Starting your business over 50

Brian D. Jones is the author of the bestseller, “Over 50? Start Your Business! Build Wealth. Control Your Destiny. Leave A Legacy.” In an interview with JumpStart Magazine, he talks about his three foundations for success and sets out five steps for the mature entrepreneur to follow in setting up a business.

© 2015 All Rights Reserved, Charles DiLisio

© 2015 All Rights Reserved, Charles DiLisio

What do Estée Lauder, Ferdinand Porsche, and Kawasaki Shozo have in common? They were each over 50 when they started the global business named for them. In fact, founders over 50 are the fastest growing segment of new company founders. And surveys have also shown that companies with founders over 50 enjoy a higher success rate.

A combination of factors, including the Connected Economy and falling business development costs, make it possible for anyone to create their dream business. This opportunity is especially important for those over 50. Increased longevity, retirement worries, and an uncertain future for older workers all combine to spur those over 50 to create their dream business. The question is how to get started.

The three Foundations for Success

Mindset: Business success over 50 requires a new mindset. Most important is that a Success Mindset is a mindset of service.

Health: You must make health a priority to have business success at any age, but especially when over 50.

Habits: New research has debunked the old saying that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. Positive habits can be developed at any age. It just takes hard work and consistency.

The five Steps to Starting Your Business

With mindset, health, and habits in place as a foundation, success in starting a business over 50 can be achieved by taking the following five steps.

over50Step 1: Your Dream Business

It’s no longer either a choice between following your dreams or pursuing other opportunities. Your dreams can be your opportunity. Brainstorm first to cast a wide net of possibilities. Then narrow it down to the best few. Evaluate these to find the business that’s perfect for you.

Step 2: Meet Your Customer

A successful business is a business that best serves its customers. This process starts by identifying your ideal customer. Develop a customer avatar. Understand and articulate everything you can about your potential customer. Then you will be in a perfect position to serve that customer.

Step 3: How You Will Serve

Businesses in the past would create what they considered great products and services, and then hope customers would buy. Today things are different. Listen to customers. Interact with customers. Let them tell you what they want and need. Don’t guess. Give them what they want.

Step 4: Critical Issues to Consider

There are only so many hours in the day. How do you decide where to focus? You must keep your fingers on the pulse of every issue that faces the customer. The lessons learned make this too valuable to outsource. Any issue that doesn’t face the customer is a candidate for outsourcing.

Step 5: Your 90-Day Action Plan

Bring your business to life by creating and implementing your first 90-day action plan. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Your plan needs to include a series of SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and Timely. Make sure your goals also include building positive habits, especially in the areas of mindset and health.

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