This is the second article in a series of articles entitled: Business on Your Terms. I hope that you will take time to read all the posts in this series and will add your thoughts to the conversation.
As I have shifted my business attention back to my generation in recent weeks, I have again realized how important that shift has been (particularly to me personally). As I have begun to really study the issues related to unemployment and the US economy it is sad to see that the group who have been out of work the longest and who are finding it most difficult to be re-hired are boomers.
Today I want to suggest some business options for boomers. What can we do? How can I take what I know and turn it into a successful business?
For most boomers traditional business options are either cost prohibitive or require way more time than we are ready to dump into a second career. So for us, home office or “coffee shop” office businesses work well. (I am writing this post from one of my convenient “coffee shop locations.”)
Boomers are developing consulting businesses, some are creating hobby based businesses, some are using their teaching skills to become professional speakers, many are considering direct sales/network marketing businesses, and still others are opening Mom and Pop stores.
I have a friend who worked in the grocery industry for over thirty years. When it was time for him to retire and consider a second career, he looked to his love for golf as a source for his new business. He moved from his Washington home to Palm Springs and began to build/repair golf clubs for the seniors that lived in Palm Springs. Running his business from his home (surrounded by retirees who played lots of golf) was the perfect business for him. He loved what he did and his customers loved being able to get things done right next door.
Another boomer is transitioning out of an engineering position into a consulting business for small engineering firms/companies building commercial buildings. It is simpler and more cost effective for these firms to hire him as a consultant than to pay for a full time employee with his skills.
What I am trying to get at is that for the boomer who has a life time of developed skills, the opportunities are really endless. All anyone needs to do is to take the right amount of time to plan, to determine what you want to do/see done, and to make sure that you know how to implement your business plan from the outset.
What do you think? What kinds of “boomer” businesses have you seen started successfully? What advice to you have for someone looking at a second career?