If You Have a Disability, Consider Working for Yourself

Photo Credit: stokpic, Pixabay

Entrepreneurs are successful because they see the world differently and are able think about the world in a unique way. People with disabilities also see and think of the world in a unique and different way. A disability can affect an individual’s life on many levels, including transportation, education, and labor participation. Not only do people with disabilities often make great entrepreneurs, but they also appreciate the flexibility business ownership offers in terms of transportation, accessibility, hours, home-based options and more.

Choosing a Business

The first and most important step in entrepreneurship is selecting a business to take on. There are a few tips you can follow when trying to decide. For instance, instead of making a product or service that can be bought or used once, like a pool installation service, try to think of something that requires a customer to keep coming back, such as a pool cleaning service.

Having a high profit margin is ideal and ensures you can self-finance your growth. “There are very few companies that can compete long-term on a ‘we are cheaper’ marketing platform,” says Entrepreneur. If you decide to pursue a business with low profit margins, you’ll need to ensure you have a high level of working capital in the beginning when spending is the highest and profits are the lowest.

Although having a good idea is a great place to start, building a strong support team is crucial for your success. Instead of heading into your launch solo, create a board of advisors and assemble a team of professional accountants, coaches, lawyers, and bankers. Consider working with a professional website builder or someone to help you with branding.

Funding a Business

Once you have your idea for a business, you need to find the capital to get the ball rolling. You may think to start by applying at a bank, but most new businesses are often turned down for bank loans. Your next thought may be to check with the Small Business Administration (SBA), but their loans are competitive. Instead of taking these more traditional routes, try some outside-the-box funding ideas. Don’t be afraid to seek professional financial expertise. Talk to lawyers, tax professionals, and other professionals to get sound advice.

Online lenders are one alternative to traditional business loans. Typically, they are easy and fast to apply for, and the funds can be issued within days. Another option is angel investors, who invest in startup companies in exchange for a 20 to 25 percent return on their investment. Google and Costco were assisted by angel investors in their early days. Crowdfunding sites, such as Kickstarter, allow you to gather small investments from a number of investors in one place. Be sure to read the fine print since some sites have hidden fees and guidelines.

Launching a Business

The final box to check off after choosing a business and obtaining funding is to launch your business. You need to have customers in order to bring money in, so getting the word out about your product or service is key. You may spend months planning and researching a business model and strategy, and you’ll need to learn as much as you can about your product, competitors, industry, and market.

Build a successful team around you, including an attorney, financial planner, website builder, etc. Seek out professionals who are experts in your market, product, and industry. Make the most of business networking sites to build a database of professionals you can connect with. Also, make sure your business website is up to par. Creating a business website is a crucial key to your success. You can DIY your site or hire a website builder. When you make a website, keep in mind it’s a direct reflection of your business. Customers will typically check out your business website before deciding to utilize your service or buy your product.

With a solid plan in place, you can successfully start your own business. Remember that no matter how much you plan, the unexpected can and will happen, so be flexible and adapt to change as needed; it’s probably a skill you’ve mastered from living with a disability, and another reason why you’ll be a great entrepreneur!

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