When I set up my first business in my early 30s, the financial investment needed was far greater than the investment needed today.
I needed a PC, business quality printer, fax machine, copier, and telephone system all of which came to an initial investment of around £7000 and delivered far less functionality than a laptop and all-in-one printer costing hundreds of pounds today.
On top of that I had to rent an office and install ISDN lines. Phone calls were paid for by the minute, mobiles were still not an everyday tool. Investment in business stationery was significant. As was postage.
The business day revolved round meeting the 4pm post deadline.
Marketing of services was reliant primarily on print , radio and trade shows. All of which had to be budgeted for and carried significant costs. Of course word of mouth was always free!
Fast forward 20 years
Fast forward 20 years, and look at the opportunities existing today to set up a relatively low cost business.
- Technology is far cheaper and delivers so much more than 20 years ago!
- Websites, blogs and social media make it so much easier to get your business message across at little or no cost.
- Home based businesses are acceptable and fast becoming the norm for start-ups.
- Broadband and mobile phones have transformed the way we communicate with customers – both existing and potential.
We now have so much more flexibility in our working environment than we had 20 years ago. The upfront costs are so much lower today than they were 20 years ago. The financial barriers to setting up have been significantly reduced.
- Do you need training? Look up YouTube for tutorials or attend free webinars?
- Looking for local customers? Join local networking groups – there are many to choose from!
- Need help? Ask on twitter!
The cost of actually doing business has decreased significantly, so today the bulk of your investment is on the actual business itself, not the tools to do business.
It seems 71% of women over 50 surveyed recently said they were think about setting up their own business. If you have a business dream to follow, go for it! You may never have a better opportunity! Not to mention the added experience an extra 20 years of living has brought you.
Oh, and just in case you were wondering I sold my first business many years ago less than three years after I started it. If you set up a business in your 50s, you have plenty of time to create an asset to sell on!