Table of contents
Starting a Business With a Disability Doesn’t Need to Be An Obstacle
If you have a disability, you’ve likely faced obstacles your entire life. Starting a business with a disability does not have to be one of them. Follow these steps to control your fate and become an unstoppable business owner.
There are plenty of resources and opportunities that will allow you to capitalize on your strengths and show the world that you are more than your diagnosis.
Research and Learn Everything You Can About Existing Businesses & Starting a Business
One of the most important things you can do as an aspiring entrepreneur is to jump online and read all you can about starting a business.
The Women Conquer Business blog offers small business strategies and marketing resources to help you get started. If you’re looking for inspiration and success stories, the Women Conquer Business podcast interviewed spoonie and medically disabled entrepreneur Kelly Mendenhall.
You’ll find more great ideas used by successful businesses on the Let’s Talk About Money blog. You can also contact your local Chamber of Commerce, research business resources at SCORE (they also have mentors), or contact your local disability advocate organization.
Each of these resources will arm you with information about the process and give you ideas on how to proceed on your terms.
The Best Business is the One You Already Know
If you’ve ever held a job, gone to school, or engaged in a hobby for fun, you likely already have the skills and experience you need to get your business up and running.
If you’re looking for a few ideas consider freelance writing, consulting, graphic design, PC repair, or even babysitting. For example, if you like photography and have a good eye and experience in editing, you might even be able to start your own business as a photographer, which Career Explorer notes can help you earn an average of around $18 per hour.
Whatever you decide to do, the point is that you can put your existing skills to work or pursue a career that keeps things interesting to you.
Small Business Development Basics: Getting Started
Once you decide on a business, you’ll need to decide where you’ll locate it and how it’ll be funded.
Kabbage notes that starting a company out of your home might be ideal for a person with a disability.
A home-based business eliminates transportation and other barriers and ensures that you have access to all the things you need to comfortably and conveniently navigate your day.
If money is tight, look into special financing, including small business loan programs and grants for people with physical or cognitive disabilities.
A Small Business Administration SBA 7(a) loan is one option. You may also find funding resources that will help you purchase equipment if you need assistive technologies to get your job done.
Once you have finished writing a business plan and put funding in place, it’s time to start your business with marketing and customer acquisition.
Boost Confidence & Success with Marketing & Partnerships
When you’re ready to capture your fair share of the market, you can’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
A few ideas that won’t break the bank include:
- Creating a blog
- Learning all you can about social media marketing; and
- Forging partnerships with other local businesses.
Keep in mind that marketing is simply a matter of showing your business in its best light.
You must showcase your capabilities in a way that makes them irresistible to your potential clients while remaining authentic.
Don’t forget to market to people like you. One in four people in the United States have some type of disability. That’s a big — and often overlooked — group of potential customers.
Your local community is also a great place to start. You’ll find that many people you already know will be happy to support you as you get up and running. Consider joining your local business networking groups. Attend events (online or in-person) that are pertinent to your business.
When you are a person with a disability, you’re already used to thinking creatively to solve problems.
In this case, that might just mean jumping headfirst into the world of entrepreneurship.
It may seem intimidating, but it is a leap of faith that puts you in control of your fate.
Ready for ongoing support?
Join us in the Strategic Marketing Membership where we offer events, coaching, and accountability.