The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports that more Baby Boomers are becoming entrepreneurs since they are concerned about their retirement savings and not overly optimistic about the job market. The article cited research that found that more Baby Boomers are starting business ventures:
“According to the nonprofit Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, individuals between the ages of 55 and 64 represented 23.4% of the entrepreneurs who launched businesses in 2013—up from 14.3% in 1996.”
Entrepreneurs of any age face challenges but there are certain issues that Baby Boomers will need to keep in mind as they begin a startup. Here are some tips for Baby Boomers looking to go into business for themselves:
Don’t Touch Your Retirement Savings: Whether it’s funding a long-held dream or experimenting with a new business idea, mature adults should think twice before dedicating retirement funds to a business venture since they have less time to recoup any losses.
Look for Funding: If you are fortunate enough to have family or friends who are willing to invest in your business, don’t be shy about accepting that help. You can also try crowd funding, micro-lenders, and business incubators. Once source the WSJ does not suggest, with good reason, is bank loans.
Start Small: Even if you are super-excited, it makes sense to start out on a small scale and “market-test a simplified version of [your] products and services.” Baby Boomer entrepreneurs who are reluctant to take the plunge can follow the same advice given to anyone looking to start a business: see if you can start your business venture while you still have your regular job and transition into being a business owner over time.
Do Research and Get Support: Look for workshops, classes, and other resources for entrepreneurs at small business development centers. Some of these are connected to colleges and universities; local municipalities operate others. Even if you have a solid foundation in your field and the business expertise necessary, you will still benefit from networking other business owners at various stages in their business ventures.