Today’s Typical Small Business Owner

July 25, 2007

According to a study done by Experian, small businesses make up 99.7% of all U.S. businesses. Small business is described as employing fewer than 500. Who are these small business owners? Today’s small business owner is between 48-51 years old and is likely to have a college degree. They also tend to participate in physical activities, as well as being active travelers. Women start 1,600 businesses a day, according to Intuit Future of Small Business Report.

Intuit’s report states one of the main reasons that women become small business owners is to get around the “glass ceiling.” Mothers with small children find it more feasible to work from home; therefore, becoming mompreneurs. The percentage of women business owners is growing almost twice the rate of all businesses.

I find these statistics to be quite interesting because they reflect me. I am a 53 year old, educated, woman who exercises on a regular basis. When I received my marketing degree, my plan was to work in the marketing department of a corporation. It never occurred to me to become an entrepreneur. Needless to say, my plans to work for a corporation didn’t quite pan out. Graduating from college at 44 years old presented obstacles. After numerous applications and several disappointing interviews, I decided that if they won’t hire me, I will hire myself. So, I combined my experience and education; therefore, coming up with the concept of providing virtual assistant services. And the rest is history.

Based on the aforementioned information and statistics, I guess I am what is known as “today’s typical small business owner.”

Rita J. Cartwright, Owner
RJ’ Word Processing Services


The New Face of Airlines

July 19, 2007

My husband and I recently traveled to Nashville for his family reunion, and we noticed that there is a new face in airlines. We flew on two different airlines, and one of them in particular employs mature flight attendants. Obviously, when flight attendants were known as stewards and stewardesses, they were not quite as mature. As someone who just had a 53rd birthday, I appreciated seeing the new face of today’s airlines.

When I received my bachelor’s degree, I was 44 years old. Needless to say, changing careers at that age had its difficulties. One of the reasons I started my own virtual assistant business was due to the type of positions I was offered.

There are stereotypes surrounding older workers; for example, they won’t last long or they have health issues, which leads to absenteeism. In fact, employees who are 50+ are more reliable, have stability, knowledge, and experience. The workforce can’t survive without this group of people who are also known as baby boomers. According to an article by Marian Stoltz-Loike, PhD and David Madison, PhD entitled “Making Full Use Of The Maturing Workforce,” there were 76 million baby boomers born between the years 1946 – 1964. Due to the erosion of retirement savings or lack of retirement plans, baby boomers can’t afford to retire.

The workforce is comprised mostly of baby boomers and, if they all retire taking their knowledge with them, it will be up to the younger generation to carry on. No matter how educated younger employees are they lack the necessary knowledge that is required to run the business. It would be in the best interest of employers or hiring managers, who are generally younger, to realize this important fact. Apparently, American Airlines is aware of this vital detail. The flight attendants look just like me.

Rita J. Cartwright, Owner
RJ’s Word Processing Services