Bizstarters helps mature workers start their own businesses
Arlington Heights resident Jeff Williams said he has transitioned from a physical office and a staff of 5 workers to a home office with a nationwide, virtual team.
Williams is the CEO and founder of Bizstarters.com, which offers training, counseling and other services to people over 50 who want to start their own business. In 2007, Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine selected the site as "the best entpreneurial site for people over 50" and Williams was a presenter at the AARP convention last September.
"A lot of people who are in their 50s or 60s believe this could be the last chance they have to do this," Williams said.
Williams himself started this business after working for decades in the corporate world. He earned his bachelor's degree in business and his MBA in the 1970s and worked for Corning, Sears, Rand McNally and others before establishing his own company.
"I wanted a company that I had equity in," he said.
In the 1980s, he founded Creative Market Solutions, a consulting firm, and a division called Go Smart Business Start Up Center in Skokie, where he had a staff of five workers.
He later moved to Arlington Heights, decided on a virtual business by launching Bizstarters.com in 1999, which received some angel funding in 2000. He then built a network of eight coaches across the country. They counsel potential business owners via the phone or in person. They also sell a variety of products, including "Start Your Business Now," a home study program, as well as work through national organizations, such as the Rotary, to help their members learn how to start their own businesses, he said.
While Williams said he started his business in his 40s, he's now 64 and said he doesn't want to stop.
"I really enjoy what I do," he said.
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