When you hear the word “entrepreneur,” does your mind immediately jump to visions of twentysomethings starting up tech ventures? You’re not alone, but that doesn’t mean you’re right! In fact, people 55 – 64 have higher rates of entrepreneurial activity than those in their 20s.1 So if you think you’ve got the idea and the drive to make a new business work, don’t hold back just because of age!
Here’s five lessons you can learn now to make the process easier:
- Understand why you want to start a new business.
Are you looking for some extra income? Do you need something to keep you busy? Do you think you have an idea that can take the world by storm? Make sure you have a clear idea of what you want your business to accomplish and keep it in mind for every decision you make.
- Build your business around your needs.
Once you know what you want, create a business that fulfills those needs. You don’t need to go chasing after the kind of salary you used to have in a 9 – 5; one of the great things about working for yourself is the freedom you can have when profit isn’t your end-all goal. If all you’re looking for is some extra income or a way to stay busy, you can settle for part-time, using your extra leisure hours for hobbies, spending time with loved ones and more.
- Don’t go it alone.
It’s never easy trying to start your own business, and it can be even harder when many of your friends and colleagues are thinking more about retirement than their next venture. That makes it all the more important that you create new support networks — organizations like the Global Institute for Experienced Entrepreneurship can help you find useful resources and likeminded individuals.
- The internet is your friend.
Because of the convenience of the world wide web, you’re now able to do many things from home that you couldn’t have in the past. Whether videoconferencing with clients or easily outsourcing administrative work to digital freelancers, it’s easier than ever to run your business on your terms. And don’t forget social media! Sites like Facebook and Twitter are great places to get exposure and interact with customers.
- Be flexible with financing.
You should think long and hard before raiding your long-term savings to finance an uncertain business venture, especially as you get older. Instead, take a look at options like Kickstarter that can help you get started without chipping away at your nest egg.
1Fairlie, Robert W. (April 2013). Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity 1996 – 2012. Retrieved October 2, 2017, from http://www.kauffman.org/kauffman-index/about/~/media/kauffman_org/research%20reports%20and%20covers/2013/04/kiea_2013_report.pdf