While many decry the lack of women at the top of the corporate chain at Fortune 500 companies, there is much to be said about the numerous successful women entrepreneurs who are making their mark.  A few stats from Entrepreneur.com

  • Women own 10.6 million businesses in the U.S.A.
  • They employ 19.1 million workers- one in every seven employees.
  • Their businesses account for $2.5 trillion in sales

For many women starting a business is their only option for financial security and independence. This is especially true for women over 50 who are finding their job prospects tougher than ever in the workforce, or whose jobs are being dissolved. There isn’t a week that goes by when I don’t hear or read about a woman who job has been made redundant

Well, here’s the good news: You are never redundant when you run your own business, and you can start one at any age.  “This article in Financial Times refers to a growing trend toward “olderpreneurs,” as in individuals who are age 50 or older who are starting businesses.

“For anyone considering starting out again, there is one very encouraging statistic. Businesses set up by the over-50s are more likely to still be trading five years later than those established by younger age groups. So the ranks of “olderpreneurs” look likely to swell further in the future.”- Financial Times

Here’s some more good news: Businesses started by people over 50 have a 70% chance of surviving their first five years – compared with only a 28% survival rate for those younger than them. (source: Smarta).

Thinking about starting a company or wondering what you do? Six things to consider:

The seeds of many successful businesses are identifying and filling a need people have and offering a solution or service. Can you solve an everyday problem or challenge people face? 

Know who your prime audience is and understand their personalities, preferences, habits, needs, challenges, desires and what brings them joy. Create a connection of compassion. Focus on giving and not getting.

Create your “Why”- The reason you are creating your business and why your model will provide a better solution/option/service to make a difference. Your mission will be your message.

Think local. How can you serve your community who will, in turn, become your key customers? 

Be authentic with your mission and share your story. Many businesses are started because someone had a very personal experience that made them want to make a difference or take a chance. This resonates with many people.

Do your homework. Become well- versed in your market, your customer and the industry. Study all the companies and services that are potential competition and decide what will set you apart.

A smart business man once told me that there are four types of businesses that lead to succcess. I added a few more (in asterisk). He said ask yourself these questions to find your business mission:

  • Can I make someone feel better?
  • Can I make someone look better?
  • Can I help someone save time or money?
  • Can I help someone make money?
  • Can I help someone build their dream?*
  • Can I provide valuable information to help or inform someone?*
  • Can I teach skills to improve someone’s life?*
  • Can I provide them access to something they do not have?*

Remember, you may think you are starting a business to fill your needs, but to become a real success, focus on providing an action, service or product that fills other peoples’ needs first.