Many of those who retire and especially those who retire early have dreams of starting their own business. A Retiree Business Startup Thought Process is the first step to iron out high to low-level details. Here are the steps to take in assessment and actions before going forward.
Why do you want to start a business in retirement?
- Have you always wanted to be an entrepreneur and be a business owner?
- Do you believe you have what it takes in the way of all your experience and skills to draw against and be successful?
- Have seen how a successful business operates?
- Are you able to write the top 10 important things tied to business success that must be done?
Being able to answer yes to at least a couple of these question means you are ready to throw your name in the hat of potential retirees starting their own business.
Figure out the Type of Business Startup Method you are going for.
Time to make some assumptions and decisions so you can prepare yourself for the next steps. But first-
- Do you plan to buy an existing business? To buy a business be sure to speak with your accountant. Ask if they know of any businesses for sale and for introductions to other accountants that may be of help. Do an internet search for “Business for sale” and check out sites like BizBuySell.com, BizQuest.com, or BusinessBroker.net to get an idea of available businesses for sale in your area.
- Are you considering buying a franchise? Then check out the International Franchise Association or BusinessBroker.net.
- Do you plan to start a business from scratch? Research successful businesses and then figure out if you could improve it or duplicate/copy what they do. Do an honest self-assessment of your skills and experiences and match them to your passions and interests. You aren’t looking to buy or build just any job for yourself. You want to do something that is aligned with what you really want to do. Take a hard look at your customer demographics and the business market.
There are pros and cons to each method of starting your life as new business owner. Starting a business carries risk. Generally there is less risk to buying a franchise that has a tested business model. Buying an existing business offers a little more risk than a franchise operation and starting your own business from ground zero normally carries the highest risk of the three options.
Retiree Business Startup Thought Process – Resources
Get Real with Financial Numbers and People.
- First make sure you have communicated your plans with your spouse, family, whomever is going to miss your presence over the next year or three. You will be spending a lot of time in a business startup. This is true of even part-time ventures.
- Figure out your net-worth by documenting all of your assets and liabilities. How much are you going to allocate to the business? Will you be able to protect your personal assets if the worst occurs financially? It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of starting a business when you have a great idea and confidence in your abilities. But you have to get a good idea of your risk tolerance because statistically only one in five new businesses makes it and stays in business more than 5 years. Understand that you may lose everything you put into the business.
- Get cozy with your network. Line up your best and trusted professional and personal advisers. Identify friends that you can use for support and to be members of your sounding board. Identify a couple of people you know that have a background in what you are doing that may mentor you through startup and during any difficulties that come up.
- Businesses owners need to wear many hats. If you aren’t able to do it all and few people can, then line up a partner or other resource that you can bring on-board to compliment your skills and expertise to cover all bases.
Retiree Business Startup Thought Process – Basic Business Principles
Start Doing What Official Business People Must Do
Step 1- It doesn’t matter what your business is or does. It still needs for you to write a Business Plan that Includes:
- Executive Summary— Plan highlights that pitches your idea in two pages or less.
- Company Summary— A factual description of your company, ownership, and history.
- Products and/or Services— A description of your business products and/or services. Provide a competitive analysis.
- Market Analysis– Provide a summary of your customers, the market size, the competition, and your expected market growth.
- Implementation Plan– You should describe the way you plan to sell your product and/or services.
- Leadership or Management Summary– You should give your experience and background along with anyone else you will have on the management team including any key accomplishments.
- Financial Plan– Probably most looked for because this should contain your key financials. This includes sales, cash flow, and profit projections.
Step 2- Create your business startup Action Plan. List every action item including scheduled completion time-frames and who will be performing the action. Include Plan-B actions for when things go sideways. You will definitely have things go wrong so having a Plan-B identified for key activities is very necessary.
Step 3- If you don’t make money doing it then it isn’t a business it’s just a hobby. You do plan on making money so research your competition. Where they are, what they do, what they charge. Talk to whom you see as your potential customers to find out what they would be willing to pay for your services or product.
Step 4- Run your business idea and all of your facts past your accountant, lawyer, banker, Chamber of Commerce, any professionals you have lined up. If you need financing then go over the details with your investor(s) and/or banker.
Gut Check Time- Are You Certain?
It is going to take a lot of work to be successful. Success is the reward for all you are willing to put into your new business. You retired to start something you have probably been thinking about doing for many years. Win or lose it will be an exciting time and a new experience.
Isn’t having an exciting time and a new experiences what retirement is all about?