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Starting a Small Business During Retirement

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 24 Aug 2010 | comments*Discuss
Retirement Business Networking

It’s never too late to become a business entrepreneur and many people decide to start small businesses during retirement years. Starting a small business during retirement does have certain advantages, including utilising previous business experience.

Hit Retirement and Keep Going

There are plenty of people who don’t even consider slowing down at retirement age. It could be that they enjoy staying active, don’t want to quit work or are always on the look out for good business opportunities. With maturing pensions comes the chance to start a business. Using a lump sum from personal and occupational pensions to start a business can be an investment that brings a good return.

Advantages of Starting a Business on Retirement

Starting a business is not just a question of finances, although that is a major issue. Retired people often have many resources to back up business ideas. They may have a wealth of work experience and business skills built up over the years. They also now have the time to build up a business at their own pace. With business tools such as the internet at their disposal it has never been easier to obtain advice, network, market, and advertise a business.

Business Advice for Entrepreneurs

Age doesn’t actually make much of a difference when it comes to starting a business; ability is the key. Business knowledge will also be very useful and there are plenty of routes to take to gain this knowledge. Organisations such as Business Link have a vast database of information and advice for anyone considering starting a business. If certain skills are lacking, such as accounting skills, business advice organisations will be able to fill the gap and provide help. Anyone considering starting a business should take full advantage of these business organisations.

Using Experience to Help Others

One of the most popular business choices for retired people is consulting. This is a business option that doesn’t take much to start up. Consulting is basically using skills gained during previous employment and passing these on to other businesses. This could be in the form of trouble shooting and helping other businesses with solutions to business problems. Consulting can be a lucrative venture and does not have to take up much time.

Selling Work Skills as a Business

Previously gained work skills can be sold directly to other businesses or individuals. Retired people who have experience in bookkeeping, tax experience, Information Technology and accounts have valuable skills that are in demand. Small businesses will frequently use individuals on an ‘as needed’ basis for this type of work. With the internet it is quite easy to start up a business and advertise services to other businesses. Business networking sites are one of the best ways of getting a new business out into the marketplace.

Choosing a Familiar Business

Retired people do tend to stick to a certain pattern when starting a business. Choosing a business that they are familiar with is the less risky option. The groundwork in terms of experience is already set and low risk businesses have more chance of success. In most cases it will also mean they enjoy this type of work. Business advice is the most common route but tutoring and lecturing are also very popular. Enjoying work will make it easier to put the maximum effort into it and get the maximum rewards back.

Sources of Business Advice for Retired People

Business knowledge will always come in handy, and the plus side is that most of the advice is free. There are numerous organisations that will pass on invaluable information including funding advice. Business organisations to contact will include –

  • Business Link
  • PRIME - Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise
  • Job Centre Plus
  • SAGA
Retirement can be an exciting time to branch out and make the move into starting a new business. Starting a business, no matter how small, will be investing money for the future and taking control of the retirement years. Being your own boss can be hard work but for successful entrepreneurs the rewards will be worth the effort.

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