Generational difference between Micro Business Owners

20/09/2017 By Mark Long
Research Problem

The Media team at a bank wanted to generate a set of new insights to demonstrate the triggers, aspirations and pressures faced by owners of ‘Micro Businesses’. In particular, the bank was keen to unpack any fundamental differences that were apparent between younger and older business owners. The results of the research were to be used to generate content for trade and consumer press, helping to reinforce the bank’s position as a go-to for aspirational business owners.


The survey questionnaire was placed to a carefully selected audience. The research was co-ordinated and hosted by Alligator (BVA BDRC Group). Minimum quotas were set to ensure statistically robust samples of business owners in the 18-30, 31-50 and 51+ age group categories.


The research generated a wide range of new insights to support media objectives. The ‘stories’ included:

  1. The challenge millennials face and their wavering confidence compared to baby boomers.
  2. The uncompromising baby boomers – not prepared to sacrifice their lifestyle vs. millennials who would fall on their swords to ensure their business survives. Also the exit plans of baby boomers – whether planning to wind up or sell up or passing the business onto family or workers.
  3. The untapped use of technology – baby boomers are underusing social media and are challenged more by advancing technology.

Surveying business owners has been something we’ve done for a long time through the Business Opinion Omnibus and SME Finance Monitor. Contact Annette White to find out more.