Many Baby Boomers starting businesses instead of retiring to rockers
Posted On July 30, 2018
As millennials take over the workforce and Generation X moves into management, Baby Boomers are ready to slide off into retirement.
But what if they don’t?
While Guidant’s parameters for the Baby Boom generation were a little wide, its survey found that more than half of the country’s small business owners are over 50.
And these aren’t just Boomers who have been running their own show for a long time. A 2017 USA Today article notedthat according to a Kaufmann Foundation study, nearly one-fourth of all new entrepreneurs were between the ages of 55 and 64.
The overwhelming majority of those 50-and-up entrepreneurs have five or fewer employees, according to the Guidant survey, and only 15 percent of them struck out on their own due to being laid off or having their jobs outsourced. The rest said they opened a business to pursue their passion, to get out of the corporate rat race, or simply because they saw an opportunity.
More than two-thirds of their companies are profitable, and about three-fourths of these entrepreneurs say they’re very satisfied with how things have turned out.
Presumably these are not all hardware stores, consignment shops and hearing aid franchises. While the most popular sectors for Baby Boomer entrepreneurs are business services and restaurants, according to the survey, probabilities dictate that at least some of these grey-haired entrepreneurs must be operating tech-related start-ups, building, selling or repairing gadgets, accessories or software that weren’t in existence when they made their initial forays into the working world.
At the very least, to be profitable they must have adapted to today’s technology-driven marketplace in whatever line of business they chose – using social media and other digital tools to boost productivity, efficiency and exposure.
And Mark Zuckerberg hadn’t even begun thinking about his Star Wars-themed Bar Mitzvah – much less Facebook — when they started their first job.
All of which would go to show: That old line about old dogs and new tricks is a load of bunk.