What’s the right age to start a business?

What is the right age for starting a business?In the past the stereotypical entrepreneur was always seen as young and if you look at Bill Gates and Richard Branson they started their empires when just out of their teens.

However latest findings in the States have shown that the fastest growing age group for people starting a new business are the 50 – 65 year olds. Presumably because of a forced move from corporate life, or even disenchantment with continually working for someone else.

But is there actually a best age to become an entrepreneur? Do the young have more energy and creativity? Certainly they aren’t held back by thinking that things “can’t be done”. Or are the accumulated wisdom, knowledge and connections of older people more valuable assets for starting a business?

There is also the question of opportunity. When in your twenties, you are more likely to not have a family and mortgage to support and so can take a chance with a new venture, likewise when much older you may have paid the mortgage off and the family is independent.

So perhaps you have got to start your business either in your early years, or give up the idea until you are much older, with the middle years being ones of hard graft as a “wage slave”.

Let me give the findings of the Company Partners statistician and my own personal views.

Looking at the age range of entrepreneurs on the Company Partners site, we have members starting at just 15 and going up to a grand 86 years of life. The average age however is 38. This closely matches a figure from the States that gives 39 as an average age for start-ups. The age distribution of Company Partners members is fairly even, with a slight skew towards the lower end.

We have to bear in mind that not all Company Partners members are just starting a business; many already have an established company and are looking to grow it faster. But these figures give a good feel for the entrepreneurial age range.

To my mind this vindicates the thought that now days there is no one age that you have to be in order to start a business. It may though be easier to start certain types of businesses at different ages. If you are designing and selling apps for iPhones, you’re likely to be younger than if you are setting up a consultancy. That is simply a question of personal interest and using the skills & experience that you have.

2 thoughts on “What’s the right age to start a business?

  1. Bill Aitch

    There has never been a correct age to commence a business enterprise in UK since at least 1930. Back then the state drove hard toward nationalisation, extremely incompatible with the Market Economy, which they also favoured. They maintained this stance until just recently, when they turned full circle, to privatisation, slightly more compatible with the Market Economy, which they still yet appear to strive for.

     

    Despite this new style, they still wish to maintain maximum control, by means of the ever increasing red-tape, & the Big Brother politics in general. Their favourite hobby horse is ‘elfandsafety. They use it where ever possible to cripple any form of enterprise, national, or private.

     

    ‘elfandsafety should be completely scrapped, & replaced with pride & skill. The Market Economy also needs scrapping, to be replaced with a Social Economy, a much cleaner, healthier system. Until then, we are doomed to survive in the new Rip-Off Britain.

     

    We need to be extremely careful that we do not speak so loud, as walls do have ears, loose lips do sink ships, & we could suddenly find ourselves facing 3x SP6 within a week, or even find ourselves framed for mass murder. They do not like confrontation, negotiation, or any other form of discussion.

     

    Ours but to do, & die, or at least to keep it shut & conform to their stupidity.

     

    We even need a full CRB just to shine shoes on a street corner.

  2. Peter Hartley

    My earliest (serious) attempts at being an Entrepreneur (although I wouldn’t have recognised that term, then) were during my Grammar School days. As I was ‘plagued’ by looking older than I was, I had a good ‘business’ running for some time, buying cigarettes in packets of ten or twenty, and then re-selling them individually at School with 150% Profit Margin. Later, having damaged (in a ‘fun’ fight) a School window, I offered to replace it myself instead of paying for it. As a consequence, I ‘got the Contract’ from the Headmaster to replace all the broken windows during School holidays. I used my fellow ‘fighter’ as Labourer, to prepare the windows, and cut and fitted the glass myself (being raised on a farm gives one a number of skills). ‘elfandsafety’ for a young lad handling glass consisted of being careful, and as for working up a long ladder – well, you just used your sense of balance, didn’t you ?

    Unfortunately, I took the Intellectual Path, and ‘Bright Ideas’ became Employer’s property.

    However, when in my late 50′s, I was made Redundant, becoming Self-Employed and an Entrepreneur not only beckoned – it was the only way forward ! Despite the Employment Laws, try getting a new job at age 58 in this country. Ageism is alive and well in the UK. But, this suits me – except that it is frustrating when dealing with small companies not to have the same rapport and level of understanding (by the Client) as experienced within a Prime Contractorship – Sub Primes situation. I have managed to bring together a number of experienced and mature Specialists, who can certainly out-perform younger-based competitors; the problem remains in educating the Clients at speed about the value of work done at a higher standard being more cost-effective over a longer term.

    Much of this problem I attribute to the ‘missing generation years’ – by which I am referring to the major down-scaling of Apprenticeships some years ago. Our “quick supply”, “disposable” society and the mass advertising of “You can have it NOW” coupled with the lack of experienced Artisans means that values and judgements are distorted. I believe that, in part, this has contributed to our current poor Financial Status.

    An amusing end-note: some years ago, “Just In Time” Delivery Systems were ‘invented’, to save on prime cost space. True ? Well, actually, No. When goods were shipped by barges on our former excellent canal system, the barge transit time formed part of the lead time calculations, so storage space in an Assembly company could be kept low.

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