I had a disturbing conversation with a 35-year-old small businessman yesterday. He confirmed what I have observed. We seem to have produced a generation of young folks who have little desire to own and build their own businesses.
My young friend is the exception and has started a couple of enterprises, and purchased a small printing business. When asked if he knew anyone in his age group who wanted to start a franchise restaurant, a small business or anything of their own, he replied that most of his friends, fraternity brothers and peer group network didn’t want to work that hard!
Most real estate people build their own little businesses because they start by working on commission and hopefully grow a retirement through personal investments. This doesn’t seem to be a burning desire for many in our younger generation.
We read and hear that small businesses are not hiring, and some of this is because we don’t see a younger generation of startups — at least in my small town.
In my community, I know many folks in their 50s and 60s who built very successful entrepreneurial enterprises. Many are quite well to do, and in several cases will leave a great legacy of a company or group of enterprises they started. Several started as food and restaurant franchisees that are viewed as high risk (only one in four survive being the common caution).
This is an easy formula for many with energy and drive. Many of our wealthier business people trace their success back to a restaurant, café or small motel they started.
Shouldn’t now be a perfect time to encourage the younger generation to embark on entrepreneurship?
There is vacancy in our strip centers and small offices so developers and banks will be friendly to their ideas.
Unemployment is high so there should be a pool of people to hire.
Investor dollars are piling up with little places to go. Don’t you think that a good energetic business idea might attract some down payment or joint venture capital?
One of the easiest bank loans to get now is a Small Business Owner Operator loan because they can be government guaranteed.
Maybe it is a good time to talk up entrepreneurship and brainstorm with the younger generation around us!
Stephen R. England, S.E.C., ALC lives in Kearney, Nebraska, and is past President of the Society of Exchange Counselors (S.E.C.) in 2006 and past President of the REALTORS Land Institute (RLI) in 1994. Steve has taught national real estate courses for both RLI and S.E.C. Steve works in all types of investment real estate with special expertise in agricultural properties. Steve’s primary practice in recent years has been a client-focused approach that develops solutions to complicated problems through exchanging or other creative techniques. Steve is an active investor and consultant working in multiple states. Currently, Steve is available to present his most recent course, “Marketing that Difficult Investment Property in any Economy.”