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No more awkward water-cooler talk. This might be one reason that Gen X is leaning toward opening up their own small businesses. And while the demographic leads others in wanting to strike out on their own, UPS discovered in its latest “Inside Small Business Survey” that 66 percent of respondents dream of opening their own operation.

“How Americans are choosing to open small businesses is where we’re seeing the largest shift. Consumer habits are changing, forcing Americans to consider how they open small businesses in 2018 — whether it’s focusing more on e-commerce than actual storefronts, or focusing on selling to a local community or region instead of a broader national audience,” said Dr. Luke Pittaway, Ohio University College of Business Copeland professor of entrepreneurship in a report detailing the survey results.

To collate the results, the UPS Store tapped Atomik Research to survey 1,003 U.S. individuals in March of this year.

The survey results revealed that 38 percent of respondents were motivated to open their own business by the opportunity to be their own boss. Confidence in their idea was secondary — 17 percent cited this as the primary factor in hoping to open up shop. “Sentiment of starting a small business in 2018 is high, with nearly half of all respondents saying they’d be optimistic about opening a small business this year,” a UPS Store spokesman said.

Generation X was the most optimistic in starting their company — three out of four said they dream of building their own small business. “The types of business Gen-Xers want to open include businesses that offer technology solutions (29 percent), food/restaurant services (22 percent) and product/consumer goods (21 percent),” the respondent said.

And while they might be the most hungry for change, Gen X might behoove themselves to tap a Millennial or Gen Zer to facilitate the process. “Americans overwhelmingly responded in 2018 they would operate a small business as a home-based business (56 percent), followed by brick-and-mortar (30 percent) and then an e-commerce business (20 percent),” the spokesman explained. This lag in digital-first operations presents possible roadblocks ahead for these entrepreneurs.

“It should come as no surprise that Gen Xers are the generation that feel the most optimistic and most willing to branch out and start their own small business,” said Pittaway. “This portion of the workforce is most likely well established in their career, financially equipped and starting to think about how they’ll spend the final stages of their career.”

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