Generation Z (Gen Z or Zoomers), who are known for their willingness to challenge the status quo, are quickly becoming known as the most entrepreneurial generation in history. According to a 2022 study, 62% of Gen Zers have either started their own business or plan to do so in the future.
Gen Z is shaking things up with their unique perspective on work and success. They are the first generation to grow up with the internet and social media, and they have a very different view of the world than previous generations.
What sets Gen Z entrepreneurs apart from previous generations?
Gen Z, spanning roughly from 1995 to 2010, represents the most ethnically diverse group among all generations in American history. The identity of this generation has been molded by the digital era, concerns about climate change, evolving economic terrain, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gen Z individuals, in general, exhibit a strong online presence. They are recognized for engaging in online work, shopping, dating, and cultivating friendships. The members of this generation have been exposed to an unparalleled amount of information, surpassing any level witnessed in society before.
Gen Z has developed a natural inclination for independent problem-solving and seeking answers on their own. Aspiring entrepreneurs within this generation possess the necessary tools to swiftly create a website, establish an online store, or become part of a digital marketplace within mere hours, often at minimal or no expense.
Skepticism (some driven by the pandemic) towards the traditional model of career success experienced by preceding generations stands out as another significant catalyst behind Gen Z's inclination towards entrepreneurship.
How is Gen Z approaching being a business owner
Gen Z is approaching business ownership in a number of ways that are different from previous generations. Here are a few key trends:
- They are more likely to start businesses with a social mission. Gen Z is more socially conscious than previous generations, and they are more likely to start businesses that have a positive impact on the world. For example, many Gen Z entrepreneurs are focused on sustainability, social justice, or environmentalism.
- They are more likely to use technology to their advantage. Gen Z grew up with technology, and they are more comfortable using it to start and grow businesses. They are also more likely to use social media to reach customers and promote their businesses.
- They are more likely to be flexible and adaptable. Gen Z has lived through a number of economic and social upheavals, and they have learned to be flexible and adaptable. This makes them well-suited for the challenges of entrepreneurship.
Overall, Gen Z is poised to make an impact on the world of business. They are bringing new ideas, new perspectives, and new ways of doing things to the table. It will be interesting to see how they shape the future of business.
Tips for Gen-Z small business owners
Individuals who have triumphantly established small businesses comprehend that transforming an idea into a sustainable and enduring company necessitates a diverse set of skills. Here are some suggestions for Gen Z entrepreneurs to cultivate the crucial skills required to transform their aspirations of building a business into a tangible reality. While certain skills are particularly relevant to younger entrepreneurs, others are fundamental for the success of anyone aspiring to initiate or expand a new business venture.
Keep your business plan up-to-date
A business plan is the blueprint for your business. It establishes the identity of your business, its offerings, and its brand, while also providing a blueprint for its operations and potential growth. Business plans are dynamic documents that require periodic review to ensure their continued relevance.
Ensure that your business plan evolves in tandem with your company and accurately represents the nature of your operations. Regularly revise it when launching new products or services, entering new markets, seeking refinancing, or pursuing fundraising opportunities. In most cases, a business plan is a prerequisite for securing funding from traditional lenders or venture capitalists.
Build a strong network
Having a community of professionals who comprehend the emotional, physical, and financial demands placed on entrepreneurs can offer invaluable advice, support, and resource exchanges, particularly during the initial stages and growth periods. Networking presents opportunities that may otherwise be inaccessible. Actively reaching out to existing contacts, participating in local and national networking or industry-specific organizations, attending events, and connecting through social media are effective methods to expand one's network.
Acquire the right management skills
As aspiring entrepreneurs, Gen Z individuals must recognize their role as leaders and invest efforts into constructing and nurturing the desired company culture. Effective leaders must embody the qualities they value in their interactions with customers and colleagues. By consistently aligning their actions with these values, they convey a compelling message. Conversely, behaving in ways that contradict these values sends a significantly negative message.
Don’t ignore data security
Although technologically savvy, Gen Zers are less likely to prioritize data privacy and security. Every business must have a cybersecurity plan in place to safeguard their operations, customers, and valuable data from the ever-increasing risks posed by cybersecurity breaches.
Employees should be taught how to spot phishing messages from email, text, and on social media and to avoid suspicious downloads, avoid using the same password for multiple accounts, and have authentication tools.
Related article: Small business fraud prevention tips
Consider forming a legal business entity
If you’re new to being an entrepreneur, a sole proprietorship is an easy and cost-effective option. A sole proprietorship refers to an unregistered and unincorporated business operated exclusively by a single individual proprietor, where there is no legal distinction between the business entity and the owner. The proprietor of a sole proprietorship retains all profits generated but also assumes full responsibility for the business's debts, losses, and liabilities.
Gen Z entrepreneurs embark on their business ventures equipped with a strong digital presence and a propensity for independent problem-solving. They challenge traditional career paths, driven by a skepticism towards established models of success. By acquiring a diverse skill set and leveraging the resources available to them, Gen Zers are turning their dreams of building businesses into tangible realities in the ever-evolving entrepreneurial landscape.