5 Keys to Starting a Business as a Parent With a Disability Written by Ed Carter of ablefutures.org
Whether your disability is something you've dealt with since birth or you've acquired since, you know it creates challenges as a parent and an income-earner. It might be one reason you've held off on your dream of starting your own business. Don't let yourself or your family hold you back. There are ways to achieve your goals without sacrificing your self-esteem or time with your kids. Take It to the Edge Marketing shares a few.
1. Consider Working From Home
While nothing says you can't start a traditional brick-and-mortar store, there are a lot of upsides to starting a home-based business. If you have mobility issues and dealing with specialty transportation is a hassle, working from home alleviates those pain points. In addition, you save on overhead, avoiding business lease, utility and insurance costs, while still reaping the tax benefits of your home business space.
2. Plan for Success
Whatever business venture you decide on, planning is essential. You need to establish your target customer, your values and your priorities. A business plan should also include research on your competitors and the place you'll fill in your industry.
You don't have to do this planning on your own. The Small Business Development Center, or SBDC, is a free and low-cost resource. Its goal is to help you create a successful business, providing guidance on organizing your finances, developing an organizational culture, marketing to your target audience and helping you secure funding.
Finding your target market may be one of the most difficult parts of a business plan, and the most important. Use the marketing services of a company like Take It to the Edge Marketing to build customers right from the start.
3. Make It Official
Whether you go through the SBDC or a business attorney, you'll need to decide on your business structure and file legal paperwork. Incorporating protects your personal assets, but there are many kinds of formations. The most common options for small businesses are limited liability companies and S corporations. You'll also need to decide if you want to create a "doing business as" name. When you register a business name as a DBA, you can give your business credibility and give you the flexibility to open multiple small independent businesses under different domains.
4. Look for Specialized Opportunities
The SBDC and the Small Business Administration not only can help you with filing the correct paperwork and developing your business plan, but also in finding special opportunities only open to business owners with disabilities. Plans like Plan to Achieve Self-Support, or PASS, lets business owners continue to accrue supplemental security income even while they work. That's only one of many grants open only to business owners with disabilities.
5. Make Your Family Part of Your Plan
Remember that you're not only a business owner, you're part of a family that needs you. To really make sure you've still got a focus on your family, it's important to work your family into your planning. You know the only way to grow your business is by scheduling your time. It's just as important to put family time on the calendar.
Make time for family dinner. According to the website Business Collective, the conversations you have over dinner "improve literacy and behavior." Asking your family for help with the business and sticking to a regular schedule, to the extent possible, also help you balance work and family.
Think of a new business as customized employment you control. When you find something you love and incorporate these five keys, you're setting yourself up for success at work and at home.
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