learn more about the niagara falls ryerson innovation hub
July 14, 2020
Why You're Never Too Old To Start A Business (You’re actually the ideal entrepreneur)

One of the most common things we hear when mature professionals come through the doors is: “I’m too old to start a business.” We would like to prove you wrong!

The buzzword of the 21st century that’s got everyone second-guessing their careers is entrepreneurship. The idea of ditching your job to do things your own way, creating your own venture, making your own hours and hiring your own employees - we won’t lie - is a pretty sweet gig.

One of the most common things we hear when mature professionals come through the doors at our startup business incubator, Spark Niagara, is:

“I’m too old to start a business.”

Here’s where we plan to prove you wrong. While a few of the big names of entrepreneurship like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Sara Blakely and more had their big break in their 20’s, what most people don’t know is that entrepreneurial potential is like fine wine: it gets better with age. In fact, most of our members are mature professionals — only a few are in their 20’s.

When meeting for the first time, we often go through the most common self-doubts we hear from mature professionals thinking about starting a business — and prove them wrong with advice from our Experts-in-Residence. Here are the top five:

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1. I don’t have the money to take a risk in starting a business

These are sometimes the first words we hear from people who listen to our spiel about why they should become entrepreneurs. Sometimes, it’s best to start small. Whether you’re starting a side hustle making crafts, designing, or consulting, using your free time to learn about your product, client base, competitors, and marketing strategies while still working will get you a lot farther than you think. You may find yourself taking advantage of free strategies, tools and platforms to start a business.

2. I have too many responsibilities and not enough time

Whether you’re a working parent, working numerous jobs to stay afloat, or are stuck at a job that requires you to work late, we’re here to help you create a schedule to commit time to your passion project while also meeting your other responsibilities. This could mean watching a little less TV or carving out a small amount of time where your partner or friend watches your kids.

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It might start by learning to take nice photos or graphic designs of your product/service and uploading them to a new Instagram page to see what happens. Searching for groups in your sector on Facebook, craft shows and markets to find communities of people who have built a strong client base for what you’re creating may be next. Take a look to see who’s getting the most “likes” and comments on posts and see what they’re doing right, and comparing them to those who aren’t to see what they are doing wrong. These are just some of the basic steps someone without a business background could take to start a side hustle — but we’re here to help you develop a business plan and concrete strategies to help your business take off. Whether it’s finding two hours on the weekend or one hour a day, our goal is to help you realize your potential as an entrepreneur — regardless of your schedule.

3. I don’t know enough about new technology, social media, or how things have changed since I started my career

We get it — it’s overwhelming. Technology, apps, and social media trends are constantly changing, and it takes time to learn what’s going on and stay up to date. Luckily, technology is our area of expertise — and virtual memberships offer entrepreneurs dedicated coaching hours as well as discounts to over 20 different business and productivity apps to help you take off.

To start your search into what websites, apps and tools could help your idea take off, search “top 10 apps for business” and see what you find. Try “best tools for (your sector)” to see what comes up. Go even further to search “tips for starting your own business in (ex. consulting)” to get a sense of the opportunity that exists for you to pursue your dream job. When you think you’re ready to share your idea with a business coach, give us a call. We can also make lots of recommendations and help you get started with this!

4. I don’t know where to start

Leaving an established career or job could be a scary thought. Picking up and creating a whole new job for yourself could be incomprehensible at first. However, you’d be surprised at some of the entrepreneurs who’ve walked in our doors with the same fears and walked out working for themselves. We’ve helped a bus driver become a successful bakery owner; a taxi driver become the CEO of a rideshare company, and a physical therapist create a tool to support rehabilitation while also winning over $25,000 in pitch competitions alone (and that’s only a few).

5. Most importantly, never doubt your lived experience.

While youth can be innovative and creative entrepreneurs, your competitive edge is that you’ve walked the walk. You’ve spent years learning how your line of work impacts others, you’ve seen its strengths, weaknesses, and maybe went through some company changes that you disagreed with, or thought could have been done better. THAT is what sets YOU apart from the rest.

If you think your career, background or history don’t make you a good fit for entrepreneurship, we’d like to prove you wrong. You ARE an ideal entrepreneur.

If you’re still not convinced, we’d be happy to meet with you for a free consultation to talk about your vision, fears, and your potential. We know everyone could use an expert coach, networking opportunities, a professional meeting space, and discounts to a smorgasbord of business services — which is why we’ve created virtual memberships for just 50 dollars a month. To learn more, send us an email for a free consultation with one of our expert coaches, check out our website, and follow us on social media.

Frequently asked questions
What does my membership get me?

Our memberships are all-inclusive pricing which means W.I.F.I, Utilities, Janitorial service, coffee and many other amenities are included. They start at 3 months! Memberships also offer business services including business coaching, perks and discounts, access to Spark’s Member Portal, events and workshops, and much more!

How long can I have a membership for?

Unlike many other incubators, Spark is here for you in the long run. You're welcome to participate in our entrepreneurial community as long as you'd like.

How is Spark connected to Ryerson University?

We work with Ryerson University and the City of Niagara Falls on the Niagara Falls Ryerson Innovation Hub. This initiative is for tech-based startups in or looking to move to Niagara Falls, Canada to grow and scale their business.

Will Spark invest in my company?

We are happy to help provide guidance on the necessary steps towards receiving external investments. That being said, we will not invest in your business nor are we affiliated as partners in your business.

I am a part of another incubator, can I still join Spark?

Spark stands by the mission of building our future with collective impact. We accept entrepreneurs whether they are affiliated with another incubator or not. We aspire to bring together the best talent in Niagara regardless of background.

Do you have a free trial?

We offer a free 7 day trial for serious applicants only.

We're ready to grow your business
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