As business owners born in the generation aptly titled Baby Boomers reap the benefits of the seeds sewn throughout years of perseverance and success, a new breed of entrepreneurs must emerge.
Such is the case of Marian and Bob Zajic, owners of Marians Kids, a child care provider in Lees Summit for more than 30 years, and Myrna and Josiah Hensley, enterprising entrepreneurs with Lees Summit roots.
In mid-June the Zajic family sold their business to the Hensley family with the help of Diane and Vince Seif, a pair of Lees Summit-based business consultants.
A real estate broker had this contact and said, well, this young man is interested in buying such a business, Vince Seif said of the business relationship fostered between the entities. They put us together, and it took about six weeks of work.
The sale is a microcosm of an emerging market, Vince Seif said.
The Baby Boomers are reaching the age of sooner or later they are going to want to sell their business, he said. And this is going to be true of any small business in small towns all across America. And who are they going to sell to? They are going to sell to the next generation up, which are people like Josiah. I think thats a coming business model; to represent and promote the sale of Baby Boomer businesses to the new generation.
Marian Zajic said the transition from business owner to retiree will not stop the family from continuing their philanthropic endeavors in the community.
As little as possible, she said when asked what the couple has done since the sale went final June 11. Were very active. We volunteer a lot wherever.
Josiah Hensley said his previous business experience was in Texas where he owned a pick-up and deliver dry cleaning business. The Hensley family spent two years in Houston before moving back to the area a little less than two years ago. The time spent in Houston was well worth it, Hensley said.
My wife and I like the daycare industry, he said. We have three children of our own, 3-years-old and younger. We like being with kids, obviously, and we wanted to take that and offer that to the community. Marian has already started providing during her time, but we want to continue and do the things that we know and add to the business.
This is our first large venture, but I have a lot of experience in business and dealing with people. I have a friend in Houston that owns two daycare facilities. We saw it and got to experience first-hand what they did and how they did it, and we thought, man, this is something we would really like to do.
In a small world moment, Hensley said working with the Seif family on the sale was a good thing; he actually attended high school with the daughter of Diane and Vince Seif.
Its good when you work with people that know people on both sides, Hensley said. I went to high school with Vinces and Dianes daughter. To have some connection with people that know people on both sides of the deal and trying to work something out thats good for us and thats good for them and ultimately good for the business if both people are getting what they need to be successful in business I think that is pretty helpful.
For Baby Boomers like Marian and Bob Zajic, retirement will bring on many challenges, but nothing to stop them from enjoying the fruits of their decades-long labor.
Were going to do car trips, Marian Zajic said. Were going to take our dog and just travel all over the country. Were just kind of laying back and enjoying the phone not ringing.