Starting your own business over 50
If you dream of being your own boss, your fifties might be the perfect time to make it happen.
Many people love the idea of striking out on their own and setting up their own business but find themselves constrained by responsibilities and obligations. Once you’re in your fifties, you’re likely to find that a lot of these restraints are gone.
It could be that you’re close to paying off the mortgage of your home or you’re no longer expected to finance your children. Either way, this is a good time to try and take a few risks and launch your own business.
No age limit to success
Starting a business is a lot of hard work, but if you’re fit, able and up to the challenge, there’s no reason you won’t be able to. Once you reach your fifties, you’re certain to have picked up a wide variety of skills and specialist knowledge and starting up your own company is a great way to harness these and use them to the best of your ability. You’re also more likely to have a very good idea of where your passions and interests really lie, meaning it should be easier for you to focus in on the right business plan for you.
To get started, turn to the fabulous organisation Prime, which is backed by Prince Charles and offers free workshops, networking events and accredited advisors. It’s perfect for helping you find the right path when you’re getting a business idea off the ground. Prime has also released figures suggesting that businesses started by the over 50s are actually more likely to succeed, with a 70 chance of surviving their first five years – compared with only a 28 per cent survival rate for younger entrepreneurs.
Excellent support for starting your business
Before you launch into your new business, you’ll need to spend some time learning about your chosen industry and conducting some market research. Are there other businesses in your area fulfilling the same role? How will you make sure your venture stands out and who do you expect your customers to be? It’s also essential to write a business plan that lists how you anticipate making money and grow your company. Not only does this give you a framework to follow but it will be necessary if you need to apply for a loan or financial aid. There’s a simple, no nonsense guide to writing a business plan available from the BBC.
It’s also a very good idea to utilise all the potential support available to you, whether this means roping in your friends and family to help your road test ideas or making use of the various government and charitable schemes available. You’ll find a checklist of important things to think about from Gov.uk, which also offers a list of potential funding sources that could help you find the capital you need to get your business off the ground. There’s also a wealth of useful information, inspiring articles and interesting ideas to be found on The Start Up Donut, a site dedicated to helping new businesses of all shapes and sizes.