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Starting a Business After 50: What Do You Need to Know

Updated: Jun 24, 2020

So you want to launch a business! Starting a new company is exciting at any age but it can be pretty scary as you get older.  

Here are some things to consider before jumping into the self-employment arena: 

  1. Do I have the pulse on what products and services sell today?

  2. Social media drives business so are you savvy to keep up with the world of technology? 

  3. Financing a new business is a huge concern.  Let’s face it, you are much closer to retirement age than you are to your first job out of college. You don’t have as many working years in front of you to financially recover IF the business is not as lucrative as you had hoped. Are you diverting retirement funds to the new business and if the answer is YES, can you afford to do so.

  4. Finally, do you have the stamina to keep up with the around the clock demands of a new business?  

With so many CHALLENGES to consider, it is easy to forget some of the great ADVANTAGES one has when starting a new business at 50, 55 or 60 years old.  

Here are some great PERKS when thinking about jumping in when you are older:

  1. Chances are, you are not competing with the demands of raising a family so you might have more time in a day than when you were younger.

  2. Your expenses personal budget might not be as big as when you were raising your family or paying for your kids’ colleges. You may have even downsized and have a smaller mortgage or even no mortgage at all, so your financial needs have declined. 

  3. Technology got you reconsidering starting a business? There are so many online tutorials and lest we forget, your children, nieces and nephews will love a shot in the driving seat by showing you around instagram, FaceBook and Twitter!

  4. Finally, raising a family or climbing the corporate ladder is mentally and physically draining so you might find that your energy source is actually recharged over 50! 

Let’s look at some tips to consider when planning your new business.

1) Passion and Expertise:  Now is the time to identify a business based on your passion.  Do you have a hobby that you can turn into a business? Consider your expertise and perhaps there is an opportunity in consulting, writing, public speaking or independant contracting of your services. Remember though, when identifying the business you want to start, make sure you can answer one of these questions: does your business solve a need or cure a problem.  

2) Two Heads are better than one:  Working with a partner gives you the opportunity to leverage each other’s strengths, balance your opportunities, share in the time commitments and divide the costs associated with a new business.

3) Confident in what you know:  You have a lifetime of experience; leverage those experiences and knowledge.  At the same time, feel comfortable with what you don’t know. Start by Identifying your strengths and "opportunities."

4) Social Media: Whether you are a small mom and pop cafe or a mid-size service platform, the success of your business might depend on your social media game. Check out a variety of social media training  courses you may want to take. Some are even free! You might also want to take a look at the Instagram ExpertThis training is great for all levels! 

5) Search Engine Optimization and Google Analytics:  Driving business to your website might be key to your success.  Be sure you KNOW your business and KNOW your market.  Identify KEYWORDS, which are words your perspective client will search on google or other search engines when looking for your product or service. Those keywords will need to POP on your website.

6) Website: If you don’t want to pay a web designer, save money by using a website builder such as WordPress, network solutions, SQUARE SPACE or Wix. They are pretty user friendly and it is a great way to get started with your new business.

7) Ask…Ask…Ask..  We are so accustomed to having answers for everything that it could be uncomfortable needing to ask others for their expertise.  It is ok to have friends and family support you by sharing their knowledge.  It won’t cost you anything and they want to help.  

8) Request Feedback: Remember, there is so much emotion wrapped up in your business but you have to be open to not only praise but critical feedback as well.  It could be hard to hear, but it will help you in the long run.  

It is never too late to follow your dreams of starting a new business.  Prepare a business plan, check a name search engine to see if your business name is taken and don't forget to follow your state's filing requirements for your business.  Take advantage of the online coaching and training options to learn more about how social media will boost your business.  No one will ever tell you starting a business is easy but you will have satisfaction in knowing it is yours!

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