Study Compares Older, Younger Business Owners

Age has a lot to do with small business owners’ economic and business attitudes as well as their brand preferences, finds a new survey by The Business Journals.

Each year, the Business Journals survey approximately 2,200 owners and top executives of small and midsize companies to look at their attitudes about the economy and their own businesses.  This year, researchers looked at how much of the survey sample fell into a younger demographic (those under 40) and how their views compared with older business owners.   Among the survey’s findings:

  • The vast majority (85 percent) of surveyed business owners were 40 or older.
  • The average household income for those 40 and over was $157,700, about 15 percent more than younger business owners.
  • Older business owners worry more about national issues, the state of the economy, the rising cost of doing business and the impact of health reform.  Younger owners, on the other hand, are more concerned about having enough time to spend with their families, dealing with stress and finding a trusted business adviser.
  • Among favored brands, younger business owners like Virgin America while older owners prefer other carriers.  In computers, younger owners like Apple while older ones like HP and Toshiba.  With financial services, younger owners like E*Trade while older ones like Fidelity and the Vanguard Group.
  • Older owners have a smaller percentage of minority owned companies:  9 percent, compared with 19 percent of businesses owned by those 39 and younger.
  • Less than half (41%) of older business owners consider themselves to be  expert users of the Internet,  compared with more than three quarters (79%) of younger business owners.

More results from the survey can be found here.

About Lynne Strang

I'm a freelance writer who helps organizations and individuals meet their marketing and communications goals. I am also the author of "Late-Blooming Entrepreneurs: Eight Principles for Starting a Business After Age 40." To learn more, please visit my website:
This entry was posted in Business, Career Changes, entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Retirement and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Study Compares Older, Younger Business Owners

  1. Mike Wilson says:

    Started mine when I was 33. Now, I am well north of 40. I am not surprised that those who start their own businesses are a little older. Having a few miles under your belt can help you have the tools and the mental toughness to make it.

  2. lbstrang says:

    Agreed. While the survey results suggest that younger business owners have an edge in some areas, there’s a lot to be said about life experience.

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