Poll: Retirees Opt to Continue Working
to Supplement Their Income
A Stanford University survey of Baby Boomers discovered a startling fact. One third of male boomers and one fourth of female boomers are working after retirement. Reasons cited are:
- Supplement their retirement income
- Keep their mind and body active
- Make a difference in their community
Household Income on Social Security Benefits May Surprise You
In a 2012 survey, the Center for Retirement Studies found that 80% of households on Social Security have an annual income of $36,000 or less. That fact alone is sufficient motivation to want to work after retiring from their full time career.
How Much Golf Can We Play Anyway?
Are Baby Boomers Doomed to a Lousy Retirement?
However, having said that, these Baby Boomers are redefining retirement to include more leisure activities such as golf, travel, and spending more time with their grandchildren. Starting an online business or engaging in telecommuting activities permits flexible scheduling to achieve these goals.
Baby Boomers are Redefining Purpose in Their Latter Days
Baby Boomers want to keep their mind and body sharp and delay the onset of “old age syndrome.” They want to “wear out, not rust out.” During their busy careers, they were not able to volunteer in their community. After retirement, they want to make a difference in their community and will volunteer to help worthy causes such as church activities, homeless charities, and literacy programs. The list of opportunities to serve is almost endless.
- Question From Our Readers:
I’m a stay at home retiree. I need to bring in some money, but I really don’t want to go back to work away from my home. I have a computer, a fast internet connection and a telephone. What can I do to make money?
I have been reporting on ideas to start a home-based business. There are telecommuting jobs with companies such as U-Haul and Amazon. There are also a variety of home businesses you can start with very little start up expenses.
Top Four Work at Home Jobs for 2016:
- Online Store.
Do you have a product that you want to sell? Maybe you make bracelets, candles or soap that your neighbors go crazy for? Set up a website and you’ve got an instant storefront. Websites can be started for a very low price now. You’ll need a domain name (your website name), hosting, and some way to design your website.
Mike Omar covers those topics in his book: Make Money Online.
From there, you just need to work getting visitors to your online store to get sales. It’s not quite as easy as it sounds, but it is a very viable business option. Future posts will cover these topics. Content Marketing is the key to drive traffic to your website. I can help you with that by developing targeted SEO content to your audience. Click here for Hall Content Writing.com for more information.
Drop Shipping and Commerce Blueprint: Pros, Cons, and Myths Exposed by Christine Clayfield.
Ms. Clayfield has been operating an internet business for over seven years. She is sharing her secrets to success in starting and running a successful online store using drop shipping from other suppliers to deliver the goods to your customers. A few of the topics she covers are:
- Drop Shipping Basics
- Pinpoint Strategies for Product Selection/Margins/Pricing
- Product Sales Research Secrets Revealed
- Getting and Retaining Customers 101
- Law of Percentage, Margins, and Returns
- Complete Step-by-Step Blueprint
This course will help you avoid common mistakes and build a thriving business on line. Remember, while the upfront costs are low, you will have to devote quite a bit of “sweat equity” to develop the business. This is not aa “easy money” method. She is not selling instant success, but she offers valuable advice and secrets to make this business model work.
This training course is available from Click Bank which offers a 60-day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the eBook. Click here for more information.
2. Tele Commute Jobs: Careful of Scams
There are businesses that will hire home workers for an hourly rate. These jobs are few and far between, but they are out there. If you want to qualify for a Telecommuting position, you’ll need to work on your resume and cover letter and interview skills. There is a lot of competition, but you can do it!
You can avoid scams by understanding that applying for a job to use the telephone and computer from your home is still interviewing for the job and putting your best foot forward. You do not need to pay up front money to scammers. But it is best to trust respected authors and job boards such as Guru.com and Outsource.com. Also, these jobs are advertised locally by reputable firms seeking qualified workers. Nurses, customer service, and other jobs are ideal for this type of work. Firms are closing down call centers in favor of employees using their home office. Here is one resource you might be interested to read.
Connie Brentford’s book, Make Money Online: 97 Real Companies That Pay You to Work in Your Pajamas, is packed with solid information. I have been careful to recommend these types of books since it is easy to write on this topic without doing the research. Connie is different. She has “been there, done that.” While she writes to stay at home moms, the principles are solid and useful for the retired worker seeking to “work at home in their pajamas.”
Connie covers a wide variety of topics such as:
- Your work at home strategy
- Call Center Work
- Online Transcription Work
- Administrative Assistant
- Avoiding Scams
She offers a ton of advice for work at home moms, dads, college students, and retirees seeking to supplement their income. I read all four of her books and gained insights to a variety of job opportunities. Click here for the book.
- Direct Sales.
There are literally thousands of Direct Sales companies, offering everything from cosmetics to wine. And, people do make money with these programs. (Of course, there are no guarantees, but there is potential.)
Some of these companies even provide their consultants with a website, free of charge. Beware of scams! You must really research a company before joining. Some are still in the “stone age” with their advertising policies and do not allow you to promote your website in any way. So, if you plan to work mostly online, do some research before signing on the dotted line.
You should read books on Multilevel Marketing (MLM) to gain a good understanding of the business model.
Mark Yarnell’s book, Your First Year in Network Marketing: Overcome Your Fears, Experience Success, and Achieve Your Dreams, is a good beginner’s guide to this business model. Click here for the book.
- Online Assistant:
Many people, young and old, are making a good living as a Virtual Assistant doing anything from writing articles to advertising for their clients. If you love office work, dislike office politics, this is an option you may want to investigate.
A good guide on developing your Virtual Assistant home-based business is by Lis Taliga, How to Become A Virtual Assistant: The 5 Key How Steps to Your Successful Virtual Assistant Business.
She is earning from $45 to $80 per hour depending on the skill set she offers to her clients. She worked for clients all over the world from her home office (she doesn’t mention working in her pajamas). The advantages of working from your home office include:
- Make Money From Home
- Do What You Love
- Work With Clients All Over the World
- Great Job Satisfaction and Variety
- Set Your Own Schedule and Enjoy Freedom and Flexibility
- No Commuting Costs, Office Attire Expenses, Fast Food Restaurants
- Gain More Free Time Just by Eliminating the Commute
- Save Money on Fuel, Train/bus fares, and Parking Fees
- Free From Office Politics
- Feeling Energized and Productive
This is a Click Bank digital product with an iron clad 60-day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the information. Click here to learn more.
There You Have It!
Once you figure out what interests you, network with other retirees who are successful. I live in a large retirement community in Florida and I was surprised at the number of retirees who are working from their home offices. Nurses are hired for telecommuting jobs. Event planners, eBay sales, blogging, and selling wine at house parties are just a few of the businesses they are successfully pursuing. They are enjoying the retirement lifestyle and they also enjoy staying relevant in the work world.
- Do You Have Any Questions?
It is time to seize the moment and do research on your interests, experience, and desire to work from home. Send me a note on your pursuits and questions and I will cover your question and answer in future posts.
How to Start a Garden Service Business
Do you love gardening and being outdoors? If so, starting a gardening service may be ideal for you. It is a business idea that can be structured to fit your lifestyle and health. Because it is your business, you structure your service offerings and the time necessary to achieve your work goals.
People who are retired and are in good health can certainly consider this home-based business option. The start up costs are low because you already have the tools you need to operate the service. You can focus on customers who are also retired but unable to do gardening or lawn trimming. You can also find customers who are working long hours and unable to find the time to maintain their gardens and lawns.
- Key Benefit: Flexibility to set hours and type of services you offer.
What Does a Garden Service Business Do?
A garden service can provide a variety of services:
- Grass cutting (type face change to match those below)
- Garden design and planning
- Planting flowers and shrubs
- Plan and Define the Service(s) You Will Offer
The services you provide will be up to you. However, it’s a good idea to know ahead of time just what you’ll be providing. Ask yourself the following questions and list the service or services you will offer to your customers.
- Do you have experience with garden design and a great eye for detail?
If so, you may want to help people plan and design their dream garden. Be aware that potential customers may ask about your qualifications and ask for samples of gardens you have previously designed.
2. Do You Want to Offer a Simple Service?
If design isn’t quite right for you, you may want to simply offer maintenance and/or planting services.
In this case, you may advise clients about certain plants, and help them choose new plants and then plant them and care for them.
You may simply want to offer light maintenance on existing gardens such as:
- Weekly schedule for grass cutting
- Monthly schedule for weeding
- Quarterly schedule for shrub and hedge trimming.
Again, the services you provide are entirely up to you.
- Case Study #1: Lawn Mowing in the Midwest
When Roy retired at age 67, his arthritis was very painful, but he didn’t want to sit around the house complaining about his pain. He had a lawn tractor and loved to mow his lawn. Several of his neighbors asked him to mow their lawn and he generated a monthly income during the spring, summer and fall months in the area where he lived. He had a snow blower and cleared their driveway(s) after every snowstorm. He was able to do this until age 80. He credits working outdoors as the key factor that kept him going for so long.
Roy charged by the project, not by the hour. His lawn tractor made short work of each project. He charged a monthly fee that would include weekly lawn cutting, snow removal and leaf mulching in the fall. It is a good business model that is successful in retirement communities and in areas where people are working long hours and are unable to keep up with their yard chores.
He said he worked out a deal for the small yards he was cutting. It would take him less than 15 minutes to cut the lawn and trim the edges. He charged $40 a month that included mulching leaves and snow removal. That gave him a annual income of $480 a month per yard. He has 30 customers and earns $14,400 a year for less than 15 hours a week. That gave him time to play golf and enough money to supplement his retirement income. He gave a good deal for his elderly clients and gained personal satisfaction in delivering a quality service.
- Case Study #2: Hedge Trimming in Florida
Joe is a retired landscaper, but needed to work to supplement his retirement income. He noticed that his neighbors in this Florida retirement community had installed bottle brush hedges for privacy. Bottle Brushes are native to this part of Florida and they never stop growing. He offered a shrub and hedge trimming service and business is booming. He had the trimming equipment and the skill to trim bushes to stimulate their growth.
Joe is busy and he loves being outdoors. He now has 120 clients with staggered time frame to trim the bushes and has an average charge of $50 a yard spending less than a half hour timing and removing yard waste. He is earning $24,000 a year for 20 a week. He doesn’t have a pension and the income supplements his Social Security check and offers a nice retirement in the Florida community.
These are just two stories to demonstrate that anyone who loves yard work can thrive at any age. Frankly, both men told me “they would rather wear out than rust out.”
If you’re going to get started as a one-person business then you simply need all the relevant equipment. Of course, you need knowledge about gardening and plants. If you feel you are lacking in understanding horticulture in your area, you can take a community course to become a “Master Gardener.”
However, it is not necessary to obtain this certification. You can always brush up on your skills as necessary with a home-study course or by studying gardening books. Chances are, at our age, we gained the knowledge by the “school of hard knocks.”
Lawn Care Magic: Breakthrough Lawn Secret Grows Your Lawn 3 Times Faster With Less Work and Without Any Expensive Fertilizers or Special Equipment.
Grow a greener lawn organically and reduce lawn weeds, eliminates brown spots, and no more soil pests. This course teaches you how to grow a 100% all natural lawn. This is available from Clickbank with a 60 money back guarantee! The author also provides several great bonuses on gardening topics.
Click here to check them out.
Planning Your Business
Make a list of the equipment you will need to do the service. This will help you to determine if you have what you need or if you need to make a capital investment to purchase additional equipment. Keep track of your receipts for tax purposes.
Estimate the cost of operating your lawn mower. This will help you to factor in the cost of doing business when you develop your pricing strategy.
- Meet Your State and Local Laws.
Once you have all your equipment, you need to ensure you’re meeting all the legal business requirements. Your local county office can advise you and help with this step. Incidentally, you can learn quite a bit about the gardening challenges in your area by visiting your county’s agricultural office.
Do not charge by the hour. Estimate the time it will take to do the job and charge by the completed project. This is how you can build in a profit margin to run your business.
For example, if your lawn mowing will take fifteen minutes and you are charging $25 an hour, don’t charge $4.25. You need to factor in the gas, wear and tear on your mower, and travel expenses. Figure those expenses out and add a profit margin for your monthly service. Roy and Mike did that in the two case studies I presented earlier and they are doing quite well.
How Do I Find Clients?
This is a business that will largely depend on word of mouth. If your customers are happy with your service, they will likely recommend you to their family and friends. Ensuring you do a great job is important!
My wife found our hedge trimmer / flower planter by a recommendation from our neighbor. We found our grass cutting service by answering an ad on Craigslist. They are so dependable, we recommended them to several of our friends.
For more information on marketing plans for your lawn
Your Lawn Care Business Marketing Plan: How to Double Your Lawn Care Business in 30 Days!
This is a ClickBank product and comes with an iron-clad 60 day money back if you don’t like the marketing blueprint.
We learned that the secret to success is to be dependable to our employers and customers. Many people who offer gardening services are unreliable and deliver poor quality work. Boomers can be counted on to complete the job on deadline. Use this advantage to generate a thriving income.
Marketing for Solos.
How to Advertise Your Service:
To gain your first few clients, sending flyers out locally as well as placing a magnetic sign on your car (which has your logo and details) are easy and inexpensive ways to start. Be sure your business cell phone is boldly printed on the sign.
You may also want to place an ad in your local paper. If there is an Internet site popular with your area, such as “Talk of the Villages,” or “Village-News.net”, you can post an Ad at minimal cost.
You can also print off flyers and place them on the door steps of your neighborhood. Be sure you stress you are local, a neighbor, and dependable. Put your telephone number is large, bold print.
Building a relationship with a local garden nursery or garden center is a good idea as well. You can commit to buying your plants and equipment from them in exchange for their recommendation to their clients about your services.
How to Start, Grow and Run a Profitable Lawn Care Business by Daniel Pepper.
For more information on starting a gardening service business, click here for the book: How to start Landscaping Business Right Now With No Startup Money by Daniel Pepper. Mr. Pepper offers a step by step process to get your business growing rapidly providing you with green cash. He also has a MP3 audio file for the people who want to listen to the lessons. In addition, he offers a newsletter for subscribing to the course. This is a Clickbank product backed with a 60 day money back guarantee.
Click here to check it out.
How to Start a Landscaping business Right Now with NO Start-Up Money by Keith Halfas. This is a Kindle book offered by Amazon. Click here for the book.
Drop me a line and let me know what you think.
Real-Time Marketing Tools for 2016
Retired Baby Boomers may not always be up to date on the latest marketing tools. We have a tendency to put off learning how to use new marketing tools due to the learning curve. Remember, we are retired and we have control of our time. You can devote time to learn at least one of these tools to help you develop your brand for your business.
What is Real-Time Marketing?
The term dates back to ancient times (about five years ago) when companies would train their sales person to help the customer. The goal was to inform, educate, stress the benefits, ask for the order and close the sale. This was the traditional “real-time” marketing strategy that stressed customer interaction with the company. It was an effective method to develop the customer’s trust and loyalty in making a buying decision.
The development of social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Google + expanded the social one to one interaction between the salesperson and customer in a store to encompass several communication channels. The high speed Internet allowed this social interaction with a customer anywhere in the world to create a pleasing, visual experience. Huge companies have been working on this strategy to utilize customer demographic data with a real time marketing campaign utilizing video, text, graphics, and voice communication interactivity.
Today, the small home-based business owner can use the same tools to increase customer awareness of your product or service. The cost is but a fraction of what the “big boys” spent developing the strategy. It is truly a “game changer” for small businesses to compete on a level playing field. They can now offer the same visual experience and interactivity with targeted audiences.
Explosion in New Real-Time Marketing Platforms
As popular as real-time marketing tools have been in 2015, they’re ready to explode into new popularity for 2016. New technology is harnessing the high speed Internet with startling advances. It is now easy to conduct streaming chats, share images, and engage with your customers using the new interactive features of these platforms.
The time has come to get up from sitting behind your computer and let the world see the “real” you. These tools will help you achieve your marketing goals.
Six Tools to Put to Work in Your Marketing Efforts:
- Snapchat: This messaging app allows you to share photos or videos with a caption, doodle or special lenses, and add to your story to share with all your followers. It is an amazingly innovative and fun application that you can use in business. You can also share directly with friends.
- Key Benefit: They will only see it for ten seconds and then it disappears.
- Experiment using this app
- Explore how you can use it for your home-based business.
Click here for the Resource: Snapchat: The Ultimate Insider Tips & Secrets Guidebook by Neo Monefa.
- Periscope.tv: Twitter owns this live streaming app, but there is a learning curve due to the multiple applications available to the user.
- Key Benefit: It is very interactive and fun for the customer. Why? You can send out live video via your mobile device…
- On any subject
- Instant access by Twitter
Click here for the Resource: How to Use Periscope for Small Business
- Blab.im: This app runs online via your computer and has a mobile app available.
- Key Benefit: Conducting live radio-like events.
- You can record your blabs
- Use the recordings later in a replay
- Upload to YouTube
- Upload to various podcasting apps as audio only.
Click here for the Resource: McGee’s Guide to Blab: Using Blab.im to increase Your Social Media Presence, and Make Money!
- Yovo.me: This messaging app is interesting in how it works.
- Key Benefit: You can send messages with images that have selective portions blurred out so that only those who are listed can view the images in full.
- Create group stories using live shots or photos
- Add your story to the library
- Friends can upload different clips to add to the story.
3. Meerkatapp.co: This mobile app enables you to send out live video broadcasts using your mobile device.
- Key Benefit: Stream your video to all of your followers.
- Connect to your Facebook account
- Connect to your Twitter account
- Google Hangout: This live streaming broadcast app from Google is an amazing way to market your business.
- Key Benefit: You can host full-fledged webinars using Google Hangouts along with plugins and apps like WebinarJam.com.
Click here for the Resource: Google+ Marketing for Dummies.
Find One Application and Try It As Your Marketing Strategy
These six real-time marketing tools have many applications for making your business better than ever in 2016. As a new user, you need to take your time to learn how to use one at a time. Try out different tools, find one that you like the most and stick with it. What is nice about using a real time marketing tool is that it allows you to be yourself. Invest the time and your imagination to master a tool and let the world know you are open for business.
I found another resource to help you understand and apply Google+ social media platform features to work effectively to reach out to your customers.
Alex Stearn’s book, Make Google+ Work for Your Business, is packed with information on how you can apply this important social medial tool to increase your business and reach your targeted audience.
Click here for the book.
Tweet: Mobile apps for business – here’s what’s up and coming in 2016. LINK
8 Tips for Successful Bookkeeping for Your Small Business in 2016
If you want a successful home business, then you need to be successful at bookkeeping. It is crucial for long-term business success. The latest report from the Small Business Administration revealed a sad fact: 12% of all business failures are due to bad bookkeeping. Retirees developing their home-based business should understand the importance of bookkeeping. Keep track of your cash or die.
It is not complicated. Follow these 8 simple steps to ensure successful outcomes:
- Use the Cloud:
There is no reason not to use the “cloud” (off site access by the internet) for your bookkeeping needs. The cloud is safe, and you won’t have to worry about your location to have access to your books. Plus, there is a lot of automation that works well with the cloud-based bookkeeping options available today.
- Hire a Consultant:
Even if you don’t want to hire a full-time bookkeeper, hiring a consultant to help you get your accounts set up correctly and develop a process will save countless hours and dollars. A home-based bookkeeper will understand your business and develop the process that is right for you.
- Keep Personal and Business Separate:
One big mistake many business owners make, especially home-based businesses run by retirees, is intermingling personal and business money. Set up a schedule to pay yourself, and don’t touch your business account otherwise.
- Make Plans for Big Expenses:
You may have large expenses to cover. Examples of home-based business expenses include:
- Inventory expansion expense
Plan your cash outlays for the year and set aside a little cash each month and you’ll never feel the pinch. My father often told me, “Make a lot, save a lot. Make a little, save a little.”
- Save Money for Taxes:
Like it or not, you must pay Uncle Sam every year. Your accounting software lets you know how much you should be setting aside to pay the IRS. When you get the estimate for your quarterly taxes, set that amount aside monthly instead so that you can make the payment painlessly. Avoid Uncle Sam’s wrath by planning to pay the taxes.
- Audit Your Invoices and Accounts Receivable Regularly:
One of the problems with lack of bookkeeping skills is forgetting where the money is. Many businesses fail to realize the money that is missing from your bank account is in your accounts receivable. Keep a sharp eye on your invoices by determining clients who haven’t paid on the account. Don’t let the account go beyond 30 days unless you know the client is good for the debt. Old unpaid invoices will not help you pay your bills.
I had a client who failed to pay me after sending them three invoices. I provided them with a website hosting service and a domain name. We set up an annual fee with a defined due date. I sent off the first invoice and heard nothing. Two invoices later, and no return telephone calls and emails regarding their interest in continuing my service, failed to generate a response. I took the website down 90 days after the official due date. I assumed they didn’t want it and could not be bothered to contact me. So I took the website down and they responded immediately.
Sometimes you have to be tough and follow through with your unpaid receivables. Without a good record keeping system, I would have forgotten about this account. Today, I try to charge a minimal fee every quarter to keep my service from being forgotten or ignored. Beware of the deadbeats seeking charity at your expense. Don’t put it off and never have cash flow problems again.
- Never Use Cash:
It’s very hard to keep track of cash, and it is a terrible idea to use it. The risk of fraud is greater with cash transactions due to possible forgetting to book it, and losing receipts. It is safer to use a debit card or credit card so that you’ll have a duplicate record.
A good example of the difficulty in tracking cash is the company petty cash account. The office staff used it as their personal bank. Whenever they needed money, they helped themselves to the cash and wrote a bogus IOU. I discovered this when the office staff kept requesting that I replenish the account. The bookkeeper and the Office Manger left the company and the petty cash account was abolished. We got along just fine without a petty cash account due to the development of the “cashless” banking system.
- Double Check Entries Weekly:
Even when you have automated booking of income and expenses with your accounting software, go into your software at least weekly to ensure that everything is working. When you are the sole person in your business, a monthly review may be sufficient.
“If you don’t know where you are going, then all roads will get you there.”–Ivan Hall
Ivan’s observation on not knowing where you are applies for cash flow. Once you know where your cash is flowing through your books, you can make better decisions affecting your business. The books will let you know what’s coming in, what’s going out, what is working well, and what areas you need to spend time solving problems to ensure a smoothly running business.
I found a good book for understanding bookkeeping for Home Businesses like ours. It is written for the small business owner in mind with examples likely to affect you. Darrel Mullis is able to make dry concepts into enjoyable lessons that can be easily applied to your business. Click here for the Accounting Game: Basic Accounting Fresh from the Lemonade Stand by Darrel Mullis.
Small business owners really do not like bookkeeping, including this writer. But it has to be done. That’s not news, but it too is reality.
Networking is not Working: Stop Collecting Business Cards and Start Making Meaningful Connections
Cheap and Effective Networking Can Develop Business Contacts
Retirees in a home-based business must reach out to potential customers to gain clients. If you want to get noticed by potential clients and also potential business partners, you must network or die. When you meet a potential customer or business owner, ask for their business card. Sounds simple enough. You collect the cards and you networked for the day.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there and that is the mistake most people make when networking. Many business professionals have those billfolds that are designed to hold about 50 or 100 business cards. The goal is to collect those cards. But now that you have 100 cards, it is not doing any good sitting in that pouch or Rolodex. So what should you do?
Networking is not Working is the brainchild of Derek Coburn who shows you how to get rid of the business cards and find a better way to connect.
Mr. Coburn explains the Old School Method:
As a business owner, you spend hours talking to people who may or may not be interested in your product or service, just to get a small rectangular piece of paper to put in your wallet. Networking events, as they have been done for a couple of decades, doesn’t necessarily work now. There is too much information to remember and we just forget what we discussed.
New School Methods that Work
There are other methods for reaching those who want to hear from you and need your product or service. Mr. Coburn’s book is a game changer. Consider the following key topics covered in the book:
- You learn how to be the person who can connect with anyone.
- How to become the go-to resource person in your field.
- Learn to find those people who will be the most influential in the group
- Increase the value of your product or service to the clients
- Learn how to make sure you are in the right place at the right time to be introduced to your ideal client
Ready to start becoming an effective networker? Do you need to find more customers? Then get this book, Networking is not Working: Stop Collecting Business Cards and Start Making Meaningful Connections, by clicking this direct link.