Although this article is applicable to a broader population, it is written with a special eye toward Baby Boomer owners of lower middle-market businesses. Why? First, because it’s the Baby Boomer business owners who will be most affected by the demographics of which they are a part. Second, because the resulting market changes create unique challenges to companies in the lower middle-market segment. Demographic trends will have similar effects on businesses in the micro segment (with annual sales of less than $5 million), especially those at the upper end of that category. However, these forces are less likely to affect owners of smaller “lifestyle” businesses that don’t count on liquidating their companies to achieve their personal and financial retirement goals.

THOSE WILD AND CRAZY BABY BOOMERS

By definition, a Baby Boomer is someone born between 1946 and 1964. That’s over 75 million people in the United States—more than 26 percent of the total population. Baby Boomers became better educated than any prior generation of Americans. The stereotypical Baby Boomer has an optimistic, competitive, “can-do” personality. Due largely to those characteristics, Baby Boomers own a significant percentage of privately held U.S. privately held businesses—likely more than half of companies with more than a handful of employees. 

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