First, we must define, who are the Millennials? The exact years are up for debate, but Millennials were born during approximately between 1981-1986, which today would be between 22 and 37 years of age. A large percentage of Millennials are children of the Baby Boomer generation (1946-1964) and a bit of generation X (1965-1980). Millennials grew up in the shadow of the great recession of 2008, and many have seen parents who worked corporate jobs forced into early retirement through downsizing and massive layoffs, while some industries, such as print media, are unrecognizable and essentially a dying industry. According to a Forbes article from February 2017, “Over 62% of millennials have considered starting their own business, with 72% feeling that startups and entrepreneurs are a necessary economic force for creating jobs and driving innovation.”
As Baby Boomers begin retiring and selling their small business, one must ask, what exactly are Millennials looking for when buying a small business?
1. A business has a strong social media presence
Yelp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and all the rest of the social media platforms are extremely important, and the business should have a strong presence on these platforms. Deciding to eat at a certain restaurant or drink at a certain bar can be determined by their Yelp reviews to this generation. A business owner is missing out on marketing towards a large percentage of people if they are not up to speed on their social media presence.
2. A business should feel local and authentic
As previously stated, many Millennials have watched their parents forced into early retirement, and because of that, have a cynical attitude towards major corporations, which they view as cold and soulless. Millennials like to feel like their business experience is unique and personal and they are not just another clog in the wheel.
3. Millennials love to share their experiences
A business, particularly a restaurant, cafe, or bar, must have Wi-Fi. Why spend a lot of money on advertising, when loyal customers will do that for you through social media and other platforms. A good Facebook or Instagram page allows business owners to engage with their customers even after they have left and keep them engaged so they come back again and again.
4. Know where your product comes from
This is especially true with restaurant owners. Millennials are more apt to ask if a meat or chicken is from a local farm or if it is from a free-range (cage free) farm. Also, many Millennials are concerned about the environment, and so recyclable products and "going green" is important to them. Many people of this generation, this concerning restaurants, appreciate craft beers and are more open to products that are gluten free.
Millennials, like all people, are interested in owning a business that will be able to provide for them and their families, but they are also interested in providing an environment that feels unique and authentic, and hopefully one that can give back and enrich their community.