Whether you’re not ready to quit working or need income for your senior years, starting your own business is a great idea. Senior entrepreneurs have the experience, connections, and capital to launch successful businesses, and entrepreneurship can offer flexibility that traditional jobs lack.
Instead of pouring your money and time into a brick-and-mortar business, consider a home-based business for your encore career. Home-based businesses are rising in popularity across the board, but seniors, in particular, have much to gain from this modern business model.
Why home-based businesses work for seniors
People from all walks of life are finding their calling in home-based businesses, from new grads eager for an alternative to the cubicle to parents in search of better work-life balance.
Home-based businesses are a natural fit for seniors, too. Not only is entrepreneurship an increasingly popular career path for seniors who continue to work, but home-based businesses are the most affordable to start. As a result, seniors running home-based businesses don’t have to dip into their retirement savings for start-up funding.
Home-based businesses are also kinder to seniors with mobility limitations. Instead of negotiating disability accommodations with an employer, seniors can design a comfortable home workspace perfectly suited to their needs.
4 home-based business models for seniors to try
Seniors who want to stay in their industry but drop the full-time schedule should consider consulting. Consulting lets you share your expertise while also benefiting from a flexible schedule. Seniors can consult remotely via video conferencing or serve as a traveling consultant with a home-based office.
2. E-commerce with dropshipping
Seniors who have always dreamed of owning a store can make it a reality through e-commerce. E-commerce avoids the high rents and high risk of brick-and-mortar businesses. It can be a competitive industry depending on what you’re trying to sell, but you can stay ahead of other online stores by fully learning about e-commerce.
3. Remote bookkeeping
Seniors with a background in administrative work can find work as a part-time or full-time remote bookkeeper. Remote bookkeepers can earn $20 an hour or more with few overhead costs and, unlike in-house staff, remote bookkeepers can work for businesses in any city. Virtual assistant jobs are another option for remote work, although pay tends to be lower than remote bookkeeping.
4. Pet sitting
People are spending more on their pets than ever, and services like pet sitting are driving much of that growth. The beauty of pet sitting is you can set your own hours. Without a day job competing for their time, seniors can provide a high level of service and charge competitive rates for their business.
Need more ideas? The Balance offers a few suggestions for additional business opportunities that are ideal for retirees.
From idea to reality: Start with your website
Once you’ve settled on a business idea, it’s time to put it to action. Before applying for business permits and figuring out funding, sit down and make a checklist of everything you need to accomplish to get your business up and running. There’s a lot that entrepreneurship entails, including designing a high-quality website. This is one of the most important aspects of running a business; without an attractive website, you could lose out on several opportunities for gaining customer loyalty. If you’re unsure where to begin with building a website, you can hire remote workers to design it for you. Job websites like Upwork provide a large pool of experienced professionals looking for freelance jobs in many fields including web design and development.
There’s no rule that says you have to stop working just because you’ve hit retirement age. If you’re not ready to throw in the towel but still want flexibility to enjoy your senior years, give a home-based business a try. With lower risk than traditional businesses, home-based businesses are the perfect place to get your entrepreneurial feet wet no matter if you’re 35 or 65.
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