Can’t decide whether you are an entrepreneur or a professional service provider? You might be both… or what we call an Entreprofessional.
Many people have heard of the terms "entrepreneur" and "professional service provider." The word entrepreneur has become synonymous with the phrase business owner. A professional service provider, on the other hand, is any provider of specialized professional services, whether or not they own their own business doing so. While these terms are often related and sometimes used interchangeably, it’s clear that they actually mean totally different things. For the most part, people would normally categorize themselves as one or the other.
But what if you are a professional service provider who's invested in and is growing your own business? Do you refer to yourself as an entrepreneur or a professional service provider? Ever heard of the word "Entreprofessional"? Keep reading and you might be surprised to learn that this may be the most appropriate title to describe your current situation.
Let’s start off with some official definitions.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines entrepreneurs as people who organize, manage, and assume the risks of a business or enterprise. Often, they are visionary individuals who are courageous enough to face risks with the goal of growing revenue.
On the other hand, a professional service provider is defined by Law Insider simply as an individual licensed and/or certified to carry out specific tasks within a field of expertise.
When you marry these two definitions within a particular enterprise, the result is the term entreprofessional. Simply put, these are individuals who own their own businesses and those businesses provide specialized, professional services to end clients.
Still not sure whether to call yourself an entreprofessional? Here are some defining characteristics that might help you decide.
Dealing With An Intangible Product
Unlike product-focused entrepreneurs, entreprofessionals do not sell physical goods. These individuals offer themselves as the main product along with their field of expertise.
To quote copywriting expert and author Jonathan Kranz, an entreprofessional is charged with "[selling] the invisible – intangible qualities of experience and expertise that resist easy ‘features and functions’ descriptions.” You are not merely selling an item. You are offering to establish a connection – one that is built over time and requires consistent engagement and communication.
Because of the intangible nature of your product, clients do not have concrete criteria upon which to decide whether to "buy it.” Their considerations are subjective and more often than not, the decision boils down to the question: Have you, the service provider, done this before?
This implied prerequisite normally prompts you to leverage your experience and market yourself through past transactions. Referrals and good words put in by previous clients can materially impact the success of capturing new clients.
Striving To Stand Out
With many similar practitioners in your field, it is a constant challenge for you to feature your distinction. Entreprofessionals offer knowledge-based services, and it's quite hard to highlight a unique selling point on that.
While you can always leverage experience, you fully understand that there are also a lot of other experienced providers in your industry. With this, you find yourself in a continuous struggle to stand out.
Choosing Between Marketing And Servicing
Entreprofessionals often wear more than just one hat. Apart from making sure that you provide the best service to each client, you also put a lot of thought into growing your business. Playing both roles can be tricky as too much focus on one may lead to the neglect of the other.
Faced with this dilemma, you diligently find efficient ways to juggle marketing and servicing. You make sure that you do not compromise between service to your clients and marketing to your audience with the aim to cultivate, convert, and close new clients. You understand that both service and marketing are integral parts necessary for the success of your business.
These are just a few of the defining traits of an entreprofessional. If you think these situations are far too familiar and you caught yourself nodding in agreement to these descriptions, that likely means one thing. You are, indeed, an entreprofessional!
Now that you've come to this conclusion, it's time to think about the bigger picture. More than just characteristics, the above-mentioned list also presents the typical challenges facing this particular species of business owner.
While these challenges may seem intimidating, especially for those starting up, you don't have to be alone in this journey toward success. There are technology and service providers poised to help you leverage tried and true methods to overcome these challenges and work toward exponential growth.
If you would like to learn more about how Vimagery helps entreprofessionals like you to navigate these challenges, click here to see if you qualify for a Vimagery Strategy Session. Together, we can help you to gain an unfair advantage regarding your efforts to cultivate, convert, and close new clients in the weeks and months ahead.