For some Americans, the best part of life starts at retirement.
This new stage of life means no more answering to upper management, managing a 40+ hour work week or battling rush hour traffic.
And while spontaneous trips to the shore and the relaxing mood of an empty house may be a draw for some, the novelty often wears off quickly. That’s why many retirees often become entrepreneurs.
Contrary to popular belief, entrepreneurship is not just for the millennial generation. In fact, a recent Gallup study shows that people over 50 are one of the fastest growing groups of entrepreneurs in the U.S.
But what do these so-called senior-preneurs need to know before making the leap? Here are four tried and true tips for a successful entrepreneurship later in life.
1. Pick your passion
According to a recent report from Gallup, 70 percent of Americans are unhappy with their jobs? Don’t become a statistic. Instead, become happier and healthier doing something you love.
Whether you want to start your own consultancy firm, become a furniture craftsman, open an art studio or run an action-adventure tourism service, the possibilities are endless. Just make sure your new business is something you actually love to do.
2. But also be realistic
Sure, you might have a strange affinity for dressing your cats up in wacky outfits. But does that mean there’s a huge demand for kitty-couture? Probably not.
Before moving full steam ahead with your business idea, start by asking a group of colleagues, mentors or advisors if your idea has weight. Friends and family can help, too. You can even form a focus group or crowd source market research to test your concepts and get feedback. If you discover nine out of 10 people would shell out beaucoup bucks for a feline fedora, you could be onto something. Otherwise, back to the drawing board.
3. Stay fresh and current
Social media and technology’s influence on businesses aren’t going away anytime soon. So make sure you brush up on your digital skills. Whether you need to develop an app to better communicate your service or product to consumers, make sense of Google+ reviews or master social media, it’s wise to keep up-to-date on what’s out there.
4. Plan and protect
Starting a new business can be, well, risky business. It’s important to protect the nest egg you created prior to retirement in addition to safeguarding your new business venture. When making the decision to exit retirement and enter the workforce, be sure to get all your paperwork in order.
“New business owners in their later years should always be prepared for the unexpected,” says Leo Heintz, vice president and product manager, Commercial Lines, at Erie Insurance. “The right insurance policy is a must. It can help support your family if something happens to you. It can also ensure your business can continue to operate, which benefits employees and their families. Everyone benefits.”
The right business insurance protects against personal and business liability (think lawsuits) and damage from storms, fires and other natural disasters. It’s worth considering coverage for owned, rented or personal vehicles you drive “on the job” as well as workers’ compensation coverage for any employees you bring on board. If under or uninsured, it could leave you with empty pockets and regret.
While starting a new business can be an exciting and rewarding endeavor, it’s essential to talk to an insurance professional like an Erie Insurance Agent to get all your important questions answered. He or she can help make sure you’re covered so you can focus on running the business you love.