Starting a business can be a great way to fill your time once you have retired. You don’t have the pressures of a 9 to 5 job, so you can pursue other interests as a way to make money. You want to be careful, though, that you don’t sacrifice your future financial health as you launch your business. Here are a few tips on how to get started.
Don’t Touch Your Retirement Savings
In today’s connected age of the internet, mobile technology and the sharing economy, the opportunities to start a business are greater than ever before. More specifically, your ability to start a business with little to no initial investment has increased exponentially in the last few years. This means that you should not raid your retirement savings accounts to get your business off the ground. In fact, you should keep those accounts in place — the security that money offers will actually give you a cushion as you start your business.
Be an Entrepreneur
As you approach your new business, you will have to build a new mindset. You are now the entrepreneur instead of the employee. You’re the one making things go instead of being told what to do. This feeling can be both overwhelming and exhilarating at the same time, but you must embrace it if you want to be successful. Your goal is to build a successful, revenue-generating business, and you can’t do that by backing down.
Set Up a Payroll System
What is payroll? Payroll is the process of compensating your employees for their work. Whatever business you choose to go into, you’ll need to set up a payroll system to track your workers’ time, pay, and employment taxes. Keep in mind that running payroll typically only applies to company employees. If you hire freelancers or independent contractors, you’ll want to report this pay as business expenses. Browse CuriousCheck’s Payroll directory to find the right software for your business.
Build a Community
One option for your business that requires little startup costs is building an online community around a certain passion — travel, food, wine, a particular sports team, etc. This will take a little longer to actually produce income, but with steady blogging and content marketing, you can eventually build a following that may be willing to pay a monthly or yearly membership fee to be a part of your community. You can also begin to produce information products around your topic, such as ebooks, online courses, videos and more. You may be able to sell advertising on your site as well. One of the best ways to continue to grow your following is to jump in as a guest or even start your own podcast.
Working With Animals
If you enjoy working with animals, becoming a dog walker or pet sitter can be a fun idea. These businesses also have low startup costs, so they are attractive options for many retirees, and they have proven popular among dog owners who want to avoid loud kennels and cages. As the sitter, one of the great things about this business is that you don’t have to have your own facility. Your services are ideal to provide on location, whether you’re walking a client’s dog or making sure their cat has the food, water and playtime he needs. This gives pet owners peace of mind knowing their furry loved one will remain at home and not in a strange facility.
Start by offering your services to your friends and family, and branch out from there once you have a few testimonials you can use.
The Sharing Economy
Another new aspect of this brave new world retirees can take advantage of is the sharing economy. Renting a room or a couple of rooms on AirBnB is a great way to bring in a few hundred (or more) extra dollars each month. The same goes for ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft. When you need the money, you can head out to pick up passengers. When you want to take a break for a while, that’s no problem. You’ll still be able to pick it back up again later.
You don’t have to limit yourselves to just one business idea in retirement. The beauty of today’s low barrier to entry means that you can implement multiple strategies at any one time.
Take your time and find an idea you enjoy. Even if it doesn’t work out, you can always start again on a brand new day.