The Fakerpreneur, a fake entrepreneur, is the evil doppelganger destroying entrepreneurship in automotive marketing at car dealerships and dealer groups as we know it. If you work in the car dealership world you definitely know several. Here's how you know your dealer group's marketing department is run by a Fakerpreneur:
They work for someone else
Sounds obvious, but ask any business owner and they can tell you about friends and associates who claim to be 'entrepreneurial,' but work for someone else and have no side-projects on the go. Running your own business means you assume the risk, the reward and the right to boast if you choose to (you probably won't because you don't have time to). Being 'entrepreneurial' allows you to eat off the kids menu since you're in a land of make-believe.
They don't work for anybody
Fakerpreneurs think entrepreneurs have no bosses. Please...no. Entrepreneurs work for their customers. In case you're wondering that's your boss times 100. Customers complain to entrepreneurs about their issues (relevant or not) and, believe it or not, entrepreneurs will attempt to resolve them. Here's a secret. Entrepreneurs have serious insecurity issues when it comes to their customers. They feel the need to 'always be there' for customers as if they have some everlasting bond found only in R&B music. Another thing Fakerpreneurs do is call themselves 'entrepreneurs' when they are really unemployed. You know what I'm talking about. The person who unfortunately lost their job and updated their LinkedIn Profile to say 'Entrepreneur' or 'Digital Marketer' as their job title since you technically don't need any degree or qualifications to call yourself either one of those things. Plus it sounds better than 'Unemployed.' Look, everyone goes through tough times. There is no shame whatsoever in being unemployed, but that doesn't mean you're an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs work for tons of people and they have numerous bosses. They're just called 'customers' instead of 'managers.'
They spend someone else's money for a living
These people are usually in the marketing or purchasing department at large organizations. They award projects to their friends, accept kickbacks and scrub out vendors or partners they don't know. Or, they surround themselves with an army of people. Does this sound like the marketing department at your dealer group? Wouldn't it be awesome to be an entrepreneur with someone else's money and risk? That's kind of like what these people are. They act like the missing member of Shark Tank with someone else's money. Makes you wonder if they would make those same purchasing decisions if they really were entrepreneurs and not Fakerpreneurs. They are quite common in the automotive digital marketing world.
They complain when people pile stuff on them
Let's say an entrepreneur and Fakerpreneur are both working at your dealership on a random Tuesday morning during the work-week. Suddenly a slew of people come in to test drive some vehicles. The Fakerpreneur complains about how much work they'll have to do now. The entrepreneur smiles. They rejoice the opportunity to serve potential customers in a time when they'd otherwise not be expecting to win business. Fakerpreneurs get ticked off when people ask them to do things they are paid to do (ie; their job). They also complain about staying late at work when there is work to be done. Look, it's simple. Stay late today to get the job done and go home early tomorrow. Entrepreneurs don't keep score. They just want the work done when it's there to do. Hey, if you don't like doing the work I'm sure your competitors won't mind it.
They read articles on success and entrepreneurship all day
There are approximately 2.7 million blog posts uploaded per day. 80 percent of those seem to be about being successful or entrepreneurship (the remaining 20 percent seem to be analysis' of those...or about marketing). Understand this. Most entrepreneurs work incredibly hard and work-life balance is something they struggle with. Truthfully, business owners have believed in unlimited paid-time off long before Netflix made that a thing. Entrepreneurs can take off any time they want. The key being any time they want....which is never unfortunately. Every waking moment not spent trying to improve the business or helping a customer can sometimes feel like your committing adultery. No matter how you try to spin it. You certainly don't have time to read 'signs you might be an entrepreneur' articles.
They Play Politics
I live in a major market where most people work in large corporate organizations. The discussions often range from the crazy hours lawyers and finance people work to the politics of middle-management in tech companies. Finance people working 20 hour days seems impressive if done to chase some kind of record, but clearly there must be a better way to approach that problem. 'Internal alignment' in most corporate jobs is the idea of hitching your star to some other hot-shot or manager in the department and picking sides in a departmental struggle. Bill Gates implied that 20% of the employees at various rungs of the org chart do 80% of the work. I'm no math wiz, but that means if you work in a car dealership group with 1000 employees there is a good chance you're kind of useless, unable to justify your salary and could be fired. No wonder most Apple employees were afraid of sharing an elevator with Steve Jobs.
They mistake sales for growth
Large organizations are full of sales people that generate revenue, but that is only a half truth. Selling in a large organization means most leads come from a marketing department. There's no responsibility on sales for delivering on anything that was promised after the sales process. The sales person may be the person that you marry at the altar, but the account managers, product and support team are the ones you spend your life with. An entrepreneur is all of those things. They market, sell, deliver and service. The words 'not my job' are rarely ever said by them since at the end of the day it's their name and reputation on the line. Something Fakerpreneurs fail to process. Selling is just one part of it. Particularly at large organizations where most of the 'selling' is done by the prospect's research. Or, through content created by the marketing department anyway (as outlined in this ebook explaining how Fortune 500 companies market themselves). Sellers in large organizations are predominantly order takers. They can't change the price or the promise and they are rarely the first touch-point a prospect has with your organization. How is that different from a Starbucks barista? Entrepreneurs are master social sellers. They have to be in order to keep their lights on.
Computan can help your short-handed automotive digital marketing department. Our team specializes in inbound marketing services for car dealerships and dealer groups and serve as the back-end marketing support team for close to 100 car dealerships.