Guest post by Patrick Young, AbleUSA.Info
Your kids are in school, your disability keeps you housebound most of the time, and you’re bored out of your gourd with daytime television shows and surfing the internet. Frankly, you’ve got time on your hands.
Then what’s stopping you from creating your own business?
You probably already have what it takes to run your own small business. As a parent, you doubtlessly already know how to solve problems, delegate responsibilities, and give 100 percent of yourself to everything you do. You’re also motivated to do your best for your children. Those, among others, are essential entrepreneurial skills. With some focus and planning, you can probably transfer them over to becoming a small business owner.
According to a report from Virginia Commonwealth University, small business owners with disabilities aren’t much different from other business owners. By and large, having a small business gives them confidence, freedom, independence, and respect within their community.
If you’re considering creating a small business, ask yourself these questions.
- Do I Have a Good Business Idea?
Do you have a product or service people want, or is it just an idea that you keep noodling around with? Keep in mind that the idea itself has no value. According to Tim Berry writing for Business Insider, “The value comes in building the business, not in having the idea.” Do you have a hobby where you find yourself making a few dollars, whether it’s monogramming tea towels or digitally editing photos for a friend? You could parlay that into a small business.
What’s the difference? According to Dave Ramsey, it’s when you become profitable. Knitting socks for friends at $10 apiece is just a hobby that brings in a few dollars. Knitting socks, blankets, sweaters, hats, and more, then selling them on eBay and raking in a large profit is a business. But if you want to take the idea you’re building into a business to the next level, you’ll need a plan and funding.
- Do I Have a Plan to Get Capital?
A business plan is a document that describes your business, the product(s) or service(s) you offer, your plan for growth, and other details. The U.S. Small Business Administration has a tool you can use to create a business plan that you’ll present to banks and venture capitalists in order to get funding for your business. Creating the plan takes plenty of patience, but if you believe in your business, that passion will come through in the plan that you’ll present. Additionally, there are grants for which you can apply as a disabled person. But keep in mind those grant agencies will also want to see your business plan.
While you pursue funding, be intentional about capital and keep overhead low. One cost-saving strategy that is particularly helpful for parents with disabilities is creating an at-home office space instead of renting a location, allowing you to work near your children in a space that is accessible. If you don’t have the right space, look to hiring a handyman to carve out an area that provides maximum accessibility and that is conducive to productivity. This is one option that shouldn’t eat up too much of your capital, as most homeowners in the Burbank area only spend around $174-$617 per project.
- Do I Have a Fallback Opportunity?
[Text Wrapping Break]If you don’t have the world’s next great business idea or you don’t have a hobby that can become a business, consider franchising. You could become the franchisee for plenty of brick-and-mortar or online businesses. These range from donut shops to hair styling salons to medical billing processors to online training companies. Startup costs can vary widely, from several hundred thousands of dollars for a restaurant to less than $500 for an online service. With a franchise, however, remember that you’ll not only have startup costs, but you might also need to pay regular royalties to the franchiser. In return, though, you’ll get support from the franchiser and benefit from its advertising.
Just because you’re disabled doesn’t mean you are limited in what you can do. You have commitment, problem-solving, and management skills that can form the basis of small business ownership. The only questions are, which one do you want, and what’s stopping you?
Photo Credit: Pixabay.com