Now's the Time to Start Your Own Business

-

Every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans start a business doing something they love. According to the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy, in 2008 there were more than 29 million small businesses in the country. But is there a right time in your life to start your own business?

For Betty Brasch of Lincoln, Nebraska, starting a non-profit in her 60's turned out to be quite the valuable service for those in need. Betty started The Center for People in Need (CFPN) in an effort to help disadvantaged and underserved communities in her area.

According to the Center's website, CFPN "provides a variety of services to meet the basic, emergency needs of families and individuals living at 150 percent or below the Federal poverty level." Under Betty's leadership, CFPN launched several initiatives that brought new approaches to helping underserved groups in the Lincoln area.

Starting a business around retirement age may seem daunting, but the value of life experience and a long list of contacts may be just the ticket to get your idea off the ground.

What if you were a mother who revisited the idea of reusable diapers, but made them organic, easier and hip? That's exactly what Margarita McClure did when she found extra time while caring for her newborn son. Disliking the amount of waste created by disposable diapers, Margarita created Swaddlebees.

Her forte was in the restaurant business, but by using the internet to connect with customers, Margarita's brilliant idea in 2005 has proven to be lucrative. In 2008, Swaddlebees saw more than $1.4 million in sales.

While the idea of starting a business is exciting at any point in one's life, make sure you do your homework. According to the SBA, only about half of all new businesses survive five years. Ample planning and research can help prepare you for challenges that may pop up in the future.

February is National Start a Business Month. Will this be the year you finally take the leap and realize your dreams of being your own boss?

For more information, visit:

Encore.org's Betty Brasch profile

Entrepreneur's Margarita McClure profile

Small Business Administration