Business Ideas for the Senior Market

The senior market is undoubtedly growing. A lot of countries have reported that their senior population far exceeds their birth rate. This poses a lot of problems for these countries. For one, the country’s earning power is severely reduced, they have to spend resources in taking care of this demographic, and new facilities have to be made for them.

On the other side of this, the growing senior population will also mean that they comprise a huge portion of the market. This is where you come in. Starting a small business aimed at senior citizens will give you an advantage in terms of customer size, and they have to depend on other people for a lot of things, so there are many options for you.

Before you start thinking about the different business, you have to consider your target demographic first. For example, senior citizens have shaky hands, curved spines, altered taste buds, and limited mobility. These factors will limit your options although it can also provide you with new options that cater to these specific needs. With that in mind, here are some options for your business.

Senior Transportation

One of the most devastating changes a senior citizen will experience is their loss of ability to drive. This can be brought about by deteriorating eyesight, loss of hearing acuity, and difficulty with their movement. Once they learn that they can’t drive anymore, many feel that they have lost any access to the outside world. Not only will you have to come up with a business model that caters to their transportation, you also have to do it in style so that they won’t feel like disabled or handicapped persons.

For the elite senior citizens, you could fashion a limousine into a taxi. They can go for a drive anywhere they want, without giving the impression that they needed to be driven there. For the senior citizens though that live in small parts of the city or town, a small customized bus will do the trick. You can change the seats, decorate the exterior and even spend money on the exterior paint job. They won’t feel like you’re part of a community service and they’ll gladly use your service.

Speaking of service, make sure that you operate on a flexible schedule to accommodate their needs and wants. Remember that their schedule doesn’t revolve in nursing homes or bingo nights. Lastly, a transportation service would also keep them active even in their twilight years. They only need to be dropped off and picked up from a venue for them to enjoy parties or dinners with their friends.

Senior Concierge

This is closely related to a transportation service. It’s related in the sense that you still bring senior citizens to their destinations depending on their schedules. However as a concierge, you will also be in charge of bringing services to their doorstep. These services can be dry cleaning, domestic help, mobile vets, or beautician services. These help make the seniors’ lives more comfortable and also gives them a chance to use their income.

Adult Day Care

An adult day care is totally different from a nursing home. A nursing home is a medical institution where a senior citizen is housed and is taken care of. The relatives only visit them during their free time. During their stay there, the senior citizen is given opportunities to socialize with other members through games, sports, or other social activities. While it sounds like a relieving idea for the relatives, senior citizens have complained that they are not well taken care of and they feel bored during their stay in nursing homes.

Adult day cares, on the other hand, keep senior citizens active in the outside world. These institutions provide entertainment, day care and field trips. These will allow them to socialize with their peers while going out and about in the outside world (under monitoring of course). Another difference is a senior citizen can choose to stay at home while being “enrolled” in an adult day care. The day care’s transport just picks up the senior citizen in their home and drops them off there at the end of the day.

Tech Training

Senior citizens are easily lost in the technological age and they just can’t seem to catch up with the fast-paced times. Having lots of free time on their hands though gives them the perfect opportunity to spend a lot of time online, keeping themselves updated and allowing them to keep in touch with their relatives. On a psychological level, this is also one of the means in which they can still keep their independence. Though they can’t travel outside and visit their relatives easily, doing so online can give them a sense of accomplishment and independence.

With the rising interest for internet technology, a lot of seniors are turning to other people for help. They realize that they can’t simply call their sons, daughters, or grandkids whenever they have problems about their computer. You can create a simple online class for them, or establish small classes that teach basic computer skills like navigating the Internet or using e-mails.

Online Dating

A lot of senior citizens also realize that they want to rediscover love through comfortable methods. They are seriously disadvantaged because they don’t have a lot of opportunities to meet someone new and their methods are outdated. Aside from their limitation in location, their decreased stamina also dictates their schedule, severely decreasing their chances.

This is why a lot of senior citizens are now turning to the internet to meet new people. Whether it’s to rekindle their love life, for companionship, or for other personal means, they see online dating as a reliable solution for this. They can get to know other people by searching different user profiles through a filter they set up. Once they find someone they are interested in, keeping in touch is as simple as exchanging messages before they decide to meet in person. It saves them a lot of time and money in the process.

Another method for providing romance to senior citizens is through traditional matchmaking services. This is also a good idea since many senior citizens still can’t handle technology very well. They might already have trouble with logging in page. Instead of going through the hassle themselves, they can approach a matchmaking agency and let them find a match for them. This makes it comfortable for them and they will have a good idea about the other party through the agency. It’s also a very decent market, since matchmaking agencies that specifically cater to senior citizens have reported revenue increases every year.

If you’re thinking about starting a business (big or small), it’s always important to consider your target demographic. From what we’ve outlined above, there are a lot of business ideas for the senior market. Some of these don’t take a lot of capital while others require you to put up a lot of starting money. Choosing which business you want to try first will depend on your budget and location. Once you get past that, you’re already assured of your customers.

Minimizing Your Household Expenses

Managing your household can be very costly and resource-consuming. You have a lot to deal with in terms of fixed and miscellaneous expenses. Fixed expenses consist of utility bills, credit card payments, and taxes. These financial obligations are constant for every month or few months, depending on your payment arrangements. On the other hand, miscellaneous expenses vary greatly each month and depends on your lifestyle.

These are the main reasons for your cash outflow. Proper management for your fixed and miscellaneous expenses is your main strategy to get by with your budget and set some money aside for those rainy days. Here are some areas you can start saving on your expenses.

Group Your Services

Find a service provider that offers bundles or packages for the services you use. These could be your phone, internet, and cable service. A lot of internet service providers sell packages that include these three for a cheap price. Instead of paying them separately, group them so you can save more.

Use the Basics

Check your subscriptions if you’re paying for something unnecessary. For your phone plan, you don’t really need a caller ID or call waiting unless you’re on the phone most of the time or rely on it for your daily tasks. Browse other plans for your cable TV as well; you might be paying more for premium channels you didn’t even know existed. Also check your internet subscription if you use it to the maximum. If you just use it to check emails or do simple browsing then you don’t really need the high speed tier available.

Downgrade your subscriptions to the basic, ensuring that you only pay for what you’re using. Just because there’s a more expensive option doesn’t mean you have to avail of that service. You’ll save more money in the long run by this simple change.

Think Thrifty

Even if it’s a necessary expense like food, there’s still room for you to save. Start looking and collecting coupons and familiarize yourself with sales that frequently happen in your area. Groceries and food shops often have sales at specific times of the month to get rid of their unwanted stocks. Choose your shopping dates wisely and take advantage of these promotions. You can save more than 50% by using coupons and by buying from the sales aisle.

Another area where thrift buying comes in handy is your fashion. Clothes are a constant expense and if you’re not careful, you could be wasting money. Avoid buying label or designer clothing, browse in thrift stores or second-hand shops instead. A lot of fashionable items can be found there while their prices are dirt cheap compared to designer brands. If you’re worried about sanitary issues, you can always have them dry cleaned to remove any unwanted odor.

Review Your Insurance

Insurance is a necessity, but it also takes a huge portion of your budget. Shop around and compare insurance rates for your car or health premiums. Insurance companies always have discounts available so you can ask them what they can offer you. If you want to stick with your current insurance company, you can talk to them about downgrading your plan. This can be applied for your car, health or house insurance policies.

Another option to reduce your insurance premiums is to combine them under a single company. Even if it’s a health insurance company, they also offer some sort of protection regarding your car or house. You might even include your children under your insurance policy to reduce the total price.

Conserve Energy

Utility bills are considered fixed expenses wherever you live. You need electricity just for basic functions in your house. This doesn’t mean that it has to be expensive and you can’t do anything about them. If living like a hermit doesn’t work for you (it’s impossible nowadays), then you can reduce your electricity bill through:

  • Change your light bulbs to energy efficient ones. LED light bulbs can cost more than other types, but they last longer and use lesser electricity. They will pay for themselves through your long-term savings.
  • Use your thermostat sparingly and efficiently. When no one’s home you can turn it off or if you’re not using a room, you can set your thermostat for a single room only. If you’re alone in the house, you can even turn off your thermostat and just wear a thick sweater or use electric fans. There’s no sense in wasting all that energy just to warm up the entire apartment when you just use it alone.
  • Buy a power strip for your appliances. Television sets and computers consume electricity even if they’re on standby. A power strip cuts off all electricity to these appliances with a simple switch. You don’t need to unplug every appliance when you don’t use them, just turn the power strip off.

Reduce Entertainment Expenses

Avoid spending a lot just to have fun, but we’re not telling you to stay away from all forms of entertainment. There are inexpensive options available which still allow you to have fun. Instead of going to the movies every weekend, you can rent movies and watch them in the comfort of your own home. Local libraries have an extensive and updated DVD selection. Membership is free so you should sign up and start browsing there.

As a substitute for eating out, cook meals in your own home or go on picnics. You’ll reduce your dining expenses a lot and you can still enjoy your friends’ company. You can even organize potluck dinners with your friends so you won’t have to go to bars or restaurants.

Prepare Your Own Meals

Regarding your meals, buy your own ingredients and cook your own dishes. Depending on your skill, it won’t be look and taste like a restaurant’s dish, but you can save more. In the restaurant, you’re paying someone else to prepare your food, the building’s rent, and you have to add tips on top of that.

Cook dishes in multiple servings and separate them into single-serve containers. You can use multiple ingredients at this time (justifying your bulk purchase), and you’ll have easy to heat meals after or the next day’s lunch already prepared. Some recipes even let you use leftovers so you can recycle food easily and avoid throwing them away. Each time you throw food that went bad, it’s just the same as throwing away money.

Pay on Time

If you have the habit of paying your bills after the due date, you’re spending more on your late fees. Make it a point to pay your bills as soon as your pay check arrives or you can even set up online payment to make things easier. Once you pay your bills on time, you won’t have to worry about penalties and other unnecessary expenses.

Some of these tips for minimizing your household expenses may require you to change your lifestyle. However if you consider it in the long run, you’ll save more and you will be able to use this money for something else.