Types of Start-up Firms

As shown in Figure 1.2, there are three types of start-up firms: salary-substitute firms, lifestyle firms, and entrepreneurial firms.

Salary-substitute  firms are small firms that yield a level of income for their owner or owners that is similar to what they would earn when working for an employer. Dry cleaners, convenience stores, restaurants, accounting firms, retail stores, and hairstyling salons are examples of salary-substitute firms. The vast majority of small businesses fit into this category. Salary-substitute firms offer common, easily available and not particularly innovative products or services to customers.

Lifestyle firms provide their owner or owners the opportunity to pursue a particular lifestyle and earn a living while doing so. Lifestyle firms include personal trainers, golf and tennis pros, the owners of bed & breakfasts, and tour guides. These firms are not innovative, nor do they grow quickly. Commonly, lifestyle companies promote a particular sport, hobby, or pastime and may employ only the owner or just a handful of people.

Entrepreneurial firms bring new products and services to market. As we noted earlier in this chapter, the essence of entrepreneurship is creating value and then disseminating that value to customers. In this context, value refers to worth, importance, or utility. Entrepreneurial firms bring new products and ser- vices to market by creating and then seizing opportunities. Dropbox, Facebook, and LinkedIn are well-known, highly successful examples of entrepreneurial firms. Having recognized an opportunity, the entrepreneurs leading companies of this type create products and services that have worth, are important to their customers, and provide a measure of usefulness to their customers that they wouldn’t have otherwise.

One characteristic of entrepreneurial firms, which will be explored through- out this book, is that they partner with other firms and organizations, often to obtain the boost they need to realize their full potential. In each chapter, look for the boxed feature titled “Partnering for Success,” which illustrates how entepreneurial firms used partnerships to increase their chances for success. This feature in this chapter discusses how entreprenurs and their firms are engaging business incubators and accelerators to gain access to mentors, partners, investors, and other critical start-up resources.

Next, we describe the newly emerging characteristics of today’s entrepre- neurs. You may be surprised to learn about the types of individuals who are choosing to become entrepreneurs! While reading these characteristics, think about people you know who are accurately described by these characteristics. Do you think any of these people will choose to become entrepreneurs?

Source: Barringer Bruce R, Ireland R Duane (2015), Entrepreneurship: successfully launching new ventures, Pearson; 5th edition.

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