Boss Lady

Women succeed when starting businesses after 50


You’ve been in the corporate environment all your life. You’ve done well, climbed the proverbial corporate ladder, and make a good living.

However, you are now wondering if this is it? You don’t desire to move up in the company or take on more responsibility. You may not be aligned with where the company is going, or the industry has become boring to you.

Alternatively, maybe this is something you are doing out of necessity; your company no longer requires your services. You’ve become redundant or too expensive and can be replaced with someone who will do what you do but for a lot less money.

Women who have recently lost their job or know they are about to lose their job are, unfortunately, increasing in number. These women still need an income but find themselves less employable. Starting a business becomes a good alternative.

In either situation, loss of interest or loss of employment, it’s time for a change. However, it isn’t time to retire, yet. Money is still an issue with bills, mortgage payments, kids going to school, graduating, and getting married. There is a quality of life you would like to continue to enjoy, which may include some traveling and doing the things that you always dreamed about doing.

It may not seem like the time in your life when you should be considering starting a business, or is it?

People over 50 have a wealth of experience that they have gained from the corporate world, which they can use to set themselves to start a business. The over 50 age group has changed over the years and as they are entering their second act in life as healthy individuals who have invaluable skills and knowledge to share and will quite likely see another 30 or more years ahead of them. This new generation is not interested in the old definition of retirement, and they are ready to change things up.

Whether you’re thinking of selling products or providing a service such as coaching or consulting, you need to follow a few essential steps before you launch your new venture.

1. Do your research

Get out and start talking to people. Let them know what you’re planning. Starts at home. Never dismiss the ones that are closest to you. They may not have the expertise you need, but they may know someone who does or better yet they may know someone who needs what you are going to offer. Let business colleges know your plans. They may become your first customers.

Start attending networking meetings with groups that may have potential clients or partners. Have conversations with the people in these groups to find out what are their biggest problems and how are they dealing with them. Don’t try to sell at this stage, only gather information. People love to help other people but not if they think it’s a cover for a sales pitch. Moreover, at this stage, you want to get as much information as possible to create your product or service that your customers will want to pull their wallets out to purchase. Test and analyze your ideas with your market. Doing this research is going to help you hone in on the benefits of what you’re selling and what to focus on to get buyers interested.

2. Identify your start-up costs

Are you going to need a physical location? Is this a brick and mortar business such as a retail store or office? What are the real estate costs?

What equipment do you need? Do you require promotional material and communications?

Consider the outside services that you will need. Lawyer and accountant, licensing and permits, insurance, marketing, and website development and services should all be taken into consideration. Each business will have unique requirements to consider and include in your start-up budget.

3. Business Development

Your business, although it is new, is already developing a brand. As soon as you hang out your shingle, you are creating a brand. A brand is what you stand for and what other people think and say about you. Your brand is equal to your reputation, and you should start to nurture it from the start. A vision statement is a great place to begin. Know what you want to achieve as an organization. Be intentional about how you want your audience to describe your business, its products, and services.

Next, and very importantly, is how you will find customers? Do you have a network you can access to find your first customers? Are there associations or industry groups you can get access to or join? Use your research, connect with your network, and use word of mouth to start letting people know about you.

As a new business, you will need to be patient in building your brand awareness as you will undoubtedly be on a limited budget. Fortunately, there are plenty of marketing tactics you can start with that are inexpensive or even free, except for your time. Some of those strategies are using social media, attending or organizing events, partnerships with other businesses, offering freebies, create a referral system, add your business to online directories, offer to do speaking engagements at events. Your marketing is crucial, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. Use these low-cost ideas to start to grow your business right away.

4. Analyze and review

Set up some timelines to do business health check-ins. Do these at six months and a year. If you aren’t seeing some income assess what is working and what isn’t. Usually, this means that your message is falling short and needs tweaking. How much time have you been spending on new business and sales? Sales are where you may need to spend more of your time.

Pay attention to your existing customers’ behaviors. Ask for feedback from your customers. Make sure you have satisfied consumers and if not, ask them what you could do better. Are you giving them what they need? Can you provide them with an upsell or create a bundled offer that would entice a purchase.

Are you asking for testimonials and reviews to build your credibility? There is no better salesperson than that of a happy customer.

Take charge of your entrepreneurial spirit.

Starting a business can be very rewarding and provide you with the freedom and control you want at this stage in your life. As a woman, over 50, believe in your expertise and develop a business that will help people. Let yourself get excited and recognize that you can make you money with what you already know.

About Kim Speed

Kim Speed is a brand visibility expert, speaker, trainer, recipient of the 2019 Most Influential Business Woman in Brand Development and Amazon best-selling author of Branding on a Shoestring. How to recreate your small business identity and increase sales results in 83 days or less. Purple Moon Creative Brand and Marketing Boutique shares her brand expertise and her marketing skills with growing small business owners to help them become visible, connected and profitable.

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