Is there a great difference between an entrepreneur and a freelancer? It depends on the perception. It also depends on the way you run your business. Entrepreneurship certainly commands more respect compared to freelancing. Being an entrepreneur means you are running a business instead of randomly taking on assignments and getting paid for them.
When you’re working on your own (you are self-employed) you are not simply doing projects. While doing the actual work you also have to constantly promote yourself and network. You manage your website on your own. You do blogging. You network with people on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You are constantly creating content to establish authority and project yourself as an expert. You’re taking care of your finances, bookkeeping and probably also filing your returns.
Here are a few things, according to this The Next Web blog post, that can turn you from a freelancer to an entrepreneur:
The scale of projects begins to get bigger
In terms of client profile and cash flow your projects become to get bigger. Instead of providing just a single component (web design, content writing, logo design, etc.) you also begin to act as a consultant and start charging accordingly. You don’t just handle one aspect of the project. From commencement to execution to implementation, you take control of procedures and resources. Consequently, you don’t get paid as an individual, but as a business.
Your business actually has a name
You are no longer selling your services as an individual, but as a business – you have a name for your business (something like XYZ Consulting Services). Although people know you personally but instead of you they are actually dealing with a business. They are invoicing your business, and not you, and you too are charging as a business and not as a person.
You begin to outsource work to people or begin to employ them
As you undertake more complex assignments, you cannot handle them on your own. You need to work with more people, whether you’re simply outsourcing your work to them, or giving them full-time employment.
You have a well-defined plan of growth
You no longer survive from day-to-day or month-to-month. You’re having long-term plans. You have a clear vision of how you’re going to start from point A and reach point B. You have a marketing plan. You know where you are going to get the needed resources. You have developed enough expertise.
Is it necessary to term yourself as an entrepreneur rather than a freelancer? Again, it depends on your perception. There is nothing wrong in being a freelancer for the rest of your life. As long as you are happy, content, and making a good living, it doesn’t really matter. But if it matters, being an entrepreneur is far more rewarding than being just a freelancer.