We have a growing number of 50-65 year old stuck in a state of permanent unemployment and permanently underemployment. Moreover, instead of being contributors to society these Americans are now becoming takers, placing a strain on an already overburden entitlements program and public resources.
At the same time we literally have millions of small businesses trying to successfully grow and expand but often lack the training, talent, understanding and motivation to do so. The SBA runs SCORE, a group of retired executives that volunteer time but I have found they are more geared and catering towards start ups or those thinking of starting a business. The next level is the established small business owner really that needs paid professional assistance beyond having coffee a couple of times with a volunteer.
However, the only real help out there will not deal with small business because the revenue base isn't there. What's left are scams looking to bilk the small business owner for thousands and leave little in return.
What I'd like to see are clearinghouses set up that would employ older workers that small business could use to engage professionals for affordable fees (hourly rates of $50 to $100 compared to traditional fees of $200 to $500) and on a limited basis. Typically 5 to 10 hours a week with an engagement to last six to twelve months with no long term contracts. Small business owners might be very good at what they do but too often lack management, financial, sales and marketing skills to move their company beyond a few million dollars a year in revenue. Some of them also need an old fashion kick in the ass in regards to being better managers, holding subordinates accountable for results and controlling revenues and expenses. Small business owners often could use a COO/CFO type the just do not have the sales and profits yet to afford another six figure salary.
Business advisors would rotate depending upon their background and the needs of the business. This puts our older professionals back to work and would reduce the increase in early death and substance abuse. It's out of the box thinking for a problem that is only growing worse and this solution solves the issue of small business owners that need outside help but often do not know where to turn and who to trust.