You’ll have no doubt have heard a lot about millennials over the last couple of years. Everything from their dating habits to their housing prospects have been the subject of countless column inches. Why, though, are they important to understand as a business owner? In this blog we look at how they can be valuable to small businesses, and what you need to do to reach them.
Who are millennials?
There is no conclusive start or end date for this generation, but typically people agree millennials include anyone born between the early 1980s and around the year 2000. In other words, an individual reaching young adulthood in the early 21st century.
Why are they important?
Millennials currently represent more workers than any other generation in today’s workforce. If that wasn’t enough, they also make up the largest consumer group with the most spending power. So whatever your business, chances are you’ll need to appeal to millennials both internally and externally.
When looking at a whole generation like this, it’s a mistake to think there are generalisations that apply to everyone. However, there are patterns and trends that are important to understand, as they can make a big difference to your business both now and in the future.
Why hire millennials?
They are typically highly motivated individuals who thrive in a positive environment. It’s a mixture of their entrepreneurial instinct and passion to succeed that drives them forward. The problem is, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for millennials to find jobs, or at least the jobs they were hoping for. Here’s why they could be a good fit for your business:
1) They are ambitious
Ultimately, millennials look for jobs that will facilitate both their personal growth and career progression, and they value this much more than the figure on their paycheck. They want to work for businesses that recognise and build on their strengths. This means they won’t do their job carelessly, they’ll go over and above to prove they’re capable of delivering.
Although this generation have been criticised for job-hopping, a LinkedIn survey found that the most common reason stated by this generation for leaving a job was a lack of opportunities and career progression. This generation wants to keep improving, making them a true asset to any business.
2) They are less motivated by money
Although millennials work hard, they’re more motivated by a healthy work life balance and flexibility than money. That’s not to say they should be paid less, but it shows millennials can see the bigger picture. They don’t define their worth by the hours they work or their salary, but rather the impact they make. As a result, they can be very cost-effective!
3) They are tech savvy
Millennials are arguably the most educated generation to enter the workforce, with a large proportion having a university degree. They have an innate understanding of technology, giving them an advantage over those who need to be retrained. Innovative and keen to put forward new ideas, they grew up in a world of instant information and rapid change, and will look for new solutions to old problems.
4) They are social media experts
Finally, it’s no secret that social media is second nature to millennials. They can magnify your digital presence, acting as social media megaphones for your company. So if you’re looking for great brand advocates, millennials are your answer.
How to attract millennials as customers
As well as being an asset to your business as an employee, it’s important to recognise the value of millennials as customers. They look for businesses they trust. They’re drawn to businesses that align with their passions and offer authentic and original products. Millennials are brand loyalists. Once you’ve won their business, they’re likely to stay loyal to your brand as a customer. Here are 4 simple ways to engage with them:
1) Attract them with personalisation
Millennials love customisation; they like to feel unique and receive approaches that are specific to them. They don’t like to feel as though they’re one of the masses.
2) Show off your independence
Millennials like to give back to the community. They’re fond of companies that support their favourite causes and are much happier to spend their money with local pop-ups than large retail chains. They look for businesses that promote passion and individuality.
3) Promote a casual culture
The professional look of suit and tie doesn’t impress like it used to. When millennials walk into a business, they want to feel relaxed. They want to engage with you and your business and feel like they belong.
4) Offer them experiences
Millennials value experiences over possessions. A study by Eventbrite showed that 66% felt more satisfied by live experiences than buying an item of the same value. If your business sells everyday products rather than experiences, you can still apply this approach by sponsoring live events, offering coupons/prizes or hosting company events.
The future leaders of businesses everywhere, and a force that’s changing consumer habits for good, Millennials should not be underestimated. As one of the largest generations in history, it’s vital that businesses adapt their ways to become millennial friendly.