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4 Tips for 50+ Entrepreneurs

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.