with your team to create new products or new slants on existing products. These include you and your competitors’products.
- Encourage your entire workforce to be forthcoming with ideas, no matter how insignificant or grand.
- Foster a culture of communication; listen to what works and what doesn’t, what customers are asking for and take advantage of opportunities.
Assuming the position
The expression ‘fake it til you make it’ is often valid. Knowing how entrepreneurs tackle business ownership and taking a leaf out of their book can help you to achieve entrepreneurial goals. Several key things that entrepreneurs do include:
- Maintain a positive outlook – Demonstrate enthusiasm every day; find the silver lining in every situation; identify the opportunities when negative things happen (i.e. when you lose a client, a delivery goes missing or find a competitor undercutting you on price).
- Know your strengths – Focus on what you do best. Outsource other tasks to those who can bring expertise and experience to the role.
- Surround yourself with people you respect – Seeking the advice of other successful people will keep you focused on your own personal success and that of your business.
Put yourself forward
Step into the spotlight and be visible. Complacency and modesty have no place in the business world. Meeting with others, sharing information, offering advice, announcing your successes, sitting on committees and being vocal about what your business offers are all ways to draw attention to your business.
Know your points of difference
What makes your business and/or products and services different from your competitors? What need do you fulfil in the market? Take some time to think about this and you’ll learn how to position your brand in the marketplace. Knowing your POD will give you the confidence to communicate your brand and sell your products and services with greater ease.
Never assume that your product will sell on merit alone. Backed up by well thought-out branding, your company must have its own unique personality, providing a brilliant platform from which to promote every product you offer. Maintain consistency across the language, colours and logos used, how your staff are trained, how you package your products, your online presence and in which sectors you promote your business.
Simply being certified as a Supply Nation Certified Supplier is not all it takes to gain meaningful relationships with Supply Nation Members. By honing your entrepreneurial mind, you will broaden the horizons of your business and become open to many more opportunities.