Solopreneurs have been on the rise in recent years. Recent research shows that solopreneurship has a projected growth rate of 3.6%—and it’s not hard to see why! Professionals are drawn from 9-to-5s to chase increased job satisfaction, flexibility, self-reliance, and business control.
But if you’ve ever wondered what sets so-called “solopreneurs” apart from their traditional “entrepreneur” cousins, it’s because there’s still a fair amount of confusion about the terms. Here’s what you should know about the similarities and differences between these popular career choices.
Intro to Solopreneurship
By definition, a solopreneur is a person who works “solo,” someone who founds and runs a business completely on their own. Where entrepreneurs may rely on other co-founders, chief officers, and employees, solopreneurs don’t have that kind of luxury.
Logistically speaking, they do have to tackle the same issues of any entrepreneur. For example, solopreneurs and entrepreneurs may take the same steps during tax season, depending on the type of business they’ve created. They’ll often have similar options in terms of retirement saving accounts. They’ll have to secure their own health insurance.
But while the details of their business may be similar, the business itself may be different. Because they work without the support of employees or partners, solopreneurs are responsible for creating, marketing, and selling their own work. This is why many solopreneurs work as freelancers or consultants, as both types of jobs allow them the freedom of entrepreneurship without creating enough business complexity to hire other workers. From graphic designers to finance planners to virtual assistants, solopreneurs run everything alone.
Typically, this will require them to create businesses that differ from those created by entrepreneurs with larger companies, such as a sole proprietorship or a single-member LLC.
The Difference Between Solopreneurs and Entrepreneurs
Let’s take a look at some of the major differences between these two career options.
- Solopreneurs work alone, without delegating responsibility to other workers. Entrepreneurs often hire and manage teams of employees.
- Solopreneurs specialize in a particular niche. Entrepreneurs may head teams that offer solutions in a range of areas and even industries.
- Solopreneurs usually have goals that involve making enough revenue to live comfortably. Entrepreneurs may plan to grow their business and scale their services for more profit, and they may even plan to sell it eventually.
- Solopreneurs often have few business expenses and may even work remotely from their home. Entrepreneurs may rent a workspace for employees or for equipment and goods.
Ultimately, none of these differences are good or bad on their own. However, they may be more or less attractive depending on your professional goals.
If you want to quickly strike out on your own, support yourself, and control every aspect of your business, solopreneurship may be right for you. And of course, you may also be able to make the change to entrepreneurship down the line, depending on your business. If you’d love to scale and expand your business idea, or to work with a team of people you’ve hand-selected, you may want to become an entrepreneur.
Either way, it’s clear that both of these career options are tempting for more and more people in recent years. If you’re still not sure which suits you, however, you have plenty of time to figure it out and make adjustments as you take the first steps toward creating your own business. Make sure to consider this as you test the market potential of your business idea, as it may sway certain decisions, and to check out our other posts for more insights as you move forward.