Contrary to popular belief, and the abundant stories of successful young businessmen and women, entrepreneurship is not limited to young people. There are quite a few successful entrepreneurs that created a successful business between the ages of 40 to 60 years. In 2012, almost 25% of companies formed were led by entrepreneurs aged 55 and older. Moreover, the likelihood of individuals over 55 years of age to launch a high-growth startup is double compared to 35-year-olds. Despite what many believe, there are plenty of good reasons why you can, and should, start a business later in life.
Starting a business later in life is favourable since you have much more experience than that of a 22-year-old fresh out of college. You have the knowledge to pull from and utilize in a new setting. While you may not necessarily have the hands-on experience in every aspect of starting a business, you are more likely to have a thorough understanding of the importance of creating a business plan, a financial plan, and doing your research on the market. You are also probably a bit more patient when it comes to conducting each step in the startup process.
When you start a business later on in life, you are more likely to have paid off a significant portion of the living expenses you started with when you were younger, such as student loan repayment, mortgage payments, childcare expenses, and more. Unlike when you are younger and juggling the cost of business in addition to these significant life expenses, you have a bit more flexibility the older you get since you have less financial responsibility. It can also be more appealing to start a business at this time since there is less risk involved.
When you are first entering the workforce, you are much more limited with your options due to lack of experience, a smaller network, and limited capital. As a more seasoned and financially secure professional, you have more options available to you on the entrepreneurial path. You can still build your business from the ground up if you’d like, but you can also franchise, form partnerships with fellow entrepreneurs and split the workload, costs, and profits, or even become an investor yourself.