At any age, starting a new business can be an exciting and fulfilling venture. Deciding to start a business after you've already completed a long career takes additional considerations that don't necessarily apply to young professionals. Before making that decision, retirees should take into account these factors...
Consider Your Favorite Hobbies and Interests
Regardless of your reason to start a new business, whether to keep busy or for financial purposes, make sure a new career as a business owner is something that you're excited about. Think about your favorite hobbies and interests and see if you can turn those skills and abilities into a business. If you're doing something you like, and something you know, you're more likely to be happy and successful in your new business.
Understand Income Potential
It is important to make sure the financial strains and income potential of starting a new business meets your needs as a retiree. Start-up costs can often be very high and many new businesses don't break even in their first years of operation. Many retirees live off of a fixed income and savings and you should compare these figures to the costs of business start-up. The best way to start a new business is by keeping your initial costs as low as possible. Using what you already know, previous experience and contacts, and doing something you like are all ways to keep high costs down. Talking to a small business expert about financial burdens is a good idea before committing yourself to any new ideas. These experts will work with you to come up with a good business plan without risking all your savings.
Physical Demands vs. Energy Level
Assessing your current energy level and what you are willing to give to a new business is important. New businesses often take long hours and can require hard physical labor that may not be ideal later in life. When creating a business plan, be sure to factor in how much you are capable of giving, how much you want to give, and the physical toll it will take on your health. Consider the advantages of starting a home based or online business. In addition to the cost savings and flexibility, these types of businesses are generally much less physically demanding than many others. As long as you are upfront with yourself about these demands from the beginning, there should be no surprises or problems when it comes time to implement your plan and operate your business.
Time, Time, Time
It always seems like there is never enough time. Young professionals are often envious of retirees that have earned the right to play golf on a Wednesday or travel for weeks at a time. On the other side, many professionals who have worked their whole life find that retirement leaves too much idle time for their liking and still want work to be a part of their lives. How much time you want to give is the question, and finding that balance between retirement and work is the answer. Do you want another full-time job or do you want your new business to be somewhat of a part-time job? Working for yourself certainly has its perks, but don't forget that running a full-time business is a full-time job. If that's not what you are looking for, set your plan to include flexibility and account for only part of your schedule rather than all of it. Remember, these are just a few additional considerations for retired entrepreneurs. General regulations and permits are the same for all business owners regardless of age. Therefore, the actual steps you should take to start a business will also remain the same.
Message Edited by JamieD on 09-01-2009 01:17 PM