Extra Income For Retirees – Starting a Home Based Business Could Be the Perfect Solution

Retirement savings don’t go as far as they used to, so extra income for retirees might provide a welcome boost for wobbly finances. Read on to find out how starting your own business could provide the solution.

The “new” retirement

Whatever happened to retirement as a time of resting on your hard-earned laurels? With the stock market gyrations of late, it seems that retirement savings have taken a nose-dive. And not just that, there wasn’t as much in those savings account as there used to be.

At least not enough to ensure a comfortable lifestyle for all those remaining years that most retirees now can look forward to. But if that’s something you’re concerned about, you don’t have to put up with that.

The solution: Start your own business

The solution is really not that hard to come by: Start your own home-based business. Now is the perfect time for starting your own business. Thanks to the internet, it is now possible to get a business off the ground for peanuts. Compare that to the way it used to be.

Starting a business used to be a huge investment

Only a few years back, brick and mortar businesses seemed to be the only option. And the start-up costs for one of those ran into hundreds of thousands of dollars. And even worse, it could take years until such as business turned a profit.

That’s not something retirees — or most anyone — has the funds and the patience for anymore. Not that too many people ever did. That’s why the people who started their own businesses used to be much smaller in number than they are today.

Compare that to the options you have today

When you start an online business, all you need is a computer, a stable and reasonably speedy online connection. As long as you also have few hundred dollars for things like hosting, websites, and other necessities, you’re in business.

Of course, there’s also that dreaded learning curve. Many people who start their online business, dream of oodles of money that they expect to arrive in their bank accounts. Only a few actually make it that far.

But the truth is, running a business from home is not rocket science. Many of the same “best practices” principles apply to both online and offline businesses, and if you follow them, you’ll achieve home business success.

Here are the keys to home business success

Provide value, provide great customer service, and stick with it. Have a plan, be patient, and consistently build your business from one day to the next. And, of course, be sure to do your marketing.

Of course it helps to have some guidance. Extra income for retirees could well remain a pipe dream for those who insist on going it alone.

A Pet Franchise Could Be the Best Way to Get Into the Pet Business

Pet franchises, or even more specifically, dog franchises, continue to surprise the experts with just how popular they are becoming in spite of a difficult economy.

It has been suggested that is it is a “comfort” thing. When the outside world looks uncertain it is appealing to retract back into one’s neighborhood or even one’s own backyard and deal with things that are more certain and personally enriching.

Actually, if you think about it, choosing between a job where you must spend most of the day in an office cubicle struggling to met the month’s targets imposed by a boss, or spending the day greeting thankful pet owners and building long lasting business and personal relationships which are based on a common love of pets. The choice is easy to make.

A dog franchise can be many things. Pet grooming franchises and mobile dog washing franchises have taken off in a big way here in the United States. Also there are pet day care franchises, dog walking franchises, dog training franchises and pet waste removal franchises. For each type of pet business opportunity there are usually several different franchise companies to select from.

Investment levels are relatively low and knowledge of the industry is not a prerequisite. You obviously will need to be good at handling pets and, perhaps less obviously, good at handling their owners, but apart from that, no special skills are needed.

So if a popular franchise has a strong presence in your neighborhood and business appears to be robust, look at choosing a competing franchise. There is usually room for a bit more competition in any business niche.

Although these pet franchises tend to be tightly focused, there is great potential to broaden the business base. A van-based hydro bath or grooming business could take advantage of the good will that has been built up to run parallel businesses delivering pet food or offering pet sitting services. One franchisee in Atlanta does exactly that. While her husband is out running the mobile dog wash business, she is at home looking after the pets in their boarding kennel, many of the guests of which have regularly been groomed by her husband.

There are also the more traditional retail businesses such as a pet store franchise which have the advantage of leveraging the skill, knowledge and experience of the franchisor to make what could be quite a complex project, the opening of a pet store in your neighbourhood, into a relatively quick and painless endeavor.

So if you have a love of pets, do not overlook the possibility of being able to turn that into a profitable business which could support you and a lifestyle you love.

When is it Time to Sell Your Small Business?

The toughest decision I have ever made with regard to my business is selling them. I participated in an entrepreneurial class in which the teacher indicated that the time to plan selling your business is at the start.

I am a big believer in small business planning however it was always hard to make decisions about selling any business in the beginning stages. Emotions are running high, the excitement of a new adventure underway and the struggles that can come with a new business all put planning for the eventual sale of your business in the back of your mind if at all.

In this discussion however I will address two times that may make sense to sell a business, and one all of us hope to never face. Probably the most difficult decision you will make with regard to your small business is when it becomes obvious that the business will not make it and you must cut your losses. Number 2 when it is time to move on to new challenges or it makes financial sense. There is also a third stage and that is when the business has out grown your expertise.

The third stage can be tough to recognize. When you start a new small business in many cases you may be underfunded or assets are stretched in other ways which dictate that you do as much as you can to make the business prosper yourself. That may include marketing, accounting, hiring, firing, and working countless hours in the business. As the business grows and you have the finances, you can hire expertise for many of the duties that you yourself used to take care of.

If the business grows past your ability to manage it or take it to the next level it may be time to bring on more expertise or sell it and move on to other ventures. Only you can decide in concert with your trusted advisors when that time is.

I want to address something much more difficult and that is when you must in so many words cut and run. This may be the toughest business decision of all. I was called in to advise a small business owner on the state of his business, and after a few hours of accessing the books, the affairs of the business, and interviewing the business owner, it became obvious that the business must be closed. The business owner could get out without risking more personal assets.

I spent many hours building the case to the business owner that he could close the business and get out with a positive cash position. It was in vain, the owner had so much invested emotionally that he could not see himself getting out. 6 Months later he was forced to close the store. I can only assume that if business sales followed the forecast I had predicted he needlessly lost another $50.000