Are you a seniorpreneur planning to start a business in retirement?
Before planning and plunging into the senior entrepreneurship pool, there’s a very important question that you should ask yourself as a first step: “What is your WHY?”
Why are you going to start your business?
Retirement may be different for everyone. But for many, it’s a point of change, a point of “What am I getting up for each day?” It’s different when you’ve spent all your life working, and you’re suddenly left with no purpose or goal for each day.
So, think about it. What is that you want to do to be happier in retirement? What is it that you want to do to reach the goals and purpose you’ve set aside when you were busy with your work and career? What do you love to do and care about? Is there something you want to achieve for yourself, for others, and for the world?
It may sound a bit existential, but retirement is more than money, right? It’s also a very emotional and spiritual process.
Why ask WHY?
So before you start your business as a seniorpreneur, start with your WHY. Simon Sinek, a British-born American leadership expert, motivational speaker, and author of several bestselling books, said: “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. If you talk about what you believe, you will attract those who believe what you believe.”
To understand and find your WHY, which will be the core of your business’s purpose, one of the things that Sinek designed is the Golden Circle. This tool argues that most of the time, customers need to be aligned with your purpose so they can be truly loyal to your brand.
The Golden Circle
The Golden Circle emphasizes that when you, as a seniorpreneur, should be aware of the reason behind your product or service, so you can influence people’s reasons behind their purchase. This will result in a customer who will feel that supporting your start up business is the right choice for them.
So instead of starting on WHAT product will you make or buy, start with your WHY. Ask yourself: What do I believe in, what am I passionate about, and why am I uniquely suited to tackling this business?
After answering your WHY, that’s when you get to HOW. These are the actions you will take to achieve your WHY. How am I different from others? How can I reach my customers? This will help shape your branding and help you craft unique messaging for your business. This is who you are as a brand because you are tied to a purpose.
After that, that’s the time you get to your WHAT. WHAT is the product or service of your seniorpreneur business to be able to accomplish your WHY and HOW.
Plan for your customer
After you’ve identified the WHY, HOW, and WHAT of your business, now you have to start planning WHO you’re going to sell to. When creating a business model as a seniorpreneur, you’ll be tempted to focus on your product. But the 21st century model actually argues that now, it’s all about the customer.
Let’s compare a product-centric model versus a customer centric model.
A product centric company will come and go with its products. You will only last as long as your product is popular. The market is always changing. The needs and wants of the customers are always changing. If you stay stubborn, your company will die along with your product.
A customer centric company, on the other hand, is more likely to be sustainable because the company can respond to a failed product or service better. This type of company can adjust its efforts or offer different services to the customer to retain them.
This is why it is very important to have an agile business so that you’re able to adapt to the changing needs of the market.
Identify your customer
Now that you know the importance of being a seniorpreneur with a customer-centric business, your first step is to start identifying your target customer. Identify at least 3 target customers and define who they are. I say three because you want to tap as big as market as you can so you have options for growth and scaling. Ask these questions:
- What is his or her age, education, occupation, or business?
- What is his or her income or financial situation?
- What is his or her situation today in life or work?
Identify your customer’s problems and needs
Before crafting the product or service that your business will offer, you also need to identify the problems or needs of your customer that you want to address. As a seniorpreneur, these are the steps you want to take:
- List out at least 10 customer problems
- Prioritise the top 5 problems
- Identify the relevance and value of your product
- Compare yourself with the competition—are you better?
After you identify these pain points and areas for improvement, that’s the only time you’ll be able to start creating a solution for your customer. This will be the core product or service of your business.
Validate your business idea
Once you reach this point, you already know your purpose, you have your target market, and you know what product or service to offer. Your business idea as a seniorpreneur is now complete! The next step is to validate that idea so that you’re not just working on assumptions. It is important to test your assumptions by going out and testing your product so that you know that it resonates with your target market.
Here are some ways to test and validate your idea:
- Start with your network and ask your peers for their opinions
- Interview target customers
- Offer free samples and get feedback
- Build a prototype of your product
- Create a test website and social media page
- Experiment and tweak your product
- Join a support group of like-minded seniorpreneurs
It’s very important to have the support of like-minded people to your cause. As a seniorpreneur, you may have doubts and fears. But you can get inspired to pursue your idea or get help from experienced seniorpreneurs, by joining groups and forums filled with other senior entrepreneurs.
The 4Retirees community is a great place to look for inspiration and guidance. We have a budding community of talented and motivated seniorpreneurs who are willing to lend a listening ear or a helping hand. If you’re not yet a member, join the community now and head to the Seniorpreneur Group for more ideas.