Thursday, June 15, 2017

6 Tips for Seniors Thinking About Starting a Business

It's never too late to start a business, and seniors can leverage their years of professional experiences to begin successful startups. Regardless of your background, use the following six strategies if you're thinking about starting a business.

Take Industry-Specific or General Business Courses

From business classes at a community college to courses available through industry organizations, expanding your education can give you an advantage in the business world. 

For example, if you're thinking about starting a ranch, take courses in agriculture to learn about the subtleties of the industry.

Also consider subscribing to industry-related publications and finding credible resources online. The more you learn about your intended business, the faster you'll create a sustainable company.

Choose a Business Organizational Structure

Several types of business organizational structures exist. For example, if you decide to start a sole proprietorship, you'll run the business on your own, while a general partnership allows you to form a business with one or more partners.

Limited liability companies (LLCs) and corporations demand more effort. However, they also offer tax and liability benefits that you may want to consider.

Apply for Small Business Grants

Every business needs funding, whether you're working from home or from an office. Small business grants can fund your venture without the need to repay the money you receive, which can ease your financial burden. Try searching for grants online to learn what opportunities may become available to you.

Get a Line of Credit

Avoid starting a business with your credit cards. As a senior, you may have built a stellar credit rating, but you don't want to ruin your hard work by running up balances on high-interest credit card accounts. 

A business line of credit through an online loan provider such as Kabbage allows you to withdraw money when you need it. Applying for a line of credit loan through Kabbage can be faster than other methods due to the automated loan application process.

Additionally, small business lines of credit give you access to cash without fees. If you use your credit card, the issuer likely limits cash advance amounts and charges a fee each time you take cash out of an ATM.

Leverage Your Professional Network

Over the years, you've likely met people who can help your business grow. Connect with them online or in person to turn them into potential customers, vendors, partners, and advocates. 

Your former colleagues may offer financial advice or give you a discount on products you'll need to start your business. Build your LinkedIn profile to find people you may not have seen in years.

Select a Comfortable Work Environment

Now that you're ready to start your own business, don't confine yourself to an uncomfortable workplace. You may want to work from home or from a co-working space that you can design to your liking. 

Look for a workplace that won't cause unnecessary stress and that offers the amenities you need to get your business running.

Starting a business as a senior may give you more freedom and allow you to take advantage of knowledge you didn't have as a younger professional. With the above tips, you can make your dream business a reality.

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