Who’s the Boss? You!

If you’re like most of us, you probably slaved away for decades, living for that day when you retired and could work for yourself – owning your own business. Well, that day is finally here. Whether you dreamt of tutoring kids 10 hours a week or working round-the clock as the proprietor of a B&B, there are many things to consider before you hang out that shingle and become the next retiree who hits the big time. Below are just a few:

Do what you know. Maybe you’ve had a career as an accountant, but you aspire to open a dog grooming business. It’s no surprise that you’ll have the most success in a field you already know and where you have credibility. However, if you’re determined to make a business out of a passion, get some dog grooming training first—maybe even volunteer at your local groomer—and then find a way to put the skills you already have (accounting is a no brainer!) to good use in your new business.

Make new friends but keep the old. Use the connections you’ve made while in the workforce to brainstorm ideas, get start-up funds and find customers. However, don’t be content with only old contacts. Join networking groups to extend your network or check out business incubators in your city to find the support you need.

businessStart your business on a shoestring. Don’t lease office space and hire an assistant on your first day of business. Choose a type of business that you can operate with as little overhead as possible, preferably a home-based business like consulting or home appraisals. If you need meeting space, many libraries offer conference rooms for free or a nominal fee and there are even companies that rent short-term (even a day or two) office space if you need to temporarily create the illusion that your company is larger than it is.

Make your business fit your lifestyle. For so many years you’ve had to work your life around your job. Now make sure that your new business’s demands match up with your lifestyle. For the flexibility of having mid-morning coffee with friends or hitting the open road for longer than a week, you may have to work some evening or weekend hours here and there, but chances are you won’t mind it!

Have a Plan B. Only about 44 percent of new businesses survive four years, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. While you should strive to be successful, always have a backup plan if you’re not.

Read some retirees’ success stories.

What kind of retirement business have you dreamt of starting?  Let us know in the comments!