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Start Your Own Business 

You may have a passion or hobby that could blossom into a business of your own. Learn more about business start up basics.

Experience, maturity, and energy inspire older workers to find financial and personal fulfillment by starting their own businesses. Advanced technologies have made that goal easier for everyone to achieve, whether at a business location or in your own home. Sole proprietorships, home-based operations, and online businesses are flexible and less expensive to start. Other small business options include buying a franchise and raising capital to finance a business.

If you’re thinking of starting your own business, look for one that truly interests you. Consider if you want to learn new skills or build on the skills you already have. Decide how much you will want your new business to depend on technology. Most importantly, think through your business plan before you open your doors.

Small Business Administration

If you are interested in starting a small business, the U.S. Small Business Administration has a variety of programs to assist you. Free one-on-one counseling is also available locally to help entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs in the areas of financing, management technology, government procurement, and other business related areas.

The Small Business Administration first recommends that you complete its SBA self-assessment to understand your readiness to start a small business. The Small Business  Planner has information and resources to help you at any stage of the business lifecycle.

Tips to Get Started

As you plan your new business, here are some additional tips for the beginning stages:

  • Determine the business that best suits you – what will you be doing, creating, or selling?
  • Conduct a break-even analysis to see if your idea can make money.
  • Write a business plan, including profit/loss and cash flow analyses.
  • Write a basic marketing plan.
  • If you need additional financing, find sources of start-up funding.
  • Research the basic types of self-owned businesses, including sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or limited liability company (LLC).
  • Decide on a legal structure for your business.

It's never too late!

It’s never too late to start your own business. Mature entrepreneurs have some advantages over their younger colleagues, according to experts, including a bigger network of contacts and greater networking skills. They also have more patience, a more positive outlook, and greater problem-solving abilities.
Colonel Harland Sanders – Founded KFC at 65

Using his first Social Security check for start-up funds, the world famous Colonel Sanders launched Kentucky Fried Chicken at the age of 65. He created a personal brand as “the Colonel” and stuck with it, helping to launch KFC into global success.  Prior to his death, Colonel Sanders’ restaurant chain had over 6,000 locations with sales of more than $2 billion.

Laura Ingalls Wilder – Wrote Her First Novel at 65

Wilder's "Little House on the Prairie" series may be some of the world's most beloved children's books, but she was well into her sixties before she began publishing them.  There were nine books in total and countless short stories and articles, the proceeds of which provided a college education for several young people she "adopted."

Ray Kroc – Started McDonald’s in His 50s

Kroc was 52 when he opened his first McDonald’s restaurant in 1955 in Des Plaines, Illinois. A high-school dropout, he based it on a format used by the McDonald brothers at their restaurant in San Bernardino, California, and paid them franchise fees as he opened more restaurants. He bought out the McDonald brothers when he was 58.

Leslie Blodgett – Company Went Public at 46

Blodgett, CEO of Bare Escentuals, the bath and body products manufacturer, launched her company’s initial public offering when she was 46. Following the IPO, she sold her company to the Japanese cosmetics firm Shiseido for $1.7 billion. Bare Escentuals has 130 stores in the U.S. and 2,200 employees.

Jim Minick of Atlanta – Started Elder Care Business at 51

After being laid off three times during his 25 years of human resources and sales jobs, Minick started Home Care Georgia, an elder care business that became profitable after only one year.