It started with developing a simple business plan to drive out and document my thinking on important facets like:
- Vision and strategy
- My market
- The services I would offer
- Sales and marketing strategy
- Financial plan
The key to the plan was time. I didn’t have the pressure of profit. Stick to my vision of simple to do, to be part of, and to use. I planned deliberate and steady growth through age 57. I still had a full time job but time for this hobby was there. This all took 18 months.
I paid for help to design an easy to use website and test the concept. I was about to turn 54 and thought lets start it up!
An important and successful learning for me was letting the financial investment in this endeavor be my funding, and most importantly, letting boomer service providers be part of the concept at first for free. They were my test group, presenting all kinds of information and understanding that I needed to refine all parts of my business. Today, after one year since officially launching, we have nearly 60 local boomers offering their services to local consumers. At age 55, I’m about to push a simple marketing campaign to increase local consumer awareness. These are my ideas and thoughts, coming alive with the help and support of a large network of people I enjoy engaging with.
Ourlocal website in Bloomington-Normal, IL connects individual business owners with the local consumers. It is a virtual “Farmers Market” of services at your fingertips. All provided by local boomers. Individuals acting as their own small business doing something they don’t consider work. Consumers pay them for it to receive the incredible value and gift of time. It’s everything from lawn care, house cleaning, and taxes to the unique including someone who makes knives or wood art.
Our business makes it inexpensive and simple for boomer “solopreneurs” to market and consumers to get local individual service providers who aren’t just in it for the money. It’s the former corporate HR manager who is an “avid” electrician and hangs a ceiling fan for $25 bucks. The IT guy whose passion for fishing and knowledge of the local lakes as led to a guide service. She retired from sales, but now sews. The person who raised three children and babysits two grandchildren but also has “Black Eyed Susan’s Flower Gardening”. She noted, “When I’m doing my business it’s my therapy, what I’ve always enjoyed doing without pay for years. No stress, no pressure, just me being the boss of me!”
Through an easy to use list of “virtual business cards” consumers seek out these service providers, who are pictured, and connect to them directly.
With a little less than two years until “retirement”, the journey of life continues to be exciting.