Aha! That day has arrived when you are officially retired. No more getting up to the alarm clock, commuting, or planning your summer vacation. You’re free to do whatever you like with your time.
You may have anticipated this day for a while. Hopefully, you’ve made plans. Leisure activities, golfing and gardening, finding a winter home – the possibilities are endless.
Launching a business may not be on that list, but there’s a possibility that it will cross your mind sooner or later. Statistics say 72% of seniors expect to work after retiring. Many need the cash, and having a sense of purpose persuades others. Whatever the reason, let’s take a look at the whole aspect of working online.
- Personal needs
Food, clothing and shelter don’t go away because your financial picture has changed. The basics remain but the real cost may be very different. Whether to stay in your home or move will impact your finances. Are you selling your house and buying elsewhere? Or buying a vacation home for part of the year? That makes two places to keep up.
In the early days of retirement, it’s easy to overspend. The cash flow seems endless, and you’ve waited a long time for this. But the cost of living rises, and a glance at the bottom line may suggest you need to slow down.
Big-ticket items put a large dent in the budget. Fun stuff is what makes this time in life “golden”. But that chunk of money leaves a gaping hole in the financial portfolio.
If you find yourself thinking you need a cash flow, or if you’ve already decided it’s time, here are important points to consider.
Points To Consider
- What skills do you bring to the table? Can they be applied to jobs today?
- Computer proficiency- good enough to run a small business?
- What type of business should you pursue?
- Fear of the unknown – little business knowledge. Getting a loan.
- How to network.
- Keeping records.
Set aside time to carefully consider each of these points. Make notes for yourself. Be honest about each point and come up with a thorough assessment of your needs, abilities, and what you are willing to do long term. Be as detailed as possible, because whatever you choose, it should be manageable, sustainable and profitable.
Once you have your personal evaluation, you can begin to put together the final, results-oriented plan for your business.
Resources abound on the internet. From senior bloggers, websites and magazines that offer ideas, the sky’s the limit. A good one to check out is the blog site, retired brains.
There’s an enormous amount of information. I would recommend keeping your personal evaluation sheet handy, and search first for additional facts about your specific interests. You can browse all day, but for now, focus on the results you want to achieve.
Launching a business in retirement should yield what you really need. It shouldn’t drive you nuts. The big question is what will I love doing for a few hours a week and also put some cold cash in the bank account?
Job and computer skills
How can you turn your previous job skills into a business? With a google search and a little imagination, you can figure out how to monetize them on the internet.
Tutorials abound for learning how to build a website, write content, get a following, add a shopping cart and all the other things that a business needs.
A short list:
WordPress – videos, tutorials and the community forum will give you a lot of information and answer questions.
YouTube – thousands of videos on every aspect of computer savvy. Detailed instruction with examples that show you exactly what to do. Usually short and to the point.
Programs, webinars, reports etc. abound, many free or for a small fee. Social media is a great place to look.
Google what you need to learn and check out the presenter’s website. It should indicate how many classes and students, with testimonies about quality. A good reputation is necessary to stay in business. Wherever or however you learn, take notes.
Today, there are many options to consider. Almost any business can be run on a computer.
- Selling products and/or information
- Craft stores
- Affiliate marketing
- Instructional videos on many subjects
- Coaching – the choices are endless.
Here are a few outstanding resources to check out. This website presents a broad source of ideas for seniors, about seniors. https://seniorservicebusiness.com
A top magazine with stories and articles on all things business: https://www.entrepreneur.com
An affiliate marketing website where you learn and do: https://www.wealthyaffiliate.com?a_aid=bbef2943
Best business ideas – Nov. 2018 https://www.thebalancesmb.com/the-best-business-ideas-for-working-for-or-with-seniors-2947979
Choose from your list of skills and interests, and give thought to how to turn it into a business. Imagine yourself looking for a product, information, or ideas about a facet of your life (travel, housing). Then consider:
Is it helpful? Is it appealing? Credible? Useful to many? How would you monetize it? Reliable?
Get feedback from friends and family members. They often see things you don’t, and can make suggestions. Remember, you have the final word.
Fear of the unknown/Networking/Loans
If you have little to no experience running a business, panic may set in. The Small Business Association is a wonderful organization that helps you every step of the way. There are counselors, mentors, tools galore for helping you get started, and followups for maintaining your business.
Webinars and tutorials are also abundant on the internet, as well as Meetup groups for ideas and information. A support group is worth its weight in gold.
Recently, the Small Business Association increased their lending budget by $128 million for women-owned businesses.
This is great news because women are often denied loans.
The SBA helps everyone – men and women – to get their business up and running, and maintain it. Before you cash in your entire savings, remember that a small loan can give you a cushion so you have a good start.
This is imperative. For yourself, for taxes and for building your business, have a system for record keeping. Ideally, you will set it up on the computer. Some people keep records in ledgers with pencil and paper. What matters is that you are consistent and accurate. Speak to a tax specialist, to make sure you are compliant with the law. And have a backup if it’s just on the computer. An external thumb drive is ideal. Separate bank accounts for personal and business are important.
Working from your home may give you some tax breaks, if you designate specific space for running the business. Here’s where you get professional advice.
Sound like it’s getting complicated? It needn’t be. Once it’s up and running, you can get into maintenance mode and watch that cash flow rise.
I’m a retiree who has never stopped working. I can help you brainstorm, research, evaluate choices and manage that fear. Been there…Done it.
Please contact me with any questions or concerns. I’d love to hear from you.