If you’re a small business targeting Millennials, you might want to think bigger.
Sure, they’re your customers. But they might also be your next investors.
Just ask the people at Wealthfront, an online financial services start-up that raised $64 million last month, all while targeting Millennials as customers.
Huffington Post political columnist Adam Hamft writes:
“Every sweeping cliché about Millennials — that they are addicted to the itch and twitch of immediate gratification, that they are not interested in participating in the casino stock market — is being sent to the generalization graveyard. Not just because of the success of Wealthfront — who has crossed $1 billion in assets under management — but also the growth of Betterment, LoanVest and others who have a hungering eye on the $7 trillion in liquid assets that Millennials will have in their generational clutches within the next five years.”
While Millennials might make for good investors, many companies are finding them lacking as employees, according to J. T. O’Donnell, founder of Career HMO.
Writing on Inc. earlier this month, O’Donnell gives three reasons why Millennials aren’t holding onto jobs:
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They assume employers will coach them.
“An employer pays us to do a job. We are service providers. Expecting extensive training and professional development to do the job doesn’t make financial sense.”
She says Millennials should seek out online tools to help their own professional development, and seek out a mentor whom they could work with privately.
They tend to be clock-watchers.
“Millennials tend to work only the minimum time expected — and will push for flexibility and a reduced work schedule to create more time for other pursuits. Being demanding about when and how they want to do their job can be viewed as disrespectful.”
She recommends Millennial workers try to come in early and stay later in the first weeks and months of their job. By showing commitment early on, they can gain their employers’ trust and respect, allowing them to take time off in the future.
They want to have a “fun” workplace.
“Besides career development, they also desire lots of cool perks and benefits to make their job feel more rewarding.”
Yet these kinds of perks don’t necessarily lead to a fulfilling job, which leads to dissatisfaction among both employers and employees.
Whether Millennials are strong potential investors or shaky potential employees, small business owners may want to work on ways to embrace this segment of the population.
As O’Donnell points out:
“Now that they account for 50 percent of the work force and climbing, you will need to learn to work with them to keep your business in business.”
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