09 May 5 Ways Millennials are Changing the Business World
For all the bad rep that millennials get—for being self-obsessed, lazy, and for being honchos of self-gratification, this group has also changed the business world. Probably part of that necessity to have instant gratification is to approach things with a business mindset. Or maybe it’s their “laziness” that got them invested in starting a business rather than working in a 9-5 job. Whatever may be the case, it doesn’t change that these millennials have paved the way for a new genre of entrepreneurship.
Here are the ways millennials have changed the business world:
Social media have become an integral part of business
Let’s go back to the issue of millennials being lazy. To be fair, this should not be accepted as a fact. It’s not really true. But for the sake of discussion, this is how that “laziness” led to something revolutionary: A bum millennial turns into an influencer. So here is a young person who doesn’t want to take a job that requires them to work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. But what they do like is to document everything they do in a day: what they eat, what they wear, and other trivial and interesting things they do. And their friends actually like that they post those things. And after a while, they amass hoards of followers. That’s the time they become an influencer. It is understood that the things they do on social media get attention and influence what others eat and do. That definitely is a game changer. If a person can influence others using social media, a company can, too.
Nowadays, social media are essential to every business. It was a free advertising resource material that companies did not maximize until millennials boosted its importance. Millions have their own Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media accounts. Some people even have all social media accounts. Companies don’t even need to pay to showcase their products or services in any of these social media platforms. But of course, if companies want to ensure that their products and services will be seen, they can also advertise in all these platforms. Social media is the easiest way to reach a wide range of audience.
A lot of companies have considered millennials experts when it comes to social media. This is why many companies hire young people to handle their social media accounts. It works for many companies because the young ones know how to make content that clicks. They know what posts get so many likes and what kind of content becomes viral. They might get flack for being lazy and entitled, but they do know their niche.
There is a shift in the buying practice of people
You think millennials are lazy, right? Then credit them for the creation of apps that allow people to shop from the comforts of their homes. So millennials don’t like to go outside and shop for food, clothes, groceries and other important stuff. Well, with shopping apps, people only need to click some buttons on their phones and whatever they need will be delivered on their doorstep within the day—or whatever the deal was with the app. This kind of innovation would not have prospered if there was no clamor for it. It turns out, the clamor came from the “lazy” millennials who want an easy life. Everybody else got to reap the same benefit.
So as people modified their buying activity, businesses also have to change the way they do business. They can’t just rely on people visiting their shops anymore. They have now started partnering with shopping or delivery apps in order to cater to a wider range of clientele.
Businesses become more open to remote workers
As mentioned a couple of times, millennials are not keen on working the usual 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. job or an eight-hour work in general. This is why a lot of the millennials prefer working on their own. They develop their own business, one that they could work on at the comfort of their own homes. This will also lead us back to the concept of being an influencer. Basically, an influencer uses their personal time and activities for the business. If they gain followers and likes by showing off their personalities, then that’s when business takes off. Brands would now tap them to advertise their products or services in their social media platforms.
Two things can happen here. One, the business could tap the social media influencers to advertise their products or services. Some pay these influencers in cash, others in kind—through the products or services advertised. Just like with mobile apps, companies also have to be more open to partnership with these social media influencers when it comes to advertising goods and services.
Another option that would come out of this attitude of millennials working whenever it suits them rather than what the company policy states, is that companies become more open to giving this younger generation some flexibility. Some companies have been more open to millennials clocking in at the hours they prefer and in the comfort of their homes. Most of these millennials are hired for social media purposes anyway. Some are also hired for their youthful creativity, which comes out at any part of the day and not just between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
There are certain advantages to allowing employees to work remotely. First, you will be saving on office space. That computer, office supplies and coffee allocation of an employee will no longer be needed since they opt to work outside the office. Eventually, as this kind of work situation is offered to a larger number of employees, the company may not even need a bigger office anymore. Instead, the company can opt for a shared office space, which would save the business a lot of money.
Businesses are now respecting the youth’s taste
Again, for all the criticisms that millennials get, their tastes are actually important to companies. Among the questions companies ask: Would this product or service appeal to millennials? Could millennials afford this product or service? Would millennials post about this product in their social media accounts?
Millennials are actually smart buyers—whether this is authentic or for practical or show reasons, it doesn’t change the fact that these young ones are more prudent buyers. For one, they are practical buyers. This is probably more for financial reasons. While they are still struggling to earn a living, they can’t just splurge on things. However, they don’t buy things just because they are cheap. Millennials only buy things that are affordable yet of good quality—something they can brag about on Instagram. That’s where the “show” part of things comes into play. Millennials also buy things to show off on their various social media platforms. So companies also need to do some research on what millennials want and not just what they need.
The young are also more conscious about owning things that are environmentally friendly. Whether this is brought about by their genuine concern for the environment or just the need to look altruistic on social media, this buying practice is still good for the environment. According to a Nielsen survey, around 75% of the younger generation are willing to pay more for products that are environmentally friendly. They are also willing to buy local products in order to help the local economy, even if these are more expensive. One example is the organic produce, which is usually grown by local farmers and sold in local markets. Organic, of course, is generally more expensive than commercial products sold in larger store chains. So businesses are also more concerned about being more environment-friendly as this will add to their credibility.
Customer service becomes more direct
Social media have dictated so many changes in how people act. When it comes to businesses, response to customer service concerns are now quicker and are more direct. This is mostly due to the fear of being the subject of the next viral post. Because of social media, companies now make sure that complaints are addressed immediately. If clients have issues with products or services, these clients can reach the concerned business through social media or through the usual email or phone call. Before, businesses will take time answering these complaints—after all, the deal has been made. The complaint can be addressed in a week or so. In the present time, if a business does that, then the client brings the concern in a public forum. The company will be shamed on social media. One post could reach hundreds of people, and if other people comment about a similar problem, then the issue will become bigger. But companies should take this as a good thing. This will make the operation of their business more efficient because they will now be more careful in the manufacturing of products or the delivery of services.
As a result, companies should have someone manning their social media accounts at all times—if that’s possible. Customer service should not sleep because social media, too, don’t sleep. Some clients don’t even go through the private messaging system anymore. So it’s entirely possible that the complaint will be through a public social media post. It is then essential that a company’s social media manager immediately address the issue in a polite and respectful manner—remember, the world is reading.