Preparing Your Business for Generation X

Some people truly hate change. Others embrace it. As the Baby Boomer generation gives way to the next group of leaders, business owners need to remember Generation X is next up to bat, not the Millennials.

Embracing the swing in company leadership as the Boomers retire, means you need to take a close look at how you work with clients, what they expect and need, what added value you bring to the table, and to distinguish between the different generations.

If a business fails to understand the generational differences, and deliver accordingly, they could stand to lose clients as Gen Xers take the reins. This doesn’t have to happen, though, and some solid thought and preparation—embracing the change—could grow your business instead.

Preparing Your Business for Generation XTransition and Growth Through Understanding

Generation X is the group born between 1965 and 1980. Take a look at demographics on Gen Xers, collected by Pew Research Center, and you’ll understand why they call them “a low-slung, straight-line bridge between two noisy behemoths,” the Boomers and the Millennials.

On every graph they fall smack in the middle, leading Pew to conclude, “Gen Xers are less distinct than other generations. And they know it.” Businesses who stop at that statement and make assumptions, are the ones who risk being left behind.

However, they are not so easily dismissed, particularly when they are quickly and quietly assuming leadership roles as Boomers transition into retirement. “From everything we know about them,” Pew concluded, “They’re savvy, skeptical and self-reliant; they’re not into preening or pampering, and they just might not give much of a hoot what others think of them. Or whether others think of them at all.”

Gen X and Business

When it comes to business, Gen Xers use technology and also like in-person and voice communication, but they don’t want to waste time.

“Generation X clients value efficiency and hard work, and their expectations are high. They expect you to exceed expectations,” notes Carrie Steffen from Accounting Today. Authenticity and being genuine are not just buzz words for Gen Xers, but the way they are.

Taking the time to remember this, and to plan accordingly, will be rewarded with client relationships that last into the next generation.

Action Steps You Can Take Now

There are a number of steps businesses can take now to position themselves for this shift in ownership, values, and ways of running a business. They include training your staff on how to share the value of your business as it relates to each specific customer, learn what is most important to them, and be flexible in using technology for meetings. If you are looking to plan for your next business owner, or business advisory planning, contact Klein Hall today.