Entrepreneurship can be incredibly fulfilling, which is why you may be considering starting your own business. As you get closer to retirement age, you may feel the urge to do something with your career and take it in a different direction.
You could be looking to have more control over what you do and how you do it. Perhaps you’re thinking about buying a restaurant, or you’ve been toying with the idea of setting up a consultancy.
While you may be deterred by the idea that entrepreneurial success is the exclusive prerogative of younger generations, there are, in fact, several reasons you actually have the advantage!
Here is a list of five factors that play in your favour if you’re considering becoming a business owner a little later in life.
You have the experience
When it comes to starting a business, age itself is not a con. Starting later in life means you’ve had time to amass a wealth of experience. You have also had exposure to a range of situations and challenges that a younger person simply has had no time to go through.
You have the connections
Over the years, you’ve probably had plenty of time and opportunities to connect with other people and to build a solid professional network. The chances are that you’ve built a reputation in your industry and already know people who can support your new business. This could be financially or in other ways.
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Never underestimate the importance of networking in the success of new business ventures. One of the hardest things about starting a new company is letting people know that you exist – but it won’t be much of an issue when you already have a business network.
You have the knowledge
At this point in your career, you know what you’re passionate about and what you’re good at. Moreover, you have a more holistic view of how businesses work and what makes them go forward.
Basically, you don’t only know how to get things done, but also what to do when they don’t go according to plan. This type of insight can give you a serious competitive edge over younger entrepreneurs.
You have the capital
During your career, you might have built capital over the years that can now be invested into your own business. This puts you off to a good start.
Having access to capital is a crucial factor considering that it may take a while to get the cash flow to a point you’re satisfied with. Also, as an older entrepreneur you’re likely to have collateral, one of the key factors lenders and banks consider before approving business loans.
It’s easier to secure funding
On that note, finding sources of funding for your business idea may be easier. Being passionate, knowledgeable, and seasoned in the business world make you a good choice in the eyes of investors.
You’ll also have an established credit score that demonstrates how you’ve managed your money over the years, which is a plus if you need to fund your business.
Surely, there are also drawbacks involved in starting a business later in life. You may be used to doing things “your way” or may need to update your skills. But don’t let your mindset become the biggest drawback!
Waiting for “the right time”, thinking you’ve missed the boat, or believing you don’t have what it takes will only interfere with the start-up process.
The truth is that risks exist for everyone, and as an older entrepreneur you have acquired ways of mitigating them. So, now is not too late to become a business owner – in fact, it may be the perfect time!
By Bruce Hakutizwi, USA and International Accounts Manager for BusinessesForSale.com, the world’s largest online marketplace for buying and selling small and medium size businesses. Bruce has over 7 years’ experience working within the US business transfer marketplace connecting buyers and sellers.