If you have a passion for your product or service, it’s never too late to start a business. You’ll love the excitement of the challenge – hopefully you’re wiser on how to handle your time and the challenges.
Topics: Passion to Profit, never” too Old, Class Act, Social Media, Network, Freelancers, Web and/or Blog. comfortable Workspace, Mobile Devices, Funding.
*humor by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz*
Co-Author #1. Cynthia Mackey is a digital marketing expert in Oakland. When we first started our businesses, we were both refugees from Corporate World and we over 40. Cynthia had a history of Entrepreneurship in her family, while Judi fell into it. As Founders, we both started Boot-strap ventures, with far more passion than capital. (Isn’t that typical – Wiz4biz) Cynthia had been working as a Technology Consultant and saw a niche to fill in training “baby boomers” to use Social Media to grow business. She launched BabyBoomerBusinessOwner.com as a means to do just that.
Co-Author #2. Judi Henderson-Townsend is owner of Mannequin Madness, a company in Oakland, Calif, which – by contrast – was an “accidental” encounter. While purchasing a Mannequin for an art project, she came across a Mannequin vendor who was going out of business, bought his inventory on a whim, and launched MannequinMadness.com.
Senior Entrepreneurs or SeniorPreneurs. While we came to our businesses in different ways, we discovered that we were on the leading edge of the same new trend – Senior Founders. If you are thinking of starting a business in your 50s or beyond, here are our top 10 tips:
1. Turn your Passion into Profit. No idea is too odd to find success. In fact, “The more unique, the better you can compete”. Building a business ignited by your passion, fuels the time and energy required to propel you to success. Yes, more than passion is a needed, but without it, your desire to over come obstacles will wane – that will affect your business overall.
2. You’re “never” too Old to Start. Think it’s foolhardy to start a business because you’re a senior? People age 50 to 65 (& beyond) have a higher rate of Entrepreneurial activity than those age 20 to 34.
3. Get back up to Speed; become a Class Act. The idea of being a student again might seem like a drag. But if you need to beef up your business knowledge, you can now learn from the comfort of your living room. Podcasts, Webinars, Tele-seminars, eBooks, YouTube videos and slideshows are the new “teachers” enabling you to learn about any business subject.
4. Use Social Media for “Word-of-Mouth” Marketing. Select the best network for your customers – one that you can maintain consistently. It’s better to be effective on one network, than in-effective on all. Look for Social Media workshops held by the Small Business Administration (SBA) or the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in your area. You can also learn online via courses for such websites as Baby Boomer Business Owner & Lynda.com
5. Build a Network of Positive Influences Being an entrepreneur at any age is daunting. Seek out people and resources who will encourage you to “go for it,” and offer you good advice when you ask for it.
6. Staff as you Grow with Freelancers. [but they’re not free] You can find talented independent contractors to do short- or long-term projects for your business on an as-needed basis or find virtual assistance. This helps manage your costs, while growing your business revenues.
7. An Internet “presence” is a Must. [But don’t make it Musty – LoL – Wiz4biz] Even if most of your customers are by referral, you can give your business a boost by getting a Website or Blog. A whopping 97 % of Internet users look for local goods & services online. It is easier than ever to get your business online with tools like Wix, Weebly & WordPress. Google & Intuit have partnered to offer “Get Your Business Online”.
8. Make your Workspace fit your Lifestyle. Owning a business no longer requires leasing an office or storefront. You can set up an Online store with sites like Etsy, eBay & BigCommerce to sell your products online. If your business does require an office, co-working spaces, are flexible & cost-effective options. As long as you have Internet access, you can connect with your customer, staff or sales data from anywhere in the works.
9. Your Mobile Device is now your Pocket Office. Your SmartPhone or Tablet now gives you the ability to receive an Email order, contact a customer or take a payment all at once, changing the paradigm of what “point of sale” means. There are numerous applications you can download that are invaluable for running your business. With such tools as Square, you can process Credit & Debit payments on your mobile device.
10. Be Innovative in seeking your Funding Sources. Before you raid your savings, consider grants, contests & Crowd-Funding. This 69-year-old grandmother used KickStarter to finance her decorative walking cane business.
Authors: Judi Henderson-Townsend is owner of Mannequin Madness, a company in Oakland, Calif., that sells and rents mannequins & dress forms. Cynthia Mackey is a Digital Marketing expert in Oakland and runs Baby Boomer Business Owner workshops, seminars & webinars.
Resources: Q1 Where to Get Help Launching my Encore Career?
A1. Senior Entrepreneurship Works is a nonprofit designed to help people 50 & older build sustainable businesses.
Q2 What are the Best Ways to Get Free Help Starting a Business?
A1. The Purpose Prize awards $100,000 to Social Entrepreneurs who start their businesses after age 60.
A2. The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has a list of problem and award business owners who solve these problems.
Comment: Do you have any other Tips for Seniors starting a business?
from Next Avenue.com 13 June 13 *enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz*