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10 Mar 2015
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Starting a Business Later in Life

Before moving forward put together a business plan.  It's not necessary to expend a lot of time on this document, as long as you can clearly state your intended strategy and clearly define the scope of your intended sales, marketing, and financing efforts.

 

Starting a business at any age can be a daunting experience, but doing so after age 50 offers its own challenges and opportunities.  The risk factor is as high as it is for a business owner of any age.  On the other hand, you have a depth of experience and knowledge that is not present in most budding 25-year entrepreneurs.

 

If you are considering a startup of some kind in your fifties or later be sure you can answer the following questions.

 

Are you prepared?

This is no time to jump into the marketplace just to see what happens.  If you think you have a great business idea then test it against a thorough market analysis.  You need to know who your potential competitors and customers are, but even more critically, if there's likely to be a genuine demand for your product or service.

 

Before moving forward put together a business plan.  It's not necessary to expend a lot of time on this document, as long as you can clearly state your intended strategy and clearly define the scope of your intended sales, marketing, and financing efforts.

 

Do you have passion?

For business owners aged 50 and older, there is no getting around a simple fact:  you're just not as young as you used to be.  Starting a business requires the stamina to put in many long hours upfront.  Not everyone can meet the physical demands of hard work and lack of sleep.  You must have passion for this new business.  Making money cannot be your sole motivator – since you may not see profits in the early stages.

 

Have you looked at the costs?

You are going to need start up funds.  Whether you put up your hard dollars, obtain a loan for financing, or tap into your retirement funds tax and penalty free you need to find an accountant experienced in new business ventures to realistically assess the likely startup costs.  The plus side here is that by age 50 or greater many have managed to put away a substantial amount of money in their 401k/IRA accounts.  DRDA's self-directed 401k program – the BORSA Plan – would give you access to these funds without tax or penalty erosion.

 

How can you build on your experience?

Starting a business later in life gives you the unique opportunity to draw on a lifetime of experience.  By now you have a much better sense of your strengths and weaknesses.  Chances are you have also accumulated a network of contact who can help you along the way, either directly or through referrals to people who can help you.

 

Are you considering business ownership at age 50+?  One of our Business Consultants would be happy to offer you a free initial consultation. Give us a call at 281-488-2022.

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