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22 Business Ideas for the Over 50s

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Published on August 26, 2022

Updated on September 17, 2022

22 Business Ideas for the Over 50s

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22 Business Ideas for the Over 50s

So you’re now past the golden age of 50. You’re probably starting to be a little forgetful and experiencing some aches and pains. But you don’t have to slow down. Everyone ages differently and for some people over 50, life can still get exciting again. 

If you’re thinking about starting your own business, there are plenty of opportunities waiting for you. For example, you can start a wellness or coaching business. You can open a restaurant or go into retail and sell some supplements. The possibilities are endless. Take a look at our list of retirement business ideass.

1. Multi Service Business

Multi Service Business

Want to set up a business but not sure what services to offer? Why not set up a multi-service business? For example, you can start with handyman services. Annual spending for these services is estimated at $4.5 billion in the US. Another is a concierge service that will help individual and institutional clients carry out time-consuming tasks and errands. Your multi-service business could serve as a one-stop shop that offers a variety of services so that customers don’t have to hop from one service provider to another. 

Before you set up a multi-service business, it would be best to check out the market and find out what services are still needed. By making these and other complementary services available, you will be offering convenience to your customers and most likely gain their loyalty. The most important step is building your brand of service. You should have a clear vision of your brand and identity to be able to draw up an efficient marketing strategy.

2. Property Rental

Rental Property

Are you interested in real estate? If so, you’re probably well aware that the pandemic, even as it cratered other industries, has spurred record-setting growth in the US real estate market, with prices and sales totals as high as they’ve been this century. The market has cooled down slightly lately, but it’s still a great time to get in on the action — and one good way to do so is by starting your own rental property business. 

The concept is easy. You simply buy a multi-unit property, or a larger residential complex, and start making a steady income from renters, in addition to property appreciation and tax benefits. Of course you’ll need a significant investment to get started, but you also need to break some eggs to make an omelet. 

But you will of course need to decide what type of rental property you want to invest in. Are you interested in buying and managing properties yourself, or would you prefer to invest in a property management company? Next, research the market and find out the price range for the area where you’re looking to buy. Be sure not to overspend early on. Get started, get a feel for the industry in your area, and then start thinking about making bigger bets.

3. Apartment Rental

Apartment Business

With more Americans relocating to escape soaring rents in metropolitan areas, an apartment business in a less expensive city can be a great way to make some money. The national rent index is on an upward trajectory, increasing fastest in Sun Belt cities. The US apartment rental industry is estimated to be worth $200 billion, with room for growth in the middle and low-end segments. 

There are a few things you need to know before you start your business. First, apartments are typically easier to rent than commercial space. Second, each state has laws governing the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants. Statutes may vary from one state to another, so check your state’s regulations. Before you sign any rental agreement, you will also need to know how to properly screen prospective tenants to make sure that the rights of each party are upheld and protected. There are risks and you will likely encounter some speed bumps, but an apartment business can provide a stable income. So, get your apartment ready for the market now.

4. Coaching Service

Coaching Business

Not long ago, there were only a handful of coaching firms in the United States. Today there are more than 2,200 and the coaching industry is worth more than $11 billion and still seeing strong growth. Americans have learned to appreciate the value of good insight and planning, particularly when it comes to major decisions involving their finances, career and personal matters. 

If you have expertise in any of these areas, you could start your own coaching business and help people lead more fulfilling lives while grabbing a slice of this fast-growing market. It’s easy to get started. You just need a reliable computer, some relevant experience and a strong marketing campaign, highlighting your skills on social media and beyond. 

The challenge will be attracting and maintaining clients, so you’ll need to find a way to stand out from the coaching crowd and prove your worth. A great website will surely help.

5. Bed and Breakfast

Bed and Breakfast

Many Americans still choose to stay in a bed and breakfast for the unique hospitality, homey experience, freshly cooked food, and fascinating stories that it offers. The US bed and breakfast market was estimated to be worth $1.7 billion in 2021, German research firm Statista says. The market is expected to rebound from the pandemic slump with the lifting of travel restrictions. If you’ve been thinking about opening your own bed and breakfast, now is the time to do it. 

When starting a B & B business, it’s important to be updated on the latest trends in the industry. For example, many guests prefer a facility that offers live entertainment or is located close to tourist attractions. It’s also to your advantage to research the market and see what features and services are being offered by the competition. Be innovative in coming up with ways to differentiate your business. Running a bed and breakfast is not easy, but it can be very rewarding if you play your cards right.

6. Wellness Center

Wellness

If you’re passionate about health and want to help other people improve their lives, a wellness business might be best for you. It can be financially rewarding, too. As the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, the global wellness industry is expected to recover from the slowdown and projected to grow nearly 10% annually to approach $7 trillion by 2025. This presents an opportunity for you to start a wellness business. 

Before you get started, it’s a good idea to decide on your niche market. Are you thinking of simply selling health and wellness products? Perhaps you could focus on providing health and wellness services. Would you open a massage or yoga studio? How about a retreat center or treatment spa? Find the answers to your questions as you research more on the subject. Keep in mind that every business is different, so you’ll need to tailor any tips to fit your specific situation.

7. Storage Facility

Storage Business

One in 10 Americans spend an average of $90 a month on storage, according to the Self Storage Association. If you’re looking to start a business that’s low-maintenance but provides a steady source of income, consider starting a storage business. 

There are many reasons why people need to rent storage space — when they renovate their homes and have to move some stuff out of the way, when they relocate or move to a smaller space, or when they simply have to declutter their homes.  

If you own or intend to rent an empty piece of land, you can turn it into a storage lot for boats, RVs, and other stuff. An option is to build some self-storage units. You’ll know what’s best for you after you conduct your market research. It’s also a good idea to find out what existing storage businesses in the area are offering. With careful planning and an effective marketing campaign, your storage business can be very profitable.

8. Craft Store

Craft Business

Do you have a creative hobby? If it involves some sort of craft, you might want to consider turning your favorite at-home pastime into a business, and potentially a major revenue stream. With people stuck at home for months on end looking for something creative to do or something interesting to buy, the arts and crafts industry has exploded since the start of the pandemic. In 2020 alone, the revenue of the leading online arts and crafts marketplace Etsy more than doubled, to $1.72 billion. That means right now is a great time to start your own craft business, provided people with wonderful products and ride this wave to prosperity. 

You’ll be your own boss, working at home at times that are best for you. You’ll be able to embrace and express your creativity, producing goods that could be sold around the world. But you will need to decide which products to focus on. This could be anything from crocheted blankets and clay jewelry to embroidered handkerchiefs and knit hats. Whatever you choose, be sure to research what’s already out there and offer a unique twist on existing products. Building a strong brand will be key to the success of your craft business.

9. Financial Coaching

Financial Coaching

Thinking of starting a financial coaching business? You’re not alone. Financial coaching is one of the fastest growing industries in North America, and women make up nearly 60% of coaches, so it’s diverse and empowering as well. Financial coaches help people grow their wealth by laying personalized strategies to achieve their goals. This includes budgeting, saving, retirement planning, helpful financial strategies and tools, and more. 

You might be wondering how you’ll find clients, how much to charge for your services, and what kind of education you might need. These are all good questions that you will find the answers to as you research financial coaching and begin your entrepreneurial journey. Opportunity awaits!

10. Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping

You probably think that bookkeepers and accountants do largely the same work, and in some minor areas their work does overlap. But for the most part, bookkeepers perform the minute recording of day-to-day financial transactions, while accountants use bookkeepers’ data to create financial statements and review a company’s financial standing. The work of bookkeepers is, in fact, crucial to financial stability, which is why the US is home to 1.5 million bookkeepers and a growing $55 billion industry. 

If you’re hard working and good with numbers, you could start your own bookkeeping business and grab a share of that market while helping countless companies keep better track of their financials. What’s more, you could work from home to start, and market your services to clients around the world. 

Keep in mind that you will need to become a certified bookkeeper, which requires a good deal of training and experience. But once you’ve cleared that hurdle and begun building a reputation through great service, you’ll be well on your way to success.

11. Private Investigator

Private Investigator

The private investigation market in the US is estimated to be worth $6 billion and demand is still increasing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates job openings for private investigators at 3,000 each year through 2030. If you are a licensed private investigator, why not consider starting your own private investigator business? 

Private investigators look for missing persons, run background checks, investigate fraud, conduct surveillance, and more. It is important to develop your skills in these areas and focus on what you do best. You will need to establish your credentials as a PI. You will also need to look into the local laws governing private investigators in your state. It’s to your advantage to develop a website and strengthen your social media presence to enable potential clients to easily find you. Private investigators are employed by various types of private agencies, corporations, individuals, and law enforcement agencies. Just make sure that your business aligns with your goals and specialty.

12. Restaurant

Restaurant Business

So you’ve decided to start a restaurant business. Congratulations! Opening a restaurant is no easy task, but it can be very lucrative. The food service industry in the US is expected to bounce back from pandemic slump due to pent-up demand and generate $900 billion in sales in 2022. 

The pandemic, however, has reshaped the industry and many restaurant operators believe it would take a year or more before business conditions return to normal. But if you’re keeping track of the trends, you would establish a digital presence and work on offering delivery services before opening your doors.  

There are many other things to consider. First, it’s important to decide what type of restaurant you want to open. Do you want to serve classic American fare, or specialize in a certain cuisine? Do you want to do casual or fine dining? What about a family-style restaurant? Next, it’s a good idea to research the competition in your area and come up with a plan to set yourself apart. Starting a restaurant can be tough, but if you’re prepared for the challenges ahead, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience.

13. Nutrition Business

Nutrition Business

Obsessed with counting calories? If so, a nutrition business might be perfect for you. Nearly 6,000 dietitians and nutritionists are needed each year through 2030 in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and government offices across the US. Globally, the billion-dollar human nutrition market is expected to continue growing due to rising health awareness among consumers and the surging demand for dietary supplements. 

If you’ve been thinking about starting your own nutrition business, there are several ways to do it. You may provide outsourced services to hospitals and nursing homes, or set up your own nutrition center and be your own boss. You just need to check out the licensing requirements and government regulations before you start operating. Pick a niche and stick to it, whether it’s dietary supplements, food and beverages, or infant nutrition. If you’re passionate about what you do and dedicated to helping others achieve their nutritional and other health goals, you’ll find your nutrition business fulfilling and financially rewarding at the same time.

14. Food Trailer

Food Trailer

More than 35,000 food trucks are currently operating across the US, and the number is expected to rise as consumer spending increases. These food trucks prepare and serve food, ranging from hotdogs and tacos to ethnic menus and gourmet cuisine. They can be found on sidewalks and in parking lots and parks. If you’re an entrepreneur with a love of food, starting a food trailer business might be the perfect way to turn your passion into a career. 

Before you open your food trailer, it’s important that you research the market and see what other food trucks are serving. It’s a good idea to decide what kind of food to offer and find your own niche market. It would be easy to market your business if you come up with a unique offering or a fresh take on food truck fare. You will also need to comply with your state’s permit and licensing requirements. When you’re ready, take your truck to the park and start cooking!

15. Marketing Consulting

Marketing Consulting

If you’re ready to take your marketing career to the next level, why not set up your own marketing consulting business? The $475 billion global marketing services industry is projected to grow steadily. A fast growing segment is digital marketing, which has also been contributing the bulk of income.

If you have experience providing professional advice on marketing and sales, you’ll need only a minimal investment to set up your marketing consulting business. Before you launch, it’s a good idea to choose which services to offer, build your team, and scope out the market to determine pricing. Once you’ve decided on a business name, it’s to your advantage to create a logo, set up social media accounts, and develop a website to establish your brand especially in the digital space. These will help you find your first clients. The journey won’t be easy and you might encounter speed bumps along the way, but it’ll be worth it.

16. Wholesale

Wholesale

Wholesale is all about the advantages of scale: prices are lower than retail because the purchases are in bulk, vast amounts of tomatoes, cement mix, shoes, or whatever it may be. If you’re good at scaling up and making sales, you might want to consider starting a wholesale business, because the industry is expected to continue its steady growth in the years ahead. 

Getting started will require a significant investment, because all of that inventory is not going to suddenly appear out of nowhere, and you’ll need a place to keep it. Fortunately, unlike retail, a wholesale business doesn’t have to worry about finding an area with heavy traffic. Instead, the main concern is space. Once you’ve got your goods and a warehouse, you’ll need to obtain all the necessary licenses, then start reaching out to local businesses that might be interested in your goods.

Keep in mind that this is a big and growing industry, which means you’re going to face stiff competition from established firms and other new entrants. You’ll likely need to work hard, and smart, to succeed.

17. Blog

Blog

In the podcast era, you might have thought that blogs had gone out of style. You would be wrong. The internet is home to more than 600 million blogs, more than 2 million blog posts go online every day, and after years of steady growth, the US is home to about 32 million blogs. Substack, the blog and newsletter platform, recently passed one million subscribers. As a result, there is real opportunity for a bold entrepreneur looking to start a blog business and get in this massive market. 

It requires minimal investment. All you really need is a reliable computer and decent wifi. The major hurdle is coming up with a concept, an objective or mission for your blog business. You might choose generating funds to feed hungry children or delivering crucial news to the people of your city or state. Once you’ve found your niche, you’ll need to reach out across your network, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and beyond, looking for all those who write on related subjects and asking them to get on board. You could offer discounts, incentives, or rewards to sweeten the deal. 

Once a couple of accomplished bloggers sign on, the paid advertisements will start rolling in and you’ll be on the road to success in the blogging business.

18. Event Planning

Event Planning

The biggest events — weddings, reunions, graduation parties — are often moments that people never forget. You can play a key role in making memories for countless people by starting your own event planning business. As the pandemic recedes, the industry has been growing fast and is now worth $3 billion in the US alone, so the opportunity is real. If you enjoy organizing and planning, this could be the perfect venture for you — and now’s a great time to do it. 

More and more people are looking to plan long-delayed major events, from weddings to reunions to memorials and more. You can grab a piece of this growing market with a bit of training, confidence and organizational skills. Starting an event planning business requires little investment, and event planners often make 15-20 percent of the total cost. So just imagine how good you’ll feel working from home while planning a $100,000 wedding reception!

19. Retail Store

Retail Business

Are you thinking of starting your own retail business? If so, you’re in good company. The retail industry is a huge part of the economy, and it’s only getting bigger. But starting a retail business isn’t easy. There are a lot of things to think about, from choosing the right location to setting up your payment system. And let’s not forget the most important step: deciding what you’ll be selling! 

A good way to choose your product offerings is to first do some research — see what’s out there, and more importantly what’s not. You’re looking for what sells well, as well as a market gap to fill.  Once you know your products, finding a great location for your store will be the next big step. However, you might want to initially run your retail business out of your home. This would significantly reduce your costs and give you time to build a brand and a reputation. 

After a year or two, assuming your products are well received by the market, you’ll be in a much better position to find a great location and run a successful retail outlet.

20. Life Coaching

Life Coaching

If you’re good at guiding other people through various perspectives as they navigate major changes in their lives, then you should consider starting a life coaching business. Demand for life coaching services is increasing in the US as indicated by the steady rise in the number of life coaches. The number is expected to exceed 18,000 in 2022 as the economy improves and consumers are able to spend more on discretionary services, market analyst IBISWorld says. 

A life coach provides counseling services and helps clients explore possibilities in the areas of personal development, financial issues, career path, relationship issues, and more. There is no licensing requirement for life coaching, but it’s to your advantage to obtain certification that will let potential clients know you underwent training. There are many certifications you can apply for, but the most prestigious is the certification from the International Coaching Federation (ICF). Besides undergoing training, it’s also important to have empathy for your clients. With these, your life coaching business can be truly rewarding.

21. Supplements Store

Supplements

If you’ve been thinking about starting a supplement business, now is the time to do it! Sales of multivitamins and supplements spiked more than 50% at the start of the pandemic. In 2022, vitamin and supplement manufacturers in the US were estimated to have earned at least $35 billion. The market is expected to grow marginally in the next five years, with e-commerce sales representing a big opportunity for the industry.

A supplement business can be a very lucrative endeavor. However, it’s not without its challenges. To get started, you need to comply with licensing requirements and other regulations relating to vitamins and supplements. You also need to choose your products well, find reliable suppliers, develop your brand, and get creative in promoting your products. Since the latest trend is selling directly to consumers via the internet, you have to develop your e-commerce website and boost your online presence. Expect to devote a lot of time and effort to your supplement business to ensure its success.

22. Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy

As more and more Americans express an interest in their long-term health and wellness, demand for physical therapy has steadily increased. After years of steady growth the industry is worth $38 billion in the US alone, and offers an excellent opportunity for the entrepreneur. If you’re an established physical therapist or will soon become one, you could start your own practice and make a good living while helping countless people live fuller, healthier lives. That’s an incredibly valuable service — which is why it’s so well compensated. 

You will of course need to be certified as a physical therapist, which takes years of education and hard work. But assuming you have your certification you’ll just need to get your license and insurance and find a good location for your physical therapy business. An alternative, for when you’re just starting out, is to be a mobile physical therapist and provide your therapy sessions at people’s homes and offices. This would cut your costs and allow you to save up for the deposit on a fantastic location. 

Once you’re all moved into the new space, your clients will start referring new clients and your marketing should bring in even more.