17 Great Business Ideas as a Second Career


second career (1)

As the Baby Boomer generation reaches retirement age, some may be interested in starting a second career as business owners. There are plenty of entrepreneurial opportunities out there for people looking to start a business as a second career. Below are some ideas for businesses you can start after retirement.

Second Career Business Ideas

Open a Restaurant Franchise

Since baby boomers tend to have a bit more money than younger entrepreneurs, franchise ownership can be an attractive option. While there is some up front cost involved to buy into a popular franchise, the process can be easier than building a business from the ground up. So you can save time early on in your business journey and focus right away on building profits.

Offer Consulting Services

Throughout your first career, you very well may have developed some skills or knowledge that could help others just getting started in your field. In those cases, a consulting business may be the right fit for you. For example, if you spent most of your career working in marketing for another company, you can now begin to offer marketing consulting services to others. This allows you to share all of the knowledge you’ve gleaned through the years, while still maintaining the flexibility of working for yourself and on your own schedule.

Become a Dog Breeder

If you have some space at home and a love of dogs, you might consider a second career as a dog breeder. It takes a lot of work to care for animals, along with some training or licensing depending on your location. But if you enjoy working with dogs and have a lot of knowledge about the care involved, you can run this type of business right from your home.

Sell Items on eBay

Whether you’ve collected a lot of items through the years or just enjoy the process of buying and selling, you can make a career of selling items on eBay or similar websites. Collectibles, antiques and plenty more categories are popular on eBay. So they can command pretty high prices. You can either sell the items that you already own, or scour flea markets and antique stores for items that you could sell for higher prices later on.

Become a Professional Speaker

You’ve likely gained some expertise in your area of work over the course of your first career. And you can share all of that knowledge or even inspiration to others as a professional speaker. Plenty of businesses and organizations hire speakers for various events. It could even be a great way to travel to different places during retirement.

Write eBooks

This is another way you can potentially share the knowledge you’ve gained through the years. If you have expertise on any topic that people are interested in, you can write a book (or books) and fairly easily self publish on platforms like Amazon. You can even find tools and publishers to get hard copies of your book to sell in various venues.

Offer Music Lessons

If you have any musical expertise, whether it’s playing an instrument or using your voice, you may be able to make a second career out of offering music lessons. If you have the space and equipment, this is even something you can do out of your home. And since you’re the business owner in charge, you can schedule as many or as few lessons per week as you’d like.

Sell Handmade Items

Handmade businesses have grown in popularity in recent years. For those who are looking to start businesses later in life, a handmade business can be a great option since it doesn’t take much time to get one off the ground. You mainly just need a product to sell. Then you can use online platforms like Etsy, sell your items at craft fairs or flea markets or even sell them wholesale to local retailers.

Plan Events

Event planning can also be a fun career for people of any age. If you enjoy organizing and reaching out to different vendors and working with clients, event planning is a business you can start pretty much right away. It can be a particularly good choice if you’ve built up a sizeable network of people from local venues, vendors and potential clients over the course of your first career.

Offer Golf Coaching Services

Golfing is a hugely popular retirement activity. So if it’s something you enjoy, and are relatively good at, why not start a business to share your skills and expertise with others? You can reach out to local courses and pro shops to make yourself known and offer your services to relevant customers.

Decorate Homes for Clients

Golfing is a hugely popular retirement activity. So if it’s something you enjoy, and are relatively good at, why not start a business to share your skills and expertise with others? You can reach out to local courses and pro shops to make yourself known and offer your services to relevant customers.

Manage Rental Properties

This is another option for aspiring entrepreneurs who have access to a pretty sizeable amount of capital up front. You can invest in some homes or rental properties and then find tenants and manage the properties as a business. This may require some knowledge about repairs or property law. Or you could always hire professionals to take care of those aspects for you.

Open a Bed and Breakfast

If you don’t feel like managing multiple properties, you can also consider running a bed and breakfast out of your home. This requires some licensing. But the main things you need are just a spaces for guests and some basic hospitality and cooking skills.

Become an Investor

If you have some capital and resources but don’t necessarily want to start an entire business from the ground up, you might consider becoming an investor in other businesses. You can start a fund or venture firm with any funds you’ve saved through the years. You might even consider partnering with other contacts you’ve made through the years to offer even more investment opportunities to the next generation.

Alter Clothing

If you know how to sew and perform other basic alteration tasks, you can start a business offering alteration services out of your home. This doesn’t require much to get started, so it’s perfect for entrepreneurs who have this skill set and are looking for a second career as a business owner. In addition, you can control how much work you take on and even do the majority of the work out of your home easily.

Offer Landscaping Services

For those who enjoy working outside, landscaping might be a second career business opportunity to consider. You’ll likely need to purchase some equipment up front. But you can offer a variety of different services ranging from basic lawn maintenance to gardening and even really intricate landscaping design.

Open a Farm Stand

And for those aspiring entrepreneurs who enjoy growing or making their own food, opening a farm stand is a quick and easy option for a second career. You can sell your food items at local farmers markets or even your own roadside stand.

Solopreneur Top Photo via Shutterstock

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Annie Pilon - Staff Writer


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

4 Reactions

  1. The “Decorate Homes for Clients” paragraph is missing (has the golf one instead)

    Feel free to delete this comment once fixed.

  2. Becoming a dog breeder is not a great business, nor is it an ethical and meaningful business. There are millions of dogs put down every year due to overpopulation. Dog breeders, as a business turn into puppy mills with Humane Society and police raiding them because of the undue hardship on animals. Shame on you for promoting this as a business!

  3. Become an expert. I think it is one of the greatest ways to cash in on your own potential. Find something that you can pour your heart into and be an expert in that area and then share your expertise.

  4. Some great ideas I have decided on becoming a full time small business marketing consultant. Thanks again.

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