Your dream might be to retire early and finally start your own business. But you don’t have or want to commit a large amount of money toward a business start-up. Then you may want to instead Start a Microbusiness in Retirement. Microbusiness is also referred to as “micro-enterprise”. A Microbusiness is a small business that generates income but without putting a large amount of capital at risk. This is a great way to test your business idea.
You may believe you have a practical service or product to sell. The Microbusiness approach is a way to find out if there is a viable market for it. If successful you can commit more money, effort, and resources to grow your business later. A Microbusiness can also be started before you retire. Doing so would certainly give you more confidence to retire early.
Becoming a Microbusiness Entrepreneur is a viable alternative to finding employment in early retirement. Especially for those who can’t find that perfect retirement gig due to age discrimination, where you live, and/or corporate burnout.
Aside from doing something that interests us that we are passionate about doing, the thing most of us early retirees value is flexibility. That is tough to find by joining most employers. Starting your own Microbusiness means you create the flexibility you want into your business. With a Microbusiness you can work from home by taking advantage of technology. While hopefully providing income so you won’t be tapping into your retirement savings as much.
Entrepreneurship is catching on with retirees according to the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity. They report entrepreneurs age 55-65 represented 26% of all start-ups last year. Much higher if you include those who retired early before age 55 and started a business.
Start a Microbusiness in Retirement by Leveraging your Accumulated Knowledge, Passions, and Experiences
To find Microbusiness success you need to have a passion and deep knowledge about something specific. Have the ability to share your knowledge and consult about it. Most importantly being willing and able to sell your service or product directly and/or online. There are a slew of online sites that can fit into your Microbusiness.
- Etsy.com. An e-commerce website for entrepreneurs selling handmade items.
- Guru.com, Elance.com, and Fiverr.com. They are there to help businesses connect with freelancers. You can not only sign on to provide your service. But you can also find people that you can use as a resource to build your Microbusiness.
- EBay and Amazon. These are the other well-known sites Microbusiness owners may tap into to sell products.
- There is also the new shared-economy platforms such as Uber and Airbnb.
I have a couple of friends who retired early and started their service oriented Microbusiness as success examples. They needed little start-up money and have made good money doing what they love to do.
Susan retired from the same Telephone Company I did at age 50 and began consulting. She is an animal lover and had a couple of dogs. When she traveled for business she had to make arrangements for their care. Her love of animals and experience of dealing with their care when she was away led her to start her own pet sitting Microbusiness. She filled the needs she saw lacking.
She offers two services.
1- She goes to the pet owner’s home for negotiated drop-in times. Where she makes sure they have been let out and have plenty of food of and water. She also interacts with them for some social time.
2- She stays at the residence for most of the time and provides all needed care.
She loves what she does. She limits the area she serves and has the flexibility she wants in her retirement. Her boutique type service brings in an above average rate.
Don also retired early at the age of 51 from my first retired from Telephone Company. He never forgot how much he loved construction. Don still had many of the tools he needed and had always done his own home repair buying new tools as needed. He had been a building contractor when he was much younger and built his first house so he decided to become a handyman.
Don only works by word of mouth and is picky about the projects he takes on. He has done jobs as large as being the primary contractor for a Philly Cheese Steak franchise build-out to replacing people’s water heaters or windows. Don hates doing bathrooms so it is hard to convince him to do those. But he sure did an awesome job remodeling mine. He too does it for the flexibility and the love of his trade. He has to sometimes turn work down because of his wish to travel and visit distant family.
Start a Microbusiness in Retirement – There are Obstacles for some
It may be a challenge for those who spent their entire career as corporate cubical folk to sell themselves, their service or product and request payment. You still must know how to run a business even if it is a Microbusiness. All the “different Hats” have to be worn and accounting, taxes, sales, tech support, customer service, you name it will still need to be done but maybe in a smaller scale. Before starting your Microbusiness do your research and brush-up on any business skill weaknesses you may have.
Deciding to Start a Microbusiness in Retirement may be just the ticket for your early retirement passion driven paying pursuits. The usually lower start-up cost and the ability to test your business idea might just be the answer you are looking for.