So, you’ve hit your 50s and are stepping out into the world of business – probably for the first time. That makes you an older entrepreneur or an olderpreneur. But, do not think for one moment that starting a business at 50+ puts you at a disadvantage. This is because there are three enormous advantages to being an olderpreneur; advantages that young entrepreneurs don’t have.
Probably the biggest gift you can bring to your fledging business an olderpreneur is your contact list. It is amazing how many people you have gotten to know over a lifetime of work, play and family activity. However, not to mention how many people they know.
Remember the old age ‘it’s not what you know it’s who you know’. By the time you hit your 50s you know a lot of different people; your network is huge. Why is this an advantage? Below is what your contacts could do for you:
- they could be some of your first customers
- might refer people they know to be your customers
- You could ask them to give you feedback on your service or product or your leaflet design
- could be part of your organisation’s governance for example, sit on the board
- may could be ambassadors for your company, telling others what a fantastic company you run
- might introduce you to that brilliant web designer or printer
- a mentor or provide you with a sounding board
That adds up to a significant advantage over someone who is just starting out in the world.
The second advantage is your work ethic and your experience. When you reach your 50s you have a bucket load of experiences. Think about all the tasks you have completed, responsibilities you have shouldered, the budgets you have managed. That is a significant amount of knowledge to bring to your new business. It can also bring you a competitive edge.
Also, you should also discipline to get up on time. You know the value of punctuality. Your previous experience makes you realise the importance of being somewhere on time. Or getting the job done when you say you will.
You will also know from your experiences of dealing with people. How to meet customers’ expectations and how to talk to customers and suppliers. Not, to forget any training you were provided with at work.
And just think about all those times you had to solve problems for your boss. But now you have the know how to do all of that for yourself.
Last but not least, your third significant advantage is stuff. The cost of start-up is one of the reasons many people fail to take the step to become self-employed. But you’ve already have amassed the bulk of the things you are likely to need to start a business. You need a spare bedroom/office, smart phone, laptop, car and a contact list.
OUR EXPERT TIP!
Remember significant Advantage 1. You probably know someone who would let you use their premises. Only if you needed to or has second-hand equipment for free/cheap.
About The Author - Terry King OBE
Following a very successful career in the UK Civil Service Terry became the classic olderpreneur. Co-founding Chapter 3 Enterprise, a not for profit company at age 60. She has since gone on to set up 3 other companies. Which include another not for profit all aimed at utilising her considerable skills to help others.
She is an acknowledged expert on enterprise as it concerns the over 50’s. Appearing regularly on local radio to discuss current issues. These include mature enterprise, mature unemployment and age discrimination.