It’s possible to be a successful entrepreneur at any age.
However, starting a side-business as you near retirement has unique advantages, including your years of experience, extensive professional network, and (upcoming) schedule flexibility. One thing you will have available when you retire is more time. Why not use it to make an extra income?
Here are my 7 side-hustle ideas that are perfect for entrepreneurs over age 55 – who want to flex their entrepreneurial muscles or diversify their income during retirement:
Idea #1: Become a ride-share driver.
Not everyone has a car, but everyone needs to go somewhere. Why not use your car to provide much-needed transportation to others? As a ride-share driver, you could offer rides through ride-sharing companies like Uber or even start a niche ride-sharing company. For example, you could offer ride-sharing for people who need to be taken to medical appointments or for children whose parents aren’t available to take them to after-school activities.
Idea #2: Become a professional organiser.
Most people probably want to live more tidy and organised lives, but not everyone has the time or skill to do so. An organisational pro like you may be just the person those people are looking for. You could offer organisational services to private individuals, such as those who are looking to live more minimalistic lifestyles or refresh their lives after an important milestone.
Idea #3: Become a tour guide.
Guided tours are a saturated market – if you offer the same garden-variety tours as everyone else, that is. Global tours and activities are estimated to be worth around US$150 billion annually, so there’s definitely money to be had offering tours. But just what kind of tours could earn you the most money? According to Mintel, an estimated 52% of solo travellers are interested in escorted tours, so perhaps you could offer private or small group tours of your city.
Idea #4: Narrate audiobooks.
If people have always praised your smooth voice and stellar storytelling skills, consider becoming an audiobook narrator. Audiobooks are growing in popularity, with audiobooks sales rising by almost 23% in 2017 alone (Source: Publishers Weekly). What makes audiobook narration particularly appealing for older entrepreneurs is that you can do it at home, when it’s most convenient for you, with just a few pieces of equipment. As a beginner narrator, you’ll probably attract the most clients by offering your services through a platform like Upwork or Fiverr, although you could transition to attracting clients through your own website once you get some experience.
Idea #5: Produce an online course.
Whether you believe it or not, you are an expert on at least one or two topics – and you could translate that expertise into profit if you sell online courses. (Not familiar with online courses? Check out this guide to creating and selling online courses to learn more). Online courses can be created by normal, everyday people and cover any topic imaginable, from how to become a better poet to managerial training for engineers. While most courses are pre-recorded, you could also offer live webinars or live-streamed sessions for students, too. If you want to create an online course but worry that your topic is too niche, you could test your idea by releasing some free YouTube videos first.
Side-hustle #6: Monetise your hobby
Whether you enjoy knitting, woodworking, or painting in your free time, chances are you could easily monetise our hobby. There are plenty of online marketplaces where you could sell your goods, and of course, selling from your website is always an option. To maximise your earnings, consider selling your crafts to businesses, such as business looking for original artwork for their offices or handmade gifts for their employees.
Side-hustle #7: Become an amateur photographer.
Love taking photos? Use your years of hobby photography and develop a profitable side-income. Research has found that taking photos can distract people from focusing on the experience and may negatively impact their ability to recall that event. By taking photos for others, you can help them to both recall the event and have a memento of it. While wedding photography is a popular niche, you could pursue niches as diverse as taking photos for local influencers around your city or taking food photography for local restaurants.