Does age matter in business?

RACHEL DUCKER of Apparition Marketing & Design says youth is no barrier to business success

AS THE old saying goes, “with age comes experience”.

However, in business, my question is: “Do you have to be above a certain age to be respected as a good businessperson?”

I’ve often been told that I am wise beyond my years, but within the business environment I sometimes feel that it’s an upward struggle to convince people that I am capable of arranging myself to run a business.

I started my company at the age of 23 and, like any new enterprise, I found it a little daunting to start with. My initial challenge was facing the usual stereotype businessperson and convincing them to take me seriously.

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I totally understand the logic behind most people who think this way; why would you want to do business with a young person with seemingly little or no experience, maybe with someone who is even younger than your own son or daughter?

My thoughts are this: today there is a totally different way of doing business. Our work environment has changed considerably, even within the last two or three years. Lately we have seen much of the business world transformed, basically because of the internet; almost everything can now be done online.

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Most businesses now use websites to target marketing and attract new customers, which can be achieved by the use of Facebook, Twitter and various other social media platforms. Many young members of the business community are very adept at using these methods of communication for marketing and selling; like myself, it’s a method that they’ve grown up with.

I am aware of several members of the traditional business generation that simply refuse to actively use these modern tools of communication to help their businesses grow. They still prefer to do things the conventional way, which is fine if it still works for them, but if a company is not making the profit that it desires, it may have to look more closely at the way it can embrace these more modern methods.

I once read a book called Who Stole My Cheese, written by Dr Spencer Johnson. This international best seller is a parable about four mice that are faced with unexpected change and how they cope and deal with it. Basically the story is a metaphor that helps organizations as well as individuals to relate change within the workplace.

I would like to suggest for younger members of the business community, that if you haven’t read this book already, it might be well worth a look. I know it’s helped me a great deal, along with hundreds of thousands of other people.

Someone once told me “age is nothing but a number” and I believe this to be true. From my own experience I believe that the younger generation has much to offer the business community. What we might lack in experience, we can often make up with passion, enthusiasm and the desire to try out new things.

Of course many traditional methods are still worth following and I’m not saying that we should totally scrap everything that was used in the past. I realise that the secret in operating a successful business may be to use a combination of both traditional and modern methods.

n Whats your view? Get in touch with Rachel Ducker via email –

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