Our ageing population is and will continue to change our economy. Entrepreneurs can seize the opportunity to thrive with this change.
As the population in general gets older; entrepreneurs need to understand the opportunities that presents in tangible terms.
In the 1970s, there were roughly eight people of working age for every person over 65. That ratio has declined to almost four and will continue the decline to roughly two by 2050.
Ultimately, in proportion to retires, this means there will be fewer workers to drive economic activity and fund social programs. Current immigration patterns are not off-setting declining birth rates and longer life expectancies.
Labour Shortages: Some companies are already struggling to find qualified employees. Experienced workers will be too old to actively embrace full time work and they certainly cannot embrace physical work.
Hard hit companies are more likely to experience slowed growth, be less competitive and suffer quality concerns with their products and services. They will struggle to meet demand in an effective and efficient manner.
In response, automation will be developed and embraced to offset growing staffing issues.
To attract qualified employees, employers will need to develop employee value propositions that go well beyond compensation issues to position themselves as attractive employers.
For example, a few years ago, I was hired to take over the day to operations of a consumer research consulting company. I immediately brought in an enhanced employee proposition that included: 10% – 20% pay increases, annual employee reviews, an employee benefit package with amenities such as massage, chiropractor, and counselling, payment for job related courses, increased sick days, fitness programs, handicapped access, matching retirement plan contributions, remote work facilitation, effective on-boarding strategies, workplace wellness initiatives, phase out programs for retiring employees, enhanced use of technology. That was driven forward in less than two years.
We will likely see a trend toward greater appreciation of currently under-utilized and under appreciated segments of the workforce. This will be embraced with flex hours and a side hustle mentality.
Consumption Patterns: Many sectors with an ability to effectively mirror the ageing population will thrive will others struggle to survive.
Clear winning business opportunities include health care, home care, medical billing, senior wellness, workplace wellness, mobility, education, home renovations and business coaching.
Businesses catering to Bucket List experiences will also do well; such as Travel and Leisure.
Educational programs catering to older adults will do well. Some of the current child education and tutoring franchises on the market today will need to adapt their programs to embrace older learners. Post secondary institutions will roll out programs focused on seniors.
Retail of many consumable goods will likely see a decline. Seniors are expected to purchase less quantity but better quality items and keep them longer. A such in-home repair services for these goods will do well.
Housing Markets: In wealthier countries, such as Canada and the US, the increasing trend is for the elderly to stay in their homes longer, given they usually own them outright. The stress of moving and downsizing is also avoided.
Home renovations and new home construction will increase accordingly. We can lay new floors, replace all the window screens, interior and exterior painting, build a sun room or upgrade the deck. Franchises in these fields will do well with targeted marketing.
Opportunities: There are many franchises that cater specifically to the changing market demands or our ageing population:
In-Home Healthcare Solutions
Medical Billing Management
Senior Wellness Programs
Medical Profession Staffing Agency
Perm and Temp Staffing Agency
Hospitality Industry Staffing Agency
The current COVID crisis has dramatically highlighted the preponderance of poor care in our senior care centres. Many families are rapidly re-thinking their current placement strategy.
In-home services enjoyed an increase in demand over recent years and senior care workers have been underpaid and under appreciated. This will change.
In-Home Senior care will experience increased demand and the workers in those fields will see a corresponding improvement in their compensation, working conditions and with their career opportunities. This is good for everybody.
Consumers will realize better choices, competition will bring in better quality, improved service options and the calibre of the workers will rise in relation to the compensation improvements.
Senior care franchises offer affordable options. Industry experience is not required. Sales, management skills and a genuine passion for the industry of senor care drive success.
Some senior care franchises can be run effectively from a home-based office. Many provide real potential to earn an income well over $100K / year.
Mobility services can be adapted to reach beyond only seniors. Athletes and people with handicaps require similar services. There is a demand for short term rentals at recreation and convention centres, government buildings, hotels and tourist attractions
In addition to in-home senior care, mobility services, such as lifts and walkers, can help keep seniors in their homes longer.
Bottom Line: Our ageing population represents risks and tremendous opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses. Let’s talk about your career transition strategy.