Our Aging Population Is Good News for Small Business

The National Council on the Aging reports that there are currently nearly 31 million American over the age of 65. With the aging of the “baby boomer” generation, senior citizens constitute an excellent market for today’s small business. Plus, as life expectancy extends each year and more and more senior citizens postpone retirement, resist placement in nursing homes, and remain physically and mentally active, the average purchasing power of each individual senior citizen is increasing each year. Services/products that have been traditionally viewed as well suited for the senior citizen market (such as travel, health care, golf courses, and estate planning) are still in demand, but today and tomorrow’s senior citizens will also need a range of apparel and accessories, computers, audio, video and telecommunication equipment, and sports cars.

The senior citizen market includes several significant submarkets in need of specialized products and services. For example, the U.S. Census Bureau says that about 3 million children live with grandparents representing an almost 40 percent increase over the past two decades. US News and World Report says the figure could be three to four times higher. Companies that have been providing products and services to parents could expand their revenues by learning how to promote those same products in a way that attracts purchases from older consumers. Plus, grandparents raising children may be more receptive to some products including second hand clothing, transportation services, and cruises.

The submarket of EMPLOYED SENIOR CITIZENS has unique transportation, clothing, and training needs, while the submarket of ATHLETIC SENIOR CITIZENS needs more sports equipment, muscle relaxant, and Gatorade. The submarket of SENIOR CITIZENS WHO ARE DATING needs more flowers, theater tickets, and variety of restaurants, while the submarket of SENIOR CITIZENS WHO LIVE IN MOBILE HOMES need space saving devices, disposable products, and propane.

There are also related submarkets affiliated with the senior citizen market. For example, more than one in five working adults provides some care for an elderly relative. The average age of these care givers is 50, and nearly 40% of care givers are still raising children of their own according to Newsweek. These members of the “sandwich generation” need help with their errands, house cleaning, repairs, and financial management.

The successful business owner will be the one who realizes that senior citizens do not constitute one huge homogeneous market. Whether you sell insurance, education, French wine, or aspirin, tomorrow’s senior citizen represents tremendous opportunity for a wide variety of new loyal customers.


Known as The Growth Strategist®, Aldonna R. Ambler, CMC, CSP helps rapidly growing mid-sized companies (typically $20 – 200 million/year) realize their goal of Achieving Accelerated Growth With Sustained Profitability® through opportunity/resource analysis, executive coaching, strategic working sessions, and her intermediary role regarding growth financing. Her clients are among the brightest, most ambitious business leaders whose names now appear on published lists of the fastest growing privately held corporations. The recipient of 23 prestigious awards for her success as an entrepreneur and industry leader, Ambler hosts a peer-to-peer Internet radio program, aptly called The Growth Strategist®, which features lively interviews with CEOs of midmarket companies who have successfully executed the growth strategy of the week.  She can be reached toll free at 1-888-Aldonna (253-6662), by e-mail at Aldonna@AMBLER.com or online at www.TheGrowthStrategist.com.

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