woman on laptop working
From social to serial entrepreneurs, there are many different methods that business owners use when choosing their startup paths. — Getty Images/Georgijevic

So, you have a business idea and a plan to launch it. You’ve found a need in a market and know you’re the best person with the best solution to solve it. How do you accomplish all this? Through entrepreneurship, the process of starting and running a business to generate profit. It’s a tricky career path, yet it is incredibly rewarding when you’re successful.

Here is everything you need to know about entrepreneurship.

[Read: 7 Entrepreneurs Who Started Small and Built Their Way to Success]

What does an entrepreneur do?

An entrepreneur is a problem-solver, finding solutions for consumer and client needs and creating a business that caters to them. They see a need in an industry and build a business from the ground up. Sometimes, they’ll create a team to get the product or business off the ground. Alone or with that team, they’ll develop a business plan, launch the business and market it, all with the end goal of turning a profit.

Some entrepreneurs will stay with the business they start and continue to grow and develop it, turning it into their full-time career. However, there are some entrepreneurs who will create a new business, develop it, sell it and then go on to start another business. These are known as serial entrepreneurs, and they typically don’t stay with one of their businesses. Their goal is to start the business, see it grow and become sustainable, then sell it at its most profitable.

[Read more: 5 Movies Every Entrepreneur Should Watch]

Types of entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurs come from all different business and cultural backgrounds. Starting out, you may find your goals change as your business starts to take shape. You might realize that your business can’t grow as largely as you thought or there may be room to grow in sectors you didn’t think of. There are four types of entrepreneurs who typically fit into the following categories:

Small business

Most entrepreneurs start as small business owners, creating their own business that fits a need within their local community. These can be stores or businesses that a community is lacking, including anything from a restaurant to an electrician service. Often, they’re not looking to scale their business. Instead, they’re looking to start their own business and work for themselves, only overseeing what they can personally manage.

A entrepreneur who seeks to grow their business into a large company starts out as a small business or scalable startup entrepreneur.

Scalable startup

Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and their venture investors create scalable startups with an end goal of growing their company to be as large as possible. They don’t see a small business as their potential ceiling, but rather their floor. When developing their business plan, they create a scalable model so they can project how large the company can grow. Because these entrepreneurs are always looking to get bigger, they’re also always looking for investment opportunities to make their goals possible.

Large company

A entrepreneur who seeks to grow their business into a large company starts out as a small business or scalable startup entrepreneur. Instead of stopping their growth when the company is manageable and profitable or to the scale they projected, they grow it until it is as large and financially viable as possible. Mainstream tech companies such as Apple, Facebook and Microsoft all started small, growing and innovating as much as possible until they became global leaders of their industries. While an ambitious entrepreneur may want their company to be as big and wide reaching as possible, they should be careful not to grow too largely too quickly and crater their business.

Social entrepreneurship

Unlike entrepreneurs who invent because of a market need or start a scalable startup in order to maximize profit, a social entrepreneur’s main priority is to create social change. They are less interested in the globalization or expansion of their business, so long as they have a social impact. These businesses often target climate change, poverty, social injustice, environmental issues and inequality, among other causes. Social entrepreneurs may register their business as a nonprofit, for-profit or hybrid.

If you’re looking to start your own business, read out step-by-step guide to discover how you can an excellent entrepreneur.

[Read: 7 Famous Entrepreneurs on Their Biggest Failures]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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