Starting A Business After Retirement [Dos and Don’ts]

Starting a business after retirement is becoming more common among retirees seeking supplemental income or wishing to remain active. If you’re nearing retirement, then it’s worth considering whether or not you should start your own business. If you decide to pursue business ownership, then franchising is a great option for retirees as there are several franchise options that would support a retiree’s lifestyle. 

If you are actively looking for a franchise that will be a good fit for you, then here is a helpful list of dos and don’ts you should consider. 

5 Things to Do When Buying a Franchise as a Retiree

#1 – Research & Plan Extensively 

This step is true for any business owner starting out, and it’s key to entrepreneurial success. A few components of the research and planning process include: 

  • Identify market gaps and opportunities – Taking advantage of market gaps can lead to higher profitability and long-term success as businesses meet untapped demand or create demand for new offerings. If you are buying a franchise, then the franchisor will certainly provide valuable information and guidance to help you do this. 
  • Create a comprehensive business plan – A business plan outlines the goals, strategies, and operational plans of a business. It serves as a benchmark for measuring progress and identifies areas that need adjustment. 
  • Consider taking on a business partner – Partnering with younger entrepreneurs can provide unique advantages such as: adaptability, tech savviness, willingness to take risks, energy and resilience, creativity, and networking abilities. In return, as an older entrepreneur, you would offer invaluable experience and insight. 

#2- Leverage Your Experience & Skills

Instead of learning a new trade or skill from scratch, you’ll have a head start if you can transfer your skills and experience from previous careers. By capitalizing on your extensive understanding of the industry and leveraging the networks you’ve spent years creating, you can set yourself up for success as a retiree starting a new business. 

#3 – Start Small & Scale Gradually 

Oftentimes, retirees feel like they’re in a time crunch to make things work because they’re late to the entrepreneurial game. However, even when starting a business late in life, it’s still important to take things at a reasonable pace. A couple of ways to do this include: 

  • Avoid an overcommitment of resources – While you will know generally what to expect in terms of fees and start-up costs for a franchise location, it’s important to choose a franchise that works well with your financial abilities. It might take some time before your business is financially profitable, so you should take that into consideration when evaluating what you can afford. 
  • Test the business idea before full-scale implementation – You’ll set yourself up for success if you can validate your business idea before you invest a significant amount of time and resources. Fortunately, anyone who buys a franchise is adopting a business model that’s already been proven to succeed.  

#4 – Seek Mentorship & Guidance

While retirees often come with valuable knowledge and extensive experience, it’s still important to continue to learn. A few ways to start this process include: 

  • Joining local or online entrepreneurial communities
  • Attending networking events and workshops
  • Utilizing professional platforms (i.e. LinkedIn, Meetup) 
  • Joining business mentorship programs

Retirees should be willing to tap into entrepreneurial networks and learn from experienced and successful business owners.  

#5 – Prioritize Work-Life Balance

Most retirees won’t want to run themselves into the ground as a business owner. As a franchisee, it is definitely possible to have a good work-life balance if you choose the right opportunity. A few things to focus on include: 

  • Creating a flexible schedule 
  • Setting realistic expectations 
  • Allocating time for personal interests and family 

In prioritizing work-life balance, retirees can ensure that their entrepreneurial journey enhances their quality of life, allowing them to enjoy both professional fulfillment and personal well-being.

What NOT to Do When Buying a Franchise as a Retiree 

#1 – Rush Into Decisions

Whether you’re starting a business from scratch or buying a franchise location, it’s important not to make impulsive investments. Rather, retirees should take time to thoroughly evaluate their opportunities so that they can find a franchise that fits their lifestyle and sets them up for success. 

#2 – Underestimate Financial Needs

As already mentioned, it can take some time before a franchise location is financially profitable. Not only do you need to budget for the initial startup costs, but you should plan for ongoing expenses and having a reliable cash flow. You might enjoy the day-to-day of running a franchise, but if the necessary finances aren’t there, then the business won’t make it in the end. 

#3 – Neglect Legal & Regulatory Aspects 

Consulting with legal and financial professionals will set you up for success in the following ways: 

  • Helps you evaluate your financial capabilities 
  • Provides a clear understanding of all the legal documents before you sign the franchise agreement 
  • Ensures compliance with local laws and regulations 

Prioritizing consultation with legal and financial professionals allows retirees to navigate the complexities of entrepreneurship confidently, ensuring both financial stability and legal compliance.

#4 – Overlook Technology & Digital Presence

Taking advantage of technology and the digital space might be more difficult for retirees, but that doesn’t take away from its importance. In fact, having a strong digital presence is key to creating a franchise marketing plan. Additionally, various online tools and platforms provide the crucial data that helps business owners adapt to changing consumer preferences and behaviors. 

#5 – Ignore Health & Insurance Considerations

As an older entrepreneur, retirees shouldn’t forsake having adequate health insurance coverage or planning for retirement savings and contingencies. For a retiree, owning a franchise business should be an opportunity for pursuing financial security, not significant risk-taking. 

Are You Retired and Looking to Buy a Franchise?

If you are retired or nearing retirement, and you think franchise ownership is the next step for you, then FranNet can help. Our expert franchise consultants will evaluate your specific goals and abilities and find a franchise that fits. We will make sure to guide you through the process from start to finish and answer any questions you might have. Schedule your free consultation today to get started! 

Apr 29, 2024