With newfound time on their hands and a wealth of knowledge and passion to focus on, retirees are becoming entrepreneurs and small business owners at an exciting rate these days. Not only is this path a great way to learn more about yourself, it’s a viable option for secondary income as well. People age 55 to 64 have become the fastest growing demographic of entrepreneurs over the last decade.

Have you always thought about turning your passion into a profitable business? Maybe you like to create, or teach, or perform—the sky is still the limit. When you decide to call yourself the boss, here are some tips to consider:

  1. You’re Never “Too Old”: Don’t approach the subject from the “too old” angle; tackle it with confidence as an “experienced entrepreneur.” It’s never too late to try something new or take that leap.
  2. Turn Passion into Profit: These days, there’s a niche market for everything. If you have a talent or a great idea, odds are there is a demand for it somewhere. Figure out how to apply what you know to the marketplace and you’ve already completed the first step of your new business plan.
  3. Re-imagine the Workplace: It’s no longer necessary to lease an office space or brick-and-mortar storefront when you own a business these days. Small businesses often start out online with an Etsy store, eBay shop or another e-commerce online retail shop, and work their way into stores. Sometimes, all you need is WiFi access and a nice cup of coffee—which you can find pretty much anywhere.
  4. Get Creative with Fund-raising: Before dipping into your savings or asking a family member for a loan, look into grants, crowdfunding and co-branding opportunities available to you.
  5. Hit the Books: New business practices are not what they once were, especially now that everyone walks around with a tiny computer in their pocket. Access to brands is easier now, but the advertising clutter is overwhelming. Speaking to your target audience is an art form that can be learned. Look into business courses at your local community college, webinars, podcasts, TED Talks—the wealth of available knowledge is endless.
  6. Get Online: “We can’t afford to not be online” has been a common realization in boardrooms all over the world—why should your business be any different? With small, local businesses on the rise, the amount of digital start-up tools available to an entrepreneur are almost endless. Employ your network as brand ambassadors to garner word of mouth about your business. Make yourself as accessible as possible to your customers by having a website, social presence and e-commerce purchasing so that you never miss out on a sale.

There’s no better time than now to follow through on those “shoulda-woulda-couldas” in life. Consider seizing an opportunity to be your own boss and start your own business!

Learn more about how residents at Henry Ford Village residents are currently running their own businesses or focusing on passion projects and how the community supports them.

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Source: Next Avenue