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Top 5 Business Ideas for Baby Boomers

We may think of new business owners as tech-savvy millennials, but the reality is boomers are capitalizing on the American dream just as often.

Every year, more baby boomers are delaying retirement and trading in a relaxing round of golf for a busy day setting up shop on Main Street. In fact, just twenty years ago, only 14.8 percent of new entrepreneurs were aged 55 – 64, a group that today accounts for almost 25 percent of all entrepreneurs. So while we may think of new business owners as tech-savvy millennials, the reality is just as often boomers are capitalizing on their corporate know-how to grab their piece of the American dream pre-retirement.

At Guidant, we’ve seen baby boomers enthusiastically leaving the corporate grind to fulfill their dreams of entrepreneurship in a wide variety of industries. We can attest to the fact that age and experience are advantages when launching your business, whatever the product or service may be. For those considering starting second careers later in life, these five industries, all showing popularity, and sustained growth are a good place to start the search for the perfect business.

1. Bed and Breakfast Accommodations

With minimal barriers to entry as well as a low industry risk factor, the bed & breakfast market is a top choice for baby boomers who are considering entering the world of small business ownership. One hurdle to overcome to become the proprietor of a B&B is the need for a large initial down payment due to the cost of purchasing real estate and preparing guest-ready amenities. Fortunately, older entrepreneurs are often better candidates for business funding because of their longer credit history, the higher likelihood of owning a home, and access to more retirement funds.

Guidant clients Richard and Jo-Anne Hoad found their calling in B&B ownership after a lifetime of travel and living abroad. have proven that the lifestyle of owning a bed and breakfast is all it’s cracked up to be and more. While owning a B&B is more work than they initially assumed, the joy of being their own bosses and sharing the lives of their guests is well worth the investment.

2. In-Home Care Services

According to IBISWorld reports, the number of adults aged 65 and older is growing at a faster rate than the general national population. More people entering their senior years and seeking care outside of hospitals have created a high demand for home-based health services. This industry includes traditional home health nursing, home hospice, home therapy services, and personal home services, and it’s safe to assume that this industry will continue to expand and diversify with its growing audience. For business owners looking for a successful career helping people with a stellar market outlook, in-home care is an $8.7 billion industry with an expected annualized growth of 11.3 percent over the next four years.

3. Restaurants

A recent survey of Guidant clients revealed that around 15 percent of our clients aged 50 – 60 have opened businesses in the single-location restaurant sector. Though opening a restaurant is thought to be a relatively high-risk move for new business owners, the industry has been seeing sustained success in recent years. Factors like low unemployment rates and high consumer spending mean more families are going out to eat and willing to spend more at restaurants. In other words, we expect to see the dessert menu over the next few years.

Find out how a former financial services executive found a passion for Southern-style food in this restaurant success story.

4. Testing and Educational Support

Even with continued cuts to funding for public schools, high rates of high school enrollment and more parents with disposable income are contributing to the demand for educational and testing services. According to IBISWorld, this industry has seen growth between three and six percent in four of the last five years and should maintain steady growth at least through 2021. Educational and testing support is mostly comprised of businesses that provide testing services, educational consulting, exchange programs, and other educational services, but an area seeing new interest is websites that offer college advice and comparison tools.

See a real-life educational service success story here.

5. Health and Fitness

Fortunately for those looking into opening a gym or specialty fitness center, the uptick in gym-goers and health-conscious consumers over the last several years looks to be a lasting trend. From affordable, low-amenity establishments like Anytime Fitness to more specialized fitness centers like 9Round kickboxing classes, the gym and fitness industry offers a wide variety of options. With its extreme popularity, low barriers to entry, and mid-level capital requirements, the fitness industry may be a good option for boomers who are hoping to start off their entrepreneurial career by opening multiple locations.

Find out how a Guidant client achieved success in the health and fitness industry by starting a niche therapy center. Click here to listen to his story.

If the idea of becoming a business owner is exciting, but these industries don’t spark your interest — or you want to continue to explore your options — start your business search by downloading our free eBook: 7 Steps to Choosing the Right Business.

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