AFSA Chairman Joe Heinrich and other board members visited with the Next Generation Group during AFSA’s 2014 convention.

Grow Your Business

The Next Generation is an Excellent Resource

Any great business has at least two of the following goals: to make money and to grow the business as far as they can using whatever tools and resources they have to make it happen. Some of the tools may be equipment, material and a customer base. Well what about the right people? People who have new ideas and think outside the box help to see older ideas in a new light. To help with this, there is a new generation of hungry, hard-working individuals who can help with this right now. They are known as the “millennials.” They are a new generation of workers who have new innovating ideas that can help a business grow and keep the business growing with the times. More often than not, if you look at businesses that have failed over the last decade, the majority of those business failings were due to the inability for innovation and keeping up with changing of the times. The customer relationships as we know are evolving into a new way of communication. Years ago a simple handshake and a smile would close the deal. Now it’s all about emailing, texting, video conferencing and other social media. All of these are examples of what it takes to keep up with the rate of business. Millennials are the ones who can take these new business challenges head on, bringing your business not only to where it needs to be, but has to be. Taking this step will help with growth.

According to a LinkedIn survey of 1,000 small and medium business in North America who garner between $1 million and $50 million, “81 percent use social media to drive business growth.” This is just one example of what capability using millennials can help accomplish. Studies also show that 47 percent of millennials are employed by small business companies with 100 employees or fewer. One reason for this is due to smaller companies offering broader roles with more relaxed atmospheres with various responsibilities. If they also find value in the company, the more likely they are to contribute. Getting this group involved with groups involved in the industry such as the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) should be encouraged. This and other groups can only benefit you, the business owner, and your young employees to help your company grow with knowledge.

This passing generation is still very much needed with these business changes. They are needed to help pave the way for the millennials to see the paths they need to follow to learn what business is all about, and how businesses work, eat, breathe, and grow. Without them, this new generation would be lost and have no way of knowing what a business needs to survive. If these key elements can be taught to this new generation, in turn this knowledge will help the business that you have created and nurtured to be left in the capable and technological hands that will keep your business heading into the positive and bright future ahead.

Finding millennials to hire should not be much of a challenge. There are many ways to go about finding them to hire for your business. One way is to go to your local high schools, vocational schools and colleges. Most of academia want to help graduating seniors to graduate with a job already lined up to start their future goals. The school administration may suggest leaving a flier with your business name and contact information so interested students may be able to contact you. Another way is posting an ad on Craigslist, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media sites. When you speak to these up and coming workers make sure to tell them what the company can do for them and what opportunities and doors this will open for them. They will also want to hear about what technology is being used. You may even offer to give them a company smart phone and what programs are being used for creating and dispatching work orders. Another great idea is to discuss future schooling in their field, night school and online classes just for a few options. This new generation is craving continuous education and they will take full advantage of it. These ideas and suggestions will help give your company that leading edge that will help and will be needed to grow your businesses and move forward into the future. Investing in millennials is an investment into the future! This is the Internet generation!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joshua Fitzgerald is service manager at Encore Fire Protection, based in Boston. He is chairman of AFSA’s Yankee Chapter and a member of AFSA’s Next Generation group. He can be reached via email at

Did you enjoy this article?
Subscribe for FREE!


Check Also

Betting on Your Business

How to Reduce Risk As we gathered for the AFSA convention in Las Vegas, I …