Starting a company when you are young and carefree is pretty standard. But thinking of starting a business when society expects to find you in a rocking armchair reading a newspaper is about as out of the blue as it can get.
Getting over a failed business can be a lot easier when you are a twenty something but when you start a business in retirement, there is certainly a lot that is at stake.
If you’re thinking of starting a business in your retirement you may have to invest your life savings and this can be quite a risky proposition. It is certainly not an easy decision to take as you are attempting to set up a business at an age when your friends are looking to settle down for a life of comfort and you may not find many reference points or those who you can relate with.
The challenge lies in understanding what you must do and how you can go about making it happen without letting go of that farm which you had been saving for a rainy day.
Following are some guidelines that you must keep in mind when you are starting a business in the later stage of your life:
Play on Your Strengths
A big advantage that you have over the younger generation of entrepreneurs is that you have had your entire life to figure out what you like to do and what you are good at. Therefore, you don’t have to learn new tricks like the youngsters need to do and this leaves you with a lot of time to focus on the tricks that you have already mastered.
Throughout your life there may have been a professional skill or even a hobby that you may have pursued passionately. Starting a business based on that hobby or skill will ensure that you are completely invested in the idea.
Also, you do not need to consult a business adviser as many accountants are also qualified enough to dispense any business related advice. A meeting with such an adviser can help you to get started with the business and laying down its foundation.
Leverage your Assets
By assets we do not just mean your cash reserve, your wife’s jewellery or the properties that you own. The word ‘assets’ here includes everything that you have gained in your lifetime such as the network of former colleagues and friends. If anybody who you know is currently running a business which is relevant to yours, you can ask them to give you a mate’s rate which is basically a discount on their services.
Tap into your network to know who is into building websites or distributing products. It is not necessary that you have these contacts on your speed dial as you can always ask your friends to ask around if they know anybody who can do the job. Besides the possibility of them being in a business that can benefit you, you can also leverage your network to promote your own business.
Understanding Your Weaknesses
It is quite unlikely that at this age you are unsure about what your weaknesses are or would try to hide them from yourself out of self-delusion. You shouldn’t rely on your weaknesses and any aspect of the business which isn’t exactly your strength such as designing the logo or website should be left to professionals. This can mean incurring extra expenses but it is better than doing a botched up job yourself.
Set Deadlines and Clear Goals
In certain cases lifting the project from the ground may be easier but getting the business running may be difficult. You may have heard about people who have barely been able to keep a business running and have not been able to take it further ahead.
It mostly happens to those entrepreneurs who do not have a clear picture in their mind about where they see themselves and their business in a few years from now. You must come up with a business plan which has realistic milestones and targets.
Employ Secret Weapons
You may not even realise it but you have the secret weapons or the key to tap into a market that you may find difficult to understand. Your grandkids can bridge the gap between your experience and the current social media trends. They can give you valuable insights and they may be able to think in ways that can resonate better with the current generation.
Before you take on the risk of starting a business you must make sure that you have also taken sufficient measures to safeguard your wealth. If you haven’t already written a Will you should learn more about how to write a Will and write one before it is too late.