When we often hear about a start up business the first association is some young go-getters burning the midnight oil, writing computer code while they eat cold pizza however the reality is it’s the over 50’s who are powering the next wave of business start-ups with a surprising number of women deciding to go it alone and become their own bosses.
Before we go further let’s look at why we are seeing a boom in these “olderprenuers” First, the recent economic upheaval has forced many to fend for themselves as firms let older workers go in great numbers. These workers had no choice but to use their vast experience to start their own businesses when they were unable to find work in the corporate world. Second, many older workers are simply tired of working for someone else and with modern technology allowing start-ups to launch with relatively low costs, these restless workers feel now is the time to take the plunge and take charge of their own working life.
Finally, workers well beyond 50 are starting their own businesses because they have found that retirement savings is not enough to live on or they are simply bored and miss the commercial interaction.
So what type of businesses are being started by the over 50’s?
Many start businesses sharing their knowledge and skills with others through seminars and webinars, there is a big demand for “how to” information ranging from cupcake making to business administration skills. Some are also selling information online, it’s now much easier and practically free to publish your own book on Amazon and sell information based products on platforms like clickbank.com
One popular start up for women is acting as a virtual assistant, after spending their careers as problem solvers and organisers these skills are in great demand especially to those that cannot afford a full time P.A. Busy executives are eager to hand their complex problems to someone who can find the solution and would rather trust someone with 20 years plus work experience than a collage leaver. Whilst we saw a trend towards outsourcing to countries like Indian and the Philippines a few years ago, many now prefer to deal with someone in their own country.
Another popular business is converting websites into mobile enabled websites,most local businesses have a website but they don’t have one that looks good on a mobile and with more traffic coming from mobile devices its important their sites can be viewed correctly on a smaller screen. With some simple tools and a bit of practice you can learn how to do this and charge a very respectable fee.
Some Business Start Up Tips
Think about what skills to offer the market and look for what people want.
Test a new business in a small way by placing a Google ad word advertisement or classified advertisement if it’s a local business. That is a cost effective way to get started.
Be market driven not product or service driven – look for niche markets and make sure there is a demand. Always remember that people are being asked to part with their money so you need to provide value that does not mean under-pricing yourself or being cheap.
Learn to network and call in favours. Use existing contacts and convert them to clients. Over the years I am sure you have built up a big network of contacts now is the time to make use of them. Don’t be afraid to tell people what you’re doing and use all available tools to promote yourself like twitter, facebook, pintrest and youtube.
Highlight your age and experience. Age and experience may be a hindrance in looking for a job these days, but they are golden when trying to attract clients who want to person with the most expertise. It’s very powerful to say you have over 20 years of experience and name dropping the companies you have worked for does not harm.
Concentrate on areas of expertise and outsource the rest. Some are strong at sales but not administrative tasks. Yes you are a small one women business but you don’t have to do everything yourself. Websites like fiverr.com allow you to outsource tasks such as design, proof reading or website design for just $5.
Remember to stay flexible in your new business venture that does not mean keep changing every five minutes but it does mean paying attention to what’s working, if I look back at many of my own businesses a by-product or an angle that I never expected can turn out to be the big money earner. Many years ago in my carphone business it was the extra money made on insurance and add ons were the biggest part of our profits came from and not the phone.
Yes starting your own business may sound scary but it’s never been easier to get started with all the great online tools and resources starting a business does not mean re mortgaging your home and going all in. Some of the best business ideas can be run from home with a few hundred pounds and resourcefulness always out strips lake of resources.
Vince Stanzione is a self-made multi-millionaire entrepreneur and investor and the author of The New York Times bestselling book The Millionaire Dropout, Fire Your Boss, Do What You Love and Reclaim. Details at www.themillionairedropout.com