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Start Your Business Entrepreneurs

Millennial vs. Boomer Entrepreneurs: What Constitutes Work?

Millennial vs. Boomer Entrepreneurs: What Constitutes Work?
Credit: bikeriderlondon/Shutterstock

As a small business owner, what do you consider work? Is it simply what you do in the office or does it encompass things like checking emails on the weekends and going to networking events? Turns out, millennials and baby boomers don't see eye to eye on what's "working" and what's not.

Fifty-three percent of small business owners report working less than 40 hours per week, according to the 2014 DNA of an Entrepreneur survey by insurance company Hiscox. While that may come as a surprise, the number seems to be due to differences in how people of different generations view work itself.

According to the report, 72 percent of millennials (under age 30) view attending networking events as work, as opposed to only 40 percent of  baby boomers (over 60), who described these tasks as career development instead. The same goes for reading emails outside the office – 80 percent of millennials said it constitutes work, whereas only 45 percent of  boomers agreed. [The 5 Places Millennials Want to Work Most ]

This is interesting, the report noted, since millennials are a generation known for being constantly connected to the Internet.

The study also found some interesting data about male and female small business owners. Over the last year, women have narrowed the gender gap, reporting more new customer growth (62 percent versus 53 percent) than men, as well as equal growth in the number of employees hired.

Men are also twice as likely to have plans to sell their business for profit as women are. However, the vast majority report they are not planning to leave their business within the next five years. Of those that do, 68 percent plan to retire and close their business altogether.

And for those who aren't planning on closing or selling their business in the near future, there are some challenges and concerns.

Forty-three percent of small business owners said they worry about not being able to attract new clients, and 31 percent worry about facing the rising cost of debt. In addition, 65 percent reported that getting financial funding for a new business is still difficult.

Despite these concerns, more than half (51 percent) of small business owners in the United States said they're optimistic about the year ahead, according to the report.

The study was conducted by market research company The Survey Shop on behalf of Hiscox. The findings were based on responses from 3,500 owners or partners of small businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

Originally published on Business News Daily.

Brittney Helmrich

Brittney M. Helmrich graduated from Drew University in 2012 with a B.A. in History and Creative Writing. She joined the Business News Daily team in 2014 after working as the editor-in-chief of an online college life and advice publication for two years. Follow Brittney on Twitter at @brittneyplz, or contact her by email.