At first glance, the two terms might seem interchangeable, but some key differences exist that you need to know if you want to pursue the path of solopreneur or entrepreneur.
Solopreneurs fill most of the roles in their business, including product development, accounting, financing, marketing, etc. Entrepreneurs outsource most tasks and may need investors to bring their ideas to life.
So who are you out of these two? That’s something that you’ll have to figure out for yourself – read on to do just that!
Solopreneur vs. Entrepreneur – 5 Key Differences
There’s a lot of confusion surrounding the differences between solopreneurship and entrepreneurship. A solopreneur is someone who operates a business on their own, while an entrepreneur is more of a creator or visionary who comes up with an idea but outsources almost every other thing.
As an entrepreneur, you typically work towards solving a problem, which means you may have to take giant risks to introduce a product that may not have been available before. As a solopreneur, it’s important to focus on your craft and do what you love without thinking about innovating.
1. Entrepreneurs Need Investors – Solopreneurs Don’t
When people think of entrepreneurs, the first thing that typically comes to mind is the constant need for money and/or business expansion. However, there is also a solopreneur concept that is similar in some ways but differs when it comes to financing. A solopreneur typically operates their own business without the need for investors.
On the other hand, an entrepreneur typically looks for investment and/or expansion to take their business to the next level. They are usually part of a team as they work towards building a successful company.
While there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to being an entrepreneur or a solopreneur, the key takeaway is that solopreneurs work with the resources they have, while entrepreneurs typically require seed funding to move forward.
2. Entrepreneurs Have a Vision and Plan While Solopreneurs Figure Things Out on the Way
As a solopreneur, you do not have a defined business idea or strategy. This means that you may take a step towards starting your own business and may even see a little success, but to do it full-time, you will have to develop a business plan. Entrepreneurs plan to scale things fast and reach a maximum number of customers, so they have a solid business plan from start.
Plus, they need to show this plan and their strategy to investors, so they need it from the start. Therefore, as a solopreneur, you need to be creative, tenacious, and flexible in order to succeed because you may not have a solid future plan at the start.
3. A Solopreneur Typically Works on a Business While Also Working as an Employee Elsewhere
Solopreneurs usually have full-time jobs and still operate their own businesses, while entrepreneurs put all of their working hours into their businesses. The main difference between the two is that solopreneurs typically have a part-time business and work on it in their spare time, while entrepreneurs work on their business full-time.
The recent COVID lockdowns have produced many solopreneurs, but they mistake themselves with entrepreneurs, not realizing they’re the only ones running their business.
4. Entrepreneurs Require an Office Space:
A solopreneur has minimal workplace requirements, such as no desk, no office, and little supervision – they can just start working from home. This freedom can come with its own challenges, such as staying consistent and productive when you have a bed you can sleep on in the next room.
Often working on a part-time basis, solopreneurs often have to work hard to build their business from the ground up. They lack the support of a formal employer structure and are at the mercy of their own skills and abilities.
However, this lack of strict workplace requirements can also be an advantage for solopreneurs as it allows them greater creativity and freedom in their work.
5. Entrepreneurs Often Hire and Manage a Team
A solopreneur is a self-employed individual who operates their business alone. Moreover, an entrepreneur often outsources certain tasks, such as marketing or customer service, to professionals.
Growing a business as an entrepreneur can be more challenging. The key difference is that a solopreneur does not need to hire employees or outsource any tasks, while entrepreneurs do.
Entrepreneurs typically have a higher level of risk because they are taking on more responsibility by hiring others. They’re taking risks daily by trusting them with important tasks.
How to know if you’re a solopreneur?
Though there may be some overhead costs, being a solopreneur can be very profitable in the long run. As a solopreneur, you’re the boss and set your own hours. You are also responsible for everything from creating the product or service to marketing it. If you are unsure whether or not you have what it takes to be a solopreneur, answer these questions:
- Can you stay consistent and committed for a long time?
- Will you stay motivated even after failures in your journey?
- Are you willing to learn and go through hours of resources and training in your area of business?
- Do you want to start a side-hustle?
If the answer is yes, then going solo might be the perfect fit for you!
As the title suggests, a solopreneur operates their business on their own. On the other hand, an entrepreneur has a bigger vision and builds a team to work on his/her idea. Additionally, solopreneurs typically work on a smaller scale, while entrepreneurs work on a larger scale.
You can always start as a solopreneur and then transition to an entrepreneur if you’re working on something innovative or want to bring innovation to your business.