Millennials and the future value of your business: You snooze, you lose!

millennials the biggest generation

There’s a great big elephant in the room and it’s not being discussed in the detail and depth that it deserves.

I’m talking about the impact the Millennial generation is having and will continue to have over the next several decades. Here’s the starting point for discussion: Millennials are the biggest demographic to ever hit the U.S. economy.

Yes, even bigger than the much ballyhooed Baby Boomers.

You’ve probably seen a cartoon of a snake who has just swallowed a rabbit or something. It has that huge lump working its way down its skinny snake body. That’s a pretty fair representation of Millennials working their way through our society and economy over the next several decades.

It will take a while for them to be completely digested…and understood!

Millennials and future value

I’ve discussed selling to Millennials and working with Millennials previously, but today I want to approach those topics from a slightly different angle: If you are considering an exit strategy for your business, you need to be one of the best at hiring Millennials and marketing to them.

Whether you want to build your business then flip it to raise money for your next project or you want to sell your business to fund your retirement, you need to be a leader with Millennials. Think of it this way: How will your business be valued if sales to Baby Boomers make up the biggest share of your revenue? How will your business be valued if your key employees are older and nearing retirement themselves?

On the other hand, if Millennials are a vibrant and profitable market for you and your team has talented Millennials in key positions, that should boost the value of your small business when you decide it’s time to sell.

Further, you need to appreciate the fact that Millennials in management positions make decisions that vary significantly from the decisions made by older individuals, such as Baby Boomers. A recent survey by Magisto makes this very clear and I want to share some of the details so you’ll keep an open mind to the kinds of strategies Millennials will bring to your small business when you give them decision-making authority.

Millennials and video marketing

Magisto studied the most powerful shifts in small and medium-sized business marketing, and contrasted the strategies employed by Millennials versus those used by Baby Boomers. They found a huge move to video marketing.

The survey found that Millennials are 136 percent more likely to create videos for posting on social media than Baby Boomers. On the other hand, Baby Boomers were 112 percent more likely to put their marketing money into radio ads, when compared to the Millennials. By the way, Millennials completely refuse to invest in traditional television ads – none surveyed said they put their money into TV advertising!

We all need to accept the fact that Millennials do not respond to verbal reasoning in the same way older generations have. We hear the term “visual learners” a lot today and – for better or for worse – it looks like Millennials are, in large part, visual learners. And, this lesson applies to your marketing strategies.

Empower bright Millennials

Millennials in business leadership positions know how to communicate with their fellow Millennials better than anyone, so you need to pay attention. If you’re still clinging to traditional marketing and advertising channels, you’re missing the boat, and it’s time to find a talented and eager Millennial to join your team to help guide your small business into this lucrative market.

If you fail to do this, not only will you see your small business growth level off, eventually it will start to plummet. This is not the position you want to put your small business in – you might not be able to recover quickly enough to save your business, or preserve its value. Remember, when you decide to sell your business, buyers will be far more interested in how your company is positioned for the future than in its past glories.