If you’re looking for a way to stay busy and engaged after retirement, starting a company may be the perfect solution. Not only will you be able to put your years of experience and knowledge to good use, but you’ll also have the freedom and flexibility to work on something you’re passionate about.
Of course, starting a business is no small feat, no matter your age. There are many moving parts, from coming up with a viable business idea to creating a solid business plan and marketing your brand. But don’t let that discourage you! With a little planning and elbow grease, you can get your business up and running in no time. Forbes Times Only presents five steps to help you start:
Step 1: Choose Your Business Idea
The first step in starting any business is coming up with a great idea. And there’s no shortage of possibilities when it comes to businesses that retirees can start. Here are a few to consider:
Leverage your years of experience and become a consultant in your field. You can offer your services to companies or individuals who need advice or help getting started in their own businesses.
Love to cook? Turn your passion into a business by starting a food truck. You’ll get to choose your own hours and menu, and you can take your business on the road to different events and festivals.
With the rise of online shopping, now is the perfect time to start an ecommerce store selling products you’re passionate about. From clothes to home goods to antiques, there’s no limit to what you can sell.
Step 2: Write Your Business Plan
Once you’ve settled on an idea, you’ll need to put together your business plan. This document will outline your company’s goals, strategies, and financial projections — everything that potential investors will need to know about your business. If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of resources available online, including the experts at the Small Business Administration (SBA).
Step 3: Form an LLC
If you’re serious about starting a company, one of the first things to do is form an LLC (Limited Liability Company) to protect yourself — and your assets — from liability. This simple process can be done online or through an attorney relatively easily and cheaply. Once you’ve registered your LLC, be sure to open up a business bank account so you can keep your personal and business finances separate.
Step 4: Create Your Brand
Now it’s time to start thinking about how you want to market your new business. According to Moosend, creating a strong brand will help set you apart from the competition and make it easier for customers (or clients) to remember your business name when they need your product or service. To get started, come up with a logo, design some marketing materials (like business cards or flyers), and start working on building an online presence for your new brand.
Step 5: Get a Strong Understanding of Your Finances
Depending on the type of business you’re starting, you may need some initial funding to get things off the ground, but that doesn’t mean it has to be difficult (or expensive) to find financing. If you’re starting a small service-based business, look into the local programs or grants available. Check out SBA loans or crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter for bigger projects.
If finances beyond your daily budget are new to you, taking classes in accounting could provide incredibly helpful as you work to make your business successful. Consider this option: pursue an online accounting degree. Even if you eventually hire someone to manage your accounting and taxes, having a solid understanding of these processes will help you to better manage your business’s money and make strategic plans for growth.
Take Steps to Launch Your New Business
Congratulations! If you’ve made it this far, chances are good that you’re on the way to starting your own retirement business! Remember to take things one step at a time, form the right business structure, stay organized throughout the process, and market your brand effectively. And you may want to consider taking classes to better understand business accounting practices. But most importantly, have fun! After all, this is your chance to turn your passion into your profession!