It’s not surprising to learn that many baby boomers expect to continue working in their “retirement” years -- and many want to run their own businesses. According to AARP, 16 percent of workers over 50 are self-employed, with the numbers peaking at 24 percent of women at age 66, and 38 percent for men at age 65.
Buying a franchise could be the perfect option for those leaving the corporate world or a long-time career, and who are looking for new ways to apply their business skills. Franchisors used to be wary of signing on with the gray-haired set, but the times are changing in the franchise industry. Now franchisors recognize that older people brings years of experience in different types of business settings. They’re wise in the ways of the world, less prone to panic at small reversals, and generally have strong community ties – always an advantage in business.
Many franchise start-ups require a hefty financial investment and a heavy time commitment, often well beyond the standard five-day work week. These are drawbacks to older folks, who know it’s not prudent to bet the farm at this stage in life, or to be on their feet for long stretches and always on the go, with little time for fun and family.
The best franchises suited to most retirement-age folks are those with low-cost entry investment and flexibility to work part-time. On the plus side, by buying a franchise, the retiree gets a proven system with all the kinks ironed out and leg work done, saving a lot time and stress from starting a business from scratch.
One caution to emphasize for retirees considering franchise ownership: Take special care to review the UFOC about selling or transferring the franchise. It’s critical that you can exit in an expedient fashion, and though one never likes to think about it, the issues of disability and death must be addressed. Be sure you understand the terms regarding these contingencies and that there is sufficient flexibility for transferring the franchise ownership to family members if necessary.
There are franchises appropriate for “retirement years” in all types of business sectors, and suited to all types of backgrounds. Here are some suggestions that are appropriate for retirees because they offer flexible hours, and low cost of entry (less than $30,000).
Those retiring from the corporate world can leverage experience in business consulting. Blue Coast Financial Group trains its representatives in many B2B consulting services, such as worker’s comp reviews, energy efficiency savings and other programs. Global Broker Systems consultants advise clients on lease financing, working capital loans, debt restructuring and more. Advertising Consultants provides mid-sized businesses with quality marketing and advertising services.
For people retiring from IT, there’s Fast-teks, where franchisees manage a workforce of pre-screened technicians who visit homes and offices to service computers.
Many retirees often dream about running their own restaurants, not realizing how much hard work and money has to go into this type of business before it yields any profit – sometimes taking years to achieve payback. However, there are ways to get into the food business part-time and with little money. Candy Bouquet and Palm Beach Specialty Coffee both can be home-based and require low franchise start-up costs.
Shine Mark Systems might be the perfect retirement business for those who love the sport. Franchisees distribute the The Golf ShowShiner, which cleans and polishes golfing shoes. Or invest in EagleShotz golf franchise and take photos of golfers and golfing tournaments for cutomers who will cherish these photos forever.
Vending machines are traditionally a good choice for retirees and offer a 100 percent cash business. There are many varieties to choose from – Vendstar, Allstate Investment Group, and Gumball Factory are snack vending machines with initial investments under $5,000. And there are non-food vending opportunities too. ACFN is a network of private ATM machines, and franchisees get complete training for the fee of $29,000. The Back Rubber is a wonderful massage chair that can be placed in public places, like malls and fitness centers, and only costs $1,800.
The Glove Guy (and The Glove Lady) is a self-contained specialty glove and safety products mobile store that travels to its customers - a great way for retirees to get out and about interacting with customers while making a profit.
Perhaps one of the ideal retirement businesses is in travel. e-tkts specializes in a variety of superb travel vacations that require specific know-how. You can be part of this network for $15,000 and enjoy perks like travel discounts – a great boon to retirees who want to see more of the world.
A home-based, low-cost franchise is a great way for retirees to stay active in the business world, make good money,