With increased longevity, an active lifestyle, and a ‘new’ view on retirement many mature people look for different ventures in which to engage.
Mature age people have experience, wisdom and networks, but nevertheless, starting a business can be challenging.
With this in mind, Hunter Leonard’s book: ‘Generation Experience: 8 steps to mature age business success’ is a handy guide for those wishing to start a business.
In fact, it is an Amazon best seller.
Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Multi-Award Winning Business Owner: Hunter is the founder of Silver and Wise, a company that helps mature aged people start and run their first business.
He’s also the Founder and CEO of Blue Frog Marketing.
Hunter also fights ageism.
I asked Hunter about ‘Generation Experience’.
Why did you write Generation Experience?
I wanted to share our tips for starting a business. Because of discrimination, a lot of 40 and 50+ year olds are starting their own businesses but have never done so before, so they have lots of questions about starting a business and being successful.
We had surveyed ten thousand business owners to create our tools and resources and a book is a great way to make this available to lots of people cost effectively.
Are the skills older people need when start different to someone younger?
I don’t believe so, as the skills to be a successful business owner are universal. However, I feel it is even more important for a mature person to get it right first time, because they do have less time to be successful and can’t afford failure as much.
What do you think are the major challenges (and benefits) for older people starting a business?
The challenges are the same all business owners face. Finding a service or product that someone will value enough to pay you to provide it to them.
And that allows you to make enough of a profit to satisfy your financial needs. Key challenges that all business owners face is understanding their customers, the market and their competition and doing enough work to know if their idea is viable enough. Most people don’t do enough research of their idea and enough planning to maximise their chance of success.
What are some examples of people you know who have started a business in later life?
One of our founding advisors started as a business coach in his mid 60’s and is being very successful.
Another friend started a business helping business owners with finances and cashflow in her 40’s and is also going very well.
An individual I interviewed started a product business in her 50’s when she couldn’t find a natural product for her son. This product has done very well.
Any tips for those thinking of starting a business later in life?
*Talk to lots of potential customers until you know the idea is viable.
*Deliver on your promises when you do start the business.
*Understand the market you are going to operate in, who else is providing similar services, how do you compare.
*Don’t spend money on anything that isn’t absolutely essential to delivering your product or service until you start making revenue, as too many people spend too much money on ’things’ they don’t need too early.
What’s your view of ‘retirement’?
With people living longer and longer, I feel the old idea of retirement at age 65 or 66 is going by the wayside.
Seniors are now wanting to stay engaged in their community in work, or volunteering or other activities for longer.
Sometimes because they can’t afford a long 30 year retirement, and sometimes because they just don’t want to sit around with nothing to do, or no one to help.
There is not one size fits all retirement now, and we have to cater for the individual ways people live their older years.
And if people want to work longer, help them do that.
And stay tuned for Hunter’s next book: The Experience Equation’
Have a look at Hunter’s websites