Starting your own business or becoming self-employed in later life is becoming increasingly popular. The number of people aged 65 or over who have started their own business has more than doubled in the past five years.
Becoming self-employed or starting your own business can be an excellent way of using your knowledge and skills to earn extra money to top up your pension or turn a hobby into a way of life. It also allows you to work flexibly, so you can decide when and where to work.
You can choose to work part-time or only during certain times of the year.
You could, for example, set up a cake-making business, a coffee shop or become an English language tutor. You could also use your previous experience and knowledge to become an independent business consultant.
There are lots of opportunities out there – all you need to do is look for them.
LETTING OUT A SPARE ROOM
If you have a spare room you could easily let it out by using Airbnb. This service advertises your accommodation for you, so you can decide the dates and times that you want to let it out. Generally, these lets are very short term, from one night to a couple of weeks, so you’re not committing yourself to becoming a full-time landlord.
CREATING A BUSINESS PLAN
Whatever you decide to do, you will need to create a business plan. This should include an estimate of expected income and expenditure. It will prove invaluable if you need to seek a loan for your start-up costs.
Visit the GOV.UK website for examples of writing business plans. They also have free templates for you to use.
FINANCING YOUR BUSINESS
Consider how much cash you need and where you will get it from. Banks are generally unwilling to lend money if you have a low credit rating, and, in any case, they are more than likely to ask for security to guarantee a return of their cash. This is often in the form of a charge on your home that they can enforce if things go wrong. You need to think very carefully about this before you proceed.
CHECKING TAXES AND BENEFITS
Don’t forget that if you earn any extra money by starting your own business, any benefits you receive may become affected. Be sure to seek advice from the outset.
Contact HMRC for further information.
HOW DO I SET UP A FRANCHISE?
There are many different types of business franchises available. The advantage of purchasing a franchise is that the product or service has already been established, so you will be working from a ready-made business model, thus lowering the risk of failure.
Everyone has heard of franchises such as The Body Shop, McDonald’s and Subway, but buying one of these franchises is expensive and involves lots of very hard work.
You may be better off looking into an opportunity involving education, care, health and fitness or teaching English online.
There are plenty of franchises available, so start by browsing the internet to see what’s available and most suitable for you.
Visit the British Franchise Association website for more information.
In all cases, you will need to take independent legal advice if you’re considering purchasing a franchise.
Rather than thinking of retirement as the end of a phase in your life, be positive and think of it as a new beginning!