How Seniors Can Start a Successful Home-Based Business

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For many seniors, retirement isn’t just a golden time of ease and leisure – it’s the perfect time to start a home-based business. Economic reality is forcing increasing numbers of older adults to generate income well past retirement – and active adults don’t stop just because they’ve left their prior careers. Unfortunately, many older adults can’t report to an office or a job site due to physical restrictions or family responsibilities, but that just means a home-based business is a perfect fit for active adults. For many, that puts a high value on entrepreneurship, and entrepreneurial opportunities, which don’t require a large investment and allow you to work when it’s convenient.

Finding Your Niche

Starting a profitable home-based business depends on finding a niche that suits your skill set and experience. The first job of an entrepreneur: finding the right niche for your business. That step towards entrepreneurship will help determine the best way to market yourself and transact business. Reach out to former colleagues and clients you represented in the past, and talk about your entrepreneurial ideas – what home-based business fits you best? Chances are your next chapter in life might be somehow connected to a previous one, especially when it comes to entrepreneurship. Relationships and the accumulated knowledge from a successful career can go a long way toward turning a home-based business idea into a practical success.

Business Ideas for Senior Entrepreneurs

Consulting can be a successful business model for seniors who have knowledge that can help other business professionals succeed. People in many fields value the expertise of professionals who’ve amassed a vast store of information about their industries, so consider coaching or consulting if you have a strong background in a given field.

If you enjoy writing, or have a background as a writer, consider launching a blog.Offer your services as a writer, editor, or proofreader for contract-based work – especially for grant-writing, as every non-profit needs the ability to ask for money. Many service-based businesses make great home-based ventures given the right circumstances and a receptive customer base. If you have a background in bookkeeping, customer service support, or even pet care, you have the makings of a successful home business.

Put Together a Great Website

In today’s world, you’ll need a top-notch website if you want your business to take hold and succeed. Regardless of which route you choose to take, an engaging and robust website will be a key component of your home-based business. Trying to figure out how to get started can seem daunting, especially if you’ve never created a website before. Many business owners choose to power their sites using WordPress, which is a free platform that an experienced developer can custom code to suit your needs. A website is a very powerful tool — a high-functioning site boosts return on investment and give you a focal point for marketing activities.

So, be deliberate and diligent when interviewing developers, bearing in mind that costs can vary (anywhere from $30 to $150 per hour) based on your business needs and design requirements. Also, keep in mind that a WordPress developer will have a robust skill set, including a thorough understanding of the WordPress ecosystem and back-end technologies. It’s difficult to overstate the importance of web design for a small business, so take your time and find an experienced developer who’s willing to work within your budget.

Marketing

For an entrepreneur, marketing is one of the most important aspects of starting a home-based business. To succeed, you need to attract customers and show them exactly what you have to offer. Start by identifying your clientele and determine how to communicate with them, using tactics that will drive people to your website. Social media is a good place to begin, so make liberal use of your Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, and more. An advertisement on Craigslist can bring a new stream of customers to your site, so consider placing a notice that leads people to your business.

Factor in Family Responsibilities

Before you commit to a work schedule, talk to your spouse and family and make sure you’re not overlooking their needs. Ultimately, your home business will probably be a group effort and your loved ones’ help will be invaluable, so make sure they’re on board with what you’re planning. Entrepreneurship is best when it’s a shared journey! This is especially important if you provide care for an ailing spouse or relative; a busy work schedule may necessitate the hiring of a part-time caregiver.

Whether you need to work after retirement or just want to stay busy, launching a home-based business can be both fun and profitable. Ideally, you’d want to turn a hobby, something you love, into a business but you can achieve the same end by emphasizing what you know.

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