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5 signs your encore business is ready to take center stage

Looking for a sign that it’s time to take your business in a new direction? This is it.

minute read


With decades of experience, a handful of loyal clients and significant assets to leverage, many people over age 55 aren't winding down. They're pushing off retirement to start or grow their own businesses — and pursue gigs that are both fulfilling and profitable.

SCORE, a nonprofit organization and resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration, calls this encore entrepreneurship. In fact, people ages 55 and over now make up 51% of local business owners, who are using their expertise to try something new, uplift their communities or fuel their passions.

Maybe your business idea or sole proprietorship is ready to grow into something more. The question is: How do you know it's time to scale up and take your encore business to the next level?

Entrepreneurs ages 55 and up finance their businesses with retirement funds 52.3% more often than younger business owners do. With the cash back feature of Chase Ink® business credit cards, you can put rewards earned right back into your business. Plus, Chase Business Complete Banking℠ provides the banking essentials you need, such as same-day deposits on card payments and fraud protection at no additional cost.

Learn more about Chase Ink® business credit cards and Chase Business Complete Banking℠

1. Your "why" is clear

Your inspiration for transforming a gig into a business might be different from that of other business owners, but the reason should be clear. Perhaps you want to create more financial stability for your family during your retirement years, use your hard-earned knowledge and skill to give back to the community or leave a legacy that your children can inherit. It's crucial that your "why" drives every decision you make.


2. Your customers are demanding an encore

Community support is a huge factor for building a successful business. What feedback are you hearing from customers? Are they eager to offer referrals if you had more capacity, or do they wish you had more products in your lineup? Listening to feedback about your services or competitors in the area can help you identify opportunities for growth or shift your business model to fill gaps in the market. Talk to potential customers and find out how your venture can best serve the community. Then create a business plan, and get those goals down on paper.


3. You understand the risk

Did you know that new entrepreneurs over age 50 have roughly the same success rate as people starting businesses in their 20s? That being said, tapping your retirement funds can be risky. Would scaling up your gig disrupt your financial plan or potentially enhance it? Having a discussion with an expert is the next step in mitigating those risks.


4. Your gig gives more than it takes

When pushing off retirement to start a new business venture, it ought to be something you're passionate about. Owning and operating a business can be demanding or tip the scales on your work-life balance and lead to burnout. As the saying goes: Do something you love, and you'll never work a day in your life, so make sure your encore business brings you joy, excitement and financial stability.


5. You know your dream team

The right team is critical to the success of any business. If you already know exactly who you want to join the cast of your encore business, that could be a sign you're ready. Pick the people who care about your business, whether it's a savvy digital marketer to help establish your web presence and build your social media following, a project manager to keep clients happy and the work moving, or an expert accountant to manage your money and keep your financial goals in check.

When you're ready to take your business in a new direction, contact your local Chase for Business representative or visit the Chase for Business Knowledge Center to find helpful tools and resources.


For informational/educational purposes only: The views expressed in this article may differ from those of other employees and departments of JPMorgan Chase & Co. Views and strategies described may not be appropriate for everyone and are not intended as specific advice/recommendation for any individual. Information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but JPMorgan Chase & Co. or its affiliates and/or subsidiaries do not warrant its completeness or accuracy. You should carefully consider your needs and objectives before making any decisions and consult the appropriate professional(s). Outlooks and past performance are not guarantees of future results.

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