Anna D. Banks, Basic Author

By Anna D. Banks, GCDF

Whether you want to start a small business, while you are still working in order to make a little extra income, and as a sort of retirement plan; or you want to get into the business after you have retired, there are many business ideas for baby boomers operating on a shoe string budget. You can actually start up one of many businesses quite inexpensively and all of them may have the potential to become much larger money spinning enterprises.

Put up a web site and the money will start coming in. Remember that it won’t happen immediately. However, it is not a very difficult undertaking. Just pick a subject that you are well versed with, register a domain name, and create your web site. Make sure it looks good and that you are able to give the users useful content. The money comes from appropriate affiliate programs and ads. In order to maximize your revenues, learn how to achieve search engine optimization and market and promote your site well. Set aside a fixed time every single week to update the content on your site, make sure your keep up the maintenance and delete links that no longer work. If you choose the right topics you can easily make a decent income from this. The only real costs are the money you pay to register the domain and for web hosting.

• Become a consultant.
It is relatively easy to get into. All of us have at least one thing that we are experts at, something we know in more detail than many others. Experience or talent can usually provide at least one sphere that we can teach people or work for them. Make a list of all your business and social contacts and give them a call, network, ask for references. Your only expenses would be business cards, with the price of some coffee for networking.

• Become a house-sitter or a stay at home pet-sitter.
People now have a greater need for all kind of security, and that’s where house-sitting comes in. It provides reassurance to homeowners while they are away. Becoming a house-sitter requires no special skills. All you have to do is prove that people can trust you, that you are reliable. Get personal references and make them available to prospective clients. Make sure you have transportation. If you get along with animals, pet-sitting can be an add-on service that you provide. Alternatively take in pets and take care of them while owners are away. Expenses are the cost of putting up flyers on bulletin boards, and placing classifieds in local newspapers.

•Tutor Students.

With a growing dissatisfaction of students and parents with the current system of education, there is a sharp growth in the number of kids being home-schooled. If you are strong in a subject that you can teach students, contact your local schools, and home-school groups, and talk to them about tutoring.

• Try your hand at desktop publishing.
Most people own a computer but have no idea how to make a decent presentation. With a good sense of design, and some familiarity with your computer and word processor, all you need is a good quality printer to venture into desktop publishing. Your total expense would be high quality paper for samples of your portfolio.

© 2008 Anna D. Banks, GCDF

ANNA D. BANKS, GCDF is an adjunct professor at Essex County College, career development and marketing coach, speaker, and author. Anna helps individuals design a game plan for an extraordinary career or business. Since 1996, Anna has helped hundreds of job-seekers, managers, business owners, and sales professionals achieve career success. For more information send an email to

Author’s Note:
Do you have any questions about career development or lifestyle changes for Baby Boomers, which you think others, like you, would want to know the answers? Please post a comment or email your questions to me at