6 smart moves for older entrepreneurs

Be realistic about your chances

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, only half of new businesses survive five years or more and only a third make it to 10 years.

Some of the reasons for failure, according to the SBA: lack of experience, insufficient capital, poor location, poor inventory management and personal use of business funds.

These facts should serve as a reality check: Your odds of success are pretty small.

Preparation, though, can help improve your chances. Start with realistic expectations, a solid business plan and the right financing.

Cathy Pareto, a certified financial planner in Coral Gables, Fla., says you should invest months, if not years, of homework and research before you launch your business.

"It takes a lot of time and a lot of money. And chances are real that it will fail," Pareto says. "There's a lot more to it than just opening your doors."