How Millennials See Owning a Business

Business Ownership For Millennials

millennials running businesses

As someone with a millennial generation daughter I fully understand that the world is seen very different by Generation X than it is through the eyes of the Millennial. I don’t necessarily understand it but I do know that we see things very differently.

One of the biggest differences is that Generation X was raised on careers, jobs and salaried work. For Millennials, the gig economy and doing things for yourself is far more forefront of the career path.

Owning and running a business is also seen very differently.

Research from Wells Fargo Bank looked at how the millennial generation see running a business. The research is US based but it equates just as easily both sides of the pond.

Business Through a Millennial’s Eye

Let’s look at some of the big differences;

  • 80% of millennials see starting a business as a long term thing that they will develop and ultimately pass down to the next generation, this compares to 66% of older SME owners
  • 77% of millennial business owners are optimistic about the next 12 months compared to 51% of older business owners
  • Where older business owners see themselves as a ‘business owner’, the millennials see themselves as ‘freelancers’ or ‘entrepreneurs’
  • Millennials are also less financially risk averse with 67% willing to take financial risks compared to 51% for older business owners

The research shows a real divergence in how different generations see owning a business. In itself this is no real shock and no great shakes, that is until you realise that this generation of business owners are everyone’s next clients and suppliers.

The challenge is that their demands and expectations differs as much as their outlook.

A survey conducted by Lloyds in 2015 showed that millennials have a very different set of priorities. This survey showed that of the millennial generation:

  • 56% would turn down a job offer if they disliked the culture of the company regardless of salary
  • 45% want flexible working and 22% the option of working from home
  • 32% wanted continued development and training as part of their employment package

When you start to look at the results of the surveys then you realise that the next generation are very different from the ones before and unless the generations already running businesses understand that then they will eventually run out of new clients.

Maybe it’s time to review the future plans and be a little more millennial.

By Dave Farmer

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