The baby boomer generation has officially been surpassed as the largest generational demographic. The “millennial” generation has become the single largest group within the workforce, and are a quickly becoming the largest consumer group as well. Millennials make up more than one-quarter of the U.S. population, with more than 83 million individuals born between 1982 and 2000.
Considering the impressive size of this generation, you can see why it is critical that your small business recognizes millennials. In fact, millennials buying patterns have shown that they prefer small businesses, compared to other generations. Thus, how effectively you engage with millennials will have a huge impact on the success of your business. To ensure your company appeals to millennial consumers, consider the following reasons why they love small businesses and how to attract and win them as customers.
Millennials Aspire to Be Small Business Owners
Known as the most entrepreneurial generation, many millennials aspire to be small business owners and are eager to be their own boss. According to a study released by America’s SBDC, 49 percent of millennials have plans to start their own small business in the next three years, and 38 percent have already been a part of a startup. With so many millennials hoping to work for themselves one day (a whopping 75 percent), they are conscious of entrepreneurial values and are very supportive of small businesses, both local and online.
Millennials Emphasize Trustworthiness that Small Business Provides
The recession had a huge impact on millennials, who were just beginning to trickle into the workforce. The effects caused many of this generation to steer clear of large businesses and corporations for fear they might be untrustworthy. In general, millennials trust themselves to provide their own financial security. An overwhelming 61 percent shared that they believe the best job security comes from owning your own small business, rather than seeking employment by others. This distrust towards “big business” is just one of the many reasons millennials prefer small businesses.
Millennials Share Experiences
A study by Harris Group revealed that more than three in four millennials (78 percent) would rather spend their money on experiences than ownership of goods. Again, the crash of 2008 heavily influenced millennials “access, not ownership” mentality. These individuals witnessed the hard-earned savings of their parents and grandparents destroyed – and they have not forgotten. Millennials not only value experiences, they also like to share them with friends and family (this is the generation of social media, after all). In addition to sharing personal content, millennials are quick to share their experiences with small businesses as well.
Millennials Like to Know the Origin of Products and Services
Similar to the growing farm-to-table trend in the restaurant industry, millennials are concerned with where the products and services they purchase come from. According to research, a massive 92 percent of millennials believe that business success is measured by much more than the bottom line. Millennials prefer to buy locally from small businesses – even if the goods are more expensive than mass market alternatives – because they feel more connected to the products/services they are purchasing. Very community-oriented, millennials are attracted to the stories behind local artisans, service providers and manufacturers.
Millennials are the Brand-Loyal Generation
Born into the age of e-commerce, millennials are exposed to more brands on a daily basis than any other generation. Even so, they are also considered the most brand-loyal generation. Millennials want to feel like they are part of something. When they do, they quickly transition from customer to brand advocate. In a recent study by Elite Daily, millennials explained what influences them to share information about a brand online: 39 percent said, “a quality product” and 30 percent said, “a good customer experience”. In addition, 62 percent of millennials are more likely to become a business’ loyal customer if that brand engages them on social networks.
How Your Small Business Can Reach Millennials
So, how can your small business attract millennials and win their business? Start by avoiding the go-to strategy of advertising and focus on being social instead. Mindful of the ways they can help their community, millennials want to stay connected – online and off. Drive repeat purchases by using social media platforms to share new opportunities, offers and promotions. Your small business can also strengthen its connection with this generation by sharing the stories behind your products and services.
Pursuing a cause that your business cares about will also gain these customer’s trust and loyalty. 75 percent of millennials feel that it is very important for a business to practice social responsibility, not just make a profit. Since millennials also strive to be unique, embrace your brand’s personality and the power of customization; you want millennials to have a personalized, authentic experience every time they engage with your small business. If your business is in need of financial strategies to help pull in the Millennial crowd, contact Security Business Capital today to find out how our services can help you.
The millennial generation has become the single largest group within the workforce, and are a quickly becoming the biggest consumer group as well. Great news for the small business owner, millennials buying patterns have shown that they prefer small businesses, compared to other generations. To ensure your business appeals to millennial consumers, consider the following reasons why they love small businesses and how to attract and win them as customers.