Occasionally we invite Elance and Upwork freelancers and clients to discuss issues of importance to others who work in our marketplace. Here are some thoughts from Brian D. Jones, who recently released a his best-selling book, Over 50? Start Your Business!
Entrepreneurship is considered a young person’s game.
An under-appreciated facet of entrepreneurship is the number of businesses being started by people over the age of 50.
Research by the Kauffman Foundation found that over 23% of entrepreneurs who launched companies in 2013 were between the ages of 55 and 64. This is up from just over 14% back in 1996.
Also in 2013 the Nesta Foundation in the UK reported that 70% of companies founded by those over 50 were still in business after three years. Only 28% of companies founded by those under 50 could make the same claim.
What are the implications of these findings for the Freelance Economy?
Freelancers should welcome these Mature Entrepreneurs as potential customers for their services. Their numbers are growing. Their success rates are higher.
It is probably safe to assume that mature founders have a greater need for freelance services than more tech-savvy younger entrepreneurs. More “handholding” may mean opportunities to provide more value-added services. Higher success rates create opportunities to develop long-term relationships and the potential for recurring revenues.
Many Mature Entrepreneurs may become freelancers themselves. You know freelancing is an attractive option. Mature freelancers will learn this too. Especially those who choose freelancing as a “Side Hustle” for extra income. Or as a way to transition from their full-time position. Mature freelancers offer clients a wealth of experience that may tip the scales in their favor.
Mature Entrepreneurs might be more comfortable working with “one of their own” in a Mature freelancer.
Mature employees are in constant danger of being replaced by their employers. An economic downturn might force the acceleration of the ranks of Mature freelancers who are desperate to compete against YOU for business.
Time to get used to working with Mature Entrepreneurs. They represent an almost hidden source of potential business for you. But working with them may prove different than working with other entrepreneurs. Mature freelancers may have an advantage with this growing segment of the entrepreneurial market.
About the author
Brian D. Jones has been a home-based consultant for over 20 years. His new book, Over 50? Start Your Business! is available in the Amazon Kindle Store. His website is www.TheMaturEntrepreneur.com.