Over the net two years 27 million Americans plan to break the corporate shackled and enter the ranks of the self-employed, essentially tripling the ranks of solo-preneurs. And Millennials will make up about 40% of those workers declaring their independence. This is all according to cloud accounting provider Freshbooks’ 2nd Annual Self-employment Report.
This of course is good news for Freshbooks, which has carved out a niche as the go to accounting package for the self-employed market — think freelance creatives, independent consultants and so on.
The LSA’s Tech Adoption Index business intelligence service tracks small businesses use of cloud services like Freshbooks. While the TAI data shows lower adoption of cloud tools by solo operators than by SMBs with employees (the sweet spot is 10+ employees), the data does show a much stronger propensity to use cloud tools among younger business decision-makers. So the fact that the coming burst in self-employment will be led by millennials signals a surge in the use of small business SaaS tools.
This is all very consistent with the thesis of the TAI program, which is that the ongoing shift in business ownership from retiring Baby Boomers to maturing Millennials will fuel a big shift in the use of cloud software by all small businesses, not just the solo operators. Looking at SMB adoption of cloud tools by age of decision-maker, the adoption rate is 50% among decision-makers ages 18-34 vs. 23% for the 55-64 age group and just 13% for those ages 65 and higher. The wave is definitely coming.