According to the Census Bureau, Millennials are now the largest living group. Is your business ready for the coming changes?
No matter what business you’re in, you are going to be looking to millennials to fill your workforce needs any buy your products and services now and into the future. So what does that mean? Inc.com recently published an article entitled “10 Business Trends that Will Grow in 2017” that discusses this very issue.
Catering to a group that grew up with technology, that have likely never seen a rotary dial or pay phone, who have ever seen or used a typewriter, may be a bit challenging for senior executives. Another reality is that Millennials are more entrepreneurial than their predecessors and are looking for tools and companies that allow them to follow their dreams.
So you’d better consider adhering to at least some of these trends before you find your company lagging far behind.
- Create tech tools for the non-technical – Although Millennials are heavily dependent on their devices, most are not particularly knowledgeable when it comes to the actual technology behind those devices. That accounts for the success of content management systems like WordPress which enables people to easily build their business online.
- Personal branding will be bigger than ever – Want to write books that people read without ever talking to a publisher? Love the idea of playing music that people react to without ever dealing with an agency or recording company? Welcome to the internet where instant celebrity is possible. Companies that create personal branding tools will likely thrive.
- Working remotely is here to stay – We’re all connected nowadays, even when we’re hundreds if not thousands of miles apart, thanks to Skype and videoconferencing. Millennials may love your company, but also love where they live and don’t want to sacrifice either. Now they don’t have to. You can still hire the best and brightest even if they’re not in a nearby cubicle.
- Appeal to Millennials in the way they work – Just because their work ethics are different, doesn’t mean they’re any less valuable to your company. Millennials are eager for ongoing training and mentoring. They often look at creative ways to do their jobs and that can lead to innovation that can actually help companies as they adapt to this brave new world.
- It might be a good time to sell that brick and mortar business – With so many shoppers going online for just about any product and service, look to see boomers start selling their companies and stores. In fact, according to the Inc. article, “many of these Baby Boomers will try to get ahead of their competitors by selling their businesses next year, before the market becomes too competitive and business buyouts decrease.”
- Millennials are more focused on health – It’s true that Americans are more obese than ever, but a large portion of Millennials, especially those you want to appeal to, are very focused on a healthier lifestyle. Just look at the incredible success of Fitbit, the growth of wearable tech and fitness apps, and a greater awareness of nutrition and healthy eating.
- e-commerce will continue to grow – If you’re not selling online (B2C or B2B) or using social media to advertise your products and services, you’re going to miss out on communicating with the largest audience possible. It’s easier to grab success online as you can change promotions as soon as you see specific results; plus upselling is easier than ever.
- It’s all about the customer’s wants and needs, not just selling the product – There’s a lot of competition out there, so you need to do more than just offer a product. Millennials don’t want to be sold…that’s why they call it the “sharing economy.” Uber, Lyft, Airbnb offer more than simply car service and a place to sleep. They offer users what they want when they want it in a format that suits their individual unique needs.
- People perform their jobs better when they’re doing what they love – This sounds so obvious but generalists who have to know everything are being replaced by those who are able to focus on the tasks that they do best. The article cites a Gallup survey showing that productivity increases 21% when employees are doing something they really like to do. Going forward, companies that want to successfully recruit and retain Millennials will focus on their natural skills and talents while also offering them additional training to further their knowledge and skills.
- If it’s not that easy being green, it certainly is profitable – Millennials are more environmentally focused than any generation before them. They’re well aware of the damage of climate change and are more inclined to purchase products that are also environmentally friendly. But don’t try to “greenwash” them; they tend to do their research and if you just say your product is green without having the backup to prove it, you can lose this group entirely. Expect a big uptick in green products and energy-saving devices next year and into the
So, what are you doing to appeal to this largest living group? Tell us how your company is following these trends or setting some of their own.