There are many reasons why you might consider starting your own business. Perhaps you’ve already retired and found that you miss working. Maybe you have a passion that would easily translate into a job opportunity. Or, maybe you want to make use of your years of career expertise to become your own employer and stop taking orders from someone else.
In some ways, starting a business after 55 is easier than being a young entrepreneur. You have maturity, experience, and, hopefully, some money in the bank. You may even have another source of retirement income (such as a pension) to help cover expenses while your new business gets off the ground.
Yet, starting a business is always a bit of a risk, and you don’t want to spend your retirement nest egg on a business plan which doesn’t take off. Fortunately, there are many resources which can help you decide if you are ready to make the leap from employee to employer.
The U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is a great place to start when you’re thinking about starting your own business. Their online resources provide a wealth of information and answer just about any question you may have. There are guides for understanding market conditions, learning to write business plans, legally establishing your business, securing financing, marketing your company, and much more.
The SBA also offers local resources through their district offices and Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs). In addition, local Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) are specifically designed to help women entrepreneurs. The SBA also partners with SCORE, an organization that offers counseling services for small business owners. SCORE also provides specific resources for 50+ entrepreneurs.
The U.S. Chamber Small Business Nation
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is perhaps the largest and oldest support system for businesses of all sizes. The U.S. Chamber Small Business Nation was designed to support the specific needs of small business owners. In addition to finding resources at the national level, reaching out to your local Chamber of Commerce is a very good way to build your business through ties to your local community. Starting a new business comes with tax implications that can be somewhat overwhelming.
The IRS offers online resources which help new business owners understand federal taxes. These resources help answer questions about filing, record keeping, types of employee retirement plans, and more. The IRS can also direct you to more information for your state requirements for operating a business.
A great way to learn about starting a new business is to connect with other entrepreneurs. Publications like Entrepreneur and Inc. Magazine offer online information covering all aspects of owning and operating your own business.
Switching from employee to employer is a dream of many Americans. If you are interested in turning that dream into your reality, take some time to explore the above resources and find out if starting a new business is right for you.