The Changing Face of Small Business: Your Future Customers

Sometimes we get a certain “image” of a small business owner – whatever that image may be. Clearly, it’s not necessarily about “who” the small business owner is, but about their character and business plan (are you happy Tim Berry!).

Intuit commissioned a study, authored by the Institute for the Future, entitled, Intuit Future of Small Business Report. The study shows two things:
1. That by 2017, the white, middle-aged men who traditionally launch small businesses will be outnumbered by Generation Yers – those born after 1982 – women, immigrants and “un-retiring” baby boomers opting for entrepreneurship as a second career.
2. Many baby boomers nearing retirement age will launch new businesses in far greater numbers than their counterparts from earlier generations, the study found. Their motivation: diminished job security, disappearing pensions and health benefits, and the need to match savings with longer life expectancies.
The study showcases that a new breed of immigrant entrepreneurs will turn to the Internet to launch business, using their language skills, strong educations, multi-country contacts and professional experience to form international partnerships.
Of course Intuit has a vested interest in knowing more about these customers. Many of them already use Quickbooks but Intuit is gingerly going beyond its software and also has a community for entrepreneurs, such as (Read my review here)
A shift away from traditional employment and entrepreneurial education will also grow the study shows.
Why is this important to you?
Many of these new entrepreneurs will be YOUR customers, vendors and partners.
If you are not keeping your eyes on the future, and only keeping your head down, focused on your business you’ll have no vision for growth nor a roadmap for the future.