Starting Your Own Business Can Occur At Any Age

by David Goodman
in Blog
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At one time, the adage was that if you didn’t start your own business by the time you were 40, you never would. The thinking behind this was that if you passed this milestone still working for others, you would never have – pick one – the drive, energy, mindset, money, cajones to go out on your own.  

That’s not how it is today. Unlike in the past, people no longer stay in one place.  In fact, your chances of hitting the lottery are probably as good as your odds of staying with the same employer your entire career.  Whether it’s to realize the dream of being your own boss or it’s simply out of necessity because you’ve been the victim of senior discrimination (i.e. the company wants to pay someone else less for your job), more and more people 40 and over are becoming entrepreneurs. 

This has been good news to the franchise industry, as many older people, who are more likely to have the assets to buy a franchise, realize at this time in their life they don’t want to go off, well, totally on their own.  According to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ “2010 Franchise Business Economic Outlook” report, there are some 900,000 franchise establishments in the United States (with quick service restaurants, business services and personal services heading the list). As tough as it may be at any age to put your name on the door and wait for the phone to ring (or for online orders to materialize), it’s even more difficult when you’re at a certain stage in your life. 

That’s also why the membership concept has grown in popularity, particularly in certain industries.  In the non-medical home care field, for example, a membership organization gives its members many of the same benefits as a franchise – without the drawbacks.  This is particularly important in home care because, unlike in the fast food or automotive industries, there are NO brand names that have instant recognition or credibility with the public.  You’re familiar with names like Subway and Jiffy Lube, but how many home care agency franchises do you know? As a result, many people interested in the home care industry – attracted by the aging of America and, as a result, the increased demand for senior care services – may not be willing to bet six figures, the cost of the average franchise, on a name that is likely to be met with blank stares by most people when asked if they ever heard of them.

At Companion Connection Senior Care, one of the largest and most successful business membership organizations in home care (and included in the December 2014 issue of Entrepreneur: Top 10 Hot Franchise Trends in Senior Care), members get the benefits of an intensive training program, the information and materials they will need to recruit caregivers and market their services (including a website), access to discussion groups with its 150 or so members, various discounts, and the ongoing support of a senior management team that has the experience of operating a home care agency for more than 30 years.  At the same time, it costs a fraction of a home care franchise, requires no annual royalties and allows the member to run his or her business with total independence. 

There is no age limit these days for starting a home care businesses.  And, with the membership concept, at least as it exists in the senior care niche, it’s no longer a case of all or nothing.  New business owners get the chance to bring someone along for the ride, without paying the full price.