So you’ve retired from your life-long career and realized that a life of going fishing and watching daytime television isn’t exactly your cup of tea. You’re not alone. Many retirees are considering creating small businesses as a way to fill their time, continue making money and even fulfill some lifelong dreams.
But starting a business isn’t the simplest of tasks. While you may be up for the challenge, here are some things to ask yourself before you make a commitment to opening that shop or selling your services.
Is there a market for what you have to offer?
Do the market research, check market trends. Who is buying what you are offering? What is the size of the market? Can you make a profit? How long will it take to break even? You don’t have the luxury of a long ramp up time, so focus on something with a short sales cycle.
Are you cut out to be an entrepreneur?
As an entrepreneur you make all the decisions, you make the plans and execute them. You are also accountable for the results. Are you a self-starter? Can you ask for the business? Are you prepared to work long and hard to bring your business to success? Are you willing and able to forego immediate profits?
Are you financially secure enough to take a hit?
If your business requires a lot of overhead and supply purchasing, or a large sum in licensing and insurance fees, are you ready to take a financial hit before you start seeing any profits? New businesses don’t make money overnight so while it might seem like a fun idea to jump right in, make sure you’ve got the funds first.
Is this something you’ll follow through on?
Maybe it seems like a great idea now. Maybe you just really want to get out of the house and start talking to people again. But before you take your first step, make sure you’re ready for this level of commitment. It will require much of your time and energy to build a brand, market it and fulfill orders to keep customers happy so make sure it’s something you’ll love.
What is your skill set?
Think about what you already know, what you’re already good at. You’ve had a lifetime to hone your skills and be the best at something. Whether or not that directly applies to the new venture you’d love to take on, find ways to apply your strengths. Perhaps there’s opportunity for growth; something that was missing from the job you once did. Maybe this could be the chance to apply your skills and knowledge to an endeavor that is strictly yours.
Is your network reliable?
Marketing your brand and building a customer base is a crucial step to creating your new business. Without customers, what do you have? Luckily, you’ve had years to build up your network and make friends and acquaintances that might be able to help. Maybe they can spread the word to friends who may be interested in your product or service. Perhaps they have skills you don’t have and would be willing to offer advice or lend a hand when needed. Having advocates in your corner when you make the leap into business ownership is invaluable, so take a look at your network when getting all of your ducks in a row.
The prospect of starting your own business is very exciting, especially with all of that retirement energy you have saved up. Before you take the big leap, however, make sure you understand all of the factors.