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Laid off or downsized or just looking for a change in our troubled economy — entrepreneurship may be just what you need to craft your dream job. And whether due to the midlife doldrums or a career that let you down, lots of folks see an opportunity to find new meaning in their work.
About 35 percent of all new businesses in 2013 were started by people over the age of 50, according to a recent study by the Kauffman Foundation and LegalZoom. The subject of the midlife entrepreneur was even the subject of a recent U.S. Senate hearing titled, “In Search of a Second Act: The Challenges and Advantages of Senior Entrepreneurship.”
According to testimony before the committee, entrepreneurs between the ages of 55 and 64 are starting businesses at a faster rate than people in their 20's and 30's.
But the news is hardly surprising since everyone knows 60 is the new 40, and extensive life and business experience can pay big dividends in business.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a background in your new business. A franchise may be just the ticket to your second career — and, before you hesitate, that doesn’t mean fast food. In fact, there are lots of franchise opportunities in service businesses, where you can find ways to make a real difference in people’s lives and use the skills you developed in your first careers.
The International Franchise Association projects business and commercial and residential services to be the fastest growing sectors of the franchise business next year. So, if you’re interested in helping people get control over an aspect of their personal or professional lives, there may be no better time to start your next stage.
The advantage of franchises is they offer ready made systems tested over many years for running a business, plus training and ongoing support. And while the world of franchising is huge — 75 industries are represented — a franchise coach can help you get started with your research.
Opportunities in the growing service sector include:
As Baby Boomers age, opportunities abound. The greatest need is for home health aides to help seniors stay safe and healthy throughout the day in their own homes.
Health and Wellness
You might start a business to help fit people with hearing aids or get fit with an exercise program. A range of possibilities include franchises for massage therapy or urgent medical care, as well as fitness for seniors and baby boomers.
Home Modifications for Handicap Access
Lots of opportunities exist to help people renovate their homes to be accessible to older or disabled folks.
You might want to devote your working life to help augment educational opportunities by going into the tutoring business. Lots of businesses are thriving in this area, including Above Grade Level, which sells in-home tutoring services.
This business fills a critical need to help people cope with the awful after-effects of a natural disaster, be it a tornado or flood or even a burst pipe. When people don’t know where to turn after experiencing severe damage to their homes, they can turn to companies like ServPro.
In this growing area of our economy, you can be a part of the green revolution, by not only by helping people to reduce pollution but by cutting their energy costs, as well.
Whichever business you choose to enter, topmost in your mind should be your specific personal goals, whether that’s work-life balance or maximizing earnings. Either way, you can find what you’re looking for in the world of franchising.
Dan Citrenbaum is a franchise coach and consultant to entrepreneurs, who helps people achieve their dreams as small business owners. He has a proven track record helping people select and buy a franchise or existing business. Contact Dan at or at (215) 367-5349 and view his company website at .
© Dan Citrenbaum 2014