Think that starting a new business is only for the young? Wrong!
Recent reports have shown that Baby Boomers actually have more zeal for entrepreneurship than younger generations. A 2014 report showed that people aged 55 – 64 had a higher rate of new entrepreneurial activity than people aged 20 – 34, who are typically thought to be more of a risk-taking age group.
It could be that Boomers are more entrepreneurially active because they are financially comfortable and can afford to take more risks, but there are still challenges for them. Younger people have the confidence to take big risks, which their older counterparts may lack.
But, by matching interests with areas of opportunity, Boomers can easily start a new business in the twilight of their careers to fulfill their entrepreneurial dreams.
The current economy presents myriad opportunities for savvy Baby Boomers. Here are some tips to help you get started.
- Senior Services
The population continues to age and with that aging population comes plenty of opportunities for people in their 50s and 60s to care for people in their 70s and 80s.
Caring doesn’t necessarily mean physical care, either. Patient advocacy services assist seniors with health-care related issues like dealing with billing mistakes or sorting out insurance coverage. Home-modification professionals, seniors fitness trainers and personal financial planners are all services that seniors require. Even something as simple as bill-paying services have a huge demand.
If you’ve been involved in the same industry for decades, you’ve acquired a depth of knowledge that simply cannot be matched by education alone, which gives you a leg up on the young whipper snappers just graduating.
This knowledge and experience can be parlayed into a consulting business, passing on your accumulated wisdom to others. The key to a successful consulting business is to fit into a niche. The fewer consultants your niche has, the easier it will be to run a successful business.
If you fill a need, the revenue follows.
If you have bookkeeping experience, this is another solid choice for starting your own business. A lot of small businesses start each year and many people are intimidated by bookkeeping. The barriers to opening a bookkeeping business are quite low with the only real requirements being that you must be comfortable working with numbers and you can easily understand basic concepts.
One of the best things about a bookkeeping business is that it offers flexibility because you get to choose who to work with and you can set your own schedule.
- Web-Based Businesses
It’s important to keep in mind that starting a new business doesn’t mean finding a storefront and sourcing inventory or renting an expensive office suite. If you find a niche you can fill, you can do so online without much of the expense associated with a physical business.
Working across long distances with web designers, copywriters, software developers, etc. is easy nowadays with tools like Skype and web-based project management applications.
And, at over 50, you should have a strong network of people you can tap into for help.
- Follow Your Passion
Yes, it’s a cliche, but it works for a lot of people who want to open a business. And, if you’re over 50, why would you even bother trying to start a business in a field that you’re not passionate about?
You can start a business based on interests like sewing, gardening or dog grooming.
There are ways to tap into your passion and what you love to start your own business when you are over 50.
Good luck![Main photo courtesy of Jeff Eaton on Flickr]