Get ready for the wave of “Greypreneurs”

Friday 2 June, 2017

There is a lot of discussion about the wave of “Baby Boomers” who will be looking to sell their businesses in the next few years, in fact some estimates have the number as high as 700,000 businesses.

It’s hard to see who will in fact buy these businesses, especially as Millennials in particular don’t tend to buy businesses, preferring to start them from scratch.

So what does this mean? Well I think we are about to see the new entrepreneurial boom coming from retirees and they will be known as the “Greypreneurs.” Whether they are existing business owners who simply close down their current businesses or give them away to do something else, through to corporate retirees who have plenty of money, lots of vitality and a rich few decades ahead where they want to do some meaningful work, not just grow petunias.

When you think about it, these Greypreneurs will be formidable. They have a lifetime of experience and knowledge behind them, they are well connected to other successful and well resourced friends, they have access to a world of technology as well as plenty of people who can teach them how to use it or do it for them and last but not least, they know their own market really, really well.

I have no doubt that Greypreneurs will be doing some very cool things in the years ahead. They are not just driven by making money, and this is a big shift away from the typical business model. They want to do meaningful work, run positive businesses and make a difference to the lives of those around them, their community and the planet. This will make things interesting.

For me, I’m certainly going to be looking for ways to work with Greypreneurs. I think there is a lot to be learned from them and in some ways I’m not that far away from being one. I think we will see a new era of socially aware and socially responsible businesses, that consumers want and are now demanding.

The Greypreneur approach will blend really well with the Millennial philosophy and approach to doing business as well. This might sounds strange but their values in business are very similar and aligned in many ways. Neither are about the money and both want to make a difference.

Could this be the perfect storm we’ve been waiting for? I certainly hope so. A new era of ethical business, done for bigger reasons than simply making money? Only time will tell, but I have a very strong sense that this will be the case, simply by what I’m seeing already.

So what can those of us who fall outside the realm of Millennial and Greypreneur do? Get ready. Look for ways to support the Greypreneurs in particular. Many will find the transition harder than they imagined, but they will get there in the end. Watch this space, see it evolve and enjoy the ride as it unfolds in the coming years. The Greypreneurs will be a powerful group and they will change the way we all do business in my humble opinion. Ignore them at your own peril.




About the contributor:

Andrew Griffiths is Australia’s leading Small Business author with 12 books published and currently sold in over 60 countries. He is widely acknowledged as one of the leading minds in the Small Business space. He is a regular columnist on out of New York, a Small Business commentator for CBS, a Mentor in the highly acclaimed Key Person of Influence programme and much more. Touting his own unique style of street-smart wisdom and inspiration, Andrew really is one of a kind. Website: 

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