There’s no denying that a business-savvy adult might know more about keeping a company afloat than their younger counterparts. A survey of 138,000 small businesses with less than 500 employees revealed that the third of these companies owned by people older than 55 stick around longer than other businesses. Older adults aged over 55 have 17 “cash buffer days”, five more than businesses held by younger adults and four more than those aged between 35 to 54.
Age as an Asset
Being older does not necessarily mean getting slower. Older adults can use their age to further their company’s fortunes. About 24 percent of new entrepreneurs by 2016 are aged 55 and up. About 16 percent of self-employed Americans are also aged 65 and up.
Starting a business of their own is a necessity for older professionals. That means their accumulated experience becomes an investment—for themselves and the people who will avail of their services and products. By their age, professionals have already accumulated a vast network of contacts and accrued business experience. Furthermore, their expertise makes older adults better mentors.
Digital marketing is unique for each demographic. Older people are no exception. Traditional methods like newspaper advertisements and direct mail are still popular options. However, as more adults become online natives, digital marketers are creating unique digital strategies for this market.
Statistics show that 42 percent of people aged 65 are on the internet daily, while 40 percent of these people used e-commerce at least once in their life. Digital marketers are making use of this fact through search engine optimization, ease of use for website interfaces, and targeted pay per click campaigns.
Search engine optimization caters to the tendency of older persons to use blunter search terms. Making websites easier to use convinces older adults to stay on the site longer. PPC campaigns take advantage of a business owner’s knowledge of their customer’s digital habits.
Business Intelligence Tools
Business intelligence tools are a huge boon for startups and bigger businesses. These tools help businesses make sense of the data they’re receiving through analytic tools. Information gathered from these tools help businesses predict future trends, adjust current strategies, and study past successes. Cloud-based business intelligence tools don’t require installation and are more affordable options for smaller enterprises.
Aside from subscribing to a cloud-based service, businesses may also acquire data from other sources. Transactional data can be derived from Enterprise Resource Planning systems. Customer Relationship Management and e-commerce are also viable sources of data.
The Right Business Idea for Seniors
The business strategy you used in the ’80s or ’90s to expand an older business may not work now. Older business owners have to adapt their knowledge to tools and business trends of today. Entering the right business can spell their venture’s success in their later years.
Catering to the needs of their fellow retirees can pay dividends in the end. Related to this are in-house care for older adults without special health needs, gardening and lawn care, pet and house sitting, house cleaning, concierge and esthetic services.
On the flipside, age is not an immediate advantage for business owners. Truly successful older entrepreneurs use their experience efficiently. They become more receptive and not resistant to new business models. Stubbornness ruins business opportunities for young and old entrepreneurs. Open-minded, firm-handed older entrepreneurs can run their businesses well after retirement.