“Age isn’t as important so long as you are surrounded by people you love, doing things you passionately believe in.”
If you are a midlife entrepreneur, you have something in common with famous Entrepreneurs like Richard Branson, or Bill Gates. Wondering what that is? Well, it’s your age, of course. Gone are the days when entrepreneurs are stereotyped as being young, and fresh out of college. In fact, many middle-aged professionals are ditching their regular 9-to-5 and shattering the glass ceilings to follow their passion. Age, after all, is just a number.
However, for most people, venturing into a new business can be tricky, particularly in middle age when you have so many responsibilities to take care of. So, the following are some foolproof success tips that you must consider as a midlife entrepreneur.
1. Keep an eye on your finances
You’re probably aware that financing a new venture is grueling. Ideally, start-ups are funded by a combination of loans, savings, and grants. For younger entrepreneurs, this can be a pressing matter. They are less likely to have savings and also less likely to be able to gather loans without a good credit rating to back them up.
On the contrary, midlife entrepreneurs are more likely to have stable finances. This means it’s also less likely that you’ll end up embroiled in financial difficulty. Midlife entrepreneurs tend to have considerable savings or at the very least, a good credit rating. In fact, according to a survey performed by the Financial Conduct Authority, 66% of 45-54 years olds are categorized as ‘financially resilient’ in comparison to 58% of 35-44-year-olds.
However, midlife entrepreneurs have to calculate risk differently since they don’t have time on their side to recover a significant initial investment. In such cases, you may want to steer clear of ventures that demand a large capital cost.
You need to determine how much money you can spend to start your business without resorting to your retirement savings. Look for funding opportunities like crowdfunding, loans, or grants.
Need advice on financial management? Here are 14 tips from the industry leaders on managing your finances.
2. Having a great support system is one of the pillars of success
You may be new to many things that are a part of your business and seeking assistance is the wisest thing to do in this case. You can ask for help from graphic designers, accountants, lawyers, and other professionals.
If you feel flustered building a responsive website, or, don’t have the slightest clue how to deal with the legal formalities (like taxes or registration of the company), approach someone who can help.
This is where “reverse mentoring” comes in. With the way technology is evolving, it’s possible for you to become overwhelmed by all the intricate platforms and tools and out there. So, never hesitate to approach a professional for help. They will be able to educate you with valuable insights and close the knowledge gap. Ultimately, this will allow you to stay ahead of the curve.
The innovation and dexterity skills of these professionals give you the scope to implement them. You will be able to cut down expenses and scale the business meticulously in the short span.
If you are looking for greater insights on entrepreneurship, then you can read these books recommended by top entrepreneurs.
3. Wield your experience like a weapon
Don’t forget to harp on your experiences. There is a certain level of enthusiasm that comes with becoming an entrepreneur when you’re fresh out of college. However, it pales in comparison to the abilities and efficiencies which are accumulated over the years in employment. Having a profitable business venture takes more than a solid idea; it requires skilled management and financial know-how among many others.
With considerable years behind you, you’re more likely to have experience in managerial roles or working in different areas. In fact, both of these factors will help you to stay ahead in maintaining a stable business. The number of life experiences you will have as a midlife entrepreneur will also allow you to become wiser. You will be able to deal with the inevitable difficulties and setbacks you will encounter through the first years of setting up your business. It is one of the primary roles of great entrepreneurs to utilise their experiences to create famous start-ups.
Your age will also work in your favour when it comes to networking and maintaining professional relationships. For instance, imagine a budding entrepreneur attempts to maintain his or her newly-formed relationship with distributors. Would they be more inclined to strike ambitious deals with someone who seems inexperienced or experienced? The answer will obviously be in favour of the experienced candidate.
4. Embrace technology like a dear friend
You don’t have to be a tech genius like Elon Musk to form a successful business, but you do need to be equipped with the latest technology. Irrespective of the kind of business you launch, having an online presence is a must. Consider your website as an online business card. These days, it’s become a lot more convenient to develop a simple website from scratch using various website building tools.
When it comes to digital marketing, social media can’t be ignored. Depending on your audience, you may choose to advertise your products or services on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram among others.
The benefit of sites like Facebook is that you can create highly targeted ads at minimum cost compared to traditional advertising. Embracing the online world also means that you’ll be able to more easily experiment with different marketing tactics to see what works and what doesn’t.
So, long story short, if you’ve got passion in your heart to do something new, don’t let age become a barrier. It’s never too late to jump onto the bandwagon. Midlife entrepreneurship can be extremely profitable and enriching if you plan carefully. Make sure to do your homework, leverage your experience and most importantly, enjoy the ride.