CONSULTING, New Face of 60

3 Businesses to start after 50

The excitement or passion needed for starting a business isn’t reserved for the techie Millennial in the torn jeans and hoodie (although we could be wearing those things:). Even the person in the relaxed-fit khakis and reading glasses can feel the passion.

Research indicates that Baby Boomers may have a greater passion for entrepreneurship than younger generations. One report by Kaufman Industries showed that, in 2014, those ages 55 to 64 had a higher rate of new entrepreneurial activity than the stereotypical risk-taking 20 to 34 age group.

Even more Boomers might take the leap, but they can become intimidated “by that word ‘entrepreneurial,’” says Elizabeth Isele, CEO of the Global Institute of Experienced Entrepreneurship.  This is a fun/smart book on older workers and entrepreneurs here.

There are many factors to consider, including how to finance a business. But perhaps the biggest challenge, Isele says, “is having the confidence to do it.”

Match your interests with an area of opportunity

What if you have the dream and the drive but can’t decide which option is best?

Experts say there are many opportunities in the current economy. Here are some growing industries and useful strategies to get you started.

1. Services for seniors

An aging population has created business opportunities for jobs and businesses that “ride the age wave,” says Kerry Hannon, a career expert who focuses on clients in their 40s and 50s.

“These are businesses and services that are geared toward people in their 70s and 80s that can be done by people in their 50s and 60s.”

One example: patient advocacy services for seniors who need assistance with health care-related issues, such as tackling billing mistakes or sorting out insurance coverage. There’s also a need for home-modification professionals, fitness trainers for seniors and personal finance planners.

“There’s a huge demand for things even as basic as bill-paying services,” says Hannon, who also serves as a jobs expert for AARP. “We’re living longer, and people really are seeking out advice on how to manage their accounts.”

2. Consulting

You may have acquired a depth of knowledge in a specific field by the time you’re 50 — and that could serve as the foundation for building a business.

That’s what David Finke of South Mills, N.C.,  discovered. After having worked more than 30 years in the maritime industry, Finke and his wife, Jolene, started Eagle Crest Enterprises, which offers training and consulting services to other businesses in the industry.

After a slow start, he says, business picked up to the point where he was making more money on his own than he’d ever been paid by someone else.

The key, Finke says, was having a niche market: “Find something that people need. If you fill a need, the revenue follows.”

3. Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping is another promising field for a post-50 entrepreneur, says Edward Castaño of BlueVine, a California-based invoice factoring company, which offers financing to small businesses

“Millions of people are starting businesses every year, and people are intimidated by bookkeeping,” he said. “The barriers to opening a bookkeeping business are incredibly low. You just need to be comfortable with numbers and not be intimidated by basic concepts.”

A bookkeeping business also offers flexibility in terms of choosing your work schedule and clients, Castaño adds.

As you can see, opportunities abound when you go with your interests and passion!  What type of business would you start if you COULD NOT fail?  Have you started your own business before?





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