Gen X Buyers

Gen X Buyers

I’d like to share some quotes and statistics about Generation Xers taken from “Realty Bites,” Bloomberg Businessweek – September 18, 2011.

Generation Xers, the 33-to-46-years old who grew up with the breakfast club and the compact disk, are in the prime in their working lives and it isn’t pretty. At least according to a study by the Center for Work–Life Policy, sponsored by 67 companies, including Bloomberg LP. The study found an overworked, underrewarded generation.

Gen Xers who aspire to become entrepreneurs:

Men 39%

Women 28%

On Job Loyalty
“I’d rather know that I’m going to lay myself off than get blindsided by a boss and have security lead me out of the building.”
Even as the recession sent many GenX entrepreneurs back to corporate jobs, few see their positions as a long-term safe haven.

Answers to “Why do you prefer working independently?”

• Like to have control over work

• Like to control when and how projects get done

• Dislike working with teammates who don’t do their share

• Recognition is important to me

• Difficult to reach consensus in a team setting

• People who work independently get ahead

The problems facing business brokers today are no different than it was 20 years ago – finding buyers and sellers. The methods, however, have changed dramatically. Gone are the newspaper ads in the Business Opportunity section. Finding buyers is now almost a complete result of subscribing to as many of the various listing sites as one can afford. The newspaper had rules, but you could place an ad that excited a potential buyer. For example:

Sandwich Shop – Great location. Easy to handle. Real $$ maker.

Perfect for working couple. Owner must sell. Small down payment.

For info call ———– Agt

This is an over simplification. The purpose of the ad was to make the phone ring. Then get them into the office to discuss not only the sandwich shop but to find out what they were really looking for. Today, the listing sites make the broker conform to what they think buyers want to see on their sites. They would publish the businesses’ complete financial statements if they could. They seem to be buyer-driven rather than driven to get sales for the brokers who actually support the sites.

We have talked to quite a few very successful business brokers who obviously have to use these sites, but — and this is the important difference – they insist the buyer come into the office before they supply any of the important aspects of the business or businesses. The Internet has allowed buyers to find out all they want via email, so they decide without even seeing the business whether they are interested or not. If only about one out of 12 to 14 buyers who called on an ad actually came in to the office, you can imagine the numbers on how many come in based on email. Two axioms: 1. the importance of personal contact (face-to-face) and 2. the business still sells when the tire hits the curve. Those people who just want the numbers aren’t really buyers. Buyers are serious about going into business for themselves.

I realize the business is changing, The Internet has made so much information available. Buyers can go into these listing web sites and see what similar businesses are selling for, etc. They probably know as much about the business they are inquiring about as we do.

So, what does this have to do with the statistics I presented at the beginning of this article?  There is a whole generation described as overworked and underrewarded, a generation with a good percentage desiring to be their own boss, a generation in the prime of their working lives.

The buyers are out there, do you have the businesses they want to buy?