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How to get started for the mature entrepreneur

How to get started as an older entrepreneur

The attraction of starting your own business

Mature entrepreneurs in Australia have started their own business because they may want a challenge, more income and to do good, meaningful work. Work that gets them out of bed in the morning in a positive and happy mood, while at the same time having the best choice over what to do with their time.

If you have lost your job, been made redundant, taken early retirement or have chosen to do your thing and quit your job; becoming your own boss is an attractive idea.

And most will have found that it’s not easy getting another job at their age.

Running your own business gives you more control over your life and the opportunity of increasing your income.

What do I know?

Twenty years ago I quit a teaching job. While I had enjoyed teaching I’m not sure I could say that I was really suited to the job. When the opportunity to take a redundancy came up I grabbed it and decided to start my own business. Unfortunately I had no idea of what I was getting myself into as I had no business experience whatsoever nor any idea of how to plan one. Sure, there were lots of books about starting a business, but none really seemed to make sense to me or helped.

Over the last 20 years I have had to learn about strategy, business, marketing, selling, pricing, accounts, billing and how to get things done. And most of those lessons I learned the hard way. By making lots of mistakes, including costly ones.

Challenges

If you’ve decided to start a business and are over 50 there are several challenges you are going to face. Some include your health, motivation, financial position, knowledge of business, ability to learn new skills and your current skill-sets. And the fear of failure. You could lose your money. The most important one is time. As we get older that becomes a precious commodity. We don’t have a lot of time to waste.

The good news is that statistics indicate that older entrepreneurs starting a business can be more successful than their younger, more visible ones.

There will be new learning involved and decisions required, especially in coming to terms with new technology and working for yourself along with the flexibility the new tools provide. You will need to take some risks.

The benefits of starting a business when you are over 50 years include your:

  • Work experience
  • Life experience including family, friends, travel
  • Community involvement
  • Financial stability
  • Networks of friends and colleagues

All indicate that you already have wealth of knowledge and experiences that will be useful to running your own business.

If you have worked in a larger business or industry then you may be aware of systems and procedures for marketing, sales, administration, accounts, staffing and more. All helps.

The 3 basic fundamentals of every business include:

  • Having a product ( or service ) to sell
  • Being able to sell them, and
  • Deliver them

Every successfull business will do all three.

Choosing to go into business yourself gives you three choices about how to do that:

  • Purchase an established business, or buy into one
  • Purchase a franchise, or
  • Start-up your own business from scratch

I will be focusing on the third option, starting up from scratch and sharing my thoughts and suggestions as to how you might plan for success and avoid most of the mistakes I made.

The 4 major components for planning and running your own business

These include

  • Mapping a simple road map of the journey ahead – Strategy
  • Understanding how a business works through using a business model to make decisions
  • Develop your approach to marketing and sales in a digital age
  • Running your business and choosing the right technology tools to make that happen

Good health, good ideas and a willingness to give it a go is all you need. The big thing is to start as costs are pretty low nowadays than they were in the path. There are things to learn and do and the time to start is now.

 

About the Author Nigel Rawlins

I’m now working with professional women who are making the shift to self-employment. I have been running a marketing services company for the last 15 or more years, called 13th Beach Marketing Services Pty Ltd, working out of Geelong and Melbourne, Australia. I have been providing marketing services to a range of companies in Geelong, Melbourne and Brisbane Australia. The transition to Wisepreneurs Consulting is now underway.

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