Our guest in this episode was Jeff Williams, who is a Baby Boomer entrepreneur business starter. He works exclusively with people over 50. Jeff says many Baby Boomers are becoming entrepreneurs. Last year there were over 150,000 startups by people over 55.
Coming to you this time from Baby Boomer Business Central
Baby Boomers are refocusing on a new work style because the way to get flexibility in work is to create it yourself. He has a network of coaches and has been a business starter for 25 years. Over the years he has perfected the process to take people to a fully functioning business in a short period of time. (usually within 16 weeks)
His licensed business starter coach program is called “Virtual Incubator™ Coaching Program.” He’s trained 5 other coaches in addition to himself and they cover the U.S. The process includes coaching, business planning, and all the business services an entrepreneur needs all packaged together.
Jeff will work with any type of business that is viable in the marketplace and if he sees the entrepreneur will be devoted to moving forward. Most of his clients have worked corporate jobs and now have their own consulting businesses. He also helps people convert hobbies into businesses.
Another business model he works with is social businesses, where people are not really looking to make a ton of money but want to take care of a social problem or cause. They can take advantage of having a B Corporation. It’s a legal entity that allows a business owner to combine a non-profit and a for-profit in the same legal entity.
Even though his business name includes the word “incubator” it’s not about attracting investors to acquire funding. Most of the people he works with who are over 55 have money and are spending under $10,000 to start their business. Jeff’s company provides everything an entrepreneur needs except space so that’s why he calls it a Virtual Incubator.
The majority of his client’s value time flexibility more than the amount of money they will make. Jeff is into working for social justice but realized he had to make money himself in order to be able to help the causes he believes in. Corporate funding for non-profits has been cut way back, so you have to be able to make money in order for them to work. You also have to be able to provide a profit and loss statement just like any other business.
A typical client of his wants to make 40 – 60k a year, do work they love every day, work with people they like and want to do it for 6-7 years.
He provides entrepreneurs staff support just like they had when they worked corporate jobs. Each client is given a coach who helps the entrepreneur with the business planning process, and a team to do 14 business starter tasks. (everything from a domain name to Quickbooks installation.) One fee – one place – that’s it. They provide logos, website, social media profiles, email marketing account, legal registration, marketing plan, sales prospecting plan, plus 6 months of monthly coaching calls with their coach after they launch.
Jeff says the mortality rate for small businesses is as high as it is because of lack of support after launch. He also believes the small business administration is not equipped to give the kind of coaching his company provides.
The biggest problem people have after they launch a new business is how to get more sales prospects. Jeff has a marketing background and has worked with people who are experts in lead generation. They are constantly adding new resources in this area for their clients. If you don’t sell, you don’t have a business.
His father, who was in sales, told Jeff, “If you learn how to sell, you will never be unemployed.”
Business starter tips for aspiring Baby Boomer entrepreneurs
Sit down with a piece of paper and write down ONE thing. “What is the problem I can solve with either my interests, my hobby, or my skill. People pay for solutions.
Be aware of the fact that when you’re entrepreneurial, almost no one cares what your age is.
There is a lot of help out there. (Between coaches like Jeff, online services, or local entrepreneurs in your community.) Even if you work by yourself at home you don’t have to be lonely, isolated or have no help.
Be careful with your money. He doesn’t want to knock franchises, but they can take a chunk out of your income and if they don’t work, you will have lost a good deal of cash. The average startup cost for a franchise last year was $110,000.
Because of technology, there are a lot of ways to start a business today for almost no money. You can start a freelance business (graphic designer, copywriter, gardening tips, etc.) The average entrepreneur that Jeff works with runs their company for less than $300 per month.
The brick and mortar business is not the business model of today. The business model today is to have an online store, selling a service online, or consulting. Plus, you can do it from anywhere.
Jeff’s website is www.bizstarters.com
If you are interested in starting a new business Jeff is offering a free coaching call with him. There is no obligation and he won’t give you a sales pitch. Go to the home page of his website and on the right side of the page it says, “request a call.” Click on it and you will automatically be taken to his calendar where you can pick a date and time that works for both of you.