Steps to Starting a Home-Based Business Later in Life
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Guest post by Mary Shannon, seniorsmeet.org
If you are like millions of other retirees, you might find yourself seeking more stimulation than your current situation provides. After years of working, boredom can be a real problem. Starting a business is an excellent way to have a second act and use your experience to find satisfaction and earn extra income to fund all the great plans you have for this life stage. Running the business out of a home office is an ideal situation for many Boomers.
Home offices allow for flexibility and eliminate a commute, which may be critical to your situation if you experience decreased mobility or age-related vision loss. They also require a lot less upfront capital, so you won't be faced with depleting your retirement resources to get one up and running. Here are some suggestions courtesy of Coach Win on what to keep in mind if you are considering starting a home-based business during your golden years.
Choose Your Direction
Decide what type of business you want to pursue and then work to narrow your focus. The more targeted it is, the better. Many retirees find success piggybacking off their previous careers. If you've spent an entire career accumulating knowledge about a specific topic, then you are perfectly positioned to start a consulting business. You might prefer to go a whole different direction instead. Turning your passion into a business is a great way to keep that interest alive and offset its costs.
Develop a Comprehensive Business Plan
A business plan is critical to long-term success. At a minimum, it should include an overview of the type of business you want, your target market, opportunities for growth and areas of concern. These could be things such as competing businesses, distribution challenges or cost obstacles. Include any funding and marketing strategies you plan to pursue as well. There are great business plan templates available online, or find your local Small Business Administration office for direct assistance.
You will also want to look at the best way to structure your specific enterprise. For example, you could consider starting an LLC or S Corp. These are two of the most common entity types for small business owners, with the LLC being the most popular because it’s a relatively flexible legal structure that offers several benefits, like less paperwork. In many cases, operating an LLC also confers certain tax advantages.
If you’re hiring employees, you’ll need to set up payroll as well. Smallbiz apps for finance like Quickbooks allow you to automate and organize the payroll process. This software allows you to pay your employees with same-day direct deposit, and automatically calculates and files federal and state taxes.
Set Up Your Home Office Space
A home office should be comfortable and accommodating while also maximizing productivity. Your office should have all of the technology needed to conduct business operations from home, such as a computer, printer, shredder and phone system. VoIP phones tend to have a wide array of features at affordable prices, making them an ideal solution for home-based businesses. It also helps to use a color scheme that suits your personality.
Starting a small business can be an enjoyable and profitable venture for many Boomers and running it out of a home office makes it convenient. Take the time to establish your idea and build a solid plan to set yourself up for success. Then you can go ahead and set up a comfortable and productive home office space.
Best of luck in your new endeavor!