Starting a Business at Age 50+

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Mark Miller, one of our contributing experts here who covers Baby Boomer entrepreneurship, produced a video interview you should catch.  He interviews Jeff Williams, founder of BizStarters, which helps entrepreneurs age 50 and over start businesses.

Mark also launched a new website about active working retirement, called Retirement Revised.  We’ll be bringing you another column from Mark that will be posted here as soon as I input it, double check hyperlinks, etc.  Until then, I thought you might enjoy the video.

The interview gives five tips for starting a business after you’ve left the corporate world.  All five of the tips are highly practical and good advice not only to 50+ entrepreneurs, but to anyone considering self-employment.


Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.

10 Reactions
  1. Technology is crucial in becoming an entrepreneur. Lagging behind in technology will make your business very frustrating and hard to compete. Those are great 5 tips for any person that wants to start becoming an entrepreneur.

  2. On reading your post it reminded me that there was a very recent mention on the James D. Brausch blog regarding a “handicapped retired grandpa” who has just signed up to learn internet marketing. The exact post is at if you want to read it

    Best wishes


  3. It was a nice and laid back interview. I look forward to read the Retirement Revised column.

  4. Five very good tips. Pointing out the need for researching health insurance is a good key tip that could easily be overlooked.

    Marketing Deviant: It definitely would become impossible to compete and expand a business without knowledge about technology.

  5. Would you say that an American 50+ is more tech savvy than a person in Europe?

    All the Best,

    Martin Lindeskog – American in Spirit.
    Gothenburg, Sweden.

  6. Martin, I don’t know whether I’d say that an American of that age is more tech savvy than Europeans. For instance, from my days in the 1990s working in the U.K. (including a couple of business trips to Gothenberg) I’d say Brits and Europeans were way ahead of Americans when it came to some areas, such as mobile phone usage. Since then we Americans have tended to catch up when it comes to phones, but not so back then.

    Also, let’s not paint all Baby Boomers as being tech neanderthals. While twenty-somethings may have grown up using computers from their pre-teen years, someone 45-60 may have been using computers and databases and sophisticated software for 20-30 years — longer than that 20-year old has been using tech.

    For instance, I implemented a computer network in my company’s department, replete with optical character reader scanners, and modems for remote connection to mainframes, in the late 1980s. Even though I’m a Baby Boomer, I have more actual years’ experience applying technology in business than someone half my age.

    Age cuts 2 ways. 🙂 Age often equals experience — not ignorance — when it comes to tech.


  7. Great advice for the 50+ crowd given the current employment and economic conditions. So many people are being laid off late in their careers with nowhere to go. I was a victim of the dot com crash watching my 20+ year high tech career disappear almost overnight. I was forced to reinvent myself in my late 40’s because the high tech industry wasn’t interested in a former middle manager with a family that wasn’t available to work 80 hours a week. I was highly successful for over 20 years but nobody was willing to hire me because of my age.

    I used all 5 of Mark’s tips to start my own consulting business which has really taken off. It was a blessing in disguise being laid off and I would never to back to the corporate world. I have flexibility in my schedule, I have no boss, and I feel so free. It was very difficult and scary at first but once I got over the anger of being laid off and unwanted, I began to thrive. I highly recommend this lifestyle to everyone.

  8. Anita: You have to tell me about your trips to Gothenburg (Göteborg in Swedish). I agree with you that age cuts 2 ways. I am soon 40 and I have been playing around with home computer, Bulletin Board System, Lynx text web browser, etc. We had a course in small business education called General Data “Treatment” with a teacher who had worked with punch cards.

    I see computers and other tech instruments as tools for your “workflow”. It could be that a gap occurred between my parents’ generation (age 60 – 70) and the development of information technology. My father has stated the valid question: Why should I need to use a computer and the internet? He has plenty of accurate dictionaries and he knows how to use a typewriter. My parents didn’t have a use for installing a new system at the end of their active careers. so they didn’t have the opportunity to learn how to use computers. I have teached them some stuff, after asking them relevant questions on that they want to find on the internet.

    OK, I could go on, but it is best that I stop babbling… 😉

    All the Best,


  9. Hi, all – just returned to the site and saw all your interesting comments on my video. Just wanted to add my own comment to the thread here on technology. I certainly agree with Anita that not all boomers are tech Neanderthals. If anything, most have been the most avid adopters (if not inventors) of all manner of digital technology and saw these tools come on the scene during their professional lives. I’m convinced that, as more boomers move into the 50+ and 60+ age bracket, we’ll see a big change in the comfort level with technology in the “silver market.” Jeff Williams, who I interview in this video, is just saying – if you weren’t up to speed before get there before you launch your own business.

  10. Great 5 tips here. I agree investing in good marketing before investing in a lot equipment is great advice.