Gen Y’ers, Millennials, or Echo Boomers. Whatever you know them as, they’re a force to be reckoned with.
Raised in a time where technology is second nature, these business dynamo’s understand better than any other generation how to use tech to their advantage – both personally and professionally. While this is a big advantage, it’s not the only power they have over older age groups – not by a long shot.
Yet in spite of this, somehow Millennials still have a reputation for being lazy, selfish and riddled with debt.
This post will dispel this myth, showing why Gen Y’ers are actually better and smarter at business and marketing than anyone else.
1. They’re heavy users of social media.
Gen Y’ers are among the most avid and knowledgeable users of social media. According to Pew Research, the average millenial has 250 Facebook friends, and 81% use the platform. The older generations have much lower use-rates. Millennial social media users are also more likely to use their online connectedness to create networks of friends and colleagues. These affiliations are undoubtedly priceless when it comes to building a business.
2. They’re the most educated business owners.
According to Pew Research Center, 40% of 25-29 Millennials have at least a bachelor’s degree. Just 32% of Gen X’ers who had a bachelor’s degree when they were in that age group. The percentage is even higher for Millennial women, with nearly half (46%) having at least a BA.
3. Digital comes naturally to them.
According to Pew Social Trends, Millennials are the only generation to whom digital platforms like mobile technology come naturally. “They are “digital natives.” “They are the only generation for which these new technologies are not something they’ve had to adapt to.”
This intuitive use of technology puts them in good stead when it comes to leveraging it for business.
4. Millennials have strong leadership aspirations.
According to Universum’s large-scale Millennials study, 40% of respondents said being in leadership was “very important” to them. Another 70% said it was either important or very important. This percentage debunks the myth of the commonly-held belief that Millennials are lazy and ambitionless.
5. Even their hobbies tend to be digitally-based.
According to this infographic from Goldman Sachs, Millennials conduct their activities online. They watch TV online, play videos games, use social media, download music, and use IM or chat. Boomers or Gen X’ers don’t.
Because of their frequent use of technology – even in their spare time – they may have a better grasp of digital trends and how to reach a digitally-obsessed audience.
6. They communicate using technology more than other generations.
Asked how they communicate with others about brands or products after searching online, Millennials reported using all digital. They use texts, social media, instant messaging and blogging more than the older generation (source: Goldman Sachs). I for a fact know they use Calendar more than any other generation. They also love Calendly.
7. They’re more likely to buy online.
From 2008-2014, Millennials were more likely to buy online than any other age group. Because of this, they know the importance of ranking in Search and of providing a great online buying experience.
8. Millennials believe that businesses can make a positive impact.
Deloitte’s 2017 Millennial survey gave some insights. 76% of Gen Y’ers say they believe businesses can have a positive impact on society and the world.
The report states, “Again, we see ‘super-connected millennials’ at 89 percent.” The survey shows these “active citizens” (80 percent), to be among the strongest advocates of business.”
9. They are more positive and hopeful about business in general.
Millennial believe that “businesses behave in an ethical manner” and 62% say that business leaders are committed to helping society.
Millennial business owners have high expectations for themselves and for their businesses.
10. They value hard work.
Some businesses have had a common belief that Millennials will do as little work as possible. A survey from Project: Time Off shows that Millennials are actually more likely to want to be seen as “work martyrs.”
This martyr group can be defined as workers who are irreplaceable. They hesitate to take vacation days and who want to be seen as completely dedicated to their work.
11. They know how to save money.
According to Pew Research, fewer Millennials live independently than before the recession. This may be largely due to higher housing prices and more student debt.
The bottom line is this: Millennials aren’t afraid to do what it takes to save money. They handle the inconvenience and embarrassment of heading back to mom and dad’s basement, to save some cash.
12. They truly understand the sharing economy.
The older generations don’t understand the need for some services like Uber, Airbnb and WeWork.
For Boomers, ownership was seen as the pinnacle of success. Yet Gen Y’ers understand the benefits of pooling resources. They are more likely to understand the importance of integrating shared economy practices into their business models.
13. When it comes to buying products, Millennials value price over quality.
While non-Millenials believe quality is more important, Millennials are more likely to value a lower price tag. While some see this as a negative, it’s this mindset which motivates Millennial business owners. Millennials intend to drive down costs so they can offer the lowest prices possible.
14. Millennials value a healthy lifestyle.
15. Millennials aren’t as flighty as everyone thinks.
Gen Y’ers have a reputation for jumping from one job (or business) to the next. Pew Research reports Millennials stick with a job as much as the previous generation did at that age. Take that, Boomers!
It seems no Millennial is immune from being called “lazy” or entitled.” Hopefully not for long — when all the tally’s are published.
Entrepreneur Evan Spiegel has even had to contend with these types of mischaracterizations. This reputation still followed after co-founding the social media giant, Snapchat.
Spiegel has been quoted as saying, “When we decided not to sell our business people called us a lot of things besides crazy. He continues, “things like ‘arrogant and entitled.’ The same words that I’ve heard used to describe our generation time and time again.
“The Millenial Generation. The ‘Me’ Generation. Well, it’s true. We do have a sense of entitlement, a sense of ownership, because, after all, this is the world we were born into, and we are responsible for it.”
I hope this post has proven that Millennials are anything but lazy. Watch! It will be proven that Millennials really do make the best and smartest business owners.
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