C.S. Lewis once said “you are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream…” Even though this was written well more than 50 years ago, it has never been truer with today’s baby boomers living longer and better than generations before them.
Starting a business in retirement is increasingly becoming an option. Bankwest Business Trends research shows the numbers of business owners in Australia over 60 has increased more than 50%. Similar trends have been noticed globally. In the United States for example, around a quarter of new business ventures in have been started by people aged 55 to 64.
Not only does starting a business in retirement provide you with an extra level financial security, it helps your mind to stay sharp and meet new people, so you don’t feel isolated – which is one of the things boomers find happens in retirement. Many people go from being surrounded by people they work with all day everyday, to just their partner and the dog. And that feels pretty limited, pretty quickly.
You Can Still Embrace The Good Life
When most people think of retirement, they might imagine long holidays and having more time to spend with their grandchildren. Or maybe having a big house clean up and becoming more organised. While the initial plunge into retirement is very welcome, monotony can start to set in as the newly retired begin to ask ‘what now?’ It’s what happens after that first year that generally sets the tone for a fulfilling retirement.
A recent study from the Queensland Institute of Technology (QIT) found that around 80% of Australian seniorpreneurs significantly valued the non-financial benefits of self-employment, such as lifestyle and health preferences. In fact, 37% of all ‘young firms’ in Australia are now led by seniorpreneurs.
So Many Options Available
Retirees have many options available when it comes to creating a fulfilling business. Recently retired accountant Brian founded a Property Management firm from scratch with no clients. A few years later he says the business is generating healthy profits, but admits like starting any business, you have to put in a lot of your time (and funds).
And that’s just a single example! Boomers are finding success in a diverse range of businesses including tutoring, consulting, service provision – even selling products where you see a hole in the market. Anything that you’ve thought ‘I could do that’, is seemingly up for grabs these days.
Why Now? It All Comes Down to Experience and Wisdom
Over the course of your career, you will have gained plenty of both expertise and experience and that’s one of the biggest advantage seniors have over younger entrepreneurs when starting a business – you know it’s not always all about growth, all the time.
Plus you’re likely to have more developed networks, superior technical and managerial skills and are in a stronger financial position to fund your business and that in turn, is likely to make the business more robust
But It’s Not All Working Your Fingers To The Bone – Like It Use To Be
The QIT study also found seniorpreneurs work about five fewer hours than their younger compatriots each week. Why? Well, that’s a direct benefit of having almost double the industry experience under your belt. Plus, when you’re running your own business, you’re more in control of your own work-life balance – want to see a movie in the middle of the day and still have someone else answer the phone, do your books/paperwork, organise those meetings, manage reports, get that admin done – that’s entirely possible. Travel for a month and still have potential clients booked in for meetings when you get back? Too easy.
Setting Yourself Up For Success
Regardless of what stage of life you find yourself in, if you’re serious about what’s next for you and that business dream you’ve been harbouring for a while, the trick is you want to have yourself set up in such a way that you’re not tied up by things that other people previously took care of. These days you can outsource those annoying admin tasks that get in the way of you being able to focus on your real priorities – finding customers, servicing those customers and delivering on your product/service promise.
And that’s where we might be able to help.
If you’d like to know more about how you can focus on the things that are critical to your business and let us take care of the rest with phone answering, admin, meeting spaces, even flexible office space, we’d love to talk to you. You can call us on 1300 318 680 or drop us a note.