Entrepreneurs are active economic engines. They create jobs by launching new businesses and revitalizing our economy. However, becoming an entrepreneur after the age of fifty takes courage, especially if you are a woman.
Starting a business at this age means taking up new financial responsibilities and risks. Also, when your friends are planning for retirement, you are devoting your time to your brand-new venture.
Now the question is, what amount of time do you really need to devote to this journey? How flexible should it be? In this article, we will discuss some important facts that you need to consider before being an entrepreneur fifty.
Let’s get started!
Why Should Women Consider Becoming an Entrepreneur?
Women are usually collaborative and are more eager to learn. Entrepreneurship requires teamwork, and women are great at functioning with others.
Moreover, having your own business will be helpful for your close ones as well. Once you have an established customer base, you begin serving friends and family. “This is why we are now cleaning windows in Medina“, says the owner of Penguin Window.
As a midlife entrepreneur, you may accumulate an abundance of knowledge, contacts, and experience, but these are not sufficient to develop sustainable businesses. You need to overcome certain challenges and consider a bunch of things for being successful. Let’s take a deeper dive into some of the prominent factors.
1. Determine the Best Business Idea
The most important thing to consider before being an entrepreneur is what business you want to start. An abundance of experience generally breeds loads of abilities and interests. Therefore, narrowing down a single best business idea is a challenging task.
A common tendency among new entrepreneurs is that they simply try to build a business surrounding their current position. However, this is not the recommended method to choose your business idea. Just because you have been successful at your previous job, does not mean the same work will bring you success when work on your own.
2. Prepare Well
You need to prepare well to run your new business most efficiently. And for that, find yourself a mentor or coach with a history of success in your field, who can guide you through this new journey. If you lack skills in finance or marketing, get into a certification program or a community college. It is also a good idea to contact the Small Business Development Center in your area.
Virtual mentoring services, such as Alice, and PivotPlanet are also helpful for female entrepreneurs. Alice uses artificial intelligence and connects entrepreneurs with government resources, other business holders, potential, mentors, and funders. And, PivotPlanet avails you to communicate with advisers via one-on-one phone and video conferences.
3. Develop an Entrepreneurial Mindset
Working under a large organization or company is simply like working inside a bubble. You are used to taking prolonged lunches, killing time gossiping with co-workers, ordering expensive and cool office supplies and furniture, and taking sick leave.
Therefore, take the necessary time to change your mindset from being a personnel to an entrepreneur. This is vital for your success.
4. Make Proper Use of Social Media
The entire world’s a stage where you’re now an eminent player. All new businesses need to create an attention-grabbing and powerful brand and master how to spread and share that through social media.
People do not trade business cards nowadays. Rather, they exchange Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook handles. If the products you are selling do not correspond to what your future customers, clients, or colleagues see on their social media handles, your potential sale, and your credibility are sure to take a nosedive.
Therefore, as a brand-building act, you need to connect with your potential customers and learn their needs and desires. Converse with them and let everyone know about your products and services. This will not only help you increase your credibility but will help you learn how you can address the market.
5. Write a Plan
You need to write a simple business plan, about twenty pages long, which you will need to submit to obtain financing. This will comprise a summary of your entire business plan, what services your company is going to provide, how you will provide the services, who the clients will be, the financial outlook of your company, and why you’re fit to run the business.
You will require a thorough description of your company, your staffing conditions, the management team, the location of your company, your market analysis of other competitive companies, and your promotional and sales strategies to reach future clients or customers. Make sure your business plan has a practical forecast of startup outlays and your expectations on selling and earning your goods or services.
6. Keep Your Assets in Order
When you commence a business, your business and personal finances are indivisible. Contemplate the amount of money you’ll need to manage your personal expenses and the company every month, then work out accordingly. It is better to reduce some of your expenses before you begin earning income.
7. Organize Funding Sources
Most new business owners use their personal savings to start the company. However, it is recommended to preserve about 6 months of living expenses before investing.
It is better to not use your retirement fund as you will receive withdrawal penalties. Also, you will be subjected to income taxes; losing your tax-deferred compounding, which could be of great help during your retirement.
If any relative or friend funds your business without interest, or at a minimum rate, make sure to get the agreement in writing to avoid any potential misunderstandings regarding repayment and interest. Also, you can contact different organizations around the country that provide funding and work for women willing to start nonprofit or for-profit businesses.
8. Be Familiar with Taxes
It is essential to pay heed to your taxes and accounting. If you are doing retail, ensure that you properly understand laws regarding sales tax. Initially, the more knowledge you’ll gather regarding taxes, the fewer tax headaches you will get in the long run.
9. Keep Your Business as a Side Job First
Before being a full-time businesswoman, search for ways to test your business idea as a side job first. Start your business while you still have your current job. However, make sure you do not offend your boss or violate your employment agreements.
10. Own a Small Niche
Instead of trying to be the Google or Amazon of a sector, several small business holders have found that they do well by working with a narrowly defined service or product and stand out in it.
To determine the perfect niche for your company, consider the unexploited requirements in the industry, especially those that large companies have disregarded. Do some research via the search engines and find out how many providers are already giving out the service you wish to offer, and decide accordingly.
11. Start Small and Limit the Losses
When you start a company in midlife, it is not a good idea to invest all your money in one go, and be short of money if the business does not go as planned. Therefore, begin with a small amount at first, then spend more money and time behind the business if you gain profits from sales.
12. Include Your Family
One of the pros of owning your own business is that you can build your dream team. Therefore, you should include your family members wherever you can, which will not only expand their career opportunities but will give them insight into how they wish to work. Plus, it’s always easier to work with people who will go that extra mile for you.
13. Take Out Time for Yourself
Before being an entrepreneur, consider the influence it will have on your everyday life. You will need to put a lot of effort and time into your business. As a result, you may have very little time left for self-care and to spend with your family. Therefore, time management may become the most important skill you need to master.
14. Be Determined
Never allow others to control your dreams and goals. You might have aging parents, college-age children, or many other responsibilities. However, knowing about the existence of these challenges can actually help you develop a good contingency plan.
Moreover, when you turn fifty, it is now or never. If you do not give up the job you do not like and seek your passion at this period, you may never be able to do it. So, follow your instincts, and most importantly chase your dreams.
The Bottom Line
It is said that you are only as old as you feel. Dreams do not have an expiration date, and entrepreneurs do not have an age limit. Therefore, if you feel like you can build a company from scratch after fifty, do not let your age or any other obstacles come on your path as you march ahead with your business