If you’re over 50 and looking for a new challenge in life, self-employment or starting your own business has probably crossed your mind. But what would be your options?
Here are some of the best self-employment ideas for over-50s:
- Child Care
- Financial Advisor
- Marketing Consultant
- Bed and Breakfast Owner
- Meal Planning Service
- PopUp Restaurant
- Social Media Manager
- Direct Sales
- Restored Furniture Business
- Jewelry Making
- Homemade Beauty Products
- Homemade Food
- Organization Consultant
- Local Tour Guide
There are perks to each of these jobs, and your choice will depend on your passion, knowledge, and skills. Take a look at some of the best self-employment options for over-50s and learn more about them below.
Benefits of Working After 50
The job market is an exciting place nowadays, with many fascinating career opportunities, especially if you are ready to start your own business. Aside from having more money and more things to do, what could be the benefits of working after 50?
- You’ll have complete control. Whether that control will be of your own time, tasks, or anything else involved with running a business, you’ll have the final say in what happens. If you’ve always worked for someone, you know just how restrictive those jobs can be. However, working for yourself, you can put your efforts wherever you want.
- You get to make your dreams come true. A big part of being self-employed is working on something that you love, especially as an older adult. You probably know what you love doing, and you can turn that passion into something profitable.
- Flexible lifestyle. One of the biggest perks of running your own business is having a good work-life balance and being able to work on your own terms. Of course, this takes some getting used to, but it’s a lot better than working a strict 9-to-5.
- Better retirement. With your own business, you can manage your income to make sure that you have plenty of money for retirement.
In general, working after 50 gives you more independence and provides you with a chance to grow and improve. It can have positive effects on your health, both mental and physical.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at your self-employment options after 50.
1. Child Care
If you have always been good with children, this line of work may be right for you. With rising costs of childcare, more and more parents are opting for a different type of care for their children — nannies. While this is by no means a simple job, it can allow you to stay at home if you want to.
This has obvious perks for parents. Their child gets a more personal approach, with attention to their specific needs. You can offer to cook for them based on what they can eat. On the other hand, you can care for children in their own homes, whether for a full day or only when the parents need it.
Make sure that you check the laws in your area since there might be some specific regulations about childcare that may prevent you from doing this.
2. Financial Advisor
This job will take some previous knowledge and experience in finance, so it’s perfect for anyone who has worked with a company in the financial department. Of course, if you’re willing to invest some time and learn, it could be great too.
You can start this business online, with a website where you would offer your services. To get some initial credit, you should showcase the results you achieved at your job or volunteer at a company as a financial advisor. You can either telecommute or work directly with clients.
3. Marketing Consultant
Marketing is a thriving field, especially digital marketing. If you have specialized knowledge in marketing, you’ll enjoy helping companies grow through various marketing channels. You can start by advising smaller, local companies and then move on to advising bigger ones.
If you have no previous knowledge or skills in marketing, you might have a tougher time getting into this field of work, but you can always take a course or go back to school to learn more. After that, you could get some experience by volunteering or doing some freelance work. In general, you should focus on a specific niche in marketing if you want to advance more quickly.
Also, there are many people over 50 looking for opportunities to create their own business as a side-hustle or even full-time income. If you are able to learn marketing from scratch in your 50s by taking courses and experimenting on your own projects, they will likely prefer to book your service. Because they would be sure to have a consultant who really understands where they come from and can cater to their specific needs and challenges.
4. Bed and Breakfast Owner or Operator
Bed and breakfasts are charming, and more and more people are choosing them over big resorts for that local feel. You can bank on that by starting your own bed and breakfast resort. It would take some initial investment, primarily in the real estate department, but if you have a bigger home, you can use it for your guests without purchasing a property.
But you don’t necessarily need to buy property to do this. You can look for bigger properties up for rent and ask the owners whether they would accept that you rent the place out as a Bed and Breakfast.
In the latter case, you’ll probably have to make smaller investments — landscaping, better furniture, and interior design for the rooms, etc. Of course, you can start simple, by renting out a few rooms and then improving as you go.
Remember that the location of your bed and breakfast is important. For instance, the destination it’s in would have to be marketable, with some tourism value.
5. Meal Planning Service
More and more people are jumping on the bandwagon of meal prepping. This involves planning each meal for a month in advance, and it’s great because it cuts the bothersome decision-making from the process. Plus, buying the groceries and saving money is easier. The only problem is that most people are not sure how to plan all of their meals for a month and still make them diverse, healthy, and interesting.
This is where you step in. If you have a knack for cooking, but you don’t want to go through the lengthy process and requirements of opening a restaurant, this is a great job for you. You can start by offering meal prepping help to your friends and acquaintances and expand from there. As a bonus, you could include more services like writing out recipes for your customers, creating meal plans for different needs, etc.
6. Pop Up Restaurant
Pop Up restaurants have all the charm of having a real restaurant but without that much hassle. You don’t have to slave away in the kitchen but only open for a day every week or every month, depending on what you want.
Pop Up restaurants require some planning and organization — you’ll have to rent different spaces, create a loyal client list, etc. But it’s well worth it. Check the local regulations to make sure that you have everything you need. You can expand this business too — offer catering services, personal chef services, and so on.
7. Social Media Manager
Social media is still generally new, but businesses love using it to market their services and products. Most of them need social media management to keep their pages running properly, solve problems on time, and communicate with their audience. And because it’s so new, experts are always needed.
If you don’t have any skills in social media, you can take a few courses and learn more. Practice, volunteer, and freelance before looking for more long-term opportunities. You can start your own social media management firm and serve clients across the globe. You also have a choice between specializing in a specific social media like Facebook or Instagram or just covering them all in general.
Being over 50 can also be a major argument for potential clients that are targeting people of your age. This could give you a competitive advantage as you understand the target audience and know which content would resonate with them.
Writing is another line of work that’s thriving, and you may just find your role there. With several different types of writing that can be monetized nowadays, you can choose the one that fits you best. For one, there’s copywriting, which is the best-paying job that involves writing. Then there’s blogging for other people or for yourself, creating content for social media, etc.
Keep in mind that writing fiction isn’t as easily monetized or lucrative as you may think. While you can do it on the side, focus on jobs that have long-term appeal and support from a real company. Start small and build your client list from there. One of the best parts about writing for a living is being able to work from home and have a flexible schedule.
Graphic design is a great line of work, meant for those with a knack for visual arts. Of course, most of it is done on devices like desktop computers or tablets with different programs. But, if you invest some time and effort, you can quickly translate your talent to the digital form. Naturally, even if you never thought you could draw, you can still practice and learn, it might just take a bit more time.
Graphic designers handle all sorts of things — from logos and banners to infographics, game settings, and characters, etc. It just depends on what you choose to do. Companies always need creative individuals, and original content is valued now more than ever, so expect to have many job opportunities once you get the hang of the job.
Just like writing and some other jobs on this list, this one can also be done from home and with a flexible schedule.
10. Direct Sales
Direct sales are something anyone can get into, but only a few can succeed. You’ve probably received a catalog from a friend or an acquaintance with certain products — makeup, cosmetics, clothes, etc. So, that’s essentially what you’ll be doing if you choose direct sales. You would connect with a bigger company, receive their catalogs, help sell their products, and earn a percentage of what you sell.
For this, you will need a wide social circle and learn a few tricks for successful selling. It could be a great idea if you want to do something on your own but still have some support. These companies — like Avon, Mary Kay, etc. — offer training, and they want you to succeed.
You’ll have a flexible schedule too, and an excellent work-life balance, so it could be a good opportunity.
11. Restored Furniture Business
Making furniture is not easy, but restoring or refurbishing old pieces is somewhat easier — and perhaps more fun. People are always on the lookout for unique furniture, so you can take advantage of that. You can find old chairs, nightstands, tables, etc. and improve them through different techniques.
For example, there’s decoupage which is really popular at the moment. With some supplies, you could turn old furniture into something everyone would love to have in their home. For a while, you could purchase furniture on flea markets, garage sales, or online and refurbish it for sale, and after some time, clients could bring their own furniture to you.
12. Jewelry Making
If you love making things, or you’ve always wanted to learn, you can easily monetize that and turn it into a profitable business. Materials are not that expensive, and you can get them in bulk online. You can also look up some basic techniques that can help you create trendy, marketable pieces, and while selling face to face could be a good start, you should also consider selling online. Etsy or Instagram could be a good starting point since you could attract a lot of people. Furthermore, you can open an eCommerce store and sell even more that way.
There are a few things to consider before you start. For one, there’s shipping and packaging, as well as any other logistics of the sales process. You can also specialize and make only one type of jewelry. For instance, only necklaces or only bracelets. But you can also sell many different types of jewelry, as well as hair jewelry.
13. Homemade Beauty Products
Just like anything homemade, beauty products are popular too. Natural, gentle options have been trending for a while, and while they are not simple to make, they easily find their customers. You would have to look up regulations and use only safe, tested ingredients, naturally.
After you come up with your line of products, scents, and other things directly related to the products, you can move on to branding and marketing. Again, you can sell through Etsy or Instagram — for better insight into how to market beauty products on this social media, lookup Glossier, or Lush brands.
14. Homemade Food
Do you have that one recipe that everyone seems to adore, but only you know how to make? You might be able to monetize that. Again, homemade, natural products are finally getting their spotlight, and you might be able to bank on that. You don’t have to make anything too complicated — definitely not a full meal — but something simpler, yet tasty, like a sauce or a jam.
You can start by selling it on the local farmer’s market and move from there — perhaps a bigger supermarket chain will sell it for you or a healthy food market. Make sure that you are doing everything according to health standards and regulations, and you should have no problem building a profitable food business.
15. Organization Consultant
From enterprises to regular people, everyone is on the bandwagon of organizing and optimizing the space around us, whether it’s a desk or a closet. Unfortunately — but fortunately for you — most people need some help in that department. They know how to clean and tidy up, but getting the organization right is far more complex.
To start your own organization business, you’d need only a simple website or just a social media page. If you have a natural talent for organization, this could be helpful, but it’s also easy enough to learn through reading or taking some courses. You can showcase your skills by organizing your own home and taking some pictures.
16. Local Tour Guide
Those living in or near a destination that has the potential to be a tourist magnet have a unique opportunity to do a fun job. Your hometown doesn’t have to be in the same range of popularity as Paris, for example, but if it has any interesting sights, whether natural or historical, you can attract people.
Especially so if you can show them around from a local’s angle — the best bars, the best restaurants and places to see.
You can now offer experiences directly on AirBnB. It can be a great way to attract tourists or even local people who want to try out something new. It’s also a good way to start off easy and test and refine your offer before you spend more time and energy into promoting your experience.
Find some interesting points and take pictures, create an online brochure or a website, and also be active on social media. Just like with many of these points, check your local laws whether you can do this.
If you have a particular skill, you can share it with the world by teaching students either online or offline. Even if you don’t have any specific skills, you can teach English through online services to people all over the world. You can also set up your own website and teach any subject you want and have knowledge in.
If you want to create some passive income for yourself, you can also create a comprehensive course, sell it at a certain price and share it either through your website or through services meant for this.
Finding self-employment opportunities seems to be easier now than ever, especially with the online world thriving. So, if you want to create a sustainable business for yourself that also brings joy to you, try some of these ideas.
Of course, make sure that everything you do is legal and registered and that you are following regulations related to your industry to a tee. With each of these jobs, it helps if you invest some time beforehand to learn, practice, and completely form an idea of what you want to do. Believe in yourself, and please get in touch if you want further ideas or have questions!
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