Age is nothing but a number. When it comes to owning your own business, age can be a decided advantage. Life experience, business background, and worldliness give entrepreneurs over 50 leverage that will help them as they embark on owning their own companies.
As seen in the recent article, Small Business Tips: 20 Things Every New Owner Should Know, there are universal truths that apply to any entrepreneur. For those of a certain age, here are eight things every 50+ entrepreneur should know.
1. You Are Not Alone
A 2017 Impact Lab review showed that entrepreneurs aged 55-64 are among the fastest-growing segments of business owners. The percentage of entrepreneurs within the older age bracket has grown from 15 percent in 1996 to 25 percent in 2016.
2. Advisors Are Your Allies
Having a strong group of professional advisors is always a sound suggestion. A board of advisors is one way to gain valuable, impartial insights from trusted associates who will help you make the right decisions and help you focus on maximizing impact. You likely have an extensive network of former colleagues, friends, and classmates who can provide you with guidance.
3. Find Your Passion
What excites you each day? Do you have a hobby, interest, or skill that could be parlayed into a full-time business venture? Understanding what you care deeply about and examining whether there is a way to commoditize that passion is one way to create a business you love from the time the doors open.
4. Fly With Freelancers
Especially in the early days of your business, you may not have the resources to bring on full-time help. Fortunately, the “gig economy” is a big part of today’s working world. Finding freelance workers who have the flexibility and ability to work on your projects takes the sting and expense out of bringing on more full-time employees.
5. A Side Job Can Reduce Risk
To mitigate the risk for those venturing into owning a small business, maintaining a part-time side job is a good option. You should even consider staying in your full-time job if possible to maximize benefits and be sure you are financially ready to take on the challenges of a full-time small business.
6. Be Careful of Costs
Older entrepreneurs have an advantage over younger business owners in that they often have access to more savings. Be careful not to overdo it. Just because you have more funds available does not mean it makes sense to use them. It can take three years for some businesses to break even, and you want to be sure you have cash on hand to support yourself during the leaner, earlier times.
7. Know Your Lifestyle
Understand that starting a small business takes an investment of time and money. Today, owning a business does not necessarily mean having a storefront. There are plenty of virtual businesses that provide services or sell products online. Find the type of business that suits your personality, availability, and style.
8. Invest in Social Media
Do you know how to place your business into local search engines? Are you fluent in tweets, posts, likes, and follows? If not, it might be time to take a crash course in social media and content marketing, two key elements of doing business today. To maximize your presence and help customers find you, having an active presence on multiple social media channels is a must.
At Benetrends, we help entrepreneurs of all ages develop the right business models and financial solutions that allow them to open the doors or expand their businesses faster. Our unique small business funding model leverages existing 401(k) or IRA funds to get you the capital you need quickly. To learn more about how Benetrends can help fulfill your entrepreneurial vision, schedule a consultation.