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6 Tips for Starting a Small Business After Retirement

Not everyone dreams of lounging on a beach sipping cocktails after they retire. Many of us, in fact, have a drive to work and to succeed long after ending our first careers. Starting a small business can be a perfect way to balance out your desire for autonomy over your time with your desire to perform significant work. Here are six ways to improve your chances of success.

1.    Know Your Purpose

Why do you want to start a small business? It’s key that you hone in on your core purpose(s) before taking this step in retirement.

Do you worry about running out of money in retirement? Perhaps your primary goal as an entrepreneur is to increase your retirement income, helping you avoid spending down your nest egg too quickly.

Maybe you have plenty of income streams in retirement, but you know you thrive on facing challenges. A small business would provide opportunities for personal growth and enable you to keep your intellect sharp.

Whatever your ultimate goal is, be sure to build your business around reaching that goal. For example, if you’re motivated more by personal growth than by financial considerations, you have a bit more flexibility and can choose something you enjoy, even if it’s not terribly profitable.

2.    Follow Your Strengths

In any small-business endeavor, you’ve got to play to your strengths. What skills do you possess that you can take into this new business?

Founding a business is no small task, so if you choose a field that you have no ability in, your chance of success will be almost nonexistent. On the other hand, focusing on an area you already know well will increase your odds of successful business.

That’s not to say that you can’t explore a new interest, but you should at least make sure you have some of the main abilities needed to run this business.

3.    Build the Business Before Retirement

If you haven’t retired yet, a good strategy is to begin building up your business during the final months or years of your career. It might be difficult to find the time, but gaining clientele, practicing your new skills, or beginning to market your business will help you when you take the business full-time.

It might be more difficult to get momentum for your new business if you wait too long. Why wait when you can start a little side hustle, then possibly grow that business once you’re done with your full-time job?

4.    Pay Attention to Social Security Benefits

Any post-retirement income from a small business will likely impact your Social Security benefits. If your total income in any one year, including self-employment income, is above the maximum that Social Security allows, your benefits may be reduced. This depends on whether you’re at full retirement age or not.

So if you’ve already begun collecting Social Security, be aware of how your fledgling business may impact those benefit checks. You don’t want to drastically cut your Social Security benefits by earning too much.

5.    Choose A Business with a Low Upfront Investment

In your retirement years, you don’t want to pour a large portion of your funds into a brand-new business. It’s risky to put too much of the money you’ve diligently saved for decades into a business that may or may not turn a profit.

Therefore, choosing a field that doesn’t require a ton of money up-front will be to your advantage. Many businesses today can even be founded for little more than the cost of a new laptop and web hosting fees.

6.    Build an Online Presence

It’s next to impossible to run a thriving business without a web presence. Whether that entails a blog of company-relevant content or social media marketing, your online presence can help make or break your work.

Make an effort to get the word out about what you and your company offer, through the power of the Internet. A great deal of your marketing can be relegated to the online world, so it’s essential to build your online presence as a businessperson.

Final Thoughts

It’s becoming less common to simply work one job for a full career and then check out for the rest of your life. Now, more and more people choose to work long after they technically retire. Consider important factors like these six tips when planning your post-retirement business venture.