Not Millennials ourselves – but we’ll keep our ages out of this post, of course – we’ve been fascinated in building our relationship with our Millennial small business clients. And, just as with any other generation, Millennials have their own unique set of needs and this is no different when it comes to bookkeeping for their businesses.
What we’ve discovered in working with Millennial business owners is that a bookkeeper shouldn’t just understand how your business works, but in what motivates you as a business owner. This helps us build not just your business, but our working relationship to better support you!
In these conversations we’re having with this generation, we’ve noticed a few common traits that are changing how business is being done.
Trait 1: Not afraid of the Cloud
While we’ve had to hold a few hands of some of our more traditional business clients as the world has become more automated, Millennials have no fear of the cloud. Therefore, cloud-based accounting solutions are growing and positively impacting the efficiency of businesses. This is a big opportunity because it allows for more accurate real-time information for their business. More real-time information means the ability to make better business decisions based on relevant data.
Trait 2: Remain Cautiously Optimistic
A very educated group, Millennials tend to ask questions to understand what their options are. This is the fun part of bookkeeping because it’s not just a simple question and answer session. Conversations become more focused on the why behind an answer to understand how an option will impact the growth of the small business. Millennials, we’re finding, are looking for bookkeepers that provide guidance, support, and more advisory-type services in addition to traditional bookkeeping. When providing realistic scenarios, Millennials tend to be more optimistic in their outlook, rather than doom and gloom. This allows bookkeepers to work together with their Millennial clients to build smart, win-win solutions because there’s now foresight of any upsets along the way with solutions already outlined.
Trait 3: Relationship Focused
While Millennials tend to be less trusting than previous generations, they are looking to build their life based on their terms, not on the economy’s. Their reason for starting a business, then, has them looking to build relationships based on trust. They look for services built on collaborative partnerships, asking questions, looking to understand the ins and outs of how their business will be impacted by their numbers – both historical and financial ones.
Simply put, they tend to look at their businesses differently from other generations as the norms of what a career is today have changed. Unlike Baby Boomers, Millennials know that the career they have today, including if it’s their own small business, may not be what they’re doing in 10, 20, or even 30 years! Therefore, their purpose or drive in being a small business is often that they want to be their own boss and in control of their destiny.
With our Millennial clients, we’re being engaged earlier in deeper conversations beyond the numbers because this is what they want. It becomes about how does a business owner leverage the relationship with their bookkeeper’s skillsets to understand both positive and negative results, so there’s a higher likelihood of success.
What’s still crucial to understand is that all business have their own unique needs, regardless of what generation the owner was born. At the end of the day, business is all about relationships and that includes the relationship between business owner and bookkeeper. A bookkeeper needs to be one of trusted advisor these days. With this expectation from Millennials, it becomes imperative that bookkeepers continue to add value based on the needs of the owner.
Ready to have the deeper conversations based on your business? Perhaps it’s time to ask Priority Business Solutions your harder questions? We’re ready to help you find the answers. Contact us today and ask away!