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Community Manager
Community Manager

So You Want to Start a Small Business

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Have you ever dreamed of working for yourself or being your own boss? Wherever you are on the path to entrepreneurship, AARP is here to help. Felicia Brown (@febrown67) is leading AARP’s small business initiative to educate aspiring entrepreneurs. Ask her about your business ideas, writing a business plan, sources of funding, and more.

 

Ask AARP Expert Felicia about starting a small business!

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AARP Expert

@tspott it must be a good feeling to be at that place of retirement and can now decide on your "what next".  Based on what you've decribed, wanting to find work that you can do online - from the comforts of your home, I would encourage you to explore several online gig platforms that offer opportunities for you to use your skills and talents to earn money.  I would start with several that i'm aware of like PennyHoader, Thumbtack, SpareHire, Freelancer, Etsy, Upwork, Fiverr, SkillsShare - to name a few.  While I dont know exactly what you would be interested in, starting here may be a good launching pad for you.  I would also encourage you to goggle stay at home jobs.  In your search just be aware that there are scams.  Read carefully how you actually earn your money and read reviews from others about the company.  Happy Retirement and be sure to visit someplace fun!

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AARP Expert

@King1982 I would recommend you reach out to SCORE or your local SBA Business Development Center.  They have representatives who can help you develop, tweak and finalize a plan that meets your business needs.  SBA also has a tool where you can develop the plan, save and edit as necessary, but first view AARP's video (https://aarptek.aarp.org/write-a-business-plan/) to learn the key elements of a business plan and other tools at www.aarp.org/50plusentrepreneurship.

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Community Manager
Community Manager

Hello everyone, please join us for a new expert event with Felicia Brown. Please join us here:

 

Want to be your own boss? Ask Expert Felicia Brown!

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Contributor

Hello I recently moved to Palm Springs in December 2018 and would like to open a nonprofit Family Thrift Store , how can I get info to get started......

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AARP Expert

@p82666s it's wonderful that you are interested in starting a business.  Some things to consider are do you want to have an online business or have a store front to make money for your business?  Do you have your 501c3 designation to accept donations? Have you determined what your proceeds will benefit?  Is this purely a non-profit or is a for profit element in this; which makes this a business with a social mission?  So, I say all of this to say - there are some things you want to think about before you take the plunge.  You can always reach out to SCORE www.score.org to find a mentor to walk you through the process of figuring how you want to structure your business so you provide the service you are desiring to do.

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Contributor

I would love to have a mentor of learning to start a business I'm 55 years old I want to learn more how to write a business plan, and more what ever it takes. Thanks

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AARP Expert

@King1982 I would recommend you reach out to SCORE or your local SBA Business Development Center.  They have representatives who can help you develop, tweak and finalize a plan that meets your business needs.  SBA also has a tool where you can develop the plan, save and edit as necessary, but first view AARP's video (https://aarptek.aarp.org/write-a-business-plan/) to learn the key elements of a business plan and other tools at www.aarp.org/50plusentrepreneurship.

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Periodic Contributor

  • Would you rather have to write a business plan, and take a lot of time and money to get it started or follow a system that has already been tested and proven to work for many years?
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Periodic Contributor

Would you rather have to write a business plan, and take a lot of time and money to get it started or follow a system that has already been tested and proven to work for many years?

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Newbie

Hello:

I am looking for part time work.  I have worked in the banking industry for twenty plus years and also  human services and health care for twelve plus years.  I was thinking of becoming a virtual assistant.

I want to work from home.  Which websites should I contact?  

 

Thanking you in advance for your help.

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Periodic Contributor

Hi ClaraG700169,

 

I searched a long time to find legitimate work and I have been doing this part-time for 13 years.

 

You can do this work any time and any place in the United States and Canada.  

 

You can do it from your phone, computer, or in person.

 

Watch the 20-minute Webinar at http://www.newlaunchjoin.com and e-mail me with questions at dojustice2009@gmail.com.  

 

Go to website:  https://mariansmith.wearelegalshield.com/#becomeAssociate and feel free to call me at the phone number on the website or scroll down and fill out the "Contact Me" form at the bottom of the page.

 

Thank you.

 

Marian K. Smith

 

 

 

 

 

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Periodic Contributor

ClaraG700169,

 

I forgot to mention in my post that the company is now paying me residual income for the work I did a few years ago.  That is money they direct deposit in my checking account without me doing anything.

 

I still work part-time at it to earn money right away because I am healthy and like working, but it's nice to know that my work now will continue to pay me when I am fully retired or can't work anymore.

 

For anyone else that may be interested in this, please see my previous post.  Thank you.

 

Marian K. Smith

 

 

 

 

 

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Periodic Contributor

How does one connect with @FeeBrown?

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Community Manager
Community Manager

Hello @taylorvt, thanks for you post. AARP Expert Felicia Brown would be happy to answer your questions in this forum. Please feel free to reply with your question and include @FeeBrown in your message. Thanks for your participation!

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I’m a NYS attorney with excellent writing skills and leadership experience wishing to retire in FL and to work there consulting or writing human interest and informational articles. I don’t know where to start. I am admitted to practice law in both states and must continue working. I enjoy helping people, writing, nature and historic preservation. I am active with AFSP also

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Contributor

@ChristineC427789, check this out:

Legal Writer & Editor – Slate: US; “Slate is hiring a legal writer and editor to help us build on our award-winning general-audience legal coverage by creating a paywalled daily must-read aimed specifically at an audience of legal professionals. The successful candidate will have a lawyer’s training and a writer’s pen; insight into a variety of areas of the law, especially those at the forefront of contemporary politics and business; a knack for online conversation; and an entrepreneurial eagerness to identify and respond to market opportunities; This is a full-time position preferably based in either New York or D.C., although we’ll consider exceptional candidates working remotely from elsewhere”

[Legal Writer & Editor]

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Newbie

When and how do I pay myself if I formed an LLC? At the end of the year when I do my business' taxes, how do I indicate how much I paid myself? Better yet, how do I pay myself? Do I just take it from my business bank account? Do I need a W2 as a single owner in an LLC?

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AARP Expert

@ru1352 great question.  Here is what I've learned.  Assuming you are in business by yourself and you've identified your business as LLC, you can simply write yourself a check from your business account.  The IRS considers single-member LLC a "disregarded entity".  So for tax purposes, you are seen as a "sole proprietor".  All net profit is considered taxable income.  As a sole proprietor you can simply pay yourself when you need to.  However, according to my tax expert, which I am not, you may want to consider having your LLC taxed as an S-Corportation to avoid self-employment tax.  I would highly consider having a trusted ethical tax specialist/expert on speed dial, because as you know taxes can be tricky, given the flexibility of business profits and losses. 

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Contributor

The question I always ask myself is, How do you determine if your small business idea is a good one? 

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AARP Expert

@briank271115 that a good question.  As you can imagine many successful small business owners simply had an idea they believed in and took that leap of faith and "just did it".  But as someone aspiring to become an entrepreneur and not sure if your idea is a good one or not, there are some things you might want to ask yourself about your product or service.  Who will you sell your product to - essentially, who's your audience; who's your competition - is there another product similar and how will yours be different; what problem or need are you solving; how will your product/service help make someone's life easier or simplier; how will you market the item; and, how will you measure success.  These are a few things to consider as you think of your business idea.   Perhaps being a franchise owner is the path you want to take.  If so, listen in on February 19 at 12EST to learn more.  And, participate in AARP's Telephone Town Hall on Feb 21st at 7PM EST to ask more questions as you develop your business idea.  You can register for both at www.aarp.org/startabusiness.  You will also find there good businesses for persons 50+. I look forward to seeing your product or service in the marketplace. 

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AARP Expert

Good Afternoon.  Today is day two of "Asking The Expert" and wanted to remind you that we are here for you!  Got a burning question? We are here to help.  To get us started, I have a question for you.  If AARP were to develop a learning/training tool, what would it include and what would you hope to learn from it?  It is important that we don't create in a vacuum.  Our goal is to develp beneficial and valuable tools and resources that meet the needs of our members.  So, we'd like to hear from you. 

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Contributor

Could you suggest a few online tools for formulating an initial business plan? I'm curious about the process of moving from "something I do on the side to make a little extra money" to really launching my own business, and doing a little work on something to present for a bank loan seems like a smart next step. Thanks!

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Super Contributor

@m878880n, SCORE is "A specific non-profit organization with members who provide free consultationservices and advice to entrepreneurs. Members of the Service Corps Of Retired Executives (SCORE) are current or retired business owners and corporateexecutives who specialize in a variety of business skills."

https://www.score.org/

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Gold Conversationalist

I want to invest in a business that is currently owned and operated successfully by someone who may be interested in expanding or someone who might need a small loan.    

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AARP Expert

@SIMPLEGAL I think it's great that you want to invest in a small business.  As you know finding funding is one of the biggest challenges to someone trying to launch and grow their business.  I would encourage you to visit the Kiva and Opportunity Fund websites where you can learn about various microbusinesses that you can financially support.  I would imagine there are small business in your local community that could your money and your time to perhaps mentor and provide mentoring toward business success. 

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AARP Expert

@m878880n thank you for your question.  Congratulations on taking the leap of faith to turn your passion into profit. There are a few online tools that help you create your business plan, such as Live Plan.com and B Plan.com.  These sites and others will formulate your plan for you at a cost - most startins at 9.99 for a basic service, and for more services, more money.  The SBA offers a Business Plan Tool (https://www.sba.gov/tools/business-plan) that allows you to create your business, save it and continue to refine it.  I would also invite you to visit a local SCORE Office, a resource partner of SBA, where you can one on one assistance.  Lastly, you can visit www.aarp.org/50plusentrepreneurship to review our learning video that outlines the necessary componets of a good business plan.   Be sure to tune in to our upcoming Telephone Town Hall on Feb 21st at 7pm.  Register at www.aarp.org/startabusiness. During that time you can talk to SCORE representatives about how to move from gigging to a full business.

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Contributor

I missed the Town Hall meeting on February 21,2018 Start Your Business.  Was the Town Hall meeting video taped? If so, where can I watch it?

Thank you,

 

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AARP Expert

@s471707k there is a link to listen to the Passion to Profit Telephone Town Hall at aarp.org/startabusiness.  The link to the conversation can be found at the bottom of the page.  I hope this helps.

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Periodic Contributor

Hi, I am a retired nurse and have started a business of sorts as an antique/vintage jewelry dealer. I have display cases in three Antique Malls in my area. Am looking to start an online store through Etsy, eventually. I have acquired my DBA and my "Certificate of Authority" from the Dept. of Taxation and Finance here in NY. My question is, due to the limited scope of my business, what do I absolutely need as far as legal paperwork is concerned? What do I NOT need? I'm told I don't need a EIN (no employees), but to obtain a business loan, I will! I am on hold, waiting for someone to call me from SCORE (a mentor), but don't know when that may happen. Can anybody out there give me advice? Thank You!
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Contributor

@@bm665, Why are you waiting? Call SCORE again or visit their website! They provide FREE consultation services and advice to entrepreneurs. Members of the Service Corps Of Retired Executives (SCORE) are current or retired business owners and corporatee xecutives who specialize in a variety of business skills."

https://www.score.org/

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Honored Social Butterfly


@bm6658 wrote:
Hi, I am a retired nurse and have started a business of sorts as an antique/vintage jewelry dealer. I have display cases in three Antique Malls in my area. Am looking to start an online store through Etsy, eventually. I have acquired my DBA and my "Certificate of Authority" from the Dept. of Taxation and Finance here in NY. My question is, due to the limited scope of my business, what do I absolutely need as far as legal paperwork is concerned? What do I NOT need? I'm told I don't need a EIN (no employees), but to obtain a business loan, I will! I am on hold, waiting for someone to call me from SCORE (a mentor), but don't know when that may happen. Can anybody out there give me advice? Thank You!

I am sorry but having run my own business, if you don't know the answers to these questions you should not be starting a business yet.  Wait and talk to score and a good acountant!

 

 

Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
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