If you plan to start a small retirement business, what qualities should the business have that make it more likely to be successful, profitable and make you happy to go to work each day? Here are 10 that have been proven to work by thousands of successful small business owners:
1. The best retirement business can be home-based.
Operating a small business out of your home can be a real time and money saver. Without a commute, you can be more productive, vehicle operating costs are reduced, and commuting time is less than a minute to your home office or shop. In addition, there is no rent to pay. Startup costs are reduced by working out of your home as well, allowing you to conserve funds for other business expenses.
2. The best retirement business is about something you enjoy.
Almost all successful business owners love what they do. Folks who love pets often start a pet related business, like pet sitting. Book lovers could start an online used book business. The old adage “Do what you love and the money will follow” really is true, so take a serious look at any new business idea to be sure it is work you will enjoy. If you do, you’re almost sure to succeed, both in profits and personal satisfaction.
3. The business is different than the competition.
What can you do to set your business apart from other similar businesses in your area or field. Can you offer more choices to draw customers? A flower grower, for example, can offer larger cut flower bouquets. An errand or courier service can offer extended hours. A window cleaner can offer free screen cleaning, or add-on services such as gutter cleaning, that the competition does not.
4. The business does not require a lot of inventory.
You don’t need to be an Einstein to understand this equation: INVENTORY = OVERHEAD = EXPENSE. Find a business model that does not require a lot of inventory or find ways to reduce inventory costs. An example of that could be setting up a drop-ship arrangement with suppliers or using Amazon to warehouse your inventory. Another option could be providing information products as digital eBooks rather than traditional printed books.
5. The best retirement business is based on human needs rather than wants.
If your business fits this description, you will have a much more stable, recession proof business. Do you supply a product or service, such as food products or errands for home-bound seniors, that is a necessity rather than an option? If you ignore this quality and provide “discretionary” products and services, you may find yourself a victim of any economic downturn in the future.
6. The business has multiple customers, not just a few.
Whatever your choice of business products, aim for a broad customer base instead of just one or a few. That will protect you in case you lose a large customer unexpectedly. A friend whose specialty was writing grant proposals for a large school district lost two thirds of his income when they turned to another provider. Lesson learned: Many customers mean you are in charge, not the customer!
7. The best retirement business has multiple income streams, not just one.
Your local car dealer is a good example, as they get income from service and repair work, not just car sales. A haul-away service can offer foreclosure cleanups in addition to routine junk hauling. A senior errand runner can offer personal shopping and pet sitters can offer house sitting or dog walking services. Your imagination is the only limit here.
8. Customers pay for the products or services immediately.
There is nothing quite like approaching the end of the month with a stack of bills to pay and nothing but another stack of accounts receivable to offset them! Find a small business that offers immediate cash. Service businesses are especially good – examples include senior service businesses like errand running, window cleaning, yard maintenance, pet sitting or handyman services.
If you sell a product, try to structure the business in such a way that you get paid when you deliver the product. Selling on Ebay or at a Saturday market are good examples of this. A friend who sells potted herbs at the farmer’s market takes only cash. Her herbs sell for around $6, and a $1,000 cash-in-hand Saturday is commonplace. Her pet peeve: Those customers who spend $6 and hand her a $100 bill.
9. The business has low start-up costs.
Most of us don’t qualify for a government grant or have a rich uncle. That’s why it is important to make sure that any business that you are considering affordable start-up costs. Don’t make the mistake of signing up for an expensive franchise and saddle yourself with high monthly payments you may have trouble repaying while you’re growing the business
10. The business does not depend too much on employees.
Finding good employees and keeping them happy and productive is one of the biggest challenges facing small business owners. Instead, think about keeping your business small enough so you can handle it all yourself. The time you won’t have to devote to managerial and administrative overhead will be yours to do with as you please, so enjoy those extra hours doing something you love!
A small retirement business does not have to have all the qualities listed to succeed. The more desirable qualities a small business has, the more likely it is to be a satisfying, profitable and long-lasting business for you. Browse around this website to find your perfect retirement business.