The clash between millennials and baby boomers is as ever present now as it has ever been. Differences in values rock these generations in ways that, for some, can never be reconciled. The differences between baby boomers and millennials symbolize the passing of the old guard to the new. Baby boomer business seems to affirm this view.
Boomers in Business
Baby boomers account for the hiring of a third of all employed Americans under their businesses alone. Also consider the supplemental vendor or freelance jobs that accompany them. They’ve created some of the largest and most influential corporations. Also, shockingly to some, make up 40% of all small businesses as well.
This means that baby boomers retiring may not be fixed. At least, not so easily and quickly by whoever they set up as their successor. In fact, more than half of all small business owners have no succession plan at all. This puts lots of businesses in flux. Many baby boomer small business owners near the age of retirement.
And the reality is millennials aren’t looking to take over their parents’ family business. Millennials today see a diversity in the job market their parents could never dream of, they don’t want the continued routine they’ve seen for years, and are more likely to gravitate towards tech, healthcare, media, and operations. Startups are the new hotness and certainly not without reason.
Who Will Take Over For Boomers?
This leaves baby boomers with two major alternative options, sell or close. Both of these options are going to be happening in massive numbers, but the most interesting of the two is certainly selling. Most baby boomers today do not have adequate or even any retirement savings, and for those with a business it’s more than clear where that money is going to come from.
These aren’t hard sells either, as baby boomer businesses are on average some of the most profitable, established, and reliable out there. What’s interesting is that while the millennial family member of a baby boomer business owner may not want to touch the business with a stick. Millennials simultaneously represent one of the major buying markets for boomer business.
Millennials today are looking to escape the nine to five routine. Many want to do this through tech or other newer options. Many are also looking to own their own business and start something new. One of the best ways to do so is to take the established, successful business. Many boomers have grown and to tailor it in one’s own image.
This is the fate of many boomer businesses is at stake. They hope to fall into the hands of the same generation that rejected to continue the family line. The generation that has rejected so many of the principles of the generations before them will take on their businesses.
And while poetic, it’s certainly not surprising. The wealth transfer of boomers to the next generations is predicted to be for trillions and trillions of dollars. Most assets are tied up in the baby boomer generation. It is on them to decide where and how those assets will move into the future. And while millennials are certainly going to be there to capitalize and make the best of it. They will also continue the trend of rejecting tradition and making decisions on their own merit, even if they end up in the same places as tradition would lead them.
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