6 Types of Entrepreneurs: Matching Your Style to the Right Business Model


When discussing types of entrepreneurship, it is vital also to identify and recognize types of entrepreneurs. To fully appreciate the spectrum of entrepreneurship, we’ll discuss six main types of entrepreneurs: The Creator, The Builder, The Operator, The Innovator, The Visionary, and The Analyst. We distinguish between these types of entrepreneurs based on key characteristics that can uniquely contribute to different types of entrepreneurship, businesses, and stages of a business’s life cycle.

Most successful businesses experience a typical life cycle, progressing through different stages over time. Each stage can significantly benefit from the qualities found in various types of entrepreneurs, including differences in leadership, communication, and entrepreneurial skills. These distinctions also mean that different types of entrepreneurs will be attracted to companies in various stages of that life cycle.

So, which type of entrepreneur are you?

Comparing Types of Entrepreneurs

The Creator

Creators are the lifeblood of the entrepreneurial world, constantly dreaming up new ideas and possibilities. They thrive in environments that value innovation and ingenuity, often leading the charge in developing new products, services, and even industries. Creators are visionary in their approach but may need help with the monotony of day-to-day operations.

  • Full of enthusiasm for a specific product or idea.
  • Has a brilliant and creative mind, constantly spinning with new ideas.
  • May not easily focus on one project at a time (and may get bored with just one).


The Builder

With a focus on growth and scalability, Builders are the architects of the business world. They excel at taking a concept from the idea stage to a fully operational entity, driving expansion and navigating the complexities of scaling a business. Builders possess a unique blend of strategic vision and practical execution, making them pivotal in the rapid growth phases of a company.

  • Takes a credible idea or product and builds a company around it.
  • Has the ability to grow a business; often an excellent salesperson.
  • Finds great satisfaction in the thrill of the hunt and watching the company grow.


The Operator

Operators are the stabilizing force within the entrepreneurial ecosystem. They excel in creating efficient, scalable systems and processes that underpin the operational success of a business. Detail-oriented and process-driven, Operators ensure businesses can grow sustainably by implementing structures that support scalability and efficiency.

  • Gets the company organized by putting processes and procedures in place.
  • Is often detail-oriented and finds improvement opportunities in the company.
  • Keeps things focused and on track with long-term growth goals in mind.


The Innovator

Always on the cutting edge, Innovators push the boundaries of what’s possible. They are not content with the status quo and constantly seek new and disruptive solutions to complex problems. Innovators are crucial in driving technological advancement and are often behind the most groundbreaking products and services.

  • Always looking for a better way to do things, not just new products or services.
  • Thrives on change and is comfortable with uncertainty.
  • Often disrupts industries with groundbreaking ideas.


The Visionary

Visionaries can see beyond the horizon, imagining not just the future of their company but the future of markets, technology, and society. They inspire and motivate others with compelling visions of what could be, making them natural leaders and change-makers. However, they may need support translating their broad visions into actionable plans.

  • Sees where the world is going and has big ideas about getting there.
  • Inspires others with their deep conviction and unique perspective on the future.
  • May need help with the day-to-day details but excels in strategic planning.


The Analyst

With an inclination for data, Analysts make decisions based on rigorous analysis and empirical evidence. They excel in environments where they can apply their analytical skills to optimize business performance, identify new opportunities, and mitigate risks. Analysts are particularly valuable in the later stages of a business, where strategic decision-making is crucial to sustaining growth and profitability.

  • Uses data to drive decisions, loves metrics and analytics.
  • Can be essential in the scaling stage, optimizing operations and maximizing profits.
  • Might lack the creative flair of The Creator but brings a rigorous approach to business growth.


Which Kind of Entrepreneur Are You?

After comparing the different types of entrepreneurs, consider which type best describes you. You have probably taken on various roles throughout owning and growing your business. But, at the core, ask yourself:

  • Which role is or has been most natural to you?
  • Which stage did you most enjoy?
  • Which stage are you the best at?

Author Marcus Buckingham has highlighted the importance of leveraging individual strengths within an organization. What are your core strengths? Can you offer those strengths to your company each day?

Understanding Types of Entrepreneurship

Identifying types of entrepreneurship can help guide entrepreneurs in exploring different pathways to business ownership and success. By aligning one’s inherent strengths and entrepreneurial type with a complementary form of entrepreneurship, individuals can navigate their entrepreneurial journey with greater confidence and strategic alignment. Consider the following five types of entrepreneurship:

Social Entrepreneurship

Focused on solving social problems, this form of entrepreneurship blends the drive for profit with the desire to positively impact society. It requires a unique blend of passion, innovation, and practicality to create solutions that are both effective and sustainable.

Franchise Entrepreneurship

This form involves replicating a proven business model across multiple locations or operators. It offers a balance of entrepreneurial independence with the support and structure of an established brand, making it appealing to those who prefer a clear roadmap to success.

Scalable Startup Entrepreneurship

Characterized by high growth potential, scalable startups aim to disrupt existing markets or create new ones. This form of entrepreneurship is high-risk but high-reward, requiring a blend of innovation, strategic planning, and execution prowess.

Lifestyle Entrepreneurship

For those seeking to align their business endeavors with their lifestyle and values, this type of entrepreneurship offers a path to balance passion with profit. This form allows entrepreneurs to build their businesses around their interests and desired lifestyle, often prioritizing flexibility and personal fulfillment over rapid growth.

Acquisition Entrepreneurship

Acquisition entrepreneurship involves purchasing an existing business. This path appeals to those who prefer to work with established operations, focusing on optimization, expansion, and strategic redirection to enhance value and profitability.

Matching Entrepreneur Types with Types of Entrepreneurship 

Understanding the various types of entrepreneurship, we can recognize that each demands different skills and attitudes from its leaders. Based on these qualities and our experience, we’ve done some match-making:


Social Entrepreneurship: Well-suited for the Visionary who looks to significantly impact society, not just build wealth.


Franchise Entrepreneurship: May align well with the Operator, who excels in following established processes and scaling a proven business model.


Scalable Startup Entrepreneurship: Requires the innovative mindset of the Innovator, ready to disrupt markets and scale rapidly. Builders are also well matched with scalable startups, where they can fully utilize their ability to scale a business from the ground up in pursuit of market disruption and rapid growth.


Lifestyle Entrepreneurship: Best suited for the Creator who seeks to balance personal interests and business pursuits, crafting a company around a lifestyle.


Acquisition Entrepreneurship: A path well-suited for the Analyst and the Builder that leverages existing business models, customer bases, and operational systems to build wealth and expand market presence. 

Bridging Entrepreneurial Types with Business Needs

Evaluating your business through the lens of an outside consultant can reveal the type of entrepreneurial leadership it currently needs. Aligning your strengths with the business’s needs is crucial for its success. If there’s a misalignment, it doesn’t reflect poorly on your leadership; it simply indicates a need for adjustment or perhaps a new direction.

Entrepreneurs often find that their roles evolve as their business grows. It is crucial to recognize when it’s time to transition responsibilities, whether through hiring, partnering, or seeking an exit strategy. For those contemplating what’s next, considering the alignment between your entrepreneurial type and the stage or form of entrepreneurship your business is in can provide valuable insights. Understanding where you fit within this framework can guide you toward the most fulfilling and impactful entrepreneurial journey.

Establishing a relationship with a professional business broker can help ensure you are informed and prepared for whatever comes next. If you’d like to confidentially investigate these questions with a trusted advisor, we are here to help. Contact Viking today.