A recent survey found that baby boomer business owners are growing as a group, are profitable, and making an impact
According to a recent survey, 57% of small business owners are over the age of 50. A recent survey by Guidant Financial, a small business financing company surveyed more than 2,700 current and aspiring small business owners across the United States.
According to David Nilssen, CEO of Guidant Financial, “in 1996, about 20 percent of small business owners were over 50. Our survey shows that there has been a massive shift toward baby boomer owned businesses – nearly 300 percent”. Adding, “this generation of entrepreneurs has had a huge and growing impact on small businesses in America and will continue to”.
Highlights from the survey include:
- Boomers remain happy as business owners. The average boomer business owner ranks their happiness at eight on a scale from one to 10 (10 being the happiest). Boomer men are happier than their female counterparts – 56 percent of boomer men ranked themselves at a happiness level of nine or ten, ten compared to 45 percent of boomer women.
- Baby boomer business owner’s confidence in the current political climate is contracting from both the lower and higher confidence ranges. On a scale of one to 10 (10 being the most confident), eight percent of the share ranked at a five or below, a decrease from last year. Overall, boomer women are less confident, with only 26 percent of survey respondents giving a nine or 10 compared to 31 percent of baby boomer men.
- Baby boomer women trend towards higher levels of education than their male counterparts when it comes to high school and Associate’s Degrees. When it comes to holder Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate degrees, there is very little difference between male and female baby boomer business owners.
- Baby boomer owned businesses have been in business longer than their Gen X or millennial counterparts. As a result of the longevity within their businesses, they created more jobs than millennial-owned businesses.
- The top three baby boomer small business industries were Business Services, Food and Restaurant, and Beauty and Fitness.
- For baby boomer business owners surveyed, the most challenging aspect of running a business is lack of capital or cash flow. Additional difficulties cited depended upon how long a business had been in operation. Businesses up to three years old cited marketing and advertising as their second biggest challenge. For companies four to seven years old, the second most challenging issue was bookkeeping and payroll and employee recruiting and retention was the second biggest issue amongst respondents in business for over eight years.
- Respondents main motivation for opening a business was that they were “ready to be their own boss”, followed by “wanted to pursue my own passion”.
- Seventy seven percent of baby boomer business owner respondents reported that their businesses were profitable.
In terms of opportunities respondents are focused on, seventy three percent are focused on growing their current business, while nineteen percent would like to open an additional location for their business. Only eight percent reported as being interested in selling their businesses.
With regard to how baby boomer business owners would use capital to invest in their business, respondents were tied between expansion and equipment, both at 20 percent of the share. These goals were shared across businesses open for any duration, with marketing and advertising coming in close behind, followed by staffing.
While millennials seem to get all of the attention, baby boomers are having a big impact in terms of profitability, hiring, and sales. Seventy seven percent of respondents reported that they were profitable, while they also reported hiring at a greater rate than millennial business owners. More significantly, baby boomer owned businesses make over $5.14 trillion dollars in sales.