Think retirement is too late to start a business? Think again! Age can be a real advantage when it comes to starting and running a business. Launching your own company is a great way to turn your professional and personal experience into a meaningful post-retirement venture. With a lot of hard work and a little luck, you could even make more money than you did when you were an employee! But to succeed in business, you’re going to need some robust marketing skills. Check out the following tips from the Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce to learn how you can market your new business effectively.
Earn a Business Degree
Have you thought about going back to school to enhance your business acumen? Pursuing a degree in business can help you sharpen your marketing and management skills. You’ll learn how to build mutually beneficial relationships with other entrepreneurs, think strategically, and make data-driven marketing decisions. Consider enrolling in an online program so you can continue working on your business while going to school.
Utilize Budget-Friendly Marketing Tools
Especially when your business is just starting out, finding marketing tools that are inexpensive — or better yet, free — to use is a smart move. For instance, a website builder that can be used by those with no coding experience will give your business a web presence so you can start utilizing SEO to get discovered in web searches. As another example, rather than work with a graphic designer, you can get creative with PDFs to create your own marketing materials, such as digital flyers you can post on your website or social media channels. There are all kinds of free tools that you can use to edit, convert, compress, and otherwise enhance these files (this site could be helpful with these tasks), making these a much more cost-effective option than hiring a graphic artist.
Set Up Your Business as an LLC
If you have been running your business as a hobby, now may be the time to make it official. There are several business structures, but the limited liability company (LLC) is the most common for small businesses because it is easy to establish and offers personal asset protection along with tax benefits. Look into what is required to set up an LLC in your state. You can complete the steps yourself or work with a formation company that will take care of things for you.
Identify Your Target Market
Before you begin marketing, you must understand your target market. According to CoSchedule, your target market is your ideal group of customers. Typically, these customers will share a few common characteristics that influence how they make buying decisions. Think about what characteristics your customers have. How old are they? What do they value? How much money do they earn? Based on these characteristics, you should be able to research your target market to learn what types of marketing materials and messages they will respond to best.
Consider a Small Business Loan
There are various costs associated with starting a small business, from acquiring products or supplies to renting a space and paying for marketing materials. If you are able to fund these expenses yourself, that is ideal. But many people require grants or loans to get started. Be aware that most loans will require the lender to run your credit report. If your score is too low, they will see your borrowing as risky and either deny your request or increase your interest rate. Take this factor into consideration as you research where to get your funding.
Learn Social Media Marketing
Social media is a great way to connect with your target market and ensure your business remains relevant in these ever-changing times. Learn a few social media marketing basics, like what to post on social media and how to choose the right social media platforms based on your target audience. SproutSocial offers several fundamental tips to help you get started with social media marketing.
Try Cross-Promotion with Complementary Businesses
One of the best ways to get your new business off the ground is through cross-promotional marketing. Cross-promotional marketing involves partnering with one or more other companies to promote each other’s products. Tangible Words explains that this marketing strategy is effective because it’s an easy and affordable way to reach new audiences who are likely to be interested in your brand. Consider partnering with younger entrepreneurs who are tech-savvy and knowledgeable of the latest marketing trends.
Leverage Your Existing Network
One of the main advantages of running a business in your senior years is the ability to draw on a large network of contacts you’ve built over your career. Before reaching out to people in your network, define your main networking goal. Do you want to land more clients? Find someone to invest in your startup? Or are you searching for a business mentor who can guide you through the many decisions ahead?
Once you’ve defined your goals, connect with contacts who are likely to fit your needs. If you haven’t been in touch in a while, avoid leading with your request or proposal right away. Shoot them an email to reconnect and show interest in their life. Importantly, let them know how you might be able to provide value to them instead of making it all about you and your new business.
Learn New Ways to Promote Your Business
Learning key marketing skills and strategies should be your top priority if you want to start a business post-retirement. Consider going back to school to earn a business degree, learn how to identify and research your target market, and get in touch with your existing professional contacts so you can find people to help you out. Think of marketing as the heart of your business. Give marketing the attention it needs, and your business will thrive!
Join the Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce and get access to exclusive resources that will help you grow your business in our community!