While there are no limits to the kinds of people who own businesses, the kinds of people who build businesses can be narrowed down to three types. Knowing what type you are can make all the difference!
Three Types of Business Builders
Empire Builder (this is what the world imagines as a “typical” business owner, but it’s actually the minority of business builders!) – These people are:
- Always busy with the ‘next great thing’
- Insatiable thirst for growth and wealth
- Desire to take over whole industries
- Focused on power
Freedom Fighter – (just what it sounds like.) They:
- Seek financial independence
- Desire freedom to spend time as desired
- Are not interested in being the empire-builder (Although if someone else wants to drive it, resulting in freedom….)
- Often have lifestyle businesses
- Master many skills
- Are strong in family & customer care
Craftsmen (the large majority), who usually:
- Just want to practice the craft
- Are not concerned with business systems
- Identify themselves by craft title (plumber, farmer, grocer…)
- Feel uncomfortable with delegation
- Have few employees
- Have messy paperwork
As you can imagine, each type of business builder would face his own set of obstacles! Knowing what kind you are can equip you to take appropriate action to overcome your specific obstacles. You can make informed decisions about partnerships that would truly complement your business, and you can even prevent some unnecessary frustrations and business breakups!
Similarly, each type of business builder would have unique potential for growth and profitability. The three types have differing opinions on how quickly to grow, when (or if) to hire, developing new products, making marketing decisions, even personal investment.
Teams are affected differently by each type of business builder. A leader will be inclined to certain decisions when it comes to hiring, but also to vision clarity, and expectations regarding results.
Also it can impact a business owner’s personal life – family, finances, freedom, health, and even joy.
So what do you do with this information?
When it comes to you, and the decisions you make about your business, there are a few steps you should take.
- Figure out which you are. You might have a good guess, just by reading the descriptions. But get others’ opinions too. Ask people close to you and your business.
- Embrace it. Don’t apologize for it! None of these are good or bad, they just are.
- You get to choose what you don’t want. If it doesn’t fit in your strengths and passions, you can move on. Don’t start that new product if you aren’t inclined to expansion and product development. Don’t hire or partner with people whose strengths don’t complement yours. Don’t pursue power if all you want is time with your family.
- Do what you do best. Focus there. Dominate.
As for your team, be sure there is clarity for them – clarity of vision, direction, and purpose, as a business and as team members in their individual roles. You definitely don’t want to have confusion or misalignment. And you will want to know that you have in place the right partners, employees, and even suppliers, to support that clarity. Also, discuss this with your team. Help them to understand you, and subsequently, the role that they play in your business. And don’t forget to think about the future – What groundwork will you lay now that will affect the future of the business? And who will lead when you exit?
Then you will want to think about the business itself. You’ll need to make decisions about everything from product (will you develop more? or expand? or will you stick to the ones you love?) to people (outsource? strategic partners? staff?) to planning (business development, and sale or retirement).
Understanding yourself as a business builder will give you the tools and knowledge you need to build your business in a way that fits you and doesn’t frustrate you (and those around you!). You’ll be positioned well to pursue the right level of growth and profitability for your business. And you don’t need to worry about being like the business builder down the street. Just be you.