Sunday, March 3, 2013

9 Things Baby Boomers Need to Know Before Starting a Home Business

Perhaps you have been downsized, laid off, or just plain terminated and you need to find another way to make a living.  Perhaps you are facing retirement and realize you won't have enough income to live comfortably.  Or perhaps you are still working and intend to do so for a while but you just need more money.  Whatever your reason for wanting to start a home business, there are nine things you need to know first.

1.  Are you ready to start your own business?  You may need the money.  You may not be employed,  But there are risks involved in any business and becoming an entrepreneur is not for everyone.

2.  Your financial status.  How much will you need to make?  How much can you risk to get there?  You need to know the answer to both of these questions before you take one step towards starting your business.  If you are unemployed, your goal is to replace your previous income but you may not want to risk what retirement savings you have on a business venture.  If you are simply supplementing your current income, you may feel able to invest more freely and can take more time to build your business.

3. What will you do? Will your business be online or will you open a brick-and-mortar business? Will you start out on your own, buy into a franchise or other opportunity, or join a network marketing company?

4.  Are you physically able to do the work?  Let's be real.  We're Boomers.  Which means some of us are getting up there in years.  The oldest of us are over 60.  And that means we may have a few more aches and pains, move a bit more slowly, see a bit less clearly, not hear as well as we used to.  Our fingers may stiffen up when we type too long.

5.  Do you have the skills necessary to do the work?  If you are starting an online business, do you have the computer skills necessary?  If you are going to do coaching or consulting, do you have the experience and/or certifications necessary in your field?

6.  Is there support available? If you don't have the necessary skills, where can you acquire them?  If you need financial assistance, where can you find it?

7.  What are the legalities?  Do you need a special license or permit?  Insurance?  Should you be bonded?  What will be the legal structure of your business? Sole proprietorship? Partnership?  LLC?  Corporation?  What tax ID will you need?  

8.  Do you know how to write a business plan?  A marketing plan?  If not, do you know where to find help?

9.  How will you exit gracefully?  I'm not suggesting you plan to fail.  But as I mentioned earlier, we are Boomers.  The time may come when you don't want to run the business or are no longer able to.  Will you leave it to your family?  Sell it?

Baby Boomers represent an ever-growing percentage of entrepreneurs.  It may be the perfect solution for you.  Just make sure you have all the facts necessary to make the right decision.           

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