The Face Of Modern Entrepreneurship

The bad economy has brought a new face of entrepreneurship. Dan Schawbel digs into it here.
August 22, 2011

The basic principles of entrepreneurship have held up over the past decades. You come up with a great idea that hasn’t been done before, or you take something that has been done and make it better. You then take a risk and put yourself out there in hopes that people will buy your products and services or that a venture capital firm will fund you.

With the bad economy looming and emerging technologies changing the way we brand and market our businesses, there is a new face of modern entrepreneurship. Now people from across the world are starting businesses, regardless of age, and we aren’t forced to tap into third parties in order to reach potential customers.

recent survey by the Deluxe Corporation of more than 500 respondents through PartnerUp reveals a glimpse into the new age entrepreneur. Here are a few of the major findings and why they are important for entrepreneurs who are looking to build successful businesses.

Entrepreneurs are passionate

Seventy-five percent of people are motivated to start their own company out of their passion, and to work for themselves. Passion, or your enthusiasm for an idea or belief, is what drives you to put in the hours required in order to start a company. If you aren’t ecstatic about your business, how are you supposed to have the attitude required to sell your ideas to other people? You can’t. When you’re thinking about what type of business you want to start, try and relate it somehow to something that you enjoy, or would enjoy, doing. That way, it won’t feel like work and you’ll be willing to take risks.

Entrepreneurs are set in their ways

Sixty-three percent would not take another job if offered one. If you were to tell an entrepreneur that they would have to take a full-time job if their company failed, they would do whatever it takes for that not to happen. They want to be in control of their success or failure and enjoy the prestige, independence and feeling of having a business.

Entrepreneurs feast on social media tools

Eighty-three percent are planning to utilize social channels for business over the next year. Out of this group, 40 percent plan to focus their efforts on Facebook and 25 percent on LinkedIn. Although these tools can consume a lot of their time, they are more cost effective for a small business. They also help put a human face on the company so people can relate to it and trust it based on the entrepreneurs' reputation. Most entrepreneurs can’t afford $20,000 PR retainers or advertising agencies, so it makes sense that they would leverage free tools to build their brand, generate awareness for their products, and build relationships with their customers.

Entrepreneurs juggle multiple responsibilities

Many entrepreneurs are managing their companies, while having a day or night job simultaneously. In fact, 35 percent started their businesses while still working at their previous day jobs. Also, women entrepreneurs are raising families while managing their businesses. More than 60 percent of women are doing both, which is very impressive.

Entrepreneurs have a resource problem

Forty-nine percent of small business owners claim that effectively reaching customers with limited resources is their biggest challenge. Small companies that don’t have a lot of funding or are self-funded have major issues with resources. These resources can include people, materials and money, which are important for business growth and development.

Dan Schawbel is the Founder of Millennial Branding, a full-service personal branding firm based in Boston. He is the author of Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future.