Retire and consult – a consulting business launch guide

Retire and consult – learn how to do it with these tips. Babyboomers – always known for bucking tradition – are choosing to retire and consult, rather than follow the example of generations of retirees. Find our how you can do the same…

Babyboomers have always blazed their own trails. And now, with health and opportunity on their side, they’re creating a whole new world of retirement. Semi retirement, workaways, moonlighting, part-time consulting, volunteering and other opportunities abound.

How to retire and consult

Start with a solid self assessment. Work through exercises to help you uncover your interests, skills, entrepreneurial ability, and personal circumstances. Weigh up how you want to consult:

  • Do you just want to keep a hand in your career?
  • Keep up professional social networks? 
  • Give back?
  • Mentor?
  • Earn extra money to pay for trips and luxuries?
  • Get out of debt or stay out of debt?
  • Address financial constraints?
  • Work your way around the world or across the country?

Spend time going over your needs, opportunities, challenges and desires. If you need help, turn to our Discover Your Inner Consultant workbook for help.

Plan ahead.
Figure out a plan of action for your business. How will you run it? What do you need to start it? What supplies, equipment and other resources do you need? Would you benefit from mentorship as you start a consulting business?

Write a business plan.
Really. The businesses that succeed are the ones where owners have a strong sense of direction. You can write a full business plan or simply put together a one-page game plan – it all depends on your style and what you need to feel like you’re sure of the steps you’re taking.

Put together an emergency fund.
This advice applies for all parts of life, whether you’re starting a business or not. Find a way to save some money, in case you run into an emergency. However, you can also launch your business as a part-time endeavour, perhaps while you’re still working, collecting a pension, living off investments, sharing in a spouse’s income, or downsizing your spending. Fortunately, consulting takes very little money to get started, so it’s possible to get going even if you’re in difficult financial circumstances. But it’s still best to have an emergency plan in place, if you can.

Connect. In the past, retirement meant dropping off the face of the earth – as a professional, anyway. Now you can stay in touch with the office and your professional network through the use of a computer, email, LinkedIn profile and some business cards – adding more, depending on how sophisticated you want to get. You can use those tools whether you’re in suburban Wisconsin, downtown San Antonio or a beach in sunny Thailand. In the past, it was harder to transition into retirement and consult unless you actually spent a lot of time on the phone or doing lunch.

Be creative. Consider all the ways to develop a consulting business in retirement. Taking a creative and flexible approach may help you better juggle your personal circumstances. Maybe you want a second part-time job or gig. Some ideas:

  • Consulting for businesses, individuals, government and non-profits
  • Coaching individuals and business owners
  • Teaching at a college or night school
  • Writing books, articles and reports
  • Speaking, hosting seminars or working the presentation circuit
  • Facilitating groups and meetings
  • Providing training to people and businesses
  • Flexing between any number of the above ideas and then augmenting with opportunities such as international housesitting, teaching and "workaway" or volunteer programs.
  • …insert your own idea here!

Take your time – and figure out how best to follow your dreams. As a Babyboomer, you can create your own path. You always have.

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