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Older entrepreneurs ought to embrace the do business from home

9, 2020

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The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur's contributors are their own.

Rick Terrien is the author of Ageless Startup: Start a business of any age through Entrepreneur Press. Buy it now on Amazon Barnes & Noble | IndieBound.

The pandemic affects all of us, especially older workers, with a hand full of dangers and opportunities. Don't waste crisis. If you have the opportunity to start your own small business, you can change the world from your home office.

Most people simply see the same work in it from another location, while others see it as a new way of working for themselves. Regardless of your perspective, setting up a remote home office is the first step in creating a network of like-minded professionals in similar circumstances.

Anyone can take advantage of this fundamental change in remote working opportunities to start new small businesses that they control and whose values ​​represent their interests in communities or markets for which they are passionate. And it can create a particularly significant economic opportunity for people who explore entrepreneurship in the second half of their lives. In a post-pandemic world, nobody cares about deception. Nobody has to be impressed by complex commercial settings. The world needs competence, problem solving and sustainable solutions.

Small groups of independent entrepreneurs working geographically apart can come together to address important social and commercial issues quickly and effectively. But how does this collaborative model work when you work from home?

Related topics: Laying the foundation stone for your timeless startup

Create an LLC

First of all, you need to professionalize your service or product offering by founding a limited liability company (LLC) that houses your business. While this is not technically necessary, it applies to most of the other professionals you want to deal with. Starting an LLC costs a few hundred dollars, but it's the best money you can spend on getting started.

With LLCs you can also publish the public "rules" for your company. Anyone you sell to or want to work with can see in your LLC structure what's behind your offering and how the company behaves in different circumstances. LLC status allows you to set up separate banking and accounting channels to prevent the water from getting mixed up between personal and business finances.

There are other, more complicated business units available, e.g. B. S-Corporations, C-Corporations, partnerships, etc. If these are worth considering based on your personal circumstances, seek legal advice before taking any action. While all of these may work, for the majority of us, LLC is the minimal and usually the most appropriate strategy for companies to professionalize their work.

A new collaborative model

I personally took the initiative to start a new non-profit organization with the aim of promoting peer-to-peer collaboration between independent entrepreneurs who work at a distance from each other. The ultimate goal is to promote common ground and new business opportunities. The efforts called "The Center for Timeless Entrepreneurs" (CAE) will be carried out online and will start this summer. They offer free training information and paid network services for those who are involved in entrepreneurship in the second half of their lives.

In the past, I often wished there were such forums. A typical example is the current startup, which I have helped launch in recent years. Three small independent companies – from three different locations – came together to solve a problem that a community was facing. A regional utility company based in Pittsburgh convened the discussion and our three small businesses came together to resolve these issues. In a short time we founded a new organization (Food21), outlined its mission, values ​​and goals and implemented the steps that are now setting standards for the reconstruction of regional food systems in order to become more resilient and sustainable.

In this case, the three entrepreneurs had worked together in the past and knew the ethics and character of the people we connected with. The center for timeless entrepreneurs will scale this review process with the aim of founding and networking thousands of new entrepreneurs in the second half of life.

The Food21 model is an excellent example of a deliberate startup where centers like the CAE can make it easier to get started. Problems are identified; An organizer brings together professional small businesses with the necessary skills. Suggestions are made; and solutions are launched. Deliberate startups are here to stay, and a platform to certify participants and thrive these types of solutions will be critical to their success.

This is not for everyone. Many older entrepreneurs may want to put themselves in their own niche and fly their flag there. Many of us – especially those of us who work from home – can use this CAE model (and that is exactly a model, and everyone can and should incubate similar platforms for their industry) as a strategic advantage for the growth of their businesses . Individuals don't have to have all the answers. When projects emerge, they can use these digital platforms to find other like-minded entrepreneurs to bid on projects that are dear to everyone, bringing in specific expertise that is required to complement other members of the group.

The scaling performance of peer-to-peer networks

You can use this type of professional network service – however you access it – to meet and greet new colleagues, reach new customers, and find advisors you may need to support you and your work. If you become more involved in these networks, you will become more economical and sustainable. At least you get access to new ideas, new tools and, above all, new and upcoming work for your new company.

Employers can use these centers to help older workers make the transition to self-employment. This could be an ideal way to retain key talent in the industry and give workers good opportunities to incorporate more independence and control into their late career options. In the post-pandemic world where new models will be required, industries and communities can use these centers to maintain and expand key markets that could otherwise be lost through layoffs, layoffs, and forced retirement.

The world will continue to rely on global supply chains after the end of the current crisis, but there is now a clear consensus that supply chains must also be resilient locally. We need the skills, knowledge and networks that represent older workers, and we can create tools and platforms that help them succeed as independent entrepreneurs. They work remotely and effectively to bring about the changes the world needs.

Related: Starting a business that people need

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