Starting a new business is a great challenge to really stick your teeth into—especially if you’re a senior. You know what your passions are, you’ve had time to refine your ideas, you’ve amassed a wealth of life and business experience, and you’ve got the time to dedicate to it. With a bit of careful planning your business can be up and running in no time.
RESEARCH THE BUSINESS
Your first step is to research your potential business thoroughly. You might have been dreaming your whole life of starting a particular business, but make sure there is actually a market for what you’re trying to sell, and that you’re not only fulfilling your personal dream.
Be aware of current market trends and what other businesses in your area are up to—particularly with creating an online and social media presence. Don’t be afraid to delegate if you need assistance in this area. Also, have a think about cash flow and tax implications if you have multiple income streams from your business and your pension.
THINK ABOUT YOUR LIFESTYLE
Make sure you understand the emotional and financial risks of starting a business. No allowances are made for your stage in life when you’re in business, so make sure if you’re gambling with your family’s financial security that you’ve assessed everything logically. Consider your monthly expenses and how these might change, such as an increased spend on healthcare.
Thinking about health, a business that doesn’t involve physical labor is often best for seniors; even if you’re capable now, health problems in retirement can appear suddenly and you don’t want your business to suffer as a result.
There are other changing demands on your time to consider too—the care of your spouse or the addition of grandchildren to your family might change how much time you are able to devote to your business. It’s a good idea to try and keep it part time and flexible if possible, rather than something that requires you to be on call 24/7.
Gather a good support network of people to help make things easier for you. Utilize freelancers for things like tax returns, to save you the time and expense of getting it wrong. You might also want to investigate services which offer running errands or household chores for seniors, so you can focus your attentions on the business.
Bring together a business plan to outline your targets and how you’re going to achieve them. It’s also a good idea to consider ahead of time what you’re going to do with your business when it’s time for you to call it a day—sell it, pass it on to a family member, or close it down.
About the Author
Jess Walter is a freelance writer and mother. She loves the freedom that comes with freelance life and the additional time it means she gets to spend with her family and pets.