9 Differences between a Nigerian entrepreneur and a Nigerian Manager
In the languages, principles and practices of business in Nigeria, the general tendencies for people to mix the definitions and roles of an entrepreneur and manager has always been high. This is because we do have a sound business foundation. If the existence of such a foundation was a living reality, we would be able to define according to structure who an entrepreneur is and what an entrepreneur does and the importance of entrepreneurship in business. Likewise, the definition of who a manager is, what a manager does and the importance of management in business. For the purposes of clarity and understanding, we shall be considering the key fundamental differences between the two in Nigeria, their roles and functions and their importance as regards the business activities in every particular business.
Before we go into all of that however, it is important to note that an entrepreneur can be a manager and a manager can be an entrepreneur. This is the reason why both roles are often used interchangeably without due recourse to the various definitions that clearly spell out the roles for each. The key differences between an entrepreneur and a manager in Nigeria are depicted in the points below:
- An entrepreneur is the risk taker while the Manager is risk averse: When it comes to risk, it is the entrepreneur that takes the risks; such as founding the company in the first place. The manager is the one who uses the mitigants of risk in order to keep the company in positive cash-flow. The entrepreneur is the one who takes ideas and turns them into reality. It is the manager that takes the products that are created from those ideas and turns them into a profit.
- The entrepreneur is focused on starting things. From starting the company, to creating new products, the entrepreneur is the one who carries the vision or the perfect idea of how things should be within the company. What products, how they are designed and more importantly how they operate are core parts of the construct of the mindset of the entrepreneur. The manager on the other hand is an administrator. He plans and runs the operations activities of the company or business as the case may be. He keeps things in order by giving orders to subordinates and this is the mode of operation that makes managers effective.
- Managers have power as a primary motivation to work. Entrepreneurs have achievement as their primary motivation to work. Managers have to organize their work in such a way that they set milestones in order to track their successes. Entrepreneurs use results no matter how long such results may take to arrive as a guidepost for their achievement and success. This is important because the entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of the organizations that they belong to in terms of creativity, research and development, marketing and envisioning the future of the business they find themselves in. Managers on the other hand are responsible for the maintenance of the business ecosystem that entrepreneurs create. This is how the late nineteenth century business models evolved over the past two centuries and they gave us the model of startup, and growth of companies as we have it worldwide today.
- Usually, the entrepreneur is the owner of the company. As the founder, of course he or she would be companies’ owner. As the one who possesses the grand vision for the organization, the entrepreneur is known to be the one who knows where everything should be in the formative years of the startup of the business. The manager is usually an employee of the company. The manager runs the day to day activities of the company after the entrepreneur has created something that is so wonderful in the eyes of the public that they key into the vision of the entrepreneur by purchasing the goods or services offered by the organization.
- Intuition makes up the core of the decision making process for an entrepreneur. This is the very basis for the creativity and product/service creation process that makes the company to even exist in the first place. Managers on the other hand thrive on deduction. By this, they deduce, calculate, put in place mechanisms, and make sure that everyone is on the same plane with them. They exist for the purpose of maintenance of the systems that have been created by the entrepreneur. Managers are all about the bottom line returns that will show in the financial statement. Entrepreneurs are all about the next great product that will make the company to be popular.
- When it comes to interactions with the humans within the company, the managers are usually the ones that are better able to connect with the employees; mostly due to the fact that they provide the stability that most people often crave. They make sure everyone is comfortable, they are the ones who motivate, nurture and give space to the bright ones to shine. Entrepreneurs on the other hand, though may be likeable are always thinking about the next big thing. They run their businesses the way they feel. They are not after keeping people who cannot deliver results. They are after those who when they say a thing will happen, it happens. This impatience with people in the business environment is not a bad thing as it propels people into being creative. Entrepreneurs give everyone around them a reason to strive to excellence in creativity. Managers give the people around them a reason to strive in emotional intelligence.
- As regards marketing and sales of products, managers are great marketers when it comes to informing people about a product or a service. They serve as the agents of information dissemination, giving the general public the right information; hoping that the public will buy based on the information provided. They even use all kinds of tools to determine what the response of the public will be as regards the products or the services of the company. Entrepreneurs on the other hand are great salesmen. They appeal to the emotions of the public and such making the public to become enamored with the products or the services that they are selling. Entrepreneurs make the product or service to be cool and hence propel the would-be customer to become one in reality. The craftsmanship displayed by the entrepreneur in selling even the very vision of building a company in the first place is worthy of mention. This is true creativity at its best as it is only someone who is truly gifted that can convince other human beings like himself or herself that an idea is worth the effort of spending sleepless nights, hunger and other conditions which may even be dangerous to even their very existences.
- A managers’ reward for his or her work is a decent salary and other wages that serve as adequate compensation for the time, energy and other resources that may have been expended in the process of keeping the ship of the organization flying. An entrepreneurs’ reward on the other hand is the tremendous profits that come from the public acceptance of the product or service that was at one time in history just an idea. This fundamental difference is what keeps the entrepreneur going at night when others have gone to sleep and the manager in a calm mood when things do not seem to be going according to plan. The divergence of the approaches to processes, procedures and protocols is what allows for companies to grow from strength to strength and it gives the companies of the twenty first century the required ability to be flexible enough to change when the need arises and to be rigid in the face of tough situations that never last.
- Managers function according policy. They create, formulate and implement policies that make the organization that they are in to run effectively. Entrepreneurs on the other hand function according to the need of the moment. They are always looking at the next product or service which will change the landscape of the environment in which they exist. Entrepreneurs are always thinking innovation. This is the major driving force for entrepreneurship the world over. For the entrepreneur it is all about making the next leap. Anything or anyone that ensures that this leap is made regardless of the insurmountable difficulties that may exist is a friend of the entrepreneur. They are always looking for people to believe the impossible is possible. While the managers are always working with the possible and making it do the impossible in terms of making resources to last longer than normal, motivating the people to do more than they are paid for, getting a product that has reached the marketplace to continue to make profit despite it is past the expiry date for such a product to no longer be relevant. Managers are the ones who build the foundations for continuity while entrepreneurs are the ones who see the company of the future.
So, you can now see that both managers and entrepreneurs complement each other. They are both needed for any business to start, grow and make headway. An entrepreneur can be a manager and a manger can also be an entrepreneur. Either way, the most important thing to both professions is the fact that the business that has started is succeeding!!! So, which one are you? Entrepreneur or manager? Which one would you like to be? Is there something that is holding you back from either managing effectively or being a fantastic entrepreneur? Please talk about it in the comments below!