Three Types of Entrepreneurs – Which One Are You ?


Which Type Are You

Three Types of Entrepreneurs make up the entirety of this broadly defined word. Knowing which type you are, and what is the nature of your focus and requirements is crucial to structuring productive time and ultimate success.


( definition)

noun, plural entrepreneurs
[ahn-truh-pruh-nurz, -noo rz; French ahn-truh-pruh-nœr]

1.  a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.

This is age of entrepreneurialism. Census reports and other social indicators show that more and more people are choosing to step out on their own with an idea, a service or a product. Whether a little side business or a massive investor funded undertaking, all fall under the description “entrepreneur”. Yet this can become confusing for both those creating their own business path, and for those in discussion utilizing this word.

Based on my understanding of the business world, there are three main types of entrepreneurs.

1. Entrepreneurs who develop a concrete product, be it a consumer product or a business to business product such as software. These entrepreneurs must manufacture and distribute their product through traditional lines of distribution. There is a strong need for a thorough business and funding plan up front. They must patent, trademark and fund their venture with substantial amounts of capital over time and often hire employees, vendors and others.

2. Solopreneurs operate service focused businesses or are involved in online direct sales in some capacity. The defining feature here from my perspective is there is no manufacturing required and the overhead is extremely low. Traditional entrepreneurs investor funding and large overall capital expenditures are not necessary, particularly in the early to middle stages of these businesses. Coaches, consultants, body workers,  and even doctors , attorneys and CPA’s can fall in to this entrepreneur type. There are many other services that do as well.

People  in this entrepreneur  category can also sell products created by others through the network marketing or affiliate marketing avenues, and blogging. They can create their own informational and digital product as well. They may over time hire an assistant or outsource facets of their work, but generally are not employing others.

3. Brick and mortar entrepreneurs. We tend these days to forget about these people because of the huge proliferation of online entrepreneurs, service solopreneurs and inventors creating products that are usually  wholesaled or sold online eventually. But the local new shoe store owner is absolutely an entrepreneur, as is the dry cleaner and the tire shop owner. Having a brick and mortar store front business is a different type of entrepreneurship and one that has existed since we stopped bartering chickens for cows and people began specializing in a trade.

Saying you are an entrepreneur means you have stepped into a vast arena of business definition and development processes.

A person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business,

usually with considerable initiative and risk = Entrepreneur

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Knowing which of the three main types best define your venture, helps you know what pieces of business structure you must have in place.

Here is a partial list of  traditional things entrepreneurs must consider. Not all things on the list apply equally or even at all to all types.

  1. Business name
  2. Trademark
  3. Copyright
  4. Patent
  5. Insurance
  6. Correct tax structure
  7. EIN number
  8. Domain name (s)
  9. Funding
  10. Angel Investors
  11. …and more…

Then there are the “softer” requirements:

  1. Mission Statement
  2. UVP (Unique Value Proposition)
  3. USP (Unique Selling Propositon)
  4. Marketing Story
  5. Marketing Avatar
  6. Sales Funnels
  7. Joint Venture partners
  8. List/Prospect pipeline
  9. …and more…



Solopreneur Working From Home

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Regardless of which of the three types of entrepreneurs you are, it all begins with an idea and a passion to birth it to life. Even if you are purchasing an existing brick and mortar business, it’s your excitement and creativity that will be added to the mix. The business you buy will be different after you’ve owned it for awhile.

For those solopreneurs creating a service business and/or informational products to offer clients and customers, Your Deep Story and message will form the foundation of all that you do. Many believe initially it’s the details like  a website, that must be in place first. They are wrong. You first must become intimately clear about who you are, what you offer  and who you offer it to. Then you can create that website the right way and have it work for you by bringing your unique and powerful message and service to the world.

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Which type of entrepreneur are You?

Let us know in the comments below

Did I cover all the types from your perspective or are there some other categories we should include?

Share your ideas by writing a comment


Deborah Tutnauer

Entrepreneur Business Success Coach at Deborah Tutnauer, LLC
Inspiring change in people for over 25 years, Deborah Tutnauer, MEd, MSWdigs deep to help authentic entrepreneurs move away from the stories that no longer serve them while clarifying and solidifying those that really do! Deborah helps frustrated entrepreneurs get exquisitely clear about meaning, purpose and expertise, then facilitates the creation of a financially sustainable and joyfully structured framework in which business and business people thrive.

Coaching both privately and in groups, Deborah is also a speaker, author, event leader and consultant. Creator of the Foundation and Framework Intensive, Question Master and Leader of the Entrepreneur Business Success Club, Deborah has been called an “Architect of Magical Business and Soul Structure”by her clients because she has a powerful ability to perform alchemy, changing passions and dreams into money and time by design.

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  1. says

    I guess I am both entrepreneur #2 and #3. I have been a family practice physician for 22 years in my own private practice but recently began to shift my focus from clinical medicine to consulting and coaching. This transition has been made much easier by the opportunities which have been made available through the internet. Permission is no longer needed for publishing. Competition has been exchanged for collaboration. Outbound marketing has given way to inbound marketing. The internet has not only made #2 easier to do, I believe it has made being a solo-entrepreneur preferable, more personally freeing, and consummately more enjoyable.

  2. says

    Hi Deborah,

    WOW! You just rocked it.;)
    You know I didn’t ever think about types of entrepreneur. I used to read about solopreneur but didn’t have perfect knowledge about them. I am glad to read this articles. You are right. There are different people based on the services they provide or what they sell? Entrepreneurs who choose to build their own enterprise to sell any product or being a manufacturer is so hard.

    There are many entrepreneur who used to sell others product. Its like affiliate marketing as to get customers and then sell the product of any other company. Personally I like solopreneurs who work from home and enjoy their life.
    You have explained it clearly.
    Thanks for letting me know.:)

    Hope you are enjoying your day.

  3. says

    Hi Deborah,,

    What a great illustration of the three types of entrepreneurs. As a consultant, coach and speaker I clearly fall into the second category. However, my heart is for the third category.

    It seems that many people are steering clear of this group of entrepreneurs thinking the grass is greener online. I may be wrong and I’m open to that, but I feel after ten years of online marketing and web development that this group is way underserved.

    I keep running into business owners who are just receiving terrible advice by so called “social media experts” or online marketing experts. Yet, when I listen to the advice they are being given I wander where in the world these supposed experts come from?

    I love your quote: “You first must become intimately clear about who you are, what you offer and who you offer it to.”

    If you don’t know what business you’re “really” in there is no way to really establish yourself in the eyes of the public. If you don’t truly know who you are, how is your audience supposed to know who you are?

    It seems so simple on the surface, but the reality is that the process of learning how to understand your business from the perspective of the prospect and customer is hard. Business owners have a unique challenge of having to detach themselves from their business in order to see themselves the way the words sees them.

    Deborah, I really appreciate the work you are doing and I look forward to getting to know you better and learning how we can compliment one another!

    I hope you’re having a great start to your week?

    ~ Don Purdum
    Don Purdum recently posted…One Secret Behind Every Thriving Business and Why You Need to Know It?My Profile

    • says

      You and I keep coming back to the essence of this topic, don’t we Don?!

      “Knowing what business you are REALLY in.”

      I agree when it comes to brick and mortar and even manufacturing or artists, that these segments are getting taken for a ride by “social media experts”. They get sold a package of online activity without ever having anyone take a look at their messaging, their clients, what they REALLY offer and if in fact their audience knows it.

      We have some work to do my friend!

      Deborah Tutnauer recently posted…What do you DO in your Entrepreneur WORKMy Profile

  4. says

    Hi Deborah,

    You have done a great job on clarifying these three types of entrepreneurs and what they each need to do.

    I started with a brick and mortar business and it grew to one to service my clients on the phone and Ichat and/or skype. I love technology. It’s one that I love doing.

    I also started my other business which is #2. Now that being said, because I had a business off line, I knew I needed that first list. Now, online, that second list I can check off (thank goodness).

    It is important to have things in place when running any type of business. We have to take so much into consideration and make sure all our ducks are in a row!

    Thanks for bringing up this topic, it is well needed in the marketplace. Going off to share….

    donna merrill recently posted…15 Reasons Why Blogging SucksMy Profile

    • says

      Thanks for sharing a peek into your entrepreneur journey Donna. I feel it’s more the norm that many realize, to begin with one type of business and shift, grow, change throughout. In fact it’s when people feel that they are stuck with their choice or format, or believe there is only one “right way” to be an entrepreneur that the energy and success becomes muddied.

      I have found some discussions quite amusing and eye opening, when people who work online for instance, don’t consider the gas station owner down the street , an entrepreneur. Or when a small manufacturing wholesaler has no knowledge that there’s a whole world of people who make money without leaving their couch!

      As always, your input and wonderful presence is appreciated!
      Deborah Tutnauer recently posted…What do you DO in your Entrepreneur WORKMy Profile

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