Just because you’re retiring from a company doesn’t mean you can’t start your own business. The same could be said for anyone at any age. That is not to say that there won’t be challenges ahead but starting up your own company will finally put you in charge of your career. It might mean devoting a lot of time to the startup phase, but then you get to set your own hours and take on as much work as you want to. That can translate into more quality time with the family.

Are you ready to be your own boss? Then put these tips into action:

Research Your Idea

The quintessential formula for business success is to “find a need and fill it.” That remains true, but you also must consider your market and your competition. For instance, if you wanted to start a dog walking business but live in a community that is full of cats, then you would have a hard time generating business. The same could be said for opening a vegan restaurant in an area without a lot of vegans. Therefore you want to research your idea to make sure there is a market for the business.

Make a Plan

If you’re reaching out to investors to fund your business, then you’ll need a business plan. This will be the “blueprints” of your business that will let those investors know when they can expect a return on the investment. What if you are self-funding? Then you still need a business plan. That will help you stay focused on your budget, goals and marketing. That is a plan for success that should be easy to follow.

Start Small to Grow Big

Starting a business is taking a risk, but that doesn’t mean overextending yourself or your company. For a new restaurant, it might make sense to open for service that is limiting at first. Perhaps just serving breakfast or lunch to get things going before expanding to dinner. When deciding on an office or storefront for your business, consider how much of your business will be dependent on foot traffic. In other words, if you will generate more sales from online and sales calls, then you might not need an expensive “brick and mortar” location.

Network

A successful business in a neighborhood lifts up all the other businesses. Your new bakery can boost the dry cleaner next door. This means you will want to network as much as possible with other business owners in your community. There can be a fair amount of cross promotion between businesses. You might even find one of these owners to become a mentor. You should also join the local chamber of commerce for more networking opportunities.

Utilize Social Media

The best tool that you must promote your business is free. That could be the many social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Yes, you could buy ad space on any of these platforms, but you can also dedicate some each day to engaging with your customers and posting about special promotions or events at your business. Every new user who “likes” and “shares” your post can become a gateway to new customers.