Silver Success: the Business Lowdown for Senior Entrepreneurs

Seniors are one of the hottest demographics in small business right now; over a quarter of all new businesses were started by someone over 55, and half of all small businesses are owned by someone between the ages of 50 and 88.

It’s not hard to see why seniors succeed: they’re often more financially stable, have solid contacts from their years in the workplace, have more experience and are better able to approach the variations of the business world with a level head. That said, there are certain unique challenges that seniors face when going into business for the first time. These key tips will help your new business get off to a flying start.

Senior entrepreneur reading paper

Have a good business plan

If you’re starting a business as a senior using your own funds instead of outside investment, you may wonder why you’d even bother with a formal business plan. But a business plan isn’t just for your potential investors. It helps you consolidate a vision for your business, bringing your ambitions into clearer focus. Putting together a business plan will give you a chance to really zero in on your strengths and advantages — as well as highlighting potential pitfalls and difficulties you might not have considered.

Know your market

Before you even begin setting up your business, you need to consider your target market. Who are your customers? What’s their demographic? Can you reach enough people to make your business profitable? How will you reach them? You need to answer all of these questions and more.

Consider your work-life balance

Running a business can be deeply rewarding, but it can also be challenging and emotionally tough, especially during the early days. You need to think about how you’ll be able to fit all the extra work into your current schedule, as well as how the practicalities of entrepreneurship may affect your day-to-day life and that of your family.

Business allies

Enlist allies

Even if you plan to run the entire business solo, it’s good to identify people who can assist you. This can mean informal support, such as having a friend you can bounce ideas off or a neighbor who’ll take deliveries for you while you’re out; or it can be more advanced specialist assistance, such as hiring an accountant or a market researcher.

Be persistent

Above all, be tenacious. You’re bound to face a few hitches when you’re first starting out, but with persistence you can overcome them.

Now over to you

Are you a senior entrepreneur? If so, please share your thoughts on how to overcoming challenges when starting out a business.