Lesson 2. How can I become an entrepreneur if I am over 50?
It is important for seniors to have the necessary tools and knowledge to start a business. Therefore, it is essential, initially, to have the help of professionals that can be found in the town councils of every city, in associations aimed at seniors or in entrepreneurship associations.
However, a series of common stages of entrepreneurship are presented here (Reyes, 2021):
- Personal preparation: as indicated in the previous lesson, it is important to get to know oneself through, for example, a SWOT analysis of oneself. In this phase, it is very important to take all the time necessary, as you need to develop skills such as discipline, perseverance, resilience, etc. This can be achieved through training courses, reading or by consulting specialists.
- Identification of problems and opportunities: you must ask yourself “what difference do you think there is between starting from an idea and starting from a problem?” It is true that the former-starting from an idea-can generate a more creative process, but if it is based on a problem, it is easier to solve it and find a way to do so (also with creativity). This stage is usually one of the longest because it is necessary to think about the field of action, the target group and the problem to which we want to respond.
- Project design: once the target group and the problem to be solved have been defined, the design of the plan begins. In short, you have to ask yourself: what problem do I want to solve, how am I going to solve it, what resources do I need to start, and what will be my network of contacts to be able to start solving it? The following lessons will detail how a business plan should be designed, implemented and monitored.
- Pilot phase: when you have established the possible solution to your problem, it is necessary to test it with real users. This is a very important phase as the feedback from the participants in this pilot phase will provide you with the keys for improvement. The participants piloting the project should have the same profile as our final target group.
- Documentation and adjustments: Based on the feedback received after the pilot tests, everything needs to be documented in detail. Based on detected errors, policies are established, and strategies are planned with the changes to be taken into account in order to minimise errors or to be able to solve them quickly. In this way, the guarantee of success will be greater.
- Legalise and formalise: Once you have reached this stage, the project has a lot of potential and is in a position to take shape. If you do not have experience in administrative matters, it is advisable to ask for help from professionals to formalise trade and intellectual property registers, carry out specialised procedures etc.
- Consolidate, grow and expand: Processes must be constantly validated so that the reputation of the project begins to be recognised. Dissemination and the creation of a communication plan is essential at this stage, whether through face-to-face meetings with policy makers and stakeholders or the dissemination of activities through social networks.