Starting Your Business After 50 – 7 Keys to Success

We 50+ Boomers are now the fastest-growing group of new business owners in the U.S.

We’re being attracted by the freedom to act upon our ideas as we see fit, the chance to achieve much better balance between our work and leisure lives and the opportunity to enjoy a source of income that’s only limited by our personal ambition.

But, as attractive as self-employment may appear at first glance, it’s important that you carefully consider the following seven criteria when considering whether to take the plunge.

  1. Look for a business whose work will truly engage you. This is especially important if you’re feeling burnt out emotionally from the demands of your corporate career. A good starting point for identifying the right business idea for you can be to visualize how you can turn your favorite work activity in your corporate career into a business, or examine a long-held hobby to see if you can turn it into a full-blown business.
  2. Understand the income potential and whether it matches your needs, and how much you are comfortable investing. Take a hard-nosed look at startup costs, your local competition, and your willingness to risk your savings. Take into account the fact that it takes most new businesses at least three years to break even – if they last that long. Later in life is not the time to shoot craps and risk your financial security. It’s worth sitting down with a reputable accountant who has worked with lots of startups and who can help you determine how much of a gamble you’re willing and able to take.
  3. Match the physical demands of your chosen business to your energy level. A business that requires putting in long hours every day, or hard physical labor, may not suit you at this point in your life. On the other hand, if you love the outdoors, planning and planting landscaping or working in one of the building trades, by all means dig further into the possible business opportunities, but be honest about the sustained physical stamina that will be demanded to earn a steady income.
  4. If day-to-day variety is important to you, rule out businesses that involve doing the very same thing for each customer. The idea here is to find something that will keep you passionately interested. Not every detail of running a business is equally interesting, but you want to assure that your business offers enough different experiences so that you remain eager to get up every day and run your business.
  5. Do you love or hate technology? While most businesses require some computer use, consider the extent to which you’ll need to use other technologies – like wireless gadgets, the Internet, and various types of software – to help you manage your business. If you hate technology and would rather not bother with it, can you afford to hire technical help?
  6. Consider if you’re ready to learn a complete new set of skills or primarily wish to build off of skills you already possess. Every new business owner has to learn some new skills, such as office administration or Internet marketing. But, it’s very important that you honestly assess how well you know the “nuts and bolts” of your prospective business idea, otherwise you face a steep learning curve your first year in business, at the same time you face the daily demands of selling your product or service.
  7. If you find you’re drawn to a franchise opportunity, make sure you determine the total expected investment for the first two years. Be aware that, with a franchise, you will always have a business partner – the franchiser – who takes part of your income. Proceed with caution when considering a franchise: Talk with others who have bought outlets from the same company; make sure you understand everything the franchiser will expect from you (including how disputes, if any, will be resolved); and hire an attorney who specializes in franchising to explain the franchise agreement to you in detail.

Why Not Start A Business After You Retire?

Starting a business after retirement can be very rewarding both financially and personally but making wrong decisions can ruin you financially – and perhaps health and relationship-wise.

How old is too old to start a business? If you are willing and able to do the kind of work you are planning – there is no age limit. Think of Col. Sanders. Wasn’t he 70 or something when he finally sold his first chicken recipe?

Before you jump in – ask yourself these questions:

Why do I want to start a business after I retire?

Is it for extra income? Stave off boredom? Get out of the house? Or perhaps you want to turn a hobby into a revenue source. Or maybe you don’t care about the money at all, you just want something to do. To contribute.

What kind of business am I thinking about?

Have you thought of what kind of business you want to do? Something in mind? Or you just know you want to “do something”? The possibilities are unlimited.

Do I have loan-free money do start a business?

Is this money you could afford to lose? It is the last thing you want to do to spend your nest egg on some business venture that might fail. Or perhaps you have no or little money. So you are looking for something productive you can start with a low entry price.

Do I have a business plan?

It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Just the basics. A rough draft. Does it make sense? Is there a lot of competition? A business plan is absolutely needed if you seek funding, even if you are self-funded it is a good idea to create one. Just to get a birds eye view.

Am I really an entrepreneur?

Does it scare you to launch a business? If you haven’t been in any entrepreneur jobs in your career you need to take a close look at what it means to start a business. The key secret here is passion. If you are passionate about the new venture – the rest will fall into place.

Could another ‘Real Job” fit me better?

You might want to consider getting another job, full or part time. In your old line of work, or something entirely new. Thus avoiding all the “non-job” stuff you have to face when self-employed.

I know, many of you are ready to jump into this because you are passionate about your idea. My best advice to you is to calm down. Think about it. Run it by someone impartial.

Then think about it some more. Then DO IT. Let’s put it this way: when you are 60 you might have 4,000 days left in your life. How do you want to live them? Don’t forget – you must enjoy doing whatever you are doing.

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.