If you are like many of us who are Baby Boomers or GenX’ers, you do not have enough money to retire with financial freedom. If money is not your motive, you may be seeking a method to contribute and remain relevant in the community.

Starting a business may be the best way to accomplish your personal objectives. Additionally, a business can be an avenue to utilize your talents while providing greater income than getting a job or traditional investments.

Is it possible to start a business that is affordable, risk-averse, allows a lifestyle that is on your own terms, and provides the income you need? Absolutely! This is a great time for a startup because there are so many online small business options available.

Below, I answer questions from clients who have started a successful small business:

Q: What is the best kind of business to start?
A: A home-based service business is best because there is no product to purchase. Start something that is centered toward something you know really well – an area you can be an expert. You spent decades developing skills that you have mastered. Experience can not be learned in a course. It is your greatest value that someone will pay for.

Q: If I can not find a job, why would anyone do business with me?
A: Most experienced employees have “worked their way out of jobs”. They become over qualified for new positions and often are no longer affordable by their employer. The good news is that you have capital that is worth more than the financial resources required to keep you. The capital I am referring to is the experiences you have accumulated during your career that makes you very valuable to the right business. You can leverage this capital by being a business owner and offer your expertise to the market place that can not afford you as an employee.

Q: How do I know what kind of service to offer?
A: You can start by getting to know the target market. Learn what their needs are and start developing a service concept that you can present to them. Get feedback from them and see how you can tailor it to their needs. This is called MVP – Minimum Viable Product. This approach keeps you from creating a product or service that the customer may not want. Be careful not to assume they like your idea. Get a few customers to actually purchase your product as an early adaptor. Perhaps you should give them a discount or extra support in exchange for their ideas for improving your product.

Q: What if I don’t have a lot of money to start a business?
A: Start an online service business that is run from your home, with little fixed ongoing cost, and requires no employees. Most home-based businesses can be operated for a few hundred dollars a month.

Q: How do I find customers?
A: Select a target market that you already know and can develop a personalized relationship with. Think of someone with whom you have something in common. Look at an age group, industry, or social group. When you know who the target market is, you should not have to spend as much time and money to do marketing. Social media is groups where the target market is “hanging out” and is the perfect place to build relationships.

Q: What if I am not computer literate and do not know how to use the internet for my online business?
A: You do not need to know everything about technology and the internet. Resources are available on an as-need basis. Examples are creating a complete website for $500 using an online service called Fiverr. There you can find people who can help you set up your social media, write articles, and help with creating a podcast or videos.

Q: What is the first step to starting a home-based service business?
A: Create a business plan. It does not have to be a 50-page document. You do need to do some research and collect your thoughts. A business that is started without a plan is planning to fail. You must do this first!

I have created a FREE resource that helps you create a one-page business plan. If you can follow simple instructions and complete the exercises, you can start your business in just a few days. Check out the Ultimate One Page Business Plan and download it for FREE!