The Changing Face Of Business: Generation Y

The NextWomen Generations & Family Business Theme.

Bev James looks at the attributes of Gen Y and what they will bring to the table as leaders of tomorrow.

Move over baby-boomers, there are new kids on the block!

Here comes Generation Y, the Facebook generation, who are changing the face of business forever.

New research tells us that there is a continuous increase in the number of graduates describing themselves as self-employed or freelance, with more and more young people wanting to be their own boss.

It’s a trend that is happening all over the world.

There is no such thing as ‘too young’ to be in business any more. There is a rising awareness of ‘youth power’.

Internet enterprise and the new wave of TV business ‘gurus’ are encouraging young minds to think differently about the world of work. The generation born between 1980 and 1994 were introduced to computers and mobile phones at an early age. They are enthusiastic about using social media.

In a rapidly changing commercial world where traditional job security is a thing of the past, many have been inspired by the success stories of entrepreneurs who found success and fortune at a young age.

Some are realising that there is no need to choose between going to university and setting up a business.

Both can be achieved within a similar time frame – provided the aptitude is there.

The new generation of young entrepreneurs have superior networking and digital skills. They will have less need for hard selling skills because they have grown up using social media, which means they are building solid relationships for the future. Most are already far better connected than older business people were at the same age.

By the time they leave full-time education many have contact lists of thousands of names.

Their connections will allow them to spread a (marketing) message to thousands in seconds.

Young entrepreneurs are more likely to:

  • Seek a business mentor. Popular business programmes such as Dragons’ Den, The Apprentice, even entertainment shows such as The X-Factor and The Voice all showcase the benefit of a mentor for fast-track success.
  • Work from home and grow their business organically without feeling the need to rent premises.
  • Be comfortable working in a virtual team, which allows businesses to be flexible and developed at low cost. Outsourcing is preferable to employing staff in the early days.
  • Create strong social networks that can give them a head start and provide valuable resources.
  • Be inventive. Visit the Fiverr.com website for example where people advertise what they will do for $5 – anything from evaluating a business plan to creating a Facebook fan page to the downright obscure.
  • Maximise the benefit of technology in a business environment.

Young people may lack experience and commercial know-how; some may need help with their social skills or confidence building; but self-motivation comes from personal achievement.

With the right encouragement, those who are currently in their 20s and 30s will bring energy, enthusiasm and a lack of cynicism into the commercial world.

They are the leaders of tomorrow who are teaching the world new lessons today!

Bev James is CEO of The Academy Group including The Coaching Academy and The Entrepreneurs’ Business Academy. She is bestselling author of DO IT! OR DITCH IT® (Virgin Books) which is now also available as a free business app. Bev is also Director of Mentoring for Start Up Loans, a government initiative for young entrepreneurs.  

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