Each year, thousands of ambitious entrepreneurs start new businesses.
But, did you know that Baby Boomers (aged 50-69 years young) represent 53% of new businesses owners each year ? 35% are between 50-59 years old with an additional 18% who are between 60-69 years of age.
There is a case made that those who start businesses later in life have a better chance of reaching success. Studies have shown that if you're over 55 years old, you are twice as likely as your counterparts who are under 35 to launch a high-growth startup. Here are a few reasons you would make a better entrepreneur now than you would have when you were younger.
The most obvious and undeniable benefit of starting a business later in life is the fact that you now have years of life experience. You are schooled in the ways of the world and have a level of business acumen that you didn't have in your 20s. You are more patient and willing to take each step in the startup process one-by-one in order to give your business the best chance at success.
While you may not have hands-on experience in every segment of the business startup process, it is very likely that you understand the importance of things like having a business plan, creating a solid financial plan and conducting thorough market research. And you know who you need to help you with the pieces you can't do yourself.
Many Millennials know they want to start a business of some kind, but they may not know exactly know how to execute their vision. This is because they haven't had enough time to develop an idea of what they are truly passionate about. Richard Branson says that "Passion is one of the most effective motivators when it comes to launching a business—and often one of the strongest predictors of whether an idea will lead to success." Without passion for your work, it's very likely your business idea will fizzle out at some point.
Older entrepreneurs know and understand their passions and purpose. Simply, they know what they enjoy doing and what they don't, and are able to create a new business to reflect this passion.
Proven, Valued Knowledge
Recent years have shown an economic shift from industrial to knowledge-based, which means most of us have the opportunity to continue working well past the traditional retirement age. In fact, age makes us more valuable as professionals because it often means we bring more skills and knowledge to the table. This holds true for entrepreneurs, too. This economic shift will support older entrepreneurs who decide to make a go of it later in life because you can transform your experience into a highly sought-after commodity.
Creating a business when you're young means you will probably be juggling the cost of business ownership along with the rest of life's major investments many of us face: mortgage payments, children's expenses, healthcare, insurance, automobile payments, student loan repayment and retirement savings. While the expenses never really go away, the older you get, the more likely you are to have paid off a significant percentage of the big stuff. This frees up cash to invest in your business. Plus, having fewer financial responsibilities makes the idea of starting a business less risky since theoretically, you will have a lot less to lose if things don't work out.
While young entrepreneurs are often favored by investors because it can be easier for them to get a bigger ownership stake and have more control in the business, it can be argued that older entrepreneurs offer better chances of success because of what they bring to the table. According to Entrepreneur.com, many venture capitalists are looking for older, seasoned and experienced entrepreneurs who have "been there, done that." The best investors are opportunistic, and by backing older and wiser entrepreneurs who have already made mistakes, they are able to make smarter investments.
One of the most important factors of the older entrepreneur in my opinion is self confidence, pure and simple. Life experience and past failures are valuable lessons learned, these failures also create one more big benefit as soon as you can rebound; they boost your self-confidence and motivate you to do better. Many young entrepreneurs have high self-esteem and a certain level of confidence naturally, but much of that comes from pure optimism that their business idea will turn into a hit.
So, if you are getting older and feel like your chance at entrepreneurship is fading away a little bit every year, think again. Now just may be the perfect time to take the plunge and start a small business.
Tony Giudici is a Director of Market Development for Excelerate America, the ultimate resource for modern entrepreneurs and small business owners. Do you have a story to share about starting a business later in life? Share it with Tony at firstname.lastname@example.org.