If you live with disabilities and have an entrepreneurial spirit, then you can get your dream business up and running as anyone else can. Whether you live with limited mobility, PTSD, autism, deafness, or any other type of “disability,” you have probably developed a great deal of resiliency that can help you overcome obstacles and lay a firm foundation for long-term success.
Moreover, there are many funding options tailored to entrepreneurs with disabilities and general grants and programs that you can apply for. If you’re ready to kickstart your entrepreneurial journey, consider these tips from Klashtech:
Learn About Business Ownership
Owning a business requires a unique set of skills and traits if you will succeed in the long run. Your first task is to research what business ownership involves to confirm that it is something you want, as recommended by Zenbusiness.com. For example, you will need to research the market to ensure that the product or service can fill a need, learn the ins and outs of marketing, and grasp the various administrative tasks required to launch a company.
Another essential step when starting a business is choosing which legal structure (e.g., sole proprietorship, LLC, corporation, etc.) will serve your business best. You will also need to write a thorough business plan that outlines your mission, values, offering, funding requirements, financial projections, and more. Furthermore, you will need to zero in on your target audience to craft an effective marketing strategy.
Look Into Free Tools
One great thing about launching a business in this day and age: There are tons of free and affordable software tools to help you get a strong start and sustain long-term success. For example, if you need to design a logo for your company, you can find a logo maker by searching the web for “free online logo maker and download.” If you need to build your website from the ground up, plenty of platforms allow you to do so affordably and efficiently. And there are even tools to help you manage your social media content, finances, and project collaborations.
Research Your Funding Opportunities
Most entrepreneurs need some funding to get their ventures up and running. Fortunately, there are various grants and loans available to those with disabilities. It’s best practice to begin by researching grants because you don’t have to pay them back! The federal government provides grants to eligible entrepreneurs with disabilities through branches like the Small Business Administration (SBA), the National Arts and Disability Center (NADC), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Even if you qualify for grants, you may need additional funding, depending on your startup expenses. Fortunately, many loans are available at the federal, state, and local levels that come with favorable terms. Check with the nonprofit Accion, which specializes in small business loans for workplace accessibility, assistive technology, and other factors. The SBA provides several small business loans, some specific to entrepreneurs with disabilities and others for general small business use. Furthermore, look into StreetShares, a lender that offers loans to veteran entrepreneurs and those disabled from combat.
Start Thinking About Marketing
Search for the Right Employees
Even if you plan on handling most of your business operations yourself, you will probably need help at some point. Remember that you have an overarching vision for your company, and any tasks and projects for which you’re not skilled or experienced can distract you from that vision.
As you develop your business budget, think of any jobs you need to hire out. Whether it’s content writing, web design, appointment scheduling, accounting, or any other responsibility, look to online job boards and your professional network to find qualified freelancers or employees who can help you achieve your goals.
A lot is involved in the process of launching a company, but if you live with disabilities, chances are you have what it takes to rise above challenges and build a business that stands the test of time. Consider the information and advice above, and keep learning as much as you can so that you can position yourself for long-term success!
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