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4 Tips for 50+ Entrepreneurs

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4 Tips for 50+ Entrepreneurs

By bridgetwpollack, Guest Blogger
Published: April 16, 2013

Americans age 55 and up are the fastest growing group of new business owners in our nation today. Already, more than 7.4 million Americans over the age of 50 work for themselves. "Fifty is the new 30," says Rieva Lesonsky, founder and CEO of GrowBiz Media and a member of the HuffPost Small Business Board of Directors. "Boomers don't feel or act their chronological age. We have a lot of good years ahead of us, and we don't want to sit idly on the sidelines. We'd be bored -- and many of us would simply run out of money."

There are many resources available for these entrepreneurs who don’t want to sit idly on the sidelines, so that they can pursue this self-employment option at this stage in their lives. Take advantage of these tools and tips to start this next phase off on the right foot.

1.     Understand your readiness. The Small Business Administration (SBA) and AARP have partnered to offer an online self-assessment that will help potential small business owners understand their readiness for starting a business as well as information to help with business planning, shaping a winning business idea, professional counseling, financial services and information to find local resources in your area. This can be found at http://www.sba.gov/content/50-entrepreneurs.  There is also a wealth of resources at http://www.sba.gov/encore.

2.     Figure out your finances. With the economy still recovering from the recession, entrepreneurs need to find alternative ways to finance their business. Take the time to learn about the choices you have, and figure out what is best for you. Read about your options here: http://www.score.org/resources/obtaining-small-business-financing or listen in on this online workshop April 25 http://www.score.org/workshops/live-webinar-425-getting-your-business-ready-financing.

3.     Beef up your tech knowledge. The majority of people these days can surf the web, email effectively, and even participate in social media. However, some businesses require a deeper understanding of technology, such as running an e-commerce business, implementing search engine optimization (SEO), and utilizing autoresponders. To make sure you start off on the right foot, and use technology to your advantage and complete more effectively, take a look at some of these resources at http://ebusinessnow.org/.

4.      Get advice from those who know. Small-business owners who have a counselor see higher sales, hire more employees and stay in business longer. By talking with someone who has the “been there, done that” expertise, you can avoid a lot of the pitfalls that are common for small business owners. SCORE, a nonprofit organization and resource partner with the SBA, provides free and confidential mentoring from its network of more than 12,000 volunteers across the nation. Make an appointment in your local SCORE office, or visit www.score.org to ask your questions online.

About the Author:

Bridget Weston Pollack

Guest Blogger

Bridget Weston Pollack is the Vice President of Marketing and Communications at the SCORE Association. She is responsible for all branding, marketing, PR, and communication efforts. She focuses on implementing marketing plans and strategies to facilitate the growth of SCORE’s mentoring and trainings services. She collaborates with SCORE volunteers and develops SCORE’s online marketing strategy.

Comments:

Of all 4 points, I would especially emphasize on the 4th one which is getting advice from those already doing it. Because, you might arrange the finances, basic start up knowledge and everything else, but the most important thing is we must know the real challenges before entering that business. This can only be achieved if you learn about it from the existing businesses. The most perfect way of doing it is an 'On the Job' learning. Once we are confident we are ready to handle the bigger role, we can then formally initiate our own business entity. Good Luck !
Although, the Gov is trying hard to keep the unemployment rate in as much control as it can, and if more and more people get into the 'self employment' mode, it would definitely bring down the unemployment rate. And entities like Score are definitely a confidence booster for people who want to come out and start their own ventures.
I agree with point 4, but sometimes its hard to find a wise man who can advise us in a business, do you have any ideas?
Hi John Carlos! SCORE has mentors that already have been there and done that.  I recommend visiting This post was edited to remove a link. Please review our Community Best Practices for more information about how best to participate in our online discussions. Thank you.   , enter in the key words for your business and choose the person who best fits your needs.   I hope this helps!
Thanks for reaching out about your recently moved comment on the SBA.gov Community. You'll note in the Rules of Conduct that to maintain quality of discussions, contributions that do not provide a substantive purpose or relevance will be removed. If you have additional commentary related to the discussion topic or blog post, you're welcome to post that along with your original comment. Thank you for your understanding and for joining us on the SBA.gov Community.
Absolutely agree with these 4 points here and would also like to add that we must look out for people who can help us get a hands on experience which would really be helpful once we start walking on our own.
Pollack, I love your tips. These are so true. We can’t just have our start ups grow in just a snap of a finger and viola, it’s all grown up like big corporations are. Definitely suits me very much as I am trying to bootstrap my own business too.
Thanks!  I hope you consider reaching out to www.score.org for help when you start your own business.   Best of luck!
Thanks Bridget! Excellent points shared. These 4 points are actually the main points which every entrepreneur should focus on. I am sure the readers will get a lot of help from this post.

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