WHAT SENIORS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT STARTING A BUSINESS....
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,
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,
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.