Most Small Business Owners Are Middle Aged, Not “Cool Kids” The Media Loves | small american business

WWhen you think of the typical small business, do you think of the savvy and beautiful actress Anne Hathaway, who ran a Brooklyn-based fashion startup on The Intern? Or maybe you think of Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network?

TV commercials show energetic young entrepreneurs rushing for success. The covers of business magazines at the airport feature the cool kids making millions of dollars. It is the young and beautiful faces of entrepreneurship that the media adore. The reality is that the face of small business looks a lot more like me.

I am 56 years old and I own a small business. I am the real demographic. Indeed, according to a new investigation Out of more than 3,000 business owners led by Score, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the Small Business Administration, 51% of U.S. small businesses are owned by people over 55, even though we only represent 21% Population.

Yeah. Small business owners – the majority of them – are middle-aged people like me.

These business owners, whom the Score study calls “Encore Entrepreneurs”, have quite distinctive characteristics other than wrinkles. According to the survey, we are 62% more likely to receive non-government assistance and 20-46% more likely to be approved for government assistance, including P3 loans, unemployment insurance and other sources of assistance. federal / state financial aid, compared to younger people. business owners. Looks like the government appreciates the experience rather than the young people!

The study also found that instead of capitalizing on these funding opportunities, many of us prefer to rely on our personal finances, including savings (74%) and credit cards (36.6% ). We are also 52.3% more likely to finance our businesses using retirement savings, compared to young entrepreneurs.

Most of us small business owners don’t run these hot startups or build exciting apps. We own restaurants, gas stations, pizzerias and roofing companies. We manage projects, sell gaskets, pave roads and ship pallets of packaging materials. We have been doing this for decades. And we are still going strong.

So what does this mean? Until new generations slowly and inevitably take over, ‘old-fashioned’ ways of doing business will continue to be the norm, and there will be resistance to the things the younger generations want and the younger people want. As the adoption of new technologies, entrepreneurs are making the move to the “cloud”, implementing incremental benefits like working from home and unlimited paid time off. Unfortunately, old-school owners will be slower to adapt to today’s more inclusive work environments and behaviors.

Many middle-aged business owners also mean an impending boom in succession planning and exit strategies. BizBuySell, a business sales market, is already reports an increase in the number of businesses buying and selling (at higher prices), and this trend is likely to accelerate as the 51% approach retirement age. Employee stock ownership plans – led by older owners who want to pass their business on to employees – are also on the rise, as are industries that deal with wealth management, retirement planning and counseling. fiscal.

More importantly, this represents a great opportunity for young entrepreneurs who want to start their own business. Do you really think these 51% have their successors lined up? Based on my customer experience, I can assure you that it is not. According to James Walrack of First American bank70% of America’s 12 million private businesses, where baby boomer wealth is concentrated, are expected to change hands over the next 10 to 15 years. Yet 75% of business owners admit they haven’t made a plan to transfer ownership and management of their business when they’re ready to retire.

For young entrepreneurs, climbing the ranks of a business owned by one of those older entrepreneurs, with a plan to buy out the owner, is – for me – a more solid path to success than starting something out. start from nothing.

So be patient, my young friends. Your time will come. ]

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