Setting Up On Your Own In Your 40s - It's Never Too Late To Go For It

There comes the point where everyone says to themselves, “I wish I could be my own boss.” So why can’t you? If you think that setting up a business is a young person’s game, then think again. Starting up on your own is easier than ever, and you’ll find all sorts of help online, from friends and even the government. Whether or not you think it’s too late, it’s worth exploring the options and giving yourself the opportunity to change careers or work for yourself and enjoy the job satisfaction you’ve been craving. Read this and see if your dreams of making it on your own could become a reality.

Photo credit: Pexels

Why now?

When people hit their 40s, they start thinking towards retirement and the path it takes to get there. In reality, you still have many working years ahead of you, so why not do something that satisfies you and fulfills your dreams? In your 40s, you will be more confident than you were two decades ago starting out in your career and armed with contacts and knowledge that can help you get started on your own.

Perhaps you’ve worked at the same place for your entire working career, or have struggled to achieve a promotion. You may even find that you’re at the top of your career path, with nowhere else to go - making the lack of challenge a reason to resent your job. Whatever the driving force to set up on your own, if it’s enough to make you want to try it - you have to go for it.

There are many benefits to setting up your own business. From being able to choose your working hours to be the sole receiver of any profits you make, there are many positive arguments to be made. To help you decide if it’s the right move for you, make a pros and cons list and weigh up what you have to gain, or lose from quitting your job and making it on your own.

Is the timing right?

In your mind, you could feel that it’s the right time for you to set up on your own. The circumstances around you however, might say differently. If you’ve got a baby on the way or are about to move house, then this may not be the best time to take a huge financial gamble. If however, you’ve been offered a redundancy opportunity or have spotted a great investment opportunity, these could be signs that you should go for it.

Even if you have to wait several months or a year for your circumstances to change, you can start making plans to get to where you want to be now - you’ll be much better prepared for when the right time presents itself.

Where do you start?

If decided to set up your own business, or at least give it some consideration, you need to put a plan in place. The Government has valuable resources for setting up your own business, and you should read them thoroughly to help you work out what’s needed. Will you be using your existing skills or starting from scratch? Starting a business based on your existing career may be the easiest way to set up on your own, but if it was a career that was boring you or leaving you unfulfilled you should think about pursuing something new.

Discuss your thoughts with your partner, family and friends. They may have some helpful advice or be able to foresee any pitfalls you might encounter. It’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions, so put plans to quit your job on hold until you know exactly what you’re doing.

Gathering your finances

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Getting the finance you need to set up your business is one of the toughest challenges of starting up. If you have savings already, you’ll need to be prepared to use them. In some cases, you might qualify for a small business grant which could really help get your business off the ground.

If you don’t have the money yourself, you may need to start looking down the investment route. Perhaps you have a family member or a friend who’s looking to invest in something, or you could go to independent investors and make your pitch. Alternatively, you might want to think about making an appointment with your bank to discuss a business loan. When seeking a business loan, be aware of all the risks - your home may be one of the assets your loan is secured against.

Depending on the nature of your business, you may find that there aren’t many costs associated with starting up on your own. If you have a trade for example, you could begin working immediately with just the equipment costs to cover. For larger or more expensive purchases, there are ways to fund them in the short term - a no deposit truck finance plan or a hire purchase on tools could make all the difference you need to get started. Make sure you have everything you need to carry out the basics, and investment in further equipment can come later.

Learning to work for yourself

Working for yourself offers a new-found sense of freedom, and is a great feeling once you achieve it. However, working for yourself can come with some pitfalls you may not get when you work for someone else. It’s up to you to manage your workload, the finances and the relationships with customers or clients, so you need to make sure you’re up to the challenge.

When you start working for yourself it can be tempting to start waking up late, finishing early or just picking up work as and when you feel like it. To ensure success, you’ll need to set yourself a routine and find a suitable workspace to help you focus and manage the task at hand. There are some great habits you can form by working for yourself that will make it easier to work from home.

Getting help when you need it

If your business encounters some issues, it’s important that you seek help as soon as possible to stop them turning into critical problems. Talk over financial issues with your bank or a financial adviser and consider their advice carefully. It may be that you need to adjust your spending for a bit or make some temporary changes just to see out this difficult period.

Other things you might need help with include areas that might be outside your expertise. You might need help with graphic design, marketing or administration amongst others. Rather than trying to do it yourself, you should consider hiring some freelancers or agencies that will be able to carry out this work on your behalf. Having someone else take care of these details will free you up to manage the business itself and ensure things are done effectively.

Finding motivation to carry on

Just like when you struggle to find motivation in a job, the same feeling can set in when you’re setting up or running your own business. With nobody else to share and vent your frustrations, it’s as though you need to be your own cheerleader to pull through. You can get some useful tips on how to stay motivated from top entrepreneurs to help you keep your eye on the prize.

It helps to write yourself a list of objectives at the beginning of your venture, explaining what you want to achieve and why. This will give you something to look back on when you’re having a difficult time and also help you to refocus if you’re starting to drift from your original aims.  

Failing that, there is always your family and friends to talk to who will be more than happy to give you a boost if needed. Being able to rely on people you are close to will help to shoulder the burden, even if encouragement is all they can offer. Sometimes it helps to talk things over with someone just to gather your thoughts.

The future

Once your new business is up and running, you’ll realise the difference this flexibility and independence this new path has given you. While you’ll need to make adjustments to how you work like your working pattern, the process of setting up on your own is rewarding. The world is your oyster, as they say.

From here you can work out what the next steps are, and whether or not you plan to expand your business. As you begin to make a profit and increase your number of customers and clients, you can think about taking on additional staff and even taking a step back to be able to enjoy your new success.

If starting up on your own isn’t the move for you, perhaps a change of career is a better move. Building up your career from the ground is another bold step, but it can be done. Don’t let your age be a factor to stop you from turning your career around, you’ll regret it if you leave it any later.

No comments