Retiring doesn’t necessarily need to signal the end of your career. If you’re a senior who would like to continue working well into the golden years, starting a home-based business is a perfect choice. According to research by The Mobility Resource, 38% of seniors in the United States have disabilities. Running a home-based business will not only allow you to overcome mobility-related issues, but its low start-up cost won’t cause a major dent in savings either. In this article by Business Digit, we’ll explore the steps seniors should take to run a successful home-based business.
Explore Your Options
While it’s important to stick to your strengths in terms of skills and expertise, being a business owner allows plenty of room for experimentation as well. For instance, if you spent decades working in healthcare, but always had a passion for writing, choose to start a freelance writing business. Given your expertise, the role of a technical writer will suit you well. Additionally, you could pitch health-based articles to local and national publications.
Similarly, you can choose to start a blog and write about a vast array of topics such as technology, education, marketing, politics, etc. Revenue can be generated by adding affiliate links, running advertisements, and writing paid promotional articles.
If travelling once in a while to meet clients is something you enjoy, starting a consultancy should be your top choice. While the bulk of the work can be done remotely from home, you can plan in-person meetings with clients as and when needed.
Other low-cost business ideas include Dropshipping, selling handmade goods, tutoring, and online re-selling.
Establish a Limited Liability Company
If this will be your first ever business, avoid making the mistake of running it as a sole proprietorship. Under this business structure, the owner and the business are considered a single business entity, hence the business debts become your debts. To avoid your finances coming under threat from business-related issues, establish a Limited Liability Company (LLC).
With an LLC, your finances and assets will not be affected by business liabilities. Additionally, you’ll be able to claim business expenses as tax write-offs and avoid the burden of double taxation. While an LLC requires paperwork and fees, the protection it provides will be invaluable.
Maintain Sound Finances
Bad cash flow management is the leading cause of small business failure. Many factors can negatively impact your cash flow such as delayed payments, overspending in underperforming areas, poor operational practices, and more. To overcome these challenges it’s important to choose accounting software that works for your business.
Along with helping you pay your bills on time, accounting software simplifies the process of creating and sharing invoices with clients. Additionally, if you’re running a business that requires you to store inventory, the software will keep track of stock and calculate important metrics such as the inventory turnover ratio (ITR), days to sell inventory (DOH), and rate of return (ROR) and more.
Additionally, if business picks up and you plan to hire freelancers to spread the workload, you’ll need to create 1099 forms come tax season to remain compliant with IRS requirements. Creating tax forms is never easy, but the software will do all the legwork and provide you with a form that can easily be edited and shared with your freelancers.
The best way to find your first client as a new business is to be referred through your network. This referral could come from your friend circle, family, or professional contacts. But, as an entrepreneur, you need to venture beyond your comfort zone and actively work towards growing your network. This includes becoming a member of organizations such as Vistage, NFIB (The National Federation of Independent Business), Founders Card, and more. As a member, you’ll be able to network with fellow entrepreneurs from across the world, form business partnerships, seek mentorship opportunities, and develop your business acumen.
Running a low-cost home-based business provides seniors with the benefits of earning a steady income and pursuing professional goals while having limited downside, especially if the business is registered as an LLC. So whether you choose freelancing, consulting, or other ideas, entrepreneurship is an experience you’re bound to enjoy.