Here at Next for Me we noted how starting your own business can certainly be a scary prospect – the uncertainty that comes with being an entrepreneur can be a little daunting. This concern is especially amplified for people over the age of 50, an age where financial security starts to matter more than ever. Older, aspiring entrepreneurs will find that their journey will require heaps of mental fortitude, a steadfast attitude and of course, capital. The good news is that it can be done and, in this post, we will look at some tips that 50+ entrepreneurs can take advantage of when starting their business.
Utilize Your Contacts
Huff Post journalist Andrea Atkins writes that one of the many things you can do is to use who you know. One of the advantages of being older is that you have presumably made more connections in the world. Those looking to start their own businesses can then use these connections to announce new ventures, and attract investors, with their network helping to spread the word for them. There are multiple ways to do this, ranging from a good old-fashioned email to announcements via social media and even inviting your contacts to an open house to promote your business.
Establish Your Area of Expertise
If your business provides a service, the likelihood of people hiring you will increase if they feel that you are an expert in your field. You can inspire this level of trust by creating a professional and clean looking website stating your qualifications and accomplishments. You can also get the word out about yourself through free article archive sites, which allow you to publish business-related content with your web address displayed. Afterwards, you can further establish your expertise by speaking to civic groups, similar organizations and networking events about what you do.
In the last decade, mobile technology has simplified the way businesses operate. Technologies like cloud computing allow small business owners access to their data and applications from anywhere at any time. For example, many accounting software developers are now providing their product solutions on the cloud and offer inexpensive monthly subscriptions for their services. The advantage is how cost-effective software and licenses are now, as well as the ability to access your data wherever you are in the world.
Small businesses can now also leverage the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Entrepreneur notes how AI-ready tools can be plugged into virtually every small business workflow that involves data. This can be especially helpful for small businesses dealing with client or marketing data, as Special Counsel points out how AI can work at a lightning speeds to pinpoint and review the relevant information. Small businesses can, for example, analyze hundreds of product reviews or client data and come up with a report in a fraction of the time it used to take.
Look for Different Sources of Funding
As we’ve already mentioned, the need for capital is an unavoidable part of doing business. One of Forbes’ suggestions for older aspiring entrepreneurs is to line up a few options for funding. Aside from your own personal savings, of course, loans from friends and family are one option, with Forbes recommending getting the terms in writing in order to avoid future misunderstandings.
Alternatively, you could also look into economic development programs for financing. Women, for instance, could try getting certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council as a female-owned business. Certification then opens you up to certain loans only available to small businesses with that designation. This is just one example of the many avenues for funding that one can find with just a bit of research.
Do Your Research
Research can include anything from talking to prospective customers about their needs to seeking out a mentor to listen to their advice. Also, market research can help you figure out your target demographic and what product/service is most in demand. Research could mean signing up for classes in areas you know you lack proficiency in, such as marketing or handling finances. The good news is that with the vast array of resources available online, arming yourself with the knowledge you need can be done in no time.