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Millennial-Led Businesses Are Expanding: Here’s What Their Owners Need To Do To Become Great Leaders

With population projections from the U.S. Census Bureau revealing millennials are on the cusp of becoming the largest living adult generation in the United States, it’s fitting that the focus for Chase For Business’ Small Business Leaders Outlook 2018 turned to millennial-led small businesses.[1]

Once considered a novelty to employ, millennials are bucking against entitlement stereotypes to prove they have what it takes to reshape the future of work. The survey provides a glimpse into the state of millennial-led businesses.[2] Findings are largely positive, too. While millennial business leaders must overcome some hurdles in business, such as increasing productivity (32%) and managing labor costs (28%), the pros far outweigh the cons. Millennial business leaders are optimistic about the economy, the impact of social media on their companies, and prioritizing work/life balance.

As millennial-led businesses continue to grow, their owners will assume more duties and step into positions that groom them to be trailblazers. What should millennials do now to become the great leaders of tomorrow

Focus On The “Why” In Business

According to the Small Business Leaders Outlook 2018, 55% of millennial business owners will prioritize working with a vendor that gives back to the community.

Millennials tend to gravitate towards socially responsible businesses. For 81% of American millennials, successful businesses have a genuine purpose that resonates with people.[3] This means millennials in leadership roles must walk the walk, talk the talk, and understand what their “why” is in business.

How do you begin figuring this out? One of the first steps is to determine the company’s mission and values. What kind of good is your business passionate about? How will you and your team work to create change, whether it’s done on a global scale or in your backyard? Seek out feedback from your team members and customers to better shape how the decision is made.

Once you have an understanding of your purpose, bake its good into the business model. You know what you stand for, and your business must fulfill what it set out to do. Motivate your team to work hard and roll up your sleeves right alongside them. Create a company culture within your business that embraces one and all and is authentic and transparent. If you lose sight of your “why,” physically write it down and share in spaces where the message can be easily found and remembered.

Some entrepreneurs may even choose to take their socially responsible businesses one step further. They might incorporate as a B Corporation, an entity committed to meeting social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency standards.[4]

Continue Acting As Early Tech Adopters

Compared to 63% of all small business leaders, 78% of millennial business leaders enlist new technology to manage their companies. In fact, social media is cited for its positive impact on 65% of millennial-led businesses.

Want to become a great leader? Take a cue from the younger version of yourself that followed trends. Continue keeping an ear low to the ground when it comes to technology and social media platforms. Investigate the websites or outlets that catch buzz with your customer base. Listen in, engage, and become part of the conversation.

Prioritize Hiring Great Talent

Hiring continues to be a challenge for businesses, regardless of the generation in its leadership role. The Small Business Leaders Outlook 2018 survey states that 63% of millennial business leaders expect to increase their full-time employees. However, 42% are up against the wall in finding candidates with the right skill set.

Previous generations might have chosen to hire even if the fit wasn’t right. Millennials tend to proceed with a bit of caution. They want to make sure their hires are the best fit for the business and for their culture. It’s a win-win to wait to hire great talent as opposed to rushing into the process. Talented employees will be passionate about what they’re doing, challenged by the workload, and inspired to go the extra mile. This is because they are on the same page with the business. The value the role brings into their lives will go beyond simply earning a paycheck. These employees will want to stay within the company and grow loyal to the business. They are successful when the company is successful.

Stay Optimistic  

For 73% of millennial-led businesses surveyed, being a small business owner is the American dream. The millennial business leaders surveyed by Chase For Business had overwhelmingly positive responses about… well, everything. Optimism is high for the local and national economies and the business itself. Even sales are up! 82% of millennial-led businesses surveyed in 2018 said they expect an increase in profits over the next 12 months.

Millennial-led businesses that want to succeed must rely on the power of a glass half-full mindset to get them through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. Why? Let’s take a look at what happens when you aren’t optimistic in business.

You’ve already found your why, are utilizing technology resources, and hiring for fit and talent. Imagine doing all of this with a negative attitude. It would tear down the great things your business worked so hard to build.

Optimism, on the other hand, is highly contagious for those in and out of leadership roles. There may not be one “right” way to run a business, but leaders that maintain an optimistic mindset are truly becoming the change they wish to see in the workplace.


Author of the article
Deborah Sweeney
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Deborah received her Juris Doctor and Masters in Business Administration degrees from Pepperdine University in 1999. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @deborahsweeney and @mycorporation.
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