Nine million Americans ages 44 to 70 are already engaged in second or ‘encore’ careers and another 31 million are interested in pursuing one. Over the next 10 years, 25 percent of all Baby Boomers hope to start a business or non-profit, and half of those same people want to make a difference in the world while earning money.
We accumulate a lot of expertise, skills and connections during our careers. Entrepreneurship can leverage and put those assets to work in a successful encore business.
Entrepreneurship can also be very flexible. Technology has made it much easier to get a business up and running, and to manage it alone or with partners. Portable technology has also made it easier to work on the go, from anywhere in the world. Startup costs can be very low, especially in the knowledge (e.g. consulting or technology) and creative sectors. You can choose to work virtually online and avoid the costs and commitments of paying for and staffing a physical office. You can sell and distribute products through online portals such as Amazon, eBay and Etsy – sometimes without ever touching the product or printing a shipping label. The options are endless.
There are a lot of good resources to help you think through your idea. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers an online Encore Entrepreneurship program that asks questions which walk you through your concept, while explaining what it takes to successfully start and run a small business.
The SBA’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and SCORE programs also offer counseling and training to new and aspiring entrepreneurs. Over my career, I have worked as an SBDC business analyst in Illinois and Arizona, and as a consultant to state networks in Alaska, Arizona, Illinois, Maryland and New Mexico.
I have taken this experience and paired it with three decades of successful business building experience to create Encore Business Advisors, a consulting business that helps new and aspiring business owners confront the challenges of startup by offering personalized one-on-one advising by phone, web or in person. Encore also provides website development, social media and marketing support that can help new businesses get off to a stronger start. It is a perfect example of how to use your experience, expertise and passion to respond to a market trend (encore entrepreneurship) while meeting your personal goals. You can do it too. Contact Lori to find out how.