By Dirk Dieters, Executive Director of The Fremont Group
The term “entrepreneur” has been hijacked! It has been stolen and unfortunately it is so far gone that it won’t come back. Over my 20 years working with small business owners there is a disturbing trend among the younger owners—they have never learned how to make a profit. The merger mania of the 80’s followed by the high tech boom made millionaires out of people who never made money. Today the term “entrepreneur” is associated with people who had an idea, found a backer with a lot of money, created a level of sales volume and hype, and then made their money by being bought out. Compare that to 100 years ago. In 1912 President Theodore Roosevelt gave a speech in Columbus, Ohio.
The great mass of business is of course done by men whose business is either small or of moderate size.” These people he called entrepreneurs. He went on to say that this man is “in no sense dangerous to his community, just because he is an integral part of his community, bone of its’ bone and flesh of its’ flesh. His life fibers are intertwined with the life fibers of his fellow citizens.” These businessmen are “satisfied with a legitimate profit.”
These businessmen were the builders of our communities. Generally their objective was to made a good living and pass the business opportunity on to their children. A business run with the objective is run very differently from a person who is focused upon an “exit strategy” that involves a big pile of cash regardless of the profitability of their venture. This shift in focus has destroyed the fabric of our communities and is resulting in less successful small businesses. For the first time, 2014 saw more businesses close than businesses being created. Fact is—if by today’s definition you are an “entrepreneur” who is planning to make their money by selling out, The Fremont Group is not for you. And since the new definition isn’t going away we need a new word. We have created the word—neopreneur. Whatever is old is new again.
The neopreneur supports his or her family from the profit of their business. They understand that their chances of being bought out with a big payday are about the same as winning the lottery. They may not be passing the business on to their children and they have an exit strategy but their focus is to make money now. The Fremont Group wants to work with neopreneurs. The fundamentals of profitability have never changed but the tools have improved them. We create systems, procedures and controls that make your life better. We believe that there is only one reason for your business to exist—to make your life better. If you spend your day looking to raise millions of dollars you aren’t spending your days trying to make money.
Give us a call. As a non-profit you will be amazed at the results that can be obtained from a very reasonable investment. 303 338 9300