Starting A Business At 50+

Image of a man in his 50's (Me) smiling from his home office which overlooks a seascape

Starting a business at 50+ used to be quite rare but times are changing. The high numbers of baby boomers getting close to retirement has created a new phenomenon. We could call it the age of the “olderpreneur”.  Over 50’s have created a noticeable growth in self-employment since 2015. Lets face it age discrimination is a thing.  It’s part of the reason that over 50’s are finding it very difficult to find full time employment in the digital age. Age discrimination however does not exist when you are your own boss.

In a recent article in the Financial Times some revealing statistics from the Office Of National Statistics were quoted.

At the end of 2015 Over 50’s starting businesses counted for 43% of the UK’s 4.6million self employed

The number of self-employed people over 65 has more than doubled in the last 5 years

Of those still working by age 70 almost 60% are self-employed.

Aside from age discrimination there are a number of reasons for this trend, a trend, which has christened the phrase “the missing minority”. It refers to the marked lack of employed people in the 50+  age group.

Good Reasons For Starting A Business At 50+

We could point a finger at technology, artificial Intelligence and automation. All of these are disrupting many traditional industries where lots of baby boomers have based long careers.

At the same time though, these factors also make second or encore careers more attractive and easier to find. Older people are often in a better position to consider starting a business at 50+.

They often have the finances to do it after long careers and decades of savings and investments. In recent years final salary schemes have escalated in value Lump sums or loans against pensions can be easily secured to fund new ventures. Retirement funds can also be accessed at 55. This is also a time of life where inheritances often arrive.

For all these reasons olderpreneurs are taking the opportunity to embark on encore careers or to do something they have always wanted to do.  Starting a business in your fifties could be a very good idea.

The video below is a recording of a Skype call between myself and another “Olderpreneur”.

There Has Never Been A Better Time

And actually there has never been a better time to do it. The digital economy we live in now offers incredible opportunities for baby boomers to re-skill and thrive. The Internet has created low cost, fast start business models that offer a lucrative; semi retired lifestyle for over 50s.

There are many advantages to starting an Internet based business. They can be built around practically any product or service. Start-up costs are comparatively low as they require no special equipment beyond a laptop and a broadband connection.  This also means they can be launched and grown quickly. For most though the biggest advantage is freedom. Online businesses can be run from anywhere and are not time hungry since they can be largely automated. If you’re starting a business at 50+ this is ideal.

 I was made redundant from a long corporate career at the age of 47.  I soon found out how difficult replacing that job would be. Yes I could have moved into consultancy or freelancing in the same industry but frankly I’d had enough. I didn’t much like the idea of becoming a mature university student to acquire new skills and qualifications either. Self-employemt of some sort beckoned.

Starting A Business In Your 50’s Online

Screenshot of a video conference between two older entrepreneurs discussing starting a business at 50+
A Zoom meeting between two 50+ Internet Business Owners

It seemed to me that the Internet offered the best place to go looking for opportunities. I was aware of the of the bad reputation associated with the make money online has accumulate over the years. I was not naïve however and had done my research. Starting a business in your 50’s is not to be taken lightly after all.

That had revealed a couple of solid Internet business models and I knew some people who had built enviable lifestyles with them.  Affiliate marketing and ecommerce were the business models I was interested in. As an ex business development manager they seemed similar to what I’d been doing for years. What’s more both offered franchise style, ready built opportunities.

Unfortunately though the skills involved were not easily found through traditional education. I couldn’t find any part or full time courses at colleges or Universities. Training was provided by the franchise owners and was usually limited and crucially out of date.

I persevered though. The idea of starting a business a 50+ that could be run from home in a few hours per day using equipment I already had was just too attractive. I booked a Skype call with a friend I’d met through some online forums I’d found. He was doing both affiliate marketing and e-commerce and was doing well.

Skilling Up For An Encore Business In A Digital World

Image of an open road. A sign hangs above it with three arrows pointing up, left and right. All are headed Learning

During our conversation he stressed that although the businesses were easy to set up, the key to his success had been mentorship. After a couple of failed starts he had found a new company that provided everything he needed.

The company was run by two young internet entrepreneurs. Both had been massively successful affiliate marketers. They had teamed up to create an online academy. This provided mentorship and training but also Internet business systems they had built based on their own experience over several years. Crucially for me they also offered a range of business partnerships.

My friend sent me a link to a series of free videos this company provided to introduce themselves. I subscribed, absorbed them over the next 7 days and genuinely have never looked back. That was 6 years ago and I’ve been an Internet “olderpreneur” ever since.

The company is called SFM and they have gone from strength to strength ever since. The community they have created is quite unique. They now hold live events all over the world and have helped thousands of people to transition to the digital economy. Many of these not surprisingly are baby boomers like myself starting a business at 50+ for the first time.

If you are considering starting a business in your fifties I thoroughly recommend two things.

Firstly make it an Internet based business. Secondly consider learning more about SFM (Six Figure Mentors) and their partner organisation DEA (Digital Experts Academy) You can do that by clicking on the link below and subscribing for the same videos that changed everything for me.

starting a business at 50+ Banner image of a door opening on a green landscape with the words A business you love and free video series in red.