Are you retiring soon? Perhaps it’s time to start a business. I ran into a man I know in Santa Barbara over the weekend and he asked me about a situation you may be able to identify with as well. He is getting ready to retire in the next two years and he is thinking about starting a business. His goal is additional income, less travel time than required by his current employer, and a way to stay focused and busy doing something he is interested in as the next chapter in his life. This is more popular than ever right now. Are you interested in entrepreneurship after you retire?
The decision to go from employee to business owner is one that must not be made without some careful thought. I did this in 2006 and it continues to work out well for me. I recommend that you first do what I did a year before when I was contemplating this pivot; I did a self-evaluation, also referred to as a self-assessment of everything related to this life change.
Evaluating and Assessing This Transition
Hopefully you are giving yourself a minimum of one full year to make this change from working for someone else to running your own business. Here are the questions to ask yourself:
- Who are you? What have you learned about yourself during the past five or six decades of life? We all tend to become more set in our ways as we grow older. Are you open-minded and ready for an adventure? Will you be prepared to learn and implement new things as a part of your new business, such as technology and social media?
- How do you want to spend your time after you retire? Do you envision lengthy afternoon naps, travel on a moment’s notice, or finally having time to restore that ’72 Camaro or start your vegetable garden? Is the idea of getting up each morning and digging in to your business something you will look forward to years from now, when the newness of entrepreneurship or small business ownership has worn off?
- Who will you serve? Every business in the world was started and continues to thrive when someone is served by the product or service being offered.
If you have a spouse or partner, what are their feelings about your idea? What about your children? Sometimes we are surprised when family members have their own notions about how we will spend our retirement years, long before the time comes and without discussing this with us first. These are the people closest to you so they deserve to hear your plans and share their feedback before you make a decision. Especially if you have been fully engaged in your work life for the past forty years or so, they may be anticipating you taking a more active role in their lives once you have left the work force and can be closer to home.
The Right Business Model for You
These are some ideas for business models you may want to consider:
- Your own original idea – this will take time and resources to fully develop and get off the ground as a startup
- A franchise of some type – again, this one requires a large investment of time and money
- A new service business in your community – do the research and decide if this fits your goals
- An online physical or digital products business – the most inexpensive to start
- Authorship – writing pays extremely well and you can do it from your home computer
- Freelancing as an independent contractor – there are a variety of ways you can earn income and only work the days and hours you choose
Our community has many resources for new business owners. Take advantage of everything available at your local community college and through adult education, as well as through various groups in your community. And visit your local Rotary Club or other service organization to connect with new and seasoned entrepreneurs and business owners alike.
Once you make the decision to follow your dream and start your own business, here are some tips I will share with you. They are based on my experiences with starting a business at age 50, after resigning as a classroom teacher and no longer taking clients for my real estate brokerage and appraisal business:
Tips for Successfully Entering Entrepreneurship After You Retire
- Engage in hands on research as soon as possible
- Get started before you retire
- Plan your pivot from employee to business owner
- Take decisive action every day
- Never, ever give up!
Becoming an entrepreneur has changed my life forever. Answer the question, do the work, and see how rewarding business ownership can be at any age. Entrepreneurship after you retire is a worthy goal.
I’m author, publisher, and entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and would love to connect with you. If you’re new to the world of online entrepreneurship please check out my training on how to sell yourself at Sell Yourself and Your Stuff and learn how to gain an unfair advantage when it comes to building a lucrative online business.