Baby Boomers, the generation born between 1946 and 1964, are starting businesses at amazing levels. Though Global Entrepreneurship Week and similar efforts are focused upon getting young people to explore entrepreneurship, it is the Baby Boomer business owners who are answering the call at unprecedented levels. And if they don’t start right, they will experience failure at unprecedented levels. That is why you, as a Baby Boomer Entrepreneur, want to start smarter.
One of the key factors driving this trend is a change in the way people in this age group seem to view retirement. A recent USA Today/Gallop poll says that 63% of non-retired adults in the United States plan to work into retirement. These polls were taken during sound financial times and most people say they made the choice for non-financial reasons. Most say they get enjoyment from work. They just want to work for themselves rather than their current boss.
The vast majority of people who start businesses do so because they want to work for themselves rather than for someone else. This practice, often referred to as “Buying a Job”, is probably the underlying cause for most small business failure.
They jump into a business where they do the same type of work they were doing for someone else. So cooks open restaurants. Auto mechanics open repair shops. Pharmacists open pharmacies. And technically trained people become consultants. The problem is that knowing how to do the work in a business, knowing how to manage the work of that business, and knowing how to own that type of business are three different roles. If you are not working on all three roles, the odds of success are small.
People who do the work of the business, often open the doors thinking that people will beat a path to their door because they are the best at what they do. But the problem is that though you may be the best, people have to know you are out there before they can do business with you.
Excited that a few people stumble upon them, business owners often sell the service or product at attractive pricing, usually close to the amount you would have gotten paid when you were working for your old boss. But you now have overhead that your boss had to cover that was above a beyond what he paid you. You have telephones, electricity, and perhaps even some help that you never had to consider before. So how do you price what you are doing to make sure your can make money at this business?
And if you get lots of customers because word does get out that you do a good job, how do you avoid working longer hours than you worked before to serve your customers and make enough money to enjoy your “semi-retirement”. After all, that was the plan wasn’t it? You just wanted to do a little something to keep your mind alert while enjoying this new form of retirement, right?
With proper planning, these and other problems that tend to cause business failure can be overcome. And yes, they can be overcome much more easily than you expect. We hear about the high rates of business failures, but the failures are not 100% of businesses started. You want to know what the successful people are doing differently.
Three Tips For Getting Started At Something Bigger Than Buying Yourself A Job
First – There are many resources available online for free that will help you get the lay of the land. In response to the Baby Boomer Entrepreneurship trend, the US Small Business Administration has created a special web site to support Baby Boomer Entrepreneurs. Do a web search on Baby Boomer Entrepreneurs and you should find this site and other free resources.
Second – Get a good grasp of why businesses fail and what to do about it. Probably the best resource on this is the work of the author Michael E. Gerber. His book, The E-Myth Revisited: Why Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It, is probably the best reference around. It is an easy reading book that will get you pointed in the right direction. A search under Michael Gerber’s name or for the book will give you a number of free resources including information from the book and interviews of Michael about how to work smarter rather than harder.
Finally – If you want to get going faster and to improve your odds of success, get some personal coaching from someone to help you apply the principles specifically. This can help you get off to a good start in understanding the entrepreneurial mindset, the ways you have to think differently to be successful as a business owner.
If you follow these principles you can experience the success that is being sought by Baby Boomer Entrepreneurs. You can have a profitable business that continues to fund your lifestyle. You can have a lifestyle with proper work/life balance instead of a life consumed by your business. You can join the successful Baby Boomer Entrepreneurs.
For more free resources on Baby Boomer Entrepreneurship, go to: