The Aging And The Restless

Maid Services

Boomers are also using many services their parents couldn't afford or deemed unnecessary. Maid services, for example, are popular with boomers who could easily clean their own houses but prefer to pay someone else to do it. "Boomers are a large part of our target market not because of their age, but because of their income levels," says Don Hay, 58, president and founder of home cleaning franchise Maid Brigade. "Our research reveals no intention on their part of cleaning house as long as it's an affordable service."

As more boomers approach retirement, the number of those able to afford home cleaning services will also increase. "We're growing 20 percent per annum, and we attribute almost all of [the growth] to boomers," says Hay. "I'd say over 80 percent of our customers are boomers, and most will continue using our services in retirement." Just as casually clothed retirees are unlikely to ever return to their pinstripes, those who start using home cleaning services at age 50 probably won't revert to scrubbing their own toilets at 60.

This is also because boomer women are shattering the myth of the curler-crowned happy homemaker wiping down counters and vacuuming living room carpets. "Ninety-three percent of our female customers are college graduates," says Hay. "They have no desire to clean house as their mothers did."

Create an ad that really hits home. Read "Generation Explanation" to find out how to sell to baby boomers.

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This article was originally published in the October 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: The Aging And The Restless.

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