Library hosts talk helping baby boomers become entrepreneurs

Old Southwest/Columbia


You’ve got time on your hands, and you don’t want to waste it.

Time is the most important resource for retired people, said Mary Beth Izard, author of “Boomer Preneurs,” as she spoke to an audience of about 30 people on Wednesday, Dec. 1, at the Columbia Public Library.

Izard came to promote her new book and give tips to baby boomers — people born between about 1944 and 1964 — who want to start their own businesses. A few had a business, and a couple of people had an idea for one. Most were  interested in the concept of having a business but are unsure.

Izard gave an overview of baby boomers and business startups.

Eighty percent of the baby boomers report planning to work for some time after retirement, and 11 percent of them think starting a business is a good idea, Izard said; so becoming an entrepreneur is at the top of many baby boomers’ lists.

Izard also talked about three common mistakes that people make when starting their own businesses: investing too much, mismatching business to personal goals and overlooking the marketplace factor.

She provided tips on avoiding these three mistakes and used examples to back up her explanations.

“You should choose a business with low start-up costs and keep costs low,” Izard said. “If I walk into an office and see a lot of new furniture, I know they are not going to make it. You should be bootstrapping.”

She also recommended choosing a business that suits your lifestyle preferences and paying attention to marketing the final products.

How to get started? Izard said it’s simple. Start with a visit to your local college or university to take courses and workshops, consult with a local small business development center or join local business networking groups.

All of the baby boomers at the talk received a free copy of Izard’s book.

“It’s nice they give you a book and you can read about others’ experiences,” said 57-year-old Darrell Geth, who has been retired for three months.

Geth plans to move to eastern Tennessee and start a business relating to nature activities. He has been thinking about it for around six months now, he said.

“I need to move back to working,” he said. “I want to give something back.”


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