Woman wearing an apron working inside pottery studio.
The added years of career and life experience often prove beneficial to budding entrepreneurs who are starting a business later in life. — Getty Images/PIKSEL

Older entrepreneurs tend to bring more career and life experience to their business ventures than their younger counterparts. However, they may also face some unique challenges on their journey.

This has been especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic: A report by AARP and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that older entrepreneurs (age 45-plus) especially took a significant hit in the first year of the pandemic, particularly in terms of business closures, employee layoffs and revenue loss.

Despite these statistics, older entrepreneurs shouldn’t give up their dreams of launching and running a successful business. From leaning on strengths to embracing change, there are many ways for older entrepreneurs to find success. Here are seven business success tips for older entrepreneurs.

[Read more: How Small Businesses Have Adapted and Survived During COVID-19]

Lean on your strengths and outsource to fill in the gaps

You may not be great at everything, so focus on what you know how to do best and look for people who can help you in areas you are unfamiliar with, whether that’s bookkeeping, IT, HR or another facet of the business. Admitting your weaknesses will keep you from holding yourself back and allow you to build on your strengths, benefiting your business and your professional growth.

Consult a generational expert

It can be exhausting to understand and strategize how to reach different generations and create messaging for each. Hiring a generational expert can be beneficial to understand how to reach target audiences, especially millennial and Gen Z customers. They’ll know the current trends and best places to market products and services.

Take care of yourself and embrace change along the way

With more life experience in your back pocket than younger entrepreneurs, you’re no stranger to embracing change when necessary. As an entrepreneur, it’s important to remain flexible in both life and business to take care of yourself, do what best helps you to pursue your goals and create a happy life along the way.

If you’re hesitant to start a business by yourself at your age, partner with someone younger than you who can bring different skills and perspectives to the table.

Think of the future

Every entrepreneur will have a time when they move on from a project, whether the reason is retiring, loss of interest or something else. Having an exit strategy is an important guidepost that helps inform decisions based on the need to know who will take over when you leave, which can include having necessary documents for attorneys and other professionals, once you’ve decided to part ways with the venture.

Consider your resources

There are many resources available for older entrepreneurs, like the Small Business Resource Center for the 50+, free business counseling and other perks from the SBA, SCORE’s mentorship program and other offerings from niche organizations. Taking advantage of these resources can help you with each step of your business, from launching your brand to growing your team. Additionally, you’ll have access to mentors and a community to lean on should you have questions or concerns along the way.

[Read more: 4 Resources for Older Entrepreneurs]

Tap into your existing network

Because you’ve been working in your field for quite some time, you likely have a wider network of business contacts than younger entrepreneurs. Reach out to your contacts for advice, guidance, collaboration and connections that might help get your business ahead. Networking is a great way to grow your business with support from those who have been in your shoes before or those who simply want to see you succeed.

Consider working with a business partner

If you’re hesitant to start a business by yourself at your age, partner with someone younger than you who can bring different skills and perspectives to the table. By combining both your experiences and strengths, you’ll have an advantage over other businesses in your sector. For instance, perhaps your business partner understands how to leverage new technology to advance your business, while you might have a wider network of resources to help grow your company. Together, you’ll make the ultimate team.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

Follow us on Instagram for more expert tips & business owners’ stories.

To stay on top of all the news impacting your small business, go here for all of our latest small business news and updates.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

A message from
Get the executive coaching you need at a great price.
Personal growth in any leadership position requires hard work and commitment. The coaches at Sharpist can help you find and develop the skills required to lead through times of uncertainty. And with this exclusive offer for CO— readers, you can save hundreds on world-class executive coaching when you sign up before December 31. Learn more and schedule your free demo at the link below.
Sign Up!
Published February 18, 2022