Retirement can be a great time to kick back and enjoy the fruits of your labor. But for many, freedom from the typical workday means new opportunities to pursue their dream of starting a business. In fact, 54 percent of Americans say they’d rather open a small business than retire.
Why the appetite for entrepreneurship? It’s the perfect outlet for active retirees who aren’t ready to slow down. So, why let a “number” hold you back if the entrepreneurial spirit is coursing through your veins? Here are five tips to help make it happen:
1. Recognize that your age is your edge
Why is business booming for Baby Boomers? With decades of experience and a wealth of wisdom, older people have what it takes to become wildly successful entrepreneurs. For example, a person who has worked at an accounting firm for 50 years could easily jump into a seasonal tax prep business. By the same token, it would be a natural fit for a teacher to start a tutoring business down the road. And someone who is passionate about music could parlay that knowledge into a career teaching kids in their golden years.
2. Fund your business
Some investors are only interested in backing young entrepreneurs, but you don’t need their support to succeed. You have experience, financial stability and an extensive network to tap into. Dig deep into what you’ve learned in the working world, and you’ll find plenty of ways to finance your business venture.
Merchant cash advances put money into your hands in as little as 24 hours. Government-backed business loans are also a great option because of their low fees and low risk to lenders. And don’t forget to seek out financial support from your family, colleagues and crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter. According to Entrepreneur.com, many venture capitalists prefer to back senior entrepreneurs because of all the experience, wealth, free time and connections they bring to the table.
3. Choose a business that fits your finances
Though the rule of thumb is to have enough cash reserves or money from investors to pay your living expenses for at least a year, not all small businesses need a big investment to get off the ground. Home-based businesses, for example, can be started for $1,000 or less, which can be funded with a credit card.
- If you have expertise in a particular field, consulting is a business you can start with or without any cash.
- Do you have a knack for repairing things? Grab your toolbox and start a home repair business.
- Are you a talented artist? With a small investment of art supplies and time, you can set up an online store through Etsy or BigCommerce to sell your products online.
The sky really is the limit, just as long as you take into account the financial commitment necessary to succeed.
4. Get the scoop on social
With over a billion people active on Facebook every day, social media really is the place to get the word out about your business. Why let a possible lack-of-knowledge about social media keep you from taking advantage of all the opportunities there? There are plenty of resources available to help you learn the basics, including online courses on Lynda.com and social media workshops hosted by the Small Business Development Center. If you find that social media isn’t your strong suit, you don’t have to go it alone. Outsourcing to an expert such as Deluxe’s Social Media Marketing Service can free you up to do what you do best: running your business.
5. Never underestimate the power of lifelong learning
Lifelong learning will keep you engaged, challenged and sharp as a tack, so why not continue to learn all you can about launching and running your new business? Get started by accessing the expert advice and actionable tips in Deluxe’s Startup Fundamentals eBook. Then find a mentor through a past business acquaintance, at an industry expo, on LinkedIn — anywhere — and soak up every bit of insight you can. And be sure to bookmark these helpful references for entrepreneurs:
Starting a business can be daunting at any age. But follow these tips, and you’ll be well on your way to bringing your dream business to life.