The difference between small business managers and entrepreneurs lies in the scope of their work. One can perform both roles over a business' lifetime, but distinct skills will enhance the ability to fulfill each role. In a nutshell, an entrepreneur's role occurs in a shorter span of a business' lifetime and a manager's role occurs over a long time.


An entrepreneur is a risk taker, willing to take whatever steps are necessary to launch a new venture. She finds a business idea, studies the market and identifies a consumer need and implements a plan to offer the idea to the target market. This job also requires being able to allocate resources to set up operations, which resembles some aspects of a small business manager's role.

Small Business Management

A small business manager runs a small business using a diverse skill set. He coordinates resources to ensure a company meets customers' needs, including human resources, operating capital, supplies, technologies and facilities. The resources a business manager needs are changing, because some contemporary companies function entirely in the cloud, requiring computers, Internet access, a website and online data storage.

Serial Entrepreneurs

A serial entrepreneur specializes in starting companies and selling them once they have become profitable. She takes an idea, weighs the risks and rewards and makes decisions that lead to a profit-generating company. She will experience some failures, but will seek new opportunities to use her entrepreneurial skills, such as creating jobs for herself in other organizations.

Expert Manager

An expert manager can assist a small business in growing and becoming more efficient. This requires looking at many aspects of efficiency, including organizational structure, worker role and task assignments, work routines and supplier arrangements. By trimming excess and duplication in these aspects of a company, he can reduce the company's operating costs. He can rely on the entrepreneur to focus on developing new products, services, locations or markets for the business.