Each year, thousands of retirees decide to try their hand at entrepreneurship. If you’re an older adult who is thinking about starting your own small business, you may be worried that you’re past the age where you can succeed at a new venture.

While it’s true that many of the entrepreneurs we see in the news started their empire at a young age – Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, etc. – that doesn’t mean that your business is doomed to fail if you choose to start a little later in life. If anything, age can be a huge benefit when starting a new business. Older adults often have experience, connections, finances and time that their younger counterparts don’t have to dedicate to a budding business venture. In recent years, a significant number of baby boomers have decided to follow their dream of starting a small business for the first time.

Taking the First Steps

Starting a new business as a retiree can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. If you’re living on a limited income, you have to be careful to keep everything under budget. You also need to learn about your market, your customers, and your product. The first stage in starting any small business is research and planning. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers several free online training courses and counseling services that can help you to forge a business plan, secure financing, and choose the right venue for your operation.

Setting Up Your Business

Once you’ve got a plan in place, it’s important to ensure that your business is operating legally. You don’t want to get shut down over a technicality such as a missing permit or a broken zoning law. You need to register your business name with your state government, register for taxes, and obtain all necessary federal, state and local licenses and permits.

Why Small Businesses Fail

The unfortunate truth of the matter is that more businesses fail each year than become profitable and successful. In 2014, while more than 514,000 new businesses emerged, almost 550,000 were forced to close. That same year, over 55,000 new businesses also declared bankruptcy. There are a number of reasons that any given small business might fail in its first few years, including a lack of a solid business plan, poor product design, failed marketing campaigns, and changing market economics. You can help your business to become successful through careful research and planning.

About the Author:

Jess Walter is a freelance writer and mother. She loves the freedom that comes with freelance life and the additional time it means she gets to spend with her family and pets. She specialises in finance and business-related writing with a passion for entrepreneurship and supporting new businesses.

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