Starting a business at any stage of life is a worthwhile experience. In particular, retirement is the perfect time to undertake this endeavour!
If this is something you’ve been thinking about doing — know you’re not alone.
It turns out that many seniors over the age of 65 are self-employed. Stats show that seniors are more apt to be self-employed than any other age group.
That should be motivation enough to start a side hustle. And yes, it’s okay to say that phrase as a senior!
Retirement is your full-time job, but a side gig can bring a lot of fulfilment too.
It’s exciting knowing you have the option to start a side job or full-blown business. As you get things rolling, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Here’s a brief guide on how to successfully run a business when you’re retired.
1. Choose Your Business Type
Depending on your interests and skill set, consider what type of business you’d like to run.
It’s best to start a business you have experience in and are confident you could succeed doing.
If, over time, you’ve become skilled at building websites, that could be a service you could provide. Or, if you have grant writing experience, why not continue to do that?
You have the option to work for yourself and build a business doing something you love. So, think about your existing skills and stick to what you do best.
2. Study Industry Trends
Even if you have a specific business in mind, educate yourself on current industry trends.
Speak to people who are familiar with your industry. Pick their brains on whether they think your business could work.
Do some research on your own as well. Find out what people in your niche are getting paid and whether what you’d like to pursue is profitable.
If you discover that the business you wanted to launch isn’t a successful venture, you may wish to restrategize. It doesn’t mean your talents have to go to waste.
Say the line of work you want to do is popular, but your skills are a little bit rusty.
You could take a few refresher courses to update your skill set. For example, if you’re a programmer, enrol in some programming classes online.
Do your homework and find out what will and will not work as a business. Keep in mind that things change all the time.
So even if you read that your area of expertise isn’t popular right now, it doesn’t mean it won’t be later.
When all else fails, follow your gut, and launch a business, you are confident will succeed.
3. Consider the Start-Up Costs
It’s essential to consider the start-up costs, and figure out if you have available funds.
If your business is going to cost a fair amount to start, but you already saved for it, that’s fantastic! It shouldn’t take its toll on you since you were smart and planned.
However, if you didn’t put money aside for starting a business in your retirement — you may want to hold off.
It depends on what you’re getting from Social Security, 401k, and other funds. Find out if you have enough money to make it happen.
Whatever you do, don’t blow through your retirement savings to fund your business.
The idea is to make money and do something you enjoy. You should be able to do this without burning through your retirement funds.
4. Figure Out the Tax Laws
Before starting your business, reach out to an accountant or lawyer.
They can tell you the proper way to set up your business and how taxes will work.
It’s best to ask any questions you have before setting up a business. You don’t want to get caught off guard at a later point.
And, if you want to set up an LLC or another type of business, an accountant or lawyer can steer you in the right direction.
Businesses get expensive, and you should have an idea of how the tax process will go in your area.
5. Hire a Business Mentor
Even if you’re savvy with business, getting a business mentor can still help.
A mentor can help you avoid financial errors and provide excellent advice.
If you have someone in mind already, approach them and find out if they’d be open to offering suggestions.
You can also get one on LinkedIn or reach out to a friend who may have connections in your field.
Get connected with the right people, and you’ll have access to superb guidance. As you get your business underway, you need people to back you up and offer advice.
Having business-savvy people in your corner can go the extra mile when you’re in the thick of it.
6. Give It Time to Grow
Don’t get frustrated if your business doesn’t take off right away. It’ll take a while to set up a website, build a social media presence, and get a strong customer base.
Understand it takes time to get things rolling and make some sales.
If you have an eCommerce business, consider finding people who may want to promote your brand. There are various avenues and content marketing methods you can try to get your business off the ground.
So, if it takes a while for a new business to pick up steam, don’t give up just yet. Give it some time to grow, and after a while, you should start to see progress.
7. Have an Exit Plan
When starting a business, you should have a good idea about when to end and sell it. If you don’t, you could get in over your head. And if that were to happen, you could blow through your retirement savings.
Setting regulations will prevent this from happening. One such guideline could be knowing when to stop when revenue hits a specific spot.
If it gets too low, after a set amount of time, it may be time to cut your losses.
But, if your business is wildly successful at some point, you may want to sell it. Or, you could hand it off to a grandchild, for example.
Have a plan in place so you’ll have some guidance. You can always change your exit plan as things evolve.
But at least it’ll be there in the back of your mind as you progress in your business.
It’s good to stay active at any age. And being “active” doesn’t only mean exercising.
When you’re retired, it’s the perfect time to keep your mind healthy. And you can do that by starting a business!
Exercise your brain and do something that gives you fulfillment. Creating and forming a business is exciting.
Putting your skills to use and reaping the many benefits helps you grow as a person.
You deserve to spend your golden years not only as a retired person but as a successful business owner!
Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with Renton at the Lodge to help them with their online marketing.