Contributed by Carla Lopez
Have you considered becoming a digital nomad? As Investopedia states, this is a location-independent worker, which can be ideal for seniors. As a remote worker, you aren’t confined to your home or apartment but have the freedom to see the world while making ends meet. With a little legwork, you can launch a home-based business that won’t tie you down. Here are some things to consider when making the transition from retiree to entrepreneur.
First, Decide What You Want To Do
There are many types of business that you can run from home that still allow for location flexibility. Take a look at your work history, skills, and even your hobbies to get an idea of what might interest you.
Do you like to write? Offer your wordsmithing skills to businesses in need of things like blog posts, user manuals, product descriptions, or employee handbooks. Did you jump headfirst into the digital age when it began? You might make an ideal technology consultant. The point is that you already have much of what you need right inside of your head to lay the foundation of a successful entrepreneurial endeavor.
Tools Of The Trade
When you’re going to be working from all corners of the globe, you need technology. One of your most important tools is your smartphone and it’s data plan. Today’s devices can do much more than make calls, you can use them to monitor your inbox and to handle some functions of your business from the palm of your hand. Before you get started with your new venture, look for an unlimited cell phone plans so you aren’t eating into your profits with pesky overages.
You’ll also need a reliable laptop. Digital Trends has chosen the Dell brand as its top pick for portable PC powerhouses. Apple is a close second followed by HP, Microsoft, and the affordable Asus line. Choose something that’s at your price point and with bells and whistles to make your new career sing!
The Letter Of The Law
Legally, running a business from home—or on the go—is a lot like owning a brick and mortar location. Wolters Kluwer recommends that new entrepreneurs double-check with their local zoning board regarding rules and restrictions of running a commercial enterprise in a residential area.
Something else that you will need to consider is that your taxes are structured much differently when you are a freelancer or business owner than they are as an employee, even if you worked remotely before. For one, you will pay more taxes. You’ll also be required to report your earnings and pay on your self-employment earnings quarterly.
Why Should I Start A Business As A Senior?
The simple answer to this question is for a better lifestyle. Unless you have enough money to live comfortably for the next 25+ years, you’ll probably need to supplement your Social Security. Launching a home-based business is a good choice for highly-experienced workers on a budget. You don’t have to have a ton of capital, and you are in control of what you earn.
Keep in mind also that when you reach full retirement age, Motley Fool points out that there are no earning restrictions. Perhaps most importantly, once you are established, you can continue to work even when you are sick or if mobility limitations rear their ugly heads.
On top of all that, you can pursue something just for the joy of it. An idea you have put on the backburner, colleagues that you miss connecting with, or just the thrill of the hunt—it’s your baby, and there is a unique satisfaction in pursuing whatever you wish in retirement.
When you are ready to retire, the world is your oyster—and now, it can be your office. Being a digital nomad is a natural fit for seniors. Make sure you have the right tools at your side and remember, you can always change what you’re doing if you decide that checking your emails from the beach isn’t your idea of the ideal retirement.
Carla Lopez retired a couple of years ago, but she didn’t lose her entrepreneurial spirit. She created Boomer Biz for retirees like herself who still have a desire to work and achieve. The site is a resource for people in their golden years who want to start their own business or go back to work doing what they love.
The most frequent question I am asked is how a business owner determines pricing for his/her products/services that is competitive, profitable and allows for future expansion. The first question I ask is, "What is fair in a free market society?"
I know it may sound like I am avoiding their question, but it really is the beginning of how we will determine the pricing for their product. The typical response to the question is a price that can be afforded by as many people as possible and allows the company to remain competitive. That makes sense, but how do you determine what that price is?
A customer in need of a pair of shoes can go to Payless and pay $59 or they can go to Bob Ellis and pay $599. Which would you consider the more reasonable price? Initially you would assume the lower price shoes have the greatest appeal, but what if I told you the $599 shoes were 50% off of their normal price, does that change your perspective?
The point I am trying to make is you can’t be everything to every buyer; having a pricing structure that reaches a broad spectrum of buyers works well in a business with high sales volume, but may drive a small company out of business. Walmart’s average profit margin is 3%, but when you put that in the context of $256 billion dollars in sales, you can see how having a broad based, low price structure can work.
For a smaller company, you must determine who your target market is and get to know all there is to know about them. What are their spending habits? Where do they live? How much are they paying for similar products now? This is the first stage in determining a "fair" price for your customer.
We all know that a profit is a achieved when the revenue received for a product exceeds the cost of delivering the product, but what is its effect on pricing? For as long as I can remember, businesses have been running on the model of buy for $1 and sell for $2, but does that take into consideration all of the ancillary costs associated with the finished product reaching the consumer?
Strict process analysis is the key to increasing a business’s profitability. Identifying all of the segments that are involved with obtaining the finished product and their associated costs, give the business principle a clear idea of the true costs of goods sold and thereby the percentage of increase necessary over said costs to obtain the desired profit.
With a well-defined target market and a clear costs of goods sold, a business now has to turn its attention to the amount of growth it plans to achieve in the coming months and years. I know you are wondering how this has anything to do with determining a price for a product, but I would ask you to consider the relationship of profitability and expansion.
When a business achieves it’s financial goals, expansion is fueled by greater retained earnings, increased sales revenue and savings from enhanced purchasing power. Each of these factors should be considered when determining the initial price of products and projected pricing over the expansion period.
Using this model may change the traditional pricing scheme from buy for $1 and sell for $2; to buy for $1 and sell for $4, but it will increase the likelihood of long-term success or quickly show your product’s inability to reach your company’s goals.