Starting a new business when you’re over 55

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By Anna Rogan

If you have the energy and the vision, it’s never too late to kick off that brilliant business idea!

Whether you’re looking to turn your hobby into a viable income stream, sell your skills and experience as a consultant, or buy into a franchise, we’ve got 7 reasons why starting a new business when you’re over 55 is a great idea.

1    Your age brings experience and wisdom

Age in entrepreneurship is a major plus. You’ve spent decades in the workforce, developing your skills and building a rich knowledge-base. Investors and clients want to do business with someone they trust, and your experience and confidence will quickly build your reputation.

Your unique experience also gives you a self-awareness that younger entrepreneurs might not possess. You’ve probably learnt what works for you, what you enjoy doing, and your strengths and weaknesses. For example, if you prefer to work independently rather than relying on a team to achieve results, you’re probably going to pursue a solopreneur venture. On the other hand, if you love managing teams, investing in a franchise could be the more rewarding route.

Finally, you’ve probably been exposed to successes and failures on both a personal and professional level. Not only does this mean you are resilient when things go wrong, but you have a better handle on what works in business, and you know a good idea when you see one.

2     You have a wide network

Whether you’ve spent your career following one path, or you’ve tried a variety of jobs, your many years in the workforce will have naturally built a wide network of peers, colleagues, vendors and clients. Not only does this provide a place to start for advice and support, but it can also be a jumping off point for potential clients and investors.

3        You understand the growing boomers market

According to social researcher Mark McCrindle, Baby Boomers currently make up 25% of the Australian population and hold 55% of Australia’s wealth. By the year 2020, there will be more 65-year-olds than 1-year-olds, and as many people aged 60-70 as there will be aged10-20. Having first-hand knowledge of the unique desires and preferences of one of the biggest and wealthiest consumer markets gives you an edge.

4        You have the time and the energy

To the outside world, it might seem like you should be slowing down, but you know you still have a lot left to give. At this stage in your life your kids are probably more independent and are needing less of your time. They may have moved out of the home and may even have children of their own. All this independence has freed up your time and energy to focus on new ideas and passions.

5        You understand the value of flexibility

Starting a business and working for yourself isn’t easy, but it can give you greater freedom and flexibility. In many cases, starting your own business means choosing your work hours and even working from home. This can free you up to spend time with family, take on a supportive role with grandchildren, and enjoy your hobbies and interests outside of work.

6        You’ll pick up the tech stuff

The thought of launching a website, marketing on social media and learning the technology that is vital to setting up a business might have you running for the hills. But rest assured there’s plenty of support and resources available – many of them free – to help you navigate the tech stuff. The Australian government site for small business management provides a great start and includes free marketing and business planning tools.

7        You’re looking for a way to generate extra income during retirement

We don’t need to sell you on this point, it’s always handy to have some extra money, and setting up a successful business in your 50s, could help you lay the foundations for a retirement income to supplement your lifestyle.

Photo by David Siglin on Unsplash

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