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Copyright © 2019, Michael D. Jenkins, Esq. and Ronin Software
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Over 55? You can Start a Business Too!

What do Ray Kroc (McDonalds), John Pemberton (Coca Cola), Henry Kaiser (Kaiser Permanente), and Colonel Sanders (KFC) have in common apart from founding famous companies? The answer is that they all found success in later life. For example, Pemberton founded Coca Cola aged 55. Colonel Sanders was 65, Kaiser was 63, and Ray Kroc was 52 when he took over the McDonald brothersí operation and franchised it. In short, even if you are 50 or over, it is not too late to start your own business - all the rules and opportunities of youth still apply.

Where Do You Start?

Businesses are like books, like movies, and quite often like songs - they start with an idea. The finished product or service or business plan might look nothing like the thing which sparked it, but thatís ok. Something has to get the ball rolling.

1. Think of your past experience - What are you good at, what can you do, what have you done? The first port of call is can you improve on something which you used or did during your career? Or can you consult on behalf of other businesses to help them do what you did? A consulting business is always the first, easy step for the experienced.

2. Is this something youíve always wanted to do? - The prime motivator, a dream job, a hobby you can commercialize, or something youíve always thought youíd be good at. This could be writing, selling crafts, cooking/baking, chauffeuring, entertaining, and so on. Anything goes.

3. Is there a product or service you wish existed? - This does not have to be a totally new concept, but perhaps just something thatís not in your area.

It is vital to take these ideas and discuss them, work on the practicalities, how they would impact your life, the long term ideal, and so on. Also consider the finances needed to launch the business and keep it running until profits can be made. Some businesses need upfront investment while others can be bootstrapped. Use these considerations to build your first business plan. While you are doing this, build a team around you who can support you throughout, be it emotionally or physically.

Is Your Business Legal?

Finally, before you begin launching your business officially and before you even order the business cards or official letterheads, make sure your business is legal. For example, can you trade under that name, is the name of your product or service already subject to a trademark or intellectual property right, is it legal to do it or sell it, and finally, are any certifications or accreditations required before you can trade. Each state has its own laws and regulations to complement federal ones, so read before you get going.


Copyright © 2019 Michael D. Jenkins, Esq. and Ronin Software