Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Retirement Too Boring for You? Start a Business

You can only vacation for so long.
Then you need to begin thinking
about what you will do with the rest
of your life!
 (Playa del Carmen, Mex. by b)

Some hints and tips to get those entrepreneurial juices flowing again.
Thinking of starting a business? It’s never too late; in fact there are numerous benefits to enter the entrepreneurial world as a senior professional. For a start, you will probably have the knowledge experience and industry insights most entrepreneurs strive to learn in their ascendancy to wealth. Imagine if you could now have it all, and just don’t realize?  Yes its true most successful entrepreneurs start young when they have the energy and enthusiasm to make it happen, those 23 hours days selfless determination are invaluable characteristics. However a business doesn't always need to start from the bottom up and the opportunity you have always dreamed could be now yours for the taking. 

We can of course acknowledge there are risks involved, business is simply a risk taking adventure and reputation, savings and assets are hard earned rewards not to be gambled recklessly.  However, after a career of working for somebody else, wouldn't it be better to finally be your own boss and live in more style during those glory years? For some people the lure can be just too great, the trick is to manage what you can and only invest what you are prepared to lose.

So what makes that idea a success?
1. Look for the gap in the market in an area you know.  If you have worked a long time in one particular sphere the chances are that you have seen opportunities in that market and thought, “If only…”  Look at the example of Jamie Murray Wells. He came up with the idea for his first company, Glasses Direct, offering cut-price prescription glasses over the internet, while studying at the University of West England – when he needed a pair of glasses he couldn't afford a pair from a high street shop and realized he could save money by contacting the manufacturers’ directly with his prescription. This formed the basis of his business and today the company sells a pair every few minutes. Entrepreneurs have to trust their instinct and listen to the problems/opportunities they encounter in day to day life.
 2. Do you have a driving passion for something or a particular outside interest?  That weekend hobby of stripping down old engines or making fancy cakes for family and friends could turn into a mobile car mechanic service or baking for special occasions
 3. Take on a Franchise.  If you can find a home-based franchise that interests you, then start up costs could be low and you can get lots of support to make it work so you won’t feel quite as exposed as you would do as sole trader
 4. Networking.  Your career means that you will doubtless know lots of people who have helped you, or you have helped them at some point.  That old address book or Outlook contacts list is an opportunity to turn those friends and contacts into something useful for your business
 5. Start small.  Buy the minimum you need to get started and avoid all those ‘nice to have’ extras and things that you fancy.  As the business grows you can add to your assets but you don’t want underused equipment lying about eating into your capital.  Remember if it doesn't work out then you will have to turn your assets back into cash.
 6.  Only use the energy you have got to give.  There’s no need to rush into a demanding 40 or 50 hour week from the beginning.  Remember you are doing this because you want to do it, not because you have to satisfy the boss so only put in the hours you feel comfortable with, especially at the outset.  As and when the business grows you may want to do more, or employ someone else to do more, but later in life energy levels are lower than when you were a spring chicken!
Contributed by James Barnett,Managing Editor of Oceanic Business

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