Starting a Business After 50? It’s More Common Than You’d Think!

Starting a business after 50 is becoming more common because, as we live longer, the ages between 50 and 80 is a time for discovering our inner passion and perusing our dreams on our own terms. Senior entrepreneurs are empowered by greater life experiences and better confidence and more perseverance.

In fact, a study at Babson College & Baruch College found that Americans 55 and older started 18.9% of all businesses created in 2008. When you compare with this the 10% created in 2001, that’s nearly twice the percentage in a seven year span! We baby boomers make up a huge percentage of the population which is part of the reason why. However, I believe we also have the patience and perseverance that it takes to start a new business.

The kids today tend to have very little patience; and it’s patience and perseverance, indeed, that give you the makeup to start a successful business after 50 – or at any age!

Here are a few examples of people who have been successful at starting a business after 50…

Throughout his life, Mahatma Gandhi demonstrated how to fight for a cause in a nonviolent way. One of the most important acts in his quest for Indian independence occurred in 1930, when Gandhi was 61.

Kroc, the guy responsible for all the McDonald’s in the world, began his venture at the ripe age of 52, despite battles with diabetes and arthritis. Seven years later, he convinced the brothers to sell out their shares, and he became the owner of a franchise that would sell more than a billion hamburgers by 1963. Kroc continued to be involved in McDonald’s operations until his death in 1984.

Grandma Moses never had any formal art training — indeed, she’d had very little formal education at all — but she painted every day, turning out more than a thousand paintings in 25 years. She had no experience or education in paining, and didn’t being painting until the age of 76.

One of the oldest success stories is The owner of Kentucky Fried Chicken, Harlan David Sanders, well known as Colonel Sanders. He was 65 years old when he started Kentucky Fried Chicken. KFC was a brand new business idea for him. In his youth, Sanders worked many different jobs from farming to steamboat pilot, to insurance salesman.

When he turned 40 years old, he started a service station and sold chicken dinners to his patrons. Over a number of years he developing the way he pressure fried the chicken, yet he didn’t decide to actually start his own business until he received his first puny social security check for under $100.

And what about his patience and perseverance? Get this: Old man Colonel Sanders solicited over a thousand restaurant owners to try his chicken recipe in an effort to start his business. And, after persevering 1009 rejections, he finally received his first “yes” and his chicken business had been launched!

This is the kind of perseverance it takes to start a business that soars to success.
Some people think that it’s even harder in today’s economy to start their own business. However, contrary to popular belief, a tough economy makes it easier. In fact, there were more successful businesses launched in the great depression than ever before.

Small Business Is Hard Enough: The Challenges of a Small Business After a Disaster

Disasters, I know we all hate that word. As humans we gird ourselves and simply say, “It won’t happen to me”. But the data shows that it’s not if it’s going to happen, it’s when is it going to happen.

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), 40% to 60% of small businesses fail following a major disaster. The number of presidentially declared disasters has more than doubled in recent years. However, many disasters don’t affect a large number of people like these declared events do. In fact, fire is the leading business disaster.

If that is not bad enough, researchers estimate that approximately: half of business do not survive their first 5 years and 8 out of 10 fail within the first 3 years after a disaster.*

Small Businesses have unique challenges that are quite different from their larger counterpart. Since 52 % of businesses are operated from the owner’s home or property their ability to recover is harder simply because they have to focus to two recovery efforts. There is never enough time to get them both done quickly and easily. If their business is in their home, there is no place for the work to continue. The property damage for a small business owner impacts BOTH the family and their business.

While owning a small business may seem like the American Dream, owning a small business has many challenges. But after a disaster the challenges become more profound. There seems to be recurring views of these owners both before and after the disaster.

Here are 7 challenges Small Business Owners face after a disaster:

1. Illusion of Security

2. Nothing could be done to protect against this

3. Complete 360-degree disaster for the individual

4. Self-imposed limits

5. Imprudent use of financial resources

6. Not understanding what is happening to their customer base

7. Assumption everything will get back to normal

Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges that face every business whether they are large or small. The largest challenge for small business owner is planning.

Small business owners invest a tremendous amount of time, money and resources to make their ventures successful, yet, many owners fail to properly plan and prepare for disaster situations. You can protect your business by identifying the risks associated with natural and man-made disasters, and by creating a plan for action should a disaster strike. By keeping those plans updated, you can help ensure the survival of your business.

When disaster strikes, having a plan and being able to put it into immediate action can mean the difference between staying open to service the needs of your customers and community or shutting down for a few days.

I know, not another plan! Who has time for that?

Resilience is different from preparedness. Where preparedness is something that you do; resilience is something that you become. In becoming more resilient, you as the owner should take intentional action. Do one thing today. (Just one thing). Do you back up your data? No, then get that done. Do you have an emergency contact list for your employees, suppliers, major clients? No, then get that done. Do you review you insurance policy every year with your agent? No, then get that done. Little by little, doing one thing moves you closer.

You’ve finally achieved your dream. Don’t lose it to a power outage, hacker disruption, fire, earthquake or other disaster. If you’re not prepared, a disaster could put you and your employees at risk, possibly shutting down your business forever.

Reopening Your Business After Bankruptcy

Reopening a business after bankruptcy is tricky, but not impossible. While it may present some challenges, there are some easy steps you can take to ensure that your business continues on the right path and bankruptcy does not keep you from living your dreams.

With a budget, corporate clothing, and a wonderful customer base, you can ensure that attempt at reopening your business is a success.

Tips For a Successful New Start For Your Business

Bankruptcy presents many challenges for reopening a business. It will be difficult to obtain loans. Many lenders are hesitant about lending money to businesses that have a history of bankruptcy. Investors will be wary as well. If you do manage to obtain a loan, you must be ready for the possibility of high interest rates and requirements for personal collateral.

Even with all of the financial difficulty, it is still possible to reopen your business. If you want create a prosperous and fruitful new start for your company, consider the following tips.

  • Stick To a Plan – Create a plan for your business and make sure you stick to it. If your bankruptcy requires you to make payments, be sure to make them on time and in full. Your plan should also include your long-term and short-term goals financially. Also, allow for unexpected expenses in your budget for those times when your low credit doesn’t allow you to obtain the loan you need.
  • Pay Your Bills – According to the Small Business Online Community, paying your bills on time each month is the key to rebuilding your credit after bankruptcy. Some companies report your payment history, whether it is good or bad, to credit bureaus. If you continually pay your bills on time, you will rebuild trust with your creditors.
  • Apply For Secured Credit Cards – Secured credit cards come with high fees, but they can be very advantageous when you are reopening your business after bankruptcy. If you build your balance and make your payments, you will slowly build your credit so you can eventually obtain unsecured business credit. This is an essential part of obtaining a fresh start after bankruptcy.
  • Re-brand Your Business – While the financial aspects of reopening your business may be first on your mind, you should also consider re-branding your business. Use this fresh start as a way to show off your company in a new light. One simple way of doing this is by providing corporate clothing for your employees. This will not only show your customers you are back and better than ever, but corporate clothing will also help to build your customer’s confidence in your brand and in your employees.
  • Reward Your Loyal Customers – There will be certain customers that stick by you, despite your financial troubles. Don’t forget them as you make strides to locate new customers and rebuild your brand. Show them how much you appreciate their loyalty by providing them with discounts or, if you can afford it, small tokens of appreciation.

It can be difficult to reopen your business after bankruptcy, but with the right budget, new corporate clothing, and a few loyal customers, you will have no trouble at all getting your business back on the track of success.