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The golden age of franchising

What would you say is the ideal age to start a business?

A so-called millennial who came of age in the era of the internet might say 19 or 20. Just look the multi-billion dollar success that young entrepreneurs have enjoyed with Youtube and Facebook.

A more battle-hardened Gen X-er, who’s witnessed the rise and fall of the dot-com bubble might say 35 or 40. Ten or fifteen years of climbing the business ladder can expose you to some common management mistakes and protect you – and your investment – from the dangers of business naivete.

But a new school of thought is emerging that the best age to start a business is in your 50s. I know, it’s an age when most people are taking the long view and looking to firm up their retirement plan as the golden years loom, but an interesting story in Business Week magazine profiles a few Baby Boomers who have taken the plunge in entrepreneurship quite late in life.

The story quotes this eye-opening statistic from the AARP: “according to the nonprofit AARP Public Policy Institute, in 2008, 21% of the self-employed were between 55 and 64, while 10% were 65 and older.” As ever, the recession here is the key. While, in the past, many professionals approaching 60 might just hang on until retirement day, Baby Boomers, along with millenials, are often the first people in the firing line once the B-word - buyouts - is mentioned.

Forced by sheer necessity into business ownership, many seniors are finding entrepreneurship is its own fountain of youth, as Wally Blume, who started his business in his 60's, says.

“I always wanted to go into business for myself when I was younger. But I didn't have the money. At 61 if I was trying to get into a business that I didn't understand and spent that kind of money, someone should have put me in a home. But I understood this business, and I saw its potential."

For those Baby Boomers with business knowledge and the desire to relaunch their career, there are many great franchises for sale with Franchise Direct. Franchising gives one the same joys of business ownership, while eliminating many of the risks.

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