Starting a Business After 50? It’s More Common Than You’d Think!

Starting a business after 50 is becoming more common because, as we live longer, the ages between 50 and 80 is a time for discovering our inner passion and perusing our dreams on our own terms. Senior entrepreneurs are empowered by greater life experiences and better confidence and more perseverance.

In fact, a study at Babson College & Baruch College found that Americans 55 and older started 18.9% of all businesses created in 2008. When you compare with this the 10% created in 2001, that’s nearly twice the percentage in a seven year span! We baby boomers make up a huge percentage of the population which is part of the reason why. However, I believe we also have the patience and perseverance that it takes to start a new business.

The kids today tend to have very little patience; and it’s patience and perseverance, indeed, that give you the makeup to start a successful business after 50 – or at any age!

Here are a few examples of people who have been successful at starting a business after 50…

Throughout his life, Mahatma Gandhi demonstrated how to fight for a cause in a nonviolent way. One of the most important acts in his quest for Indian independence occurred in 1930, when Gandhi was 61.

Kroc, the guy responsible for all the McDonald’s in the world, began his venture at the ripe age of 52, despite battles with diabetes and arthritis. Seven years later, he convinced the brothers to sell out their shares, and he became the owner of a franchise that would sell more than a billion hamburgers by 1963. Kroc continued to be involved in McDonald’s operations until his death in 1984.

Grandma Moses never had any formal art training — indeed, she’d had very little formal education at all — but she painted every day, turning out more than a thousand paintings in 25 years. She had no experience or education in paining, and didn’t being painting until the age of 76.

One of the oldest success stories is The owner of Kentucky Fried Chicken, Harlan David Sanders, well known as Colonel Sanders. He was 65 years old when he started Kentucky Fried Chicken. KFC was a brand new business idea for him. In his youth, Sanders worked many different jobs from farming to steamboat pilot, to insurance salesman.

When he turned 40 years old, he started a service station and sold chicken dinners to his patrons. Over a number of years he developing the way he pressure fried the chicken, yet he didn’t decide to actually start his own business until he received his first puny social security check for under $100.

And what about his patience and perseverance? Get this: Old man Colonel Sanders solicited over a thousand restaurant owners to try his chicken recipe in an effort to start his business. And, after persevering 1009 rejections, he finally received his first “yes” and his chicken business had been launched!

This is the kind of perseverance it takes to start a business that soars to success.
Some people think that it’s even harder in today’s economy to start their own business. However, contrary to popular belief, a tough economy makes it easier. In fact, there were more successful businesses launched in the great depression than ever before.

6 Reasons Why It Makes Sense To Start A Business Online

The internet has made it possible for people from all walks of life to start a business. Regular people can succeed online just as well as the big worldwide business that dominate the offline world. Here are 6 reasons why you can start a business online and be successful.

1. Anyone Can Do It.

When starting your own small business online, it does not matter about your age, your background or where you live. You can benefit from, or leverage off, other people’s knowledge, time, ability and experience. As long as you have access to a computer and the internet you are ready to go.

2. Low Set Up Costs.

The required funding to start a business online is considerably less than a conventional bricks and mortar business. You will need to purchase a domain name and some hosting for your website but you will not have the high costs of renting a physical building to operate from or the costs of inventory or staff.

3. You Can Reach A Huge Audience.

A conventional bricks and mortar business requires somewhere that potential customers within their regional area can easily get to. However, with the power of the internet, you can market your online business to customers from around the world to buy your products and services online.

4. You Can Operate 24 / 7.

A physical business can only function for the period of time that are able to keep the doors to your premises open. It’s not possible for one person to do this all day and all night. However a website is online continuously, and with automated systems you can sell products even while you are asleep.

5. You Can Expand Into New Markets More Easily

As your business becomes more established, you can start to diversify and sell products and services that will appeal to your target audience. This is much easier for an online business because you can source these other products and sell them as an affiliate without having to stock or deliver them yourself.

6. You Can Start It In Your Spare Time

Starting your own business is a big step for any new entrepreneur, especially if you already have day-to-day living costs, like a mortgage or other domestic bills, that all have to be paid. When you start a business online, you can do it in your spare time whilst still working at your normal day job. Then, as your online business grows and becomes more profitable you can start to work on it full time.

Launching A Start-Up Business – When You Should Vs Shouldn’t

Launching a Startup – When You Should vs When You Shouldn’t

Starting a business and making the decision to move from being an employee to being an entrepreneur is one of those things that is often painted in an unrealistically rosy picture. Sure, if you’re successful at it, there’s nothing better than being your own boss, doing something you love, and making a comfortable living doing it. But what does getting there actually entail?

This is one in a series of posts aimed at helping “would-be” entrepreneurs get out of the gate and on the road towards establishing a running business of their own.

Why take the risk of launching your own business venture?

There are plenty of great reasons for launching your own start-up. These include:

  • The opportunity to be in control and do the things you want to do: you get to succeed or fail on your own
  • Not having anyone tell you what to do: you are your own boss
  • The opportunity to create something new: the ability to bring something totally new into existence without the constraints often faced by larger companies
  • The opportunity to impact the world: to develop a new way to communicate, a new way to cut costs, a new way to collaborate, or anything else to make the world a better place
  • Money: when things go right, there can be a lot of money in successful start-ups

These are some of the more fundamental reasons for starting a start-up.

The downside to launching your own business

There are just about as many, if not more, reasons not to start a start-up.

  • They can be emotionally draining: from exuberant highs to depressing lows, start-ups can constantly put you through an emotional rollercoaster
  • Nothing happens unless you make it happen: in established companies, everything happens according to a fixed set of operational procedures, but in a start-up, you have to do virtually everything yourself
  • You are constantly told “NO”: unless you come from a sales background, you are probably not used to being told “NO” all the time, and it isn’t very fun
  • Hiring is extremely difficult: you are constantly faced with casual shoppers, folks who aren’t as serious or passionate about your idea as you are, and you end up being taken for a ride before being told “NO”
  • The hours can be grueling: despite books, articles and workshops promoting the perfect work/life balance, as a start-up entrepreneur, it isn’t likely you will have much of a life outside running your business, at least in the beginning

Still ready to take the plunge?

OK, so I haven’t talked you out of your conviction that starting your own business is what you want to do. Alright, fair enough. It seems you are convinced that it’s the way to go. If you think you’re ready, great! There is no time like the present, and opportunities abound for those who unwaveringly want to see things through. If you want to get your business up and running, here are a few things you to help get you started:

  • What is your business idea?
  • What will you name your business, product or service?
  • How will you go about building a team?
  • How will you build an organization with a thriving work culture?
  • How will you market yourself?
  • How does your team communicate, and how will you establish your online presence?
  • How do you test your idea and collect valuable customer feedback?
  • How can you raise funds, or like-minded business collaborators?

In the next series of upcoming posts, we’ll go through all of the above points in turn to give you a better grasp of what you need to do, and how to do it, in order to successfully get your own business off the ground and go from being an employee to being a business owner.