Are you about to embark on retirement? Or perhaps you are in the middle of retirement and just realizing now how much time you have on your hands? Do you want a profitable retirement project to keep yourself occupied and challenged? Do you need extra income to supplement your pension so that you can live your best life? Are you ready to become a Seniorpreneur?
Seniorpreneurship is a great endeavor to explore, no matter your goals. Maybe you just want to finally pursue that passion you’ve been wanting to in forever, maybe you’re feeling more entrepreneurial, or you might be in need of some extra cash.
All over the world, seniors and retirees are rising up to the entrepreneurial challenge. Up to 590,000 small businesses in Australia are owned by someone aged 50 and above. More than half of all small business owners in the U.S. are at least 50 years old. So, if you’re aged 55 and above who want to start an entrepreneurial venture, then you’re officially a Seniorpreneur.
Seniorpreneurship opens many opportunities and you have many advantages over younger entrepreneurs. Here are 9 important things that you should keep in mind if you want to plunge into the entrepreneurial pool.
Seniorpreneurs are on the rise
Don’t be afraid to start something new in your retirement, thinking you’re way past your prime to experiment. In fact, according to one source, those aged 55-64 are actually twice as likely to start a business as millennials. AARP also says businesses found by seniors are more likely to thrive than those by younger people.
One study also found that while seniorpreneurs work less a week than their millennial counterparts, they can earn twice as much. Younger entrepreneurs are found to be earning $115,000 in their young business compared to $264,000 earned by seniors.
So what’s stopping you? You should be encouraged, even! As a retiree, you have so much advantage over a regular entrepreneur that sets you on the course for a successful business.
You have extensive experience and expertise to draw from.
One of the advantages of being a seniorpreneur is that you have human capital. Human capital is your current stock of knowledge and skills. As you age, you’re likely to have built more of these unique insights, skills, cognitive characteristics, and entrepreneurial aptitude.
According to a survey by TD Bank, 75% of seniorpreneurs had a decade or more years of experience in company leadership. This means that you have the technical expertise and advantage in your career, which makes you equipped to innovate and start something new in your field. Harness that expertise and turn it into a groundbreaking idea that even you would want to use or buy.
You have a good and wide network
Social capital is the network that you have built over the years, something that you can’t achieve with a shortcut. Having worked in the workforce for longer, you have sophisticated and expansive networks that can help you build and grow your business as a seniorpreneur.
Mind you: your network is not just your base of customers. Your network also includes possible suppliers (who you should have good relationships with), business partners, and even brand ambassadors. These people will carry your business to bigger heights.
Scared of social media? That’s okay. You can easily hire someone to take care of that. But you’ve actually got the more effective traditional skills that networking and business requires: the face-to-face marketing. A Wall Street Journal survey on business networking found that 82% of respondents say face-to-face interactions produce better business outcomes. So take that as your strength!
You have more control and freedom—over your money and time
As a Seniorpreneur, you have more financial freedom. You may not be overflowing with money, but you are certainly at a better position debt and savings wise compared to the younger ones. You’re done paying off student loans and you’re done financing your car and mortgage. You also have a good amount of savings and emergency fund to draw from during rainy days. This puts you in a much better position for experiments and risks.
In these times, as well, the online world has made starting a business so much friendlier. You don’t have to have a huge capital to set up a store anymore. You can start your business with a laptop and an internet connection, and you’re ready to deal business with the world.
Many also go into entrepreneurship to be free of the shackles of another person. And that’s still very true with seniorpreneurs. As a Seniorpreneur, you don’t have to be at the mercy of a boss or a platform when it comes to earning money. You can make your own rules, you can do your own thing, and you can finally pursue the choices that you want.
Seniorpreneurship also lets you finally follow your passion, if that’s something that you’ve put on the side when you were hustling for work. Now that you have more time and more freedom, you can finally do what you really want to do—and earn from it.
Weigh great ideas versus profitable ideas
Seniorpreneurship is also much like any other business, and your whole success hinges on your big idea. This idea may have come to your randomly, or you may have been spending some time building it. But how do you know if you’re big idea is great not just from your point of view, but from others’ as well?
A great idea can be exciting—this may be a groundbreaking insight, something that you know is new and crazy and might just work! As they say, “build it and they will come.” But is your idea a profitable idea? Is there a demand for it? Does it solve a problem? Does it address a need?
You can build an amazing product, but if there’s no demand for it, it will not earn for you.
Know your market
This is why knowing your market is very important. Build an image of your customer in your head, know their needs and wants, and address that. Your customer must always be at the heart of your business to succeed.
But take note: the market changes and evolves all the time because of people’s needs and wants change. This is why if you want to become a seniorpreneur, you have to start a company that is agile and flexible—you know when to change, what to change, and who to change for. When this happens, you must know how to tailor-fit your product to the changes that your market demands.
Build or join a community of seniorpreneurs
If you’re just starting out, you will find value in having a support system. This is a group of people who desires the same things and works for the same goal that will help motivate, inspire, and keep you going. Seniorpreneurship is not hard, but it’s not a walk in the park, either. So having someone to sound off your ideas with—especially if you don’t have a partner in your business—is great to lend you a wider perspective into your ideas.
4Retirees is one of these amazing communities where you can find seasoned seniorpreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs, and like-minded people who are eager to turn their skills and retiree hobbies into retirement projects and opportunities.
You may be starting a business that is very much similar to your field or career. However, the truth is, you will need a wide variety of new skills if you want to kick off your business as affordable as possible.
Over 60% of seniorpreneurs believed skills acquired during paid employment are significantly different to those required in start-ups. This is according to a study conducted by the International Journal of Organizational Innovation. This is true!
For example, let’s say you have been in the construction business before, and you were in charge of drafting construction plans and projects. When you start your own construction firm, suddenly, you also need to know more about marketing, brand building, online and social media promotion. The good thing is you can always outsource or hire for these. But when you’re starting out and want to start with the lowest costs, you might want to do all of these things yourself. If you have someone helping you out, you’ve still got to have a good understanding about the whole structure of your business. You might need to upskill for that.
But that’s okay, because upskilling only makes you a much better person and seniorpreneur. Here at 4Retirees, we advocate “lifelong learning,” which is why we’ve partnered up with online platforms to provide upskilling and learning opportunities to retirees who need it.
When it comes to business and Seniorpreneurship upskilling, here are some of our suggested courses:
Online Business Essentials (Lightning Skills Bundle) Certificate
Learn how to start your online business or migrate your offline venture into an online store in just 4 hours!
Social Media Marketing Certificate
Make sure your new online business or start-up receives the attention and success it deserves by marketing effectively on social media.
Self-Improvement 10-Course Bundle
Self-improvement is important to realise your potential and find a reason to take a step forward in life.
Decide: is it a go or no go?
Once you’ve identified your idea, your market, and the things you need to learn to jumpstart your business, this is when you have to decide. Is it a go or a no go?
Knowing that your business idea is still not ready for conception is totally fine. Maybe you still need to do more research, meet other seniors to get a different angle or find new problems to solve. But once you say that you’re ready to do it, you have to know that you have to commit to it. It will take time, it will take money, and it will take effort.
As a seniorpreneur, you will know and embrace the risks that come with the business. But you know that you have the skills and strength to deal with it and succeed.