It's never too late to be an entrepreneur that is, if you have loads of cash on hand that you don't mind losing. Unfortunately, the fact is that 30 percent of new small businesses close within the first five years. But if you still dream of being your own boss, the safer route is to buy into an existing franchise.
There are over 800,000 different franchises in America and franchise ownership is becoming a popular second career option for Baby Boomers. Thirty-five percent of Decorating Den store franchisees, for example, are over 50 and the same percentage of Caring Transitions store owners are between 55 and 60 [source: Hill]. But even with successful franchises, there is no guarantee that your store will succeed. There are still many variables to contend with -- location, the local market demographics, quality of employees and things of that nature -- that can equal big profits or big problems.
You should be ready to invest a serious chunk of cash -- between $150,000 and $1 million -- for the franchise rights, and then be ready to work as an owner-operator for a couple of years to get the business off the ground [source: Williams]. This means long hours, so make sure that you still have the energy to do 14-hour days covering shifts for missing employees.
There are many franchise opportunities in some of the second career options we've already covered, like tax preparation services, home health care and beauty salons. If you are a strong manager and frugal with finances, you might find big success and rewarding work as a franchise entrepreneur.
For lots more creative career options, head to the links on the next page.