The youthful faces of Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and the like may be soaked in the global limelight, but it is not uncommon to see firms being successfully helmed by older entrepreneurs. Age is not really a detriment. On the contrary, you can always capitalise on a successful career and turn it into a powerful asset.
Those who have been around for a while tend to have a formidable arsenal of weaponry working for them, including a wealth of experience, crystallised knowledge, extensive network, and financial stability. Even then, though, getting operations off the ground can be a daunting task. Therefore, don’t get complacent or fail to adapt to everything that modern business world throws at you.
Despite what some people claim, it is never too late to launch your business idea or try one more time. Nowadays, entrepreneurship is mistakenly correlated with vibrant youth rather than corporate experience. Yet, the truth is that people aged 55-64 exhibit a higher level of entrepreneurial activity than those in the 20-34 range.
In fact, one-quarter of new entrepreneurs are baby boomers and there are so many success stories stemming from their efforts. One thing to bear in mind, however, is that running a flourishing business is never as simple as turning your passion into profit. When faced with a challenge, get back to the brass tacks: meticulous research, strategic planning, and due diligence.
Funding makes or breaks any business. Some senior entrepreneurs are quite confident because of their positive track record in the past. The longer one is active in the industry, the more contacts and tried-and-tested tactics are available. Still, before you ravage your savings again or plead for another bank load, explore new, alternative avenues.
There are options such as grants, contests, peer-to-peer lending, retail bonding, and crowdfunding (via platforms like Kickstarter). These alternative sources of financing have their unique pros and cons. You would be wise to weigh them before taking the plunge.
One thing you cannot afford to do is fall behind the fast-changing trends and ever-evolving technologies. They shape business strategies and practices of today more than ever before. Take, for instance, the proliferation of various online platforms that have given rise to the booming freelance economy and telecommuting possibilities.
Namely, you can hire seasoned, independent pros remotely and on an as-needed basis. That way, you effectively trim your payroll expenses and office overheads. Likewise, modern entrepreneurs eagerly use communication and collaboration platforms to stay in touch with workers and manage projects on the go. Gain an edge by adding digital assets to your toolset.
Along the similar lines, notice that in this day and age, almost every business has an internet presence. For many entrepreneurs, this is a matter of life and death. After all, a vast majority of internet users looks for products/services online and interacts with brands via multiple channels.
Thus, you need to ponder creating a professional-looking, user-friendly website. If you are not up to the task of building it from scratch, you can use popular platforms like WordPress, or you can hire professionals. Visit reputable online hubs and browse lists of the best web development agencies. There, you should be able to find exactly what you need.
Once you have a website in place, you can go on to create your social media profiles. You are going to use all this digital real estate as a platform for reaching a wide audience and hosting your digital marketing campaigns. One dangerous pitfall to avoid here is spreading your resources too thin.
Perform a thorough research to figure out where your audience is. Develop a deeper understanding of its wants, habits, online behavior, and needs. Use these valuable insights as building blocks of your campaigns. Make an effort to look beyond mere self-promotion: add value to people’s lives with quality content and be their problem solver.
A business journey is one of constant learning and personal growth. Even for those who know the industry like the palm of their hand and act as pillars of their companies, there is always something new to grasp and try out. Beef up your business acumen and competencies.
There is no shortage of ways to make it happen. Keep track of important industry news and goings-on. Go back to class if needed or take on online courses. You also have an ocean of educational resources at your fingertips: ebooks, podcasts, webinars, slideshows, studies, YouTube videos, etc. Use them to maintain your innovation aptitude.
Senior entrepreneurs have one key advantage over young, ambitious business contenders – a vast business network cultivated over the years. Like it or not, success is contingent upon whom you know and can rely on, be it partner, mentor, influencer, an industry leader, or somebody else.
It goes without saying you should keep sources of support, expertise, and funding close. Alas, you cannot just rest on the laurels of past success. Attend business events regularly to network in person. Take advantage of hubs in the league of LinkedIn to spread your roots online. Actively build a community of positive influences around you.
Age is not just a number and certainly not a liability: it is a major contributing factor to business success. You have a chance to leverage your experience and talent, but you have to do so without losing sight of potential vulnerabilities of your entrenched and comfortable position.
Modern technology renders old business functions and processes you are used to almost obsolete. It is paramount to keep up the pace with the digitalised and fast-paced times. Never stop learning and fine-tuning. When the good old and the exciting new meet, great things are bound to happen.