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5 Tips for Opening a Business When You're Over 50
April 09, 2018
Over-50-Tips-Opening-Business

5 Tips for Opening a Business When You're Over 50

April 09, 2018
Did you know that the average age of a successful startup founder is roughly 40 years old? In addition, according to research from the Kauffman Foundation, founders over the age of 55 are nearly twice as likely to start a high-growth business than those who are 20 to 34 years old. Other research has found that the average age of a founder who leads a company on to a successful exit is 47.

In other words, the later years of one’s career could be the best time to start a business. You shouldn’t let your age hold you back, as the experience and insights you have could be a major advantage. In this post, we’ll reveal tips for opening a business if you’re over the age of 50!

1. View Your Age as an Asset

Do you have an amazing business idea, but are apprehensive to pursue it due to your age? Don’t let it intimidate you! Owning a business isn’t necessary a young person’s game. One of the reasons that older business owners are often so successful is because they’ve learned from prior mistakes, and have a wealth of knowledge that they can leverage. Remember these factors as you begin your business venture; they’ll allow you to be confident in yourself!

2. Know Your Strengths

Most people develop a good grasp of their skills as they age. Due to this, you should know what your skills and interests are, and can utilize them to grow your business.

For example, perhaps you spent 25 years working for or managing a landscaping company. If you’ve retired, you could start a new venture like a mobile app that connects customers with nearby landscapers. Since you already have experience, you’ll have a major advantage over someone who hasn’t worked in the landscaping industry.

3. Consider Funding Options

It takes money to make money. To start a business, you’ll have to make a significant investment to begin your operations.

Since you’re over 50, it’s probable that you’ve set aside some cash that you can invest. However, there could be circumstances that have made it difficult to do this. For example, perhaps your money is tied up in an IRA, or you’re still paying off credit card debt. If this is the case, it could be risky for you to start a small business.

Even if you don’t have significant funds to open a business, don’t despair. Some lenders offer startup business loans, although to qualify you may have to submit collateral. If you can start your business with your own finances, you may be able to receive a business loan or other type of financing after being operational for a few months. Once a lender sees that your business is stable and earning revenue, you’ll be more likely to qualify. Ultimately, you should consider your financial options prior to opening your business, so that you can afford all required costs.

4. Utilize Your Existing Network

Relationships are vital for businesses. The stronger the relationships are, the better your business will be. Fortunately, as an older entrepreneur, you’ve probably built up a considerable professional network over time. Due to this, as soon as your business is up and running, you should leverage your network to promote your business.

When marketing your business, don’t just go after the low hanging fruit or the obvious customers. Reach out to anyone who you think could use your goods or services. By utilizing your network, you can get off to a strong start. In fact, if you had started this business at a younger age, you may not have been able to succeed, since you hadn’t acquired as many connections.

5. Work Hard

The popular saying “live each day like it’s your last” rings true for small business owners. When you start a business over the age of 50, you should take a similar approach. Start your business with the mindset that it could be your last entrepreneurial opportunity, and put all your effort into making it a success.

Conclusion

Opening a business can be intimidating. Markets are competitive, and not everyone will succeed. Still, with hard work, you can start a flourishing business, even if you’re past age 50. Like every entrepreneur, you should have a sound business strategy in place, and will have to execute well. By using your experience, connections, and knowledge, you could start a profitable, sustainable company!

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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