TD Bank Editor


Getting a Big Picture View of How Millennial Entrepreneurs Visualize Success

Published on 2.15.16

The generation that made selfies a household word is now using pictures to build business success.

That’s one of the key insights we gleaned from TD Bank’s recent survey asking small business owners how they use imagery to define and attain their business objectives. Digital natives (ages 18 to 34 years old in our survey) are turning their love of photos into a constructive business tool.

Millennials are more likely than any other generation to use imagery to:

  • Envision business goals
  • Create operating plans
  • Develop a visual road map
  • Build customer relationships

Another key takeaway: Millennial small business owners are more likely than older cohorts to report they are achieving most of their business goals — and they attribute this, in part, to visualization techniques.

“Young business owners are really onto something big here,” said Jay DesMarteau, Head of Small Business Banking, TD Bank. “Using imagery to clarify business concepts, spell out goals and communicate key ideas are all powerful tools that could help every small business owner thrive. They’re also a great starting point for a conversation with a trusted advisor about the financial services and support that can help make that business vision real. That is truly powerful, big picture thinking.”

Small Business Owners Get the Picture

Nearly two-thirds of all the small business owners we surveyed said they believe visualizing helps them map and develop business plans. One in five also said they used a vision board or similar tool when starting their business. And 82 percent of those who used a vision board said they have accomplished more than half of their goals thus far.

But Millennials Are More Apt to Use Pictures

From business conception to ongoing management, younger business owners are significantly more likely to incorporate a strong visual component into their operations. Nearly two in three said they started their business because “they had a vision and decided to follow it.” The majority reported using vision boards or other imagery to create their business, while nearly 89 percent agreed that visualizing helps them map their goals.

Millennials also are more likely to rely on strong visuals when running their business operations, including marketing, customer relations and human resources. The differences are particularly pronounced in employee relations, where 65 percent of millennials use visual training tools compared with 35 percent of small business owners as a whole.

TD Bank’s Big Commitment for Small Business

“Our commitment to each of our small business customers at TD Bank comes with personalized service and expert guidance across the life of their enterprise,” said DesMarteau. “It’s one of the many ways in which we earn our reputation as the Human Bank.”

For more details, check out our full survey results.