6 Tips for Starting a Business After Age 50

Boomers' experience puts them in a better position than most to succeed.

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Keep start-up costs low. Many small-business owners launch their companies on their own property. "For the vast majority of our start-ups, they work at home," says Jeff Williams founder of Bizstarters.com, a company that coaches entrepreneurs over 50. "Baby boomer entrepreneurs want to be able to sit on the patio while they're taking a phone call and have very low overhead in their business." Remeschatis and three of her employees work out of her house in Madison, and Berg tests his communications towers on his own 20-acre property in Fayetteville

Have a backup plan. Most small businesses don't succeed. Only about 44 percent of new businesses survive four years, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. "You have to be very conformable with the worst-case scenario for the outcome of that business," says Olszewski. It's risky to pour your life savings into a new venture. It's essential to have a fallback plan, according to, Beatty Brasch, 69 of Lincoln, Neb., who founded the Center for People in Need, a nonprofit that provides goods and services to the working poor. Brasch says: "I always have a plan on how to get out of it if it doesn't work."