The kids are out of the house — they’ve moved on finally. Your spouse and you have time to “breathe.” But, slowly, something starts knocking inside you. It’s that gentle, nudging voice asking you, what’s next? Perhaps you’re thinking about finally venturing out and doing your own thing.
It might be surprising to find out that the average entrepreneurial small business owner is 50 years old, according to an Experian report. As we live longer, healthier lives into our fifties and sixties, we uncover gifts and talents we haven’t explored much. And with resources at our fingertips and a growing economy where more and more people are their own boss, it’s an exciting time to be alive.
If you’re feeling that inner stirring to start something new and launch a business or organization, I’d encourage you to do so. It has been the best decision of my life — my husband and I launched a home care service company years ago and are now franchising an adult day concept called Elder-Well. It has been the ride of our life, to be entrepreneurs in an industry that’s all about caring for others. But, before you lift your saddle and get ready for the entrepreneurial ride, think about how you’re going to get there and what’s best for you. Here are three questions to ask yourself:
Sometimes, the entrepreneurial feeling is a phase. It sounds good on paper, but there may be something else at play. For example, perhaps what you’re looking for is a career change that better aligns with what you aim to accomplish. It’s not uncommon to see someone who has put in many long hours and days in the corporate world decide to slow down and take a different job later on in life, perhaps at a small business or a non-profit. Or, maybe they shift careers altogether and work in a different field.
Being a business owner is a lifestyle decision. It’s one that comes with long hours upfront determining how you’re going to run and operate your business, how you’re going to attract customers and, if need be, who you’re going to hire. But, you’re doing it all to grow something you own. You see the direct fruits of your labor and you have an opportunity to interact one-one-one with the people whose lives you’re making a difference in.
Once you’ve decided to make a lifestyle change and be your own boss, there are options for not just what kind of industry to start a business in but whether to start your own concept or invest in
one that is already up and running — for example, a franchise or licensing opportunity.
Startup entrepreneurs need the following attributes:
Purchasing a franchise is a popular entrepreneurial option, which allows you to start a business in a field that you may not have previous experience in but one you have a passion for. The franchisor of the brand offers extensive support and detailed operational support in all areas of business. It’s a way to buy a business and develop your own territory — you are starting from scratch but working alongside a system with strong experience in the field.
Partnerships can be risky, but also extremely rewarding. It’s not uncommon for spouses to work together on a new venture, particularly if their skill sets balance each other out. For example, my husband and I complement each other; I focus on operations while he focuses on finances.
Perhaps you have a close family member or friend in a similar position to start a business together. Or, maybe an adult child who is eager to be an entrepreneur but needs your wisdom and access to capital.
Indeed, starting a business or organization later on in life can be extremely exciting. It’s important to have the support of your loved ones — whether or not they are going to be working with you directly. Whether you’re launching a business alone or with others, do your due diligence and learn as much as you can about the industry you’ll be operating in.
And once you make the decision and it feels like the right thing to do, run with it. Move forward in confidence, disciplined and engaged. Follow your heart — and be the best entrepreneur you can be.
Disclaimer: Nothing on this website is intended, and shall not be deemed to constitute, an offer to sell a franchise. Franchise offerings are made only by a Franchise Disclosure Document and only in those states where permitted. The Elder-Well Franchise Disclosure Document has not been filed with any franchise registration state.