small business owners
small business owners
small business owners


Entrepreneurial mindset & skills

How Are Small Business Owners Different From Entrepreneurs?

read 4 min

Are you thinking of launching your own business? That’s great. You don’t need to start with a big corporation. In fact, most of the renowned companies we know today have started as small businesses. The question, though, is how do you identify yourself as you embark on this new financial adventure?

In this article, we are going to talk about the difference between entrepreneurs and small business owners. These two terms are so commonly confused with each other that we’re not even going to blame anyone for thinking that they are one and the same. However, there are factors that distinctly distinguish them from each other.

How Are Small Business Owners Different From Entrepreneurs?

Before moving on, though, let us first define both of them. A quick search of entrepreneur vs small business owner keywords returns two very different meanings.

A small business owner is a person who runs and manages a privately-owned business that has small-scale operations. They also tend to have fewer employees and a smaller annual revenue compared to regular-sized businesses, and more so, large companies.

Meanwhile, an entrepreneur is a person who is willing to invest in promising yet risky business opportunities. As such, they are usually the ones who create new industries and niches in the process.

Small Business Owners vs Entrepreneurs

Now that we have a clear definition of what both of those terms mean, we can move on to discuss the factors that separate them.

Scale of Ideas

The first factor that differentiates the two is the quality and scale of ideas they have. While we’re not saying that small business owners have limited ideas (they don’t), entrepreneurs tend to gravitate to ideas that haven’t even been tested before.

Risk Appetite

Another major factor is risk appetite. Most of the guides will tell you one of the most important things when launching your business: do your homework.

Research, research, research. You need to have a solid plan that will (hopefully) tell you if your business is going to be profitable or not, based on reliable data and analysis.

Meanwhile, entrepreneurs are not even sure if their business ventures are going to work most of the time一and they don’t care! It’s all part of the process for them.


Let us just say that any business owner, regardless of whether one’s an entrepreneur, a small business owner, or even a CEO of an international company, should focus on accumulating skills.

However, small business owners tend to focus on skills that will give them more financial security such as consumer research and collaboration.

Entrepreneurs would rather further hone their risk management and networking expertise.


One of the main goals that tie small business owners together is the dream to become stable. Most of them aspire to keep it running for years and even pass it on to someone else in the family later on.

On the other hand, entrepreneurs are highly focused on a constant flux. They love exploring opportunities that can help them grow. They also tend to be less sentimental about their business and they recognize that there are times when big changes need to happen for their ventures to scale and propel forward.

The Goal

Finally, since we are talking about goals, small business owners tend to have more regular and repetitive goals. They have weekly and monthly to-do lists. They are very concerned about workplace productivity.

After all, these steps will definitely help them achieve higher goals in the future. However, they also recognize that what’s most important is to keep the heart of their business beating at regular, predictable, and healthy intervals.

Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, usually get other people to bother with the regular operations of their business. After all, this gives them more time to think ahead and come up with the next big idea that can help this, or another new venture, unfold.

The dream is to have different groundbreaking businesses that can run themselves.

For example: Suppose you want to open a fitness clothing line. A small business owner’s next approach is to search for current trends, determine their target demographic, and even look at how their potential competitors are doing right now.

An entrepreneur, meanwhile, will look at the history and trends of the industry to determine if there are possibilities that haven’t been tried yet. Instead of focusing on how their competitors are doing, they seek to come up with an idea that will carve a new path, and if they’re fortunate, they won’t even have competitors in the first place.

Which One Are You?

If you were trying to determine which role is better then you’ll probably just end up disappointed. While they seem to have a hero-like status, entrepreneurs are not better than small business owners. The same can be said the other way around. Both of these business owners have their own strengths and weaknesses.

They also serve their own roles. Small business owners, as you probably already know, make up the backbone of a country’s economy. They keep things steady and serve as the foundation. Meanwhile, entrepreneurs contribute the innovation needed to propel their economy into the future.

Thus, the more important question is to identify which one are you going to be. This way, you’ll be able to determine the best strategy depending on the type of business owner you are. Good luck!

Learn about how can your business make a good first impression!

* Written by Mike Abelson, Editorial Director at Lendza.com

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by Fashinnovation’s columnists are their own, not those of Fashinnovation.




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