It is never too late to start a business and many baby boomers have realized this. Despite times when economic conditions are not the greatest, baby boomers are taking their dreams of being business owners and turning them into reality.
With most of them being retired, they are giving a new face to retirement and that is to “try new things” rather than engaging in the same routine every day. Fortunately, retirement doesn’t have to be the end of the road.
With 54% of workers planning to work past the age of 65, it only makes sense to start a business. There are even some individuals that retire up to two times before realizing it is not for them because they get bored. What do they do? They start a business.
What to Do
Many boomers wonder what they are going to do. Some may have a passion for books, so they want to start a bookstore. Others have desires to clean or restore things, so they may start a cleaning or restoration business. For some, they just want to work at home. In a virtual world, there are many companies looking for workers to work from their homes. Then again, you may have an idea of your own that others can benefit from.
Other boomers make the decision to buy a franchise or a business opportunity. This is the appropriate decision when the main objective is going into business to create an income. This is also the preference for those individuals wanting a ready-made business with an established business method. It can be easier than creating something from scratch and is a great choice for boomers that don’t mind adhering to policies that are developed by other individuals.
But when weighing the differences between franchises and business opportunities, it is important to realize that the cost of a franchise is more than a business opportunity. This is why it is necessary to research franchises because the upfront cost typically means acquiring debt from the very beginning. If the franchise royalty is too high, then it may not be worth the investment. If a company has a low start-up fee because they are a smaller company, they may not have the training and resources needed to successfully run the business.
Direct selling is also a good business opportunity, especially if the seller is passionate about the product that is being sold. It is ideal for those that enjoy recruiting others to sell the same product. The average gross monthly income for someone in direct sales is $2,400. However, there are business expenses that have to be covered, so what is netted is going to be less.
Basically, what boomers want is to start business that allows them to be fit financially and physically. Approximately 51% wants to ensure they are financially fit, while 49% say they are concerned about staying healthy. Those two reasons are why some of the following are businesses that boomers enjoy starting:
- Bill collecting
- Tax preparation
- Elder services
- Facial and skin care services
- Yoga and exercise
- Home health
- Pet sitting
- Cleaning services
- Restoration services
Boomers want to live comfortably. They are not always seeking to boost their lifestyle well beyond the level they currently live, but they don’t want to downgrade either. Some also want to make a geographical move that will improve their quality of life and they want to be able to establish a business as a new step.
The first common mistake that boomers make when establishing a business is not finding out enough about the business to avoid expensive mistakes. A boomer has to know exactly how much marketing is needed to market the business as well as make sure they don’t undercapitalize themselves. Undercharging is something that causes many businesses to go out of business. Doing some market research and seeing what others charge to then see how much lower you can go than them and still make a profit is how pricing can be set.
Some business owners also fail to ask clients and customers for referrals. By asking for referrals, a business can extend its reach and expand their bottom line. It is also important to remember the clients that have already made purchases and who the best prospects are. Paying attention to the purchases of these individuals helps you know what to market to them and will help secure more referrals.
When it comes to marketing, it is important to not underestimate the amount of marketing that is needed or engage in ineffective marketing. It is trial and error, but trying different methods will help secure the method that does work.
Other common mistakes include spending too much on inventory and equipment. It is also possible to buy inventory and equipment too soon. Another mistake is not using written contracts. Not firing employees that do not do a good job is also a mistake, as is not letting go clients that are extremely problematic.
How to Start
To get started in your business, what you want to do is evaluate your own likes and dislikes. You don’t want to enter into a business that is going to be more taxing than rewarding. If you don’t want to start from scratch, evaluate any franchises that may allow you to start as soon as possible with their resources. If there are no franchises for your particular idea, list everything you need and their costs. You also want to set aside a marketing budget and an inventory budget. You’ll also need office supplies and other tools to do the job.
You’ll then need to establish your marketing plan. Basically, you are constructing a complete business plan that will enable you to follow a method. Planning first will ensure that you do not miss anything. You will also need to meet with an accountant and an attorney so that you can ensure all of your bases are covered financially and legally. These individuals will help you establish a business structure and guide you through the steps of establishing the business, but this will come at a cost. Fortunately, it is a cost that helps make baby boomer business owners more successful than those that do not seek the appropriate legal and financial help.