Someone once said the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, or now. The same can be said for starting, building or growing a business. it’s easy to bemoan that you should have done x or y last week, last month or ten years ago and hindsight has always been a wonderful thing. But don’t let not having started yet, stop you from starting at all – that’s a fairly quick trip down the avenue of regret.
It’s also easy to feel a little intimidated by ‘all’ those Gen Y business owners making it big. BUT really they’re such a tiny minority – they barely register on the business scale – neither locally or globally. Don’t believe me?
Business Isn’t Just For Young People
According to the recent Bankwest Business Trends Report, 10.8% or 1.2million Australians are running an SME either as an employer or as a sole trader/contractor. And although business owners come from all walks of life across all ages, the propensity to start a business increases as we get experience under our belts. In fact, those aged 45-54 were roughly twice as likely to start a business as their 20-something counterparts.
Australia’s Brains-Trust Is Maintained As The Over 60 Business-Owner Sector Grows
One of the biggest surprises from the data was that although the numbers are a little smaller than those aged 25-34 starting businesses as a proportion of business owners, the numbers of business owners over 60 had increased more 50% in the past 10 years.
And even though, the total number of business owners fell slightly in the last year, the most robust group, with the smallest drop in numbers were 60+. The data now shows 1 in 5 Australians over 60 are now running their own business – often part-time – but running them nevertheless.
How wonderful is that? Possibly many were forced to reconsider their retirement options due to the GFC, but the up-side of that is that Australia’s working capital or in other words our ‘brains trust’ are still available for the rest of us to draw upon.
What About Women?
Interestingly although there are still more male-owned businesses (12.7%) as compared to women-owned businesses (8.5%), businesses run by men appear to be declining (-3.8% over the last 10 years) whereas women-owned businesses have grown a whopping 12.8% over that same period. Hence it’s probably not too out there to suggest those numbers will even up in the shorter to medium term. But as with the over 60s, sisters are doing it for themselves more on a part-time or more flexible basis.
So What Does All Of This Mean?
What it all boils down to is that as a homogenous group, if there is such a thing, as business owners gain wisdom and deal with life’s interesting circumstances (euphemistic for getting past our youthful exuberance) we appear to become not only more resilient but savvier. We’re better at making work fit around our lives instead of having our lives fit around work. We put into practice the knowledge and experience we’ve gained over a couple of decades.
Best of all these numbers show that it’s really never too late to start a business. It doesn’t have to be a ‘could have been’ or an ‘if only’. If you didn’t start 20 years ago, start today.
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If we can help you get some of your admin set up and under control or you’re in need of a service office – we’d be delighted to talk to you. You can call me on +61 2 9994 8000 or visit us online.