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Nick Hewer’s top tips to help UK olderpreneurs succeed

By Will Stevens - February 15, 2022

Often it can feel like starting a business is something for the young, but new research conducted on behalf of 123 Reg proves that isn’t the case.

Half of over 40s have, or know someone who has, set up their own side business for extra income.

In fact, people in their 40s are more likely to turn to a side business for extra income than they are to work additional hours at their current job.

However, the rise of the olderpreneur is not just driven by the desire to earn more money, with the chance to be your own boss and the opportunity incorporate your passions in your work being the other big benefits.

Nick Hewer, who was Lord Alan Sugar’s righthand man on the Apprentice for a decade, has these top tips for anyone looking to start a business as an olderpreneur.

1 Launching your own business can help you battle rising costs

The cost of living is rising rapidly and if you’re looking for ways of raising extra income then a side business is a great option.

“Unless you can get something extra out of your employer, you’ve got to maybe set something up on the side,” Nick explained.

“The over 40s are at it in increasing numbers because otherwise they’re really in trouble.”

2 You can turn your existing interests into a business

Starting a business can seem daunting, but remember you don’t have to aspire to create the next Google. Focusing on what you already know can help you find the right business idea.

“You can’t wake up on Monday morning and start an airline, obviously. But, for instance, if you’re a keen motorcyclist and you love your bikes, you might start servicing bikes for your friends and that becomes the start of a business.

“There’s any number of little ventures you can start.”

3 You can make use of your experience

One thing the over-40s have lots of is experience and you can use that experience to launch your new business.

“A pal of mine in the brewing industry was made redundant along with a lot of other people and he was terrible depressed,” Nick explained.

“I said to him ‘look, you’ve got all these years of experience, get together with you your mates who’ve also been made redundant in that sector and start a consultancy company, possibly selling your expertise back to the people who made you redundant’.

“They did and they were hugely successful.”

4 It’s cheap and easy to tap into the online market

We do more online than ever before and if you’re starting a side business, you’ll need to get online to attract customers.

If you’ve never set up a website before, it can seem like a daunting prospect. But the time when you needed to know how to code to start a website is long gone.

These days, with technology like the 123 Reg Website Builder, it’s possible to get a site up and running in an hour.

“You get your domain sorted, you get your website sorted and before you know where you are something that was a hobby, a passion, becomes a little business,” Nick said.

5 You should listen to that little voice inside you

If you’re reading this, you’ve already got a nagging feeling about wanting to start a business and, according to Nick Hewer, you should listen to that voice.

“Entrepreneurs have all got a little thing in their tummy, it’s like a bug and it can give them tremendous focus and focus I think is the key.”

One man who listened to that little voice was Lord Alan Sugar. Lord Sugar briefly worked as a civil service statistician but, Nick said, it was clear to everyone that he’d be better off doing his own thing and, ultimately, that led to the creation of Amstrad.

Of course, you don’t have to launch a business that ends up being listed on the stock exchange, but if you have a dream, you should follow it.

What next if you want to be a UK olderpreneur

Thinking of starting a business at 40, 50, 60 or older? 123 Reg can help you get your new venture online.

Check out our guide to launching your new side business in six weeks. Or, if you need more help, contact our support team on 0345 450 2310 and we’ll be happy to help you get your business idea online.