There has never been a better time for Boomers to start a business. Opportunities abound in consulting; retail, business services and with a franchise model. Boomers have the experience, contacts and maturity to start a business and launch a second career. They likely have more flexibility now that children are grown and expenses have changed. In addition, people are living longer and being healthier longer so a change away from traditional employment may be beneficial.
We all know it can be hard for a 50+ worker to get hired so the time is right to control your own destiny. After 25-30 years in the corporate meat grinder, Boomers may ready for change of scenery and a flexible schedule. Today’s political office environment is high pressure with workers expected to be available 24/7 via smartphone. For some Boomers, the better alternative is to venture out for the freedom that comes with your own business.
Changes and advancement in technology have made this a great time to start a business in a growing economy. Need a website? No problem. Companies like Wix and SquareSpace eliminate the need for costly development and design. Canva for unique graphics, HootSuite to manage social media accounts, Quickbooks for your finances and LegalZoom for legal needs are web-based tools that can make setting up and running a business easier than ever. The Apple App store is jam-packed with productivity tools that can make operating a small business a reality. All of the above-mentioned companies and categories should be targeting Boomers who may be interested in starting a business or have already made the leap.
There are other businesses that should be servicing this target market through helpful content, social media (LinkedIn) campaigns, email outreach and free educational events. When I speak at local events about digital marketing, there are several 50+ entrepreneurs in the audience. Here is brief list of businesses that could benefit from targeting Boomer business owners:
Lawyers and CPAs – There are myriad legal and tax implications in running your own business, especially if you hire staff or pay freelancers. Making sure new business owners are doing everything on the legal up-and-up is a critical need. These professionals should be advertising these services on their web sites and other marketing materials. The image many have of a new business start-up is often a young hotshot, but more than likely it can be a Boomer ready for a new experience.
Training and Coaching – There is a huge opportunity to teach Boomer business owners about digital marketing/social media, web sites, financial management etc. If you offer these services, providing free or paid training and education can be a great lead generation tool. There are a lot of people calling themselves business coaches and they can sometimes be a shady lot. Boomers should vet them carefully and make sure they have actually run a successful business themselves. On the other hand, SCORE is a great organization where retired executives share their knowledge and experience.
Banking - When running your own business, it is highly advisable not to co-mingle your business and personal funds. Local banks should be reaching out to Boomers who own small business with services for them, perhaps including retirement planning and investment advice.
With a rising economy, the time is ripe for experienced and talented Boomers to leave behind corporate America and strike out on their own. It’s a small-business market that should be encouraged, not ignored.