The prerequisite for becoming a successful entrepreneur is not that you need to start your business while at university, working out of your parent’s garage (as many a popularised story has begun). If that was the case, for many of us that ship would have sailed a long time ago.
According to the Kauffman 2018 National Report on Early-Stage Entrepreneurship, just over half of the new entrepreneurs were in the 45-64 age bracket, with a further 24% in the 35-44 age bracket.
A 2018 study on “Age and High-Growth Entrepreneurship” found that the most successful entrepreneurs tend to be middle-aged. When looking at the fastest growing new ventures, the average age of the founders was 45 years old. The research also indicated that a 50-year-old founder was 1.8 times more likely to achieve success than a 30-year-old founder.
So why is it that older individuals have a better chance of success?
You know yourself better
The longer you spend being you, the better you get to know yourself. You probably know exactly what you like to do and just as importantly what you don’t like to do. This is very helpful in deciding what business to start, as it’s important to do something you are entirely passionate about.
You may have dabbled here and there, and experimented with different careers, so you have a good idea of what’s out there and where your business could potentially find a niche.
The school of hard knocks has taught you a thing or two, and your life experience has made you wiser. Like wine, we get better with age, or at least more mature and better able to handle obstacles we may face along the way.
You will have the staying power to see things through, and not give up at the first sign of trouble. Your problem-solving skills have developed and improved from facing many different people and situations.
With your experience comes confidence because you know what you are talking about. Investors may see more experienced entrepreneurs as a better bet in terms of their chances of success. Attracting funding is a big deal unless you have accumulated what you need to be self-funded.
The knowledge you have gained while on the job is a goldmine, as every single scenario you deal with adds to your vault. When studying for a profession it is only head knowledge, until you enter the real world and find out that some things can’t be taught from a book. You develop intuition and soft skills like communication and problem solving.
You will have the opportunity to pass on your knowledge and skills to the people you bring onboard to work with you to grow your business.
The longer you’re on earth, the more people you get to meet. You have built up a trusted list of contacts that has taken time to hone. You also have “banished” contacts which include suppliers who have let you down and possibly even clients you have fired (by now you’ve learnt that not all clients are good clients and you don’t have to accept all and sundry).
You understand the importance of networking and use every opportunity to expand yours. LinkedIn is your social media platform of choice and you know how to use it. When you need help with something, you know who to call, or you know the person who knows who to call.
A network is invaluable in every business context and having experts in your corner is a huge plus in the fight for victory aka business success. Collaborating with like-minded or allied business owners will give your business added exposure and reach.
Your financial position
You have had time to build up your financial reserves and you have invested wisely. The expenses of raising children are high and by now the major costs have been covered. Your house may already be paid off and your overall expenses are manageable.
It’s possible you have saved enough to start your business without outside funding which means the business will belong entirely to you.
Your wider choice of options
Given all of the above, you have many options to consider in terms of what kind of business you want to start. The more you have been exposed to, the more you know what the opportunities are. You could partner with other entrepreneurs, buy a franchise, or start something from scratch – the world is your oyster.
If you’ve always wanted to start your own business, now is the time. Don’t let your age or any other obstacle stop you. You have something the world needs, but they won’t know they need it until you get out there and tell them!
At FutureNow Finance, we can help you by understanding your commercial aspirations and identifying a finance solution to meet your needs. Contact us today if you’d like to discuss your options. Call 1300 013 730 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you know of anyone who needs finance to start-up a new business, please share our details with them. We are excited to play a part in helping small businesses thrive in Australia!