The next cohort after millennials, Gen Z were born after 1998 and are children of Gen X. This means that they have grown up in a world where social media, smartphones and the internet have always played a part in their everyday lives, and as a result, it’s fair to say that they understand digital developments better than most.
You might be interested to know that Gen Z currently make up 25.9% (the largest percentage of the US population), and they contribute $44bn towards the country’s economy. But what can today’s entrepreneurs learn from Gen Z, and what will the next generation of aspiring Gen Z entrepreneurs look like? Read on to find out more.
1. Although they’ll be independent, they’ll also like feeling part of a community.
(Click here for the ultimate list of hobbies. If you don’t have a hobby or two, you need to find one!)
There’s no denying that Gen Z’s are fiercely independent and many have an entrepreneurial spirit ingrained in them from an early age. This is partly thanks to their upbringing by their Gen X parents who have always encouraged them to be ambitious - something that they weren’t always given the chance to do when growing up.
That said, Gen Z love to feel like they’re part of a community (something that may have developed during their time on social media). Therefore, as entrepreneurs you’ll find that they will regularly ask the opinions of others to help them solve problems - they’ll always be keen to collaborate and share ideas in the spirit of crowdsourcing.
They will also appreciate the importance of customer reviews, and will be happy successfully managing their own customer community.
2. They will love to multitask
Think about your own business - how many different tasks do you have juggle at any one time on any given day? For members of older generations, over the years we have had to learn to multitask and work effectively on a number of different tasks at once. But for Gen Z, this is something that they have been able to do since they were children.
As digital natives, Gen Z are used to spending hours playing video games or chatting to their friends on Whatsapp. And if you spend time with them, you’ll soon realise how skilled they are at managing multiple tasks at once. They can sit in front of the TV, their iPads on their lap and their smartphone in one hand, all while holding a conversation. Multitasking is the norm for them, and they are hardwired to work this way.
And when it comes to the entrepreneurs of the future, this means that Gen Z will constantly be on the lookout for new opportunities that can hold their seemingly endless attention span.
3. They will be focused on getting value for money
Gen Z certainly love to find a bargain. As early adopters of digital technology, they are programmed to use discount code and coupon apps in order to save themselves money when using ecommerce to shop online. They love to be frugal and take advantage of offers, but most importantly they crave value. This means looking at the whole picture when making a purchase - for example checking if they are getting free delivery or any added extras on top.
Taking this idea forward, the Gen Z entrepreneur will almost certainly find it hard to accept the first quote that they receive for a project. As they are focused on ensuring they get value for money, they will often shop around to ensure they are getting the deal they want before signing on the dotted line.
4. They will understand the importance of their personal brand
Gen Z have grown up in a world where social media forms the majority of their social interaction. With 92% of them having a digital footprint, Gen Z have become accustomed to sharing all aspects of their daily lives. Whether it’s sharing a photo of their lunch on Instagram or tweeting their favorite brand on Twitter, they are very used to living in a world where there’s an expectation for them to be constantly ‘on show’.
What this shows is that Gen Z fully understand the importance of creating their own personal brand. And for the entrepreneurs of the future, this can only be a benefit. They will understand that they need to engage with their audience and build a following, and will use their personal brand to connect with people on a completely different level to the business owners of years gone by.
Part of their focus on branding, will be their ability to harness their hobbies for money -- they will be seeking to push the boundaries between commercial and personal, running businesses that are strongly aligned with their personal goals and ethics.
5. They will always be thinking global
Gen Z truly understand the saying that “it’s a small world”. They understand that thanks to social media and digital communication platforms like Skype contacting someone thousands of miles away is possible at just the click of a button. Gone are the days when Gen X would be forced to spend hundreds of dollars on long distance phone calls.
In the world of a Gen Z entrepreneur, this will mean that they will always be looking at the bigger picture when making business decisions. As truly global citizens, they will understand the benefits of ecommerce in allowing them to make sales 24/7 from all corners of the world – there will be no boundaries to how far they can expand and grow their business.
Are you an entrepreneur who employs some members of Gen Z? What have you learnt from them and what impact do you think they can make in the business world? We’d love to know so leave your comments below to start the conversation.
Victoria Greene is an ecommerce marketer who loves to help businesses grow. She’s also a freelance writer and runs her own blog at victoriaecommerce. When she’s not working, Victoria likes to go hiking or climbing -- a great way to blow those cobwebs away!
- Meet Generation Z, the ‘millennials on steroids’ who could lead the charge for change in the US(businessinsider.com)
- Sep 12: 8 Social Marketing Fails to Avoid(40billion.com)
- Social media updates roundup: September 3 to 9, 2017(rappler.com)
- The Best Social Media Strategy for Online Retailers(socialmediaexplorer.com)