Entrepreneurship is not just a young person’s game. There is no reason why older people can’t start their own business too, even if they have no previous experience of entrepreneurship or if they have already passed retirement age.
We are all living longer these days and we most likely will have to work longer as well – so why not do it from the comfort of our own home? Here are our Top 5 Tips for senior entrepreneurs:
1. Don’t feel that entrepreneurship is beyond you just because of your age. Your lifetime of working experience will place you in good stead for the challenges that you will face as an entrepreneur. The increased stability and focus that comes with age is invaluable and – unlike an impatient young entrepreneur – you are perhaps more likely to make sure things are done properly. You might not know it judging from media coverage, but people aged 55-84 actually have a higher rate of entrepreneurial activity than the 20-34 age group. They even have their own word: “Seniorpreneur“.
2. There’s no need for you to hire people unnecessarily, even if you believe that you will need help with things like payroll or financial management. Outsourcing is now a viable option for even the most micro of businesses and it will only cost you a fraction of the cost of employing someone – no holiday pay, sick pay or additional tax burden.
3. Even though they are unlikely to lend to you in the current climate, it still bears repeating that you should avoid going to banks to get finance. The last thing you want to do is to start your business with a pile of debt that needs to be repaid before you can even start thinking about turning a profit. Look for alternative sources of finance (perhaps you could crowdfund your idea?) or dip into your own savings instead. Of course, however you manage to get your business off the ground, you must remember to bootstrap costs down wherever possible.
4. It is important that you don’t underestimate the importance of learning new things. Perhaps you are familiar with your chosen industry from earlier in your working life, but bear in mind that things have probably changed somewhat and you will have to do some research to get up to speed. Most things you can probably pick up from textbooks but if your industry requires newer qualifications (e.g. for safety regulations) and you haven’t got them it might require some formal learning and exams also.
5. Make sure that the advice you receive is sound. Don’t always listen to people who advise you to rent office space or other things like that because most businesses can now be managed from home. Speak to a relative or mentor who can get you up to speed on the latest technology that will help your business.