The Difference Between Inc. Magazine & Entrepreneur, Part II


Her’s the second part of my post about the differences between Inc. Magazine and Entrepreneur. (You can find the first part here.)

Both magazines cover franchised businesses, but Entrepreneur provides much more focus to franchisers and franchisees. Another essential difference is that Entrepreneur portrays entrepreneurs, which it refers to as “treps, in heroic terms. By way of example, Entrepreneur describes itself as “read by the names you know and the ones you will.” Inc. also covers entrepreneurs but — perhaps because of its main competitor — Inc. refers to business leaders.

One key difference is the definition of small businesses. Recently Inc. listed the “2013 Hire Power Honorees,” its ranking of the small- and mid-size businesses that have hired the most employees over the past year.  What’s notable is that 14 companies had revenue that exceeds $500 million, of which four companies had revenues above $1 billion. Meanwhile, many of the Top 100 Job Creators that Inc. ranked, currently employ thousands of employees each. One — Universal Services of America — employs more than 35,000 people, having added 14,240 over the past year!

In terms of revenue and employees, I’d think those numbers place most of the companies into the large-size company bucket.

Each month, Entrepreneur includes a lot of columns that answer questions — useful topics about ethics, technology, cash flow, etc.

Inc. also features question-and-answer columns, including “Street Smarts,” a column by serial entrepreneur Norm Brodsky (a column I always read, not just because we share a first name), but it also includes columns from executives who are running their own businesses like Jason  Fried, co-founder of 37signals. Inc.’s new redesign got rid of its “Hands On” section but replaced it with a new section called “Innovate” that offers ideas, breakthroughs and disruption to inspire its readers. (The main difference between the old “Hands On” section and the new “Innovate” section is that the new section goes lighter with case studies, making it easier to scan for new ideas.)

Both Inc. and Entrepreneur publish special issues.  Entrepreneur focuses on leadership in March, 100 brilliant companies in June, young millionaires in Sept. and trends in December. Meanwhile Inc. publishes “How I Got Started” in Feb., “How I Did It” in June, the Inc. 500 in Sept. and the State of Small Business in Dec./Jan.

Inc considers its Inc. 500 and the Inc. 5000 (both published each Sept.) to be “the definitive ranking of America’s fastest growing companies,” and it is Inc.’s crown jewel, especially since the magazine includes profiles throughout the year of different companies that made it in that year’s rankings.

In our post about the difference between Forbes and Fortune, I noted that Forbes is more interested in investment opportunities and Fortune is more interested in management. There’s not a clear distinction between Inc. and Entrepreneur because they both cover technology, franchising and management, etc. Some articles in Entrepreneur — like “Ask the Esquire Guy” — are purposely edgy while Inc. is more meat-and-potatoes earnest.

Ultimately, the difference between the two publications is that Entrepreneur is more focused on “business owners” of smaller companies while Inc. is focused on “business leaders” — which is to say: people who may not own the company, even as they “tend to blur distinctions between work and personal life, especially between themselves and their businesses.”

Let me know if I missed something about the difference between Inc. and Entrepreneur.

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