According to reports, people with disabilities are twice as likely to be self-employed as those who are not. If you’re also a parent, with all the time and energy that raising children entails, you have an even greater necessity for speed and efficiency.
Often, those who have overcome the challenges posed by a lack of mobility or hearing and visual impairment already have the qualities it takes to succeed in business: self-motivation, commitment, and creative thinking. If these words describe you, it’s time to get in on the action and make some concrete plans for your own start-up. With that in mind, here’s some helpful advice to consider before you set out on your quest for wealth.
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This is easier said than done for any new entrepreneur, regardless of whether they even have a disability, as starting a new business brings with it a whole new level of stress and demands on your time. Don’t fall into the trap of working too long and neglecting your diet and exercise regimen, as that could cost you dearly if you become ill in the middle of one of your first projects. The folks at Disability Horizons recommend looking into fitness classes for people with the same condition as you or even hiring a personal trainer (keep in mind, however, that a personal trainer can easily cost $40 to $70 per hour).
EXPLORE FINANCING OPTIONS
There are grants available for entrepreneurs in your situation, and they come from both the federal government and private organizations. You can start your search at the US Small Business Administration. Other forms of financial assistance include loans from Accion, a nonprofit organization that provides flexible loans to entrepreneurs, including the disabled.
USE ALL AVAILABLE RESOURCES
Getting off to a good start requires more than just financing. Luckily, there are plenty of tools available to help you begin with an effective business strategy, innovative marketing plan, and efficient bookkeeping. Ignite Spot Outsourced Accounting has provided resources to help you find your first clients and make sure your operations run as smoothly as possible. There are even tips on tax laws that apply to the disabled.
Many new business owners choose to set themselves up as a limited liability company. This can have several advantages including paying less taxes, limiting your liability, and reducing paperwork. When forming an LLC, you can avoid the often-prohibitive costs of hiring a lawyer by filing yourself or tasking a formation service with the job.
WORK FROM HOME
You’ll find day-to-day operations much easier in an environment that’s already adapted to your condition, assuming you’ve made the necessary modifications to your house. It’s also helpful to design a home office suited for your lifestyle. There are a number of lucrative opportunities that you can pursue while staying close to your own comfortable kitchen and bathroom, such as reselling items online with the help of a dropshipping partner or conducting direct sales and data entry for established businesses looking to outsource these activities.
If you plan to work from home, having a dedicated space to get everything done is extremely important. Although setting up shop on the couch might sound appealing, it gives you way too many opportunities to become distracted, which can have a negative impact on your productivity. So, find an unused room or corner of your home and make some minor alterations to transform it into a functional workspace. Including a customized desk and ergonomic chair (quality chairs can be purchased for under $200) can add comfort and minimize stress.
Whether you’re in a spare room in your home, a basement, or garage, you’ll want to ensure you’re working in a comfortable environment. A humidifier can add moisture if you’re working in an overly dry space. If located next to a drafty window, you may have to call in a window repair service. Window repair isn’t cheap (averaging between $170 and $375), so make sure you hire a licensed and insured contractor to do the work.
ESTABLISH A NETWORK
There are plenty of other people in the same position as you who are finding their niche in a competitive business environment while dealing with the everyday obstacles imposed by their disability. Reach out to these fellow travelers, as well as non-profit advocacy groups and charitable organizations, via social media. You just may find some exciting promotional opportunities or avenues for valuable cross-marketing. A few reputable creative and marketing networks include:
SELL TO OTHER DISABLED
This is a potential gold mine. The World Bank estimates that there are over 1 billion people globally with some form of disability, and they’re often ignored by companies marketing new products and services, according to Forbes. Who better to tap this money-making potential than you, with your insider knowledge of the challenges that disabled people face every day.
Starting your own business may seem daunting at first, but each step forward will bring you closer to your goal. If you do it right, you won’t have to miss any time with the children while your revenue grows and your clientele expands. Remember, you’ve faced bigger challenges before, and success is yours for the taking.