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Home-Based Business Tips for Seniors Looking to Hit the Entrepreneurial Road
Gone are the days when retirement meant hanging up your working hat. As many as 5.4 percent of seniors are self-employed, and you could be one of them. Not only does it enable you to earn extra income and explore a new passion, but your senior status means your chances of success are much greater. You can draw on your lifetime of experiences, successes, and failures, as well as the fact that you likely have better access to capital (in addition to cash management skills). The plethora of resources, tools, and technology makes it even easier for you to start your own home-based business, so ElderPride offers this guide to help you get started.
Go Back to School (Online)
If you're feeling overwhelmed by the thought of starting a business, you might want to consider continuing your education by pursuing a business degree. Fortunately, you don't need to attend a university in person to graduate. Thanks to the internet, you can continue your education at home. You also have the flexibility to choose an area to pursue in the business field, whether you want to stick to learning more about business management or gain a better understanding of another aspect of business, such as marketing or information technology.
Create a Basic Business Plan
You probably aren’t launching the next Fortune 500 company, so don’t worry about creating an elaborate business plan. Instead, create a basic business plan that outlines your product/service, customers, competition, plan of action/intended milestones, and startup costs. You may find that a particular idea you were toying with isn’t as feasible as you thought, so head back to the drawing board and keep brainstorming, even if that means going with Plan H.
E-Commerce is the Way to Go
Your business is home-based so it’s safe to say that you’ll be starting an e-commerce business, and it’s actually a lot simpler than you might think. As Business News Daily explains, “e-commerce refers to the purchase and sale of goods and/or services via electronic channels such as the internet.” This means selling your goods/services via an online store (Amazon, Etsy, Shopify), a business website, or a social media page as opposed to a physical storefront. Everything happens from the comfort of home including advertising, customer service, marketing, and public relations. This might sound a little overwhelming, but e-commerce wikis are available online to explain everything in detail. Research and knowledge will help you set your business apart and increase your chance of success.
Use the Right Tools in Your Home Office
Sure, a home office needs the basics such as a desk, comfy chair, computer, printer, etc., but there are some office tools you might not think about but should consider. First is a separate business phone number so that you can easily distinguish personal from professional calls as well as create distance from work without having to turn off your phone completely, shutting off family, friends, and other important personal calls in the process. Remember, your home office is your work hub, so stock up on all the essentials too so that you’re set.
Choose the Right Platform
In order to get your first sale, you must first choose a selling platform. While you can certainly make sales via word of mouth or a simple Facebook business page, an e-commerce platform enables you to create an online storefront that handles the selling, tax, transaction, and shipping aspect of it for you. Not to mention it gives potential customers a place to browse your products/services and ask questions about future or current orders. Some of the most common platforms are Shopify, Wix, Squarespace, and WooCommerce. You may also want to seek out some business management tools so you can flawlessly accept payments and track sales in real time.
Did you also know you can buy an established online business through sites like Shopify Exchange, Flippa, and FE International? This is a good option if you’re unsure if this is the right avenue for you and want to test the waters without putting in a lot of leg work. You’ll want to be sure to work with a lawyer and accountant to ensure the business you’re considering is a good investment.
Starting your own business post-retirement is exciting; you have all this free time, so what’s stopping you? It might be a little scary at first, but it’s just as easy to get started as it is to stop, so don’t let fear get in the way of your success.
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If you need more guidance as you consider your retirement future, remember that the ElderPride community is here for you.