Seniors and Networking: Making the Most of Connections

Seniors and Networking: Making the Most of Connections
Care Master | Independent Living
7 Min

Seniors and Networking: Making the Most of Connections

Seniors and Networking: Making the Most of Connections

As a senior, the idea of starting a business may seem overwhelming and a little scary, especially if you’d never considered this prospect before. However, many older adults are enjoying what some call an “encore career,” something they accomplish after retiring. This includes starting a business, an endeavor that requires a lot of hard work and dedication. In addition to setting up and running your business, you need to market yourself and connect with others in your community. In other words, you need to network.

Networking may sound like a task for upper management and executives, but it is equally as important on a smaller scale for seniors who wish to start a business or a non-profit. Networking simply means making the most of one’s connections and creating new ones to move your venture forward. Seniors who are interested in making connections, whether for business or volunteer purposes, can find networking opportunities in a variety of ways. Here’s some guidance — courtesy of Senior.One.

Finding Your People

Seniors who wish to network sometimes essentially need to find their people: comrades in the community and industry (and beyond, when working online) who are passionate about the same topics and have mutual interests. If one is interested in starting a business tutoring children and adults in reading or math, for example, it would be important to reach out to adult education programs and school systems to notify administrators and teachers of this availability.

It’s a good idea to use the network connections you have built up if you are searching for a new job. Changing employers later in life can be intimidating, especially if you haven’t updated your resume in a while. Fortunately, there are tools available that make the process easier than ever. You can get started with a resume builder online to help you out. Simply enter your current information, then you can customize your new resume’s look with text, color, and layout.

Seniors who want to volunteer tutoring services could follow the same procedure. Letting the primary stakeholders and referral-makers know of your interest, skill, and availability is a necessary first step.

For seniors interested in starting an online business, their network may be far-reaching. Establish an online presence. Consider creating your own business Facebook page and hiring a professional to build a website. On your website and Facebook page, create content that is relevant to your business: articles, factoids, and photos of your work are all great ways to introduce yourself to others.

If you have a specialized, niche business, consider checking out other companies who offer complementary goods or services—this may result in joint projects that could benefit both of you. Before you advance too far into the process, though, think about your structure and how your business is classified as this can impact many aspects of your operations.

Things to Consider

There are some important things to explore as you start your business. One of the most important is the way you legally structure the company. Businesses can opt to file as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), which offers protection for personal assets and grants tax advantages. A senior who opts to start an LLC, for example, will find that the simplicity of paperwork and flexibility of this format is a wise choice.

If you’ve never started a business before, it can be difficult to know where to start. If you’re unsure about where to begin, use this guide to help you learn how to set up a new company. It will walk you through the broad strokes of decisions you’ll need to make in order to launch a successful venture.

Seniors exploring a business startup also need to consider funding options. There are many ways to fund a business, but some are riskier than others. Using retirement funds for a startup is one way to go, but for those with limited income, this may feel too risky to consider. There are grant funds for seniors to start a business, as well as crowdfunding options and small business loans. Seniors can also work with other like-minded people and start a collaborative or a non-profit, and access donations from area companies. 

Follow Your Passion

Seniors spend their lives working hard. When starting a business or volunteering time in retirement, it should be meaningful and rewarding. When one spends their energy and talents on a meaningful cause, it self-perpetuates. Working feels less tedious when the process and result bring joy and a sense of purpose.

If you are just getting started in a business venture or have considered following a passion to start one, think about doing something you will never get tired of doing. Network with people who have similar interests, and you can feed off one another’s excitement to create something terrific and mutually beneficial. Collaboration is the key to successful networking, and it all starts with you.

At Senior.One, our mission is to empower seniors and their caregivers by facilitating direct connections to senior living communities and senior focused services. We provide customers with a better understanding of all available options while allowing the freedom to navigate the next best step for themselves or their aging loved one.