Understanding Generational Business Practices

article by Heidi Bloodgood

With the release of the first iPhone in 2008 and the arrival of social media, business operations drastically shifted to accommodate the technological advancements- widening the gap between generational practices.  Although each generation’s experiences differ on application- sending an advertisement through the mail vs. purchasing advertisements on social media, one might be surprised to learn that the core values of business owners remain similar throughout the generations; we all desire to build a better, sustainable, and enriching world.

We caught up with three business owners, each from a different generation, to discover similarities in business practices and how they accommodate for generational differences.

Which generation do you belong to?


Eduardo Olivares,

Owner of The N.E.S.T

I consider myself to be in the Gen Z category. Although I didn’t grow up with the technology that we have now, I still witnessed the change in resources and was able to take advantage of them as I got older. For example: using a smartphone, using social media, and easy access to other internet resources.


Chelsea Jaffarian,

Co-Founder & Owner, Stylist & Esthetician of  The Collective Beauty & Wellness

Xennial is a newly coined term for a “micro” generation of people born on the cusp of the Gen X and Millennial Generations. When I learned this I knew, this is where I fit . I’ve always felt too “old” to be a millennial. I experienced an analog childhood which has morphed into a digital adulthood. I definitely carry attributes from both generations around my birth year.


Byron Myles

Owner of Westside Stamp & Printing Service

I’m a baby boomer, simple as that.

What is one of your core values as a business owner, and how does it manifest
in your company?

GEN Z: One of my core values as a business owner is being passionate about my brand. Passion is what has gotten me this far in my business, where it doesn’t feel like it is my job. I am never too tired to go sourcing new products or think about our next social media strategy.

Xennial: Strong self care practices enable people to then care for others. I promote health and wellness for my employees as well as for our clients. I support flexible schedules and compensation plans as well as time off when needed and discounted products and services for my staff. If my staff are well cared for, our clientele will be as well!

Boomer: Always provide the same quality and service to each person even if we don’t have the product they may need. It doesn’t matter how we are contacted either by phone, email or in person. If you are a salaried or hourly employee, we all work on a commission basis. The entire business depends on every customer because without them no business can survive. Excellent service and quality will keep the person coming back as well as referring others.

What is a strength you possess that stems from your generational upbringing?

GEN Z: A strength I possess due to my generational upbringing is my knowledge of social media and other online resources. My brand wouldn’t be where it is today without the use of Instagram as a form of marketing. Also navigating the internet with ease has helped me be inspired by other people. We can look anything up and learn whatever we desire.

Xennial: I can clearly remember a time without wifi and smartphones. I got my first cell phone when I was 20. With the rise of technology, I’ve had to assimilate. This has taught me to learn and adapt over and over again. I’ve gotten quite good at it. I’d say my resourcefulness is a huge strength. I’m able to quickly get information from many resources allowing for the agile implementation of technology and processes.

Boomer: I was raised with three fundamental practices:
  1. Buy and use as many USA/Made in America products as possible.
  2. Support locally owned small businesses when you can.
  3. Continue putting your best foot forward and quitting is not an option.

How have you overcome generational barriers in your organization?

GEN Z: Although our business started on Instagram, most of our revenue comes from in-person interactions. Providing the best in-store experience is our priority. With this generation buying everything online, getting people to come shop in-store could be a barrier. Especially with COVID and social distancing guidelines, people are less likely to come out and shop. By providing a good experience and creating a shop like no other in Eugene, we have been able to have a steady stream of appointments throughout the last 3 months that we have been open.

Xennial: Delegate to those with the knowledge! I am aware of my strengths and limitations. I look for skills and talents in others and bring them on to help out. This has ranged from business coaching passed down by older generations, to help with web development and social media from those younger. This diversified approach has helped the business and myself grow, and I value it greatly.

Boomer: Keep an open mind and be ready to learn something new every day because technology is ever-changing!



The N.E.S.T

The N.E.S.T is a premium vintage store. We sell clothing and accessories from the ’80s ’90s and ’00s. Our proximity to campus allows us to work with other creatives from the University and fuel their creativity.


The Collective Beauty & Wellness

A sustainable salon focused on holistic beauty and wellness. We promote low-toxic hair and skin care products as well as eco-friendly practices within the salon. Our mission is to support our community through the creation of beauty by connecting with people.


Westside Stamp & Printing Services

We manufacture a variety of marking products and devices. These include daters, notary, signature, logo/facsimile, and others. The stamps can be self/pre-inking or regular hand stamps. On the printing, anything from a single color business card to a full-color brochure.

Published On: April 2, 2021
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