You're heard all about it, here and in the news...Boomers don't retire, they go into their "second act".
Whether retired by choice or not, many of us take the time we're given to finally pursue that something we've always wanted to do.
While it can be fairly easy to start something, particularly one that requires no office space or retail location, it isn't right for everyone. To make it work, you need to have the right idea at the right time, plus the skill to get your product in front of potential customers/donors.
So, here, from US News & World Report's Money column, are 10 tips from Boomer second act experts, on how to know if entrepreneurship is right for you.
What problem does it solve? "Be very honest with yourself in the business idea you come up with," says Jeff Williams, who owns Bizstarters.com, which provides training and consulting to entrepreneurs. If your passion doesn't translate into a viable business, maybe you're better off pursuing it as a hobby or volunteer. "Don't worry about finding the next hot business idea," says Nancy Collamer, author of Second-Act Careers and guest of this show. "Just take a look around you and see where's the need."
Sure, you know the business specs, but as an owner, you're chief cook/bottle washer (at least in the beginning as you grow it...), so you must also determine if you'll be good at every aspect of business operation; marketing, bookkeeping, sales, HR...imagine every department in your old company...you'll be all of them and must be good at all of them to survive the deadly first 2 years (when most businesses fail)...
Different business models require varied time requirements; a bricks/mortar franchise will require a whole lot of your time each week (most up to 80 hours), whereas a home based network marketing business like Shaklee or Mary Kay allows you to determine your own hours. Absolutely determine, up front, the amount of time you're willing to put in per week/month.
Seek the best advice:
Most cities have lots of free and low-cost resources to help beginning entrepreneurs. Also take advantage of networking opportunities, and conferences & trade associations in the field you're considering.
Determine start-up & upfront business maintenance costs:
Simply put, don't invest money you can't afford to lose, and include in your calculations both start-up costs, and on-going outlay until your business starts turning a profit.
Many people who start businesses in retirement don't want the burden of managing employees. On the other hand, if you're running a one-person business, you'll end up spending a lot of time by yourself, and not everyone likes that either. Decide which setup is the best fit for you.
If you're going to run a business, you will need to learn social media, online commerce, website management and other technical skills. "Many of these things are just plug and play," Collamer says. "It really enables you on a shoestring budget to have the look of a high-end business."
Make sure your business structure accomplishes this. The best way to do that will vary by state and by the size of the business. If your business goes down the tubes, you don't want to lose your savings as well.
Don't expect overnight success:
You may need to try several things and radically change your initial business plan before you find a formula that works. "Understand that this whole journey to an encore career is not going to be a linear thing," says Marci Alboher, author of The Encore Career Handbook and VP of Encore.org. "Let yourself take some rides and try on a few things before you decide."
You have been officially alerted.