Starting a Business in Your 50s and 60s
Are you considering starting a business in your 50s or 60s, but not sure if you have what it takes? Read on.
In the article “Older Americans in the Workforce,” at unitedincome.com, it is stated that “the percentage of retirement-age Americans in the labor force has doubled since 1985, from its all-time low of 10 percent in January of that year to 20 percent in February 2019.” That's quite an increase. With things changing this much, it looks like many will still want to earn some income in their senior years. Starting a business is a great way to do that if done correctly.
Starting a Business
If you have had the “entrepreneurial bug” for years, maybe it's time to take the plunge and begin a business. These years can be the ideal time, as you have raised your kids, had your career, and now you have some time to devote to being your own boss.
If you have never had a business before, you will want to enlist the help and advice from others who have. Hire a business coach or join a meetup group of entrepreneurs you can learn from. It can be a little overwhelming, so it helps to have the counsel of someone who has gone before you.
Unless you have unlimited funds, consider starting an online business or one out of your home, as the investment is lower than starting a brick and mortar or franchise. With an online business, at the very least, you will need to pay to have a website created and web hosting. It would be helpful to get some marketing help as well.
Let's look at some of the pros and cons of starting a business in your 50s and 60s.
By this age, you have gained a lot of experience and maturity. You know what you like and what you don't like when it comes to products, services and how you want to be treated as a customer. These are great advantages to bring to the table.
You are the boss! No more working for others and doing it their way, now you get to make all the decisions. While this can be a bit intimidating, it can also be very exciting!
You can choose to do something you love. Maybe it's to offer a service to others that will help them in some way. Offering your services will not only allow you to make money and do what you enjoy, but you will be helping others at the same time. A win-win situation.
Or you might have a passion for a certain product that has really made a difference in your life. Can you become a re seller or an affiliate of the product? Personal testimonies of success go a long way.
Sixtyandme.com states that some of the best ideas for starting a small business serve niche audiences. So, don't think your idea is “too small.” Yes, there needs to be a market besides you, but if you have ways to reach them, it can be a great business to consider.
You're it! While that can be a benefit, it can also be a negative. The work falls on your shoulders, so if you don't do it, it won't get done.
There is an investment necessary to start a business. Instead of earning a paycheck, you may feel like you're pouring money into the business without seeing much of a return. It can take some time to get it off the ground and to the point of profitability.
Here are just a few ideas that may be good for people in their 50s and 60s to start a business in are. Do searches online to generate many more ideas.
Consulting – what is your area of expertise?
Tutor – this can be done online or in person
Writer – write a blog or a book!
Companion to the elderly
An area of interest - woodworking, jewelry, etc.
When trying to decide which direction to go in with a business, start with a few simple questions.
- What skills do I have that people will pay for?
- What do I really love to do?
- What's important to me?
If you can work at a business that incorporates all three of these elements, that would be amazing. Even if you can only include one or two of the above criteria, that can still work. The biggest things is to determine are: is there a market for what you want to sell and will you enjoy what you are doing? It's time to work at something that makes you want to get up in the morning.
When starting a business, make sure you are prepared to make an investment in a website, domain name and web hosting. These are the basics but they are expected today and will give you a place online to give your potential customers information and a place to buy (if applicable) your products or services. Having a website adds a level of professionalism to your business. People will assume you are more serious about it and planning to be around for a while if you make an investment in it.
If you are tempted to try to build the website yourself or let a relative do it, please make sure you (or they) are able to create a website that is professional and easy to navigate for your visitors. Otherwise, it can do more harm than good to your business. Check out our post on professional web design services vs. DIY.
We also recommend getting help with marketing your business. If you want this venture to be a money maker, you need customers. Find a marketer who is affordable and who understands your business and what your goals are for growth and income.
This is a brief synopsis of starting a business in your 50s and 60s. There is a lot of help both online and offline, so, if you are considering becoming your own boss, do your research and due diligence before taking the plunge.
These can be some of your best years, so make the most of them. Enjoy!