Reviewed By: Anne Holmes
Have you ever thought about starting your own business? As a Baby Boomer woman, the answer is probably “yes.” It seems Baby Boomer Women entrepreneurs are on the cusp of the current entrepreneurial trend: Here’s a few statistics to back this up:
- A report recently released by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the world’s largest foundation devoted to entrepreneurship, reports that between 1996 and 2007, Americans from ages 55 to 64 had a higher rate of entrepreneurial activity every year than their younger counterparts, especially the group often thought of as entrepreneurial leaders: those aged 20 to 34.
- According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), women are among the fastest growing groups of entrepreneurs.
- The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that in 2009 self-employed people ages 55 to 64 grew by 93,000 – and by 213,000 among people 65 and older – while self-employment for all other age groups declined.
Bottom line: Baby Boomers are starting up businesses in droves. Some because they need to pay the bills, some because they’re too old to find work easily, and some because they’ve always wanted a second career.
But whatever your reason for deciding to give your entrepreneurial tendencies a whirl, just starting a business doesn’t automatically imply you will succeed. In fact, according to Brian Head, Economist with the SBA Office of Advocacy, “as a general rule of thumb, new employer businesses have a 50/50 chance of surviving for five years or more.”
Among the top reasons for failure according to the SBA:
- Starting for the wrong reasons
- Poor management
- Insufficient capital
- Bad location
- Lack of planning
Best prescription we know for avoiding those traps? Work with a business coach who’ll hand-hold you through the entire start-up process, sometimes even introducing you to venture capitalists, joint venture partners and other resources. But that route will cost you thousands of dollars, which you may not have available to you.
Can’t Afford a Personal Coach?
Then you need this book. Essentially a book and a workbook combined, BoomerPreneurs offers you the lessons you’d learn from a business start-up coach in a handy text format you can read, take notes in, and refer to repeatedly.
While many biz start-up books offer theory, this book is a lot more: It’s actually a road map for Baby Boomers who want to start a business, make money and enjoy Retirement. And it’s packed with motivational success stories, a success road map, and plenty of charts, checklists, worksheets and action steps. Not to mention an excellent appendix. A coach in a box, if you will.
Best of all, author Izard offers you a four-step success process that covers these key questions for which you must have the answers if you are to succeed:
- What should you consider before starting a business?
- How to find an opportunity that’s right – for both you and the marketplace
- How to refine your idea and do your research
- How to determine your business’s viability and get yourself started
M.B. Izard is an entrepreneur, professor of entrepreneurship and a consultant who specializes in working with early-stage entrepreneurs. You won’t be surprised to learn that she was also a member of the esteemed Kauffman Foundation’s curriculum development team for their award-winning FastTrac programs and their college entrepreneurship course, “Planning the Entrepreneurial Venture.”
M.B. knows her stuff and we highly recommend this book.