Many of us would love to earn extra money in retirement, and entrepreneurship can be a great way to stay active while boosting your monthly income. According to a survey from The UPS Store®, 54% of Americans would like to run a small business instead of retiring. Some of the fastest growth in entrepreneurship is happening among people ages 55-65 – even faster than the 25-35 age group.
There are many ways to become an entrepreneur later in life – part-time consulting, starting a brick-and-mortar retail shop, running a home-based business, or buying a franchise. But one of the best ways to get into entrepreneurship is something that might not be top of mind: buying an online business.
There are numerous types of online businesses, like ecommerce stores, blogs, mobile apps, and other digital assets that boast well-established customer bases, generate significant web traffic, and earn impressive revenues. Those thinking of retirement are ideally positioned to become entrepreneurs by acquiring an online business. In fact, in the past year as I’ve been attending conferences and industry meetups around the world, about 75% of the audience are people in the age 55-65+ demographic.
Let’s outline why buying an online business is a great fit for today’s Retirement 2.0 era:
Eliminate Risk by Buying an Existing Business
When you buy an existing online business, just like buying a franchise or purchasing an existing brick-and-mortar business, you do not have to start from zero. You get a proven business model with product-market fit and a strong cash flow, helping to eliminate some of the risk and uncertainty of entrepreneurship. You can hit the ground running, start growing your business and improving it to suit your vision.
As an online business owner, you’re in business “for” yourself, but not “by” yourself. There is a wonderful community of online entrepreneurs who offer great ideas, valuable advice and unwavering encouragement. We are all learning from each other all the time. Everything you need to know to improve your business, such as creating better content, enhancing customer retention, sharpening your SEO to boost traffic, and honing your sales process to drive revenue, is accessible for people who want to learn.
Maintain lifestyle flexibility while growing your skills
For those who decide to work in retirement, it’s often because they want a flexible work schedule that enables them to travel, see family, and engage in other fun activities. Buying an online business is a perfect fit for this lifestyle. With an online business, you can work from anywhere, on your own terms. Plus, with steady, monthly cash flow, you can supplement your retirement income.
Another benefit of buying an online business is that it helps you stay active and engaged. You can keep your career skillset sharp, or even learn new capabilities by embracing technology, exploring new products, venturing into new markets, or meeting fresh peers and colleagues. Running your own online business is a fun, immersive learning experience that keeps you energized and connected to the working world, without the commitment of a traditional job.
Kickstart your digital cashflow
If you have some extra cash, whether it’s a bank savings account, proceeds from the sale of a home after downsizing, or an inheritance, buying an online business can be a good way to put that money to work.
Why? Because other asset categories have drawbacks in the current interest rate and inflation environment. Yields on bank savings accounts, money market accounts, and CDs are barely keeping up with inflation. The stock and bond markets can be volatile. Real estate investment properties can be hard to find, due to low inventory and rising interest rates.
With just a few thousand dollars, you can buy an online business that generates immediate income and has the potential for long-term growth. Online businesses (such as content-based websites, ecommerce sites, and mobile apps) can be acquired for as little as $5,000 to $10,000. With just a bit of upfront cash, and some hands-on work and ongoing investment to improve the business’s performance, you could increase earnings and start to achieve ROI within the first few months.
Most other entrepreneurship opportunities, like brick-and-mortar retail or buying a franchise, do not offer such a low cost of entry. And with online businesses, you can easily research and choose your niche: you can find an industry that you know well, or a product category that you’re passionate about, and find a better way to serve those customers with your unique skills and expertise.
Buying an online business allows you to bet on yourself, while tapping into the unlimited potential of the digital economy. This investment strategy helps boost your finances in two ways: the business can give you immediate extra monthly cash flow towards your retirement income, and long-term asset appreciation means you can sell your business in the future for a profit.
As you prepare for retirement and want to maintain your skills, enjoy yourself, and supplement your income, buying an online business can become your “dream job” during this phase of life.
Blake Hutchison is the CEO of Flippa, the #1 marketplace to buy and sell sites, stores, social media accounts and online businesses. Blake has worked on leadership teams assisting in fast growth businesses including Xero and Luxury Escapes. Among his start up experience he also founded a company…he then used Flippa to sell the business.