Many people dream of owning their own business, and this dream can be a wonderful solution for people who have disabilities. Being your own boss can be liberating and give you a chance to pursue your passions, but you need to be realistic about the work involved and the potential challenges too. The rewards can be substantial if you manage to find the perfect business idea.
Be realistic and pace yourself
Traditional employment can be difficult to sustain for people with disabilities. You may have a service dog that employers have been resistant to accommodate, or you may need more flexibility than a regular job provides. Instead of struggling to make a typical job fit your needs and lifestyle, it may be a better fit to build a business of your own.
Be realistic about your plans as you head into entrepreneurship. While you need to consider your limitations and pace yourself, you also want to develop something that you can get passionate about. Your idea may start out as something small, but you should allow yourself to dream big and pursue something with the potential to grow over time.
Build an idea you believe in
Living with disabilities may hold you back in traditional companies, but they can be an asset in building your own business. These experiences may give you an opportunity to pursue an underserved niche or give you a way to set yourself apart from others. Build something you believe in so that you maintain your motivation through the tough days that will come.
When you are working through potential business ideas, look for something that suits your temperament and syncs with your interests and goals. The Guardian points out that building a business on your own can sometimes feel lonely or isolating, so being excited and motivated about your plan will be essential in carrying you through day after day.
Utilize your own experiences
Think about what you have to offer, perhaps building a business that utilizes the insight you bring as someone living with disabilities. You may want to help others with disabilities find products that can make their life easier, or if you have a service dog, you may consider an opportunity focused on animals and their needs.
For example, owning a service dog gives you great insight into what makes dogs tick, and the passion you have for your canine partner can serve you well in developing an engaging business plan. You could build a business focused on pet travel and transportation, or one that makes dog treats, toys, or bedding.
Get creative and look for needs in your area
If designing and selling pet-related items isn’t a fit, look into combining a creative skill with your passion for animals. Entrepreneur suggests doing pet photography, or you can create videos to put online with training or other pet-related tips. If you’re artistic, you could build a business creating pet portraits, or start a blog or other writing-related project focused on animals.
Many areas need dog walkers, obedience trainers, groomers, or even dog clean-up services. Creative types might develop marketing or consulting businesses within this niche as well. Use the experience you’ve gained in your relationship with your service dog and translate that into a business opportunity that works for you.
Get a smart start
Once you’re ready to open your business, you’ll have to register your business entity with the Secretary of State. This filing process is tedious and takes a lot of time but pays off because of the legal protection it offers, especially when filing an LLC. To establish a business you’ll have to first register with the Secretary of State, file for a Federal Employer Identification Number with the IRS, contact the Department of Revenue if your business trades goods, and then open a business checking account. A smart way to get this done quickly and easily is to hire a professional filing service company to deal with all the paperwork for you.
Hire when you’re ready
As your business grows, you’ll need help running the day-to-day and ensuring you’re meeting all of your clients’ or customers’ needs. When you’re ready to hire employees, know where to look. Depending on your business, you may be able to find great candidates on a major online job board such as Monster. However, if your business is more specialized, you may need to seek out industry-specific recruiters. For example, if you’ve started a home health business, you’ll want to hire the services of a company like National Recruiters, which specifically connects businesses and healthcare professionals
Bottom line: use your interests and strengths to your benefit when building your own business. Living with a disability gives you valuable insight that can be used to help others, and if you do have a service dog, you may find that your connection to animals can be the base for a successful business outlet. Start with a small goal but allow yourself to dream big and embrace the chance to build the business of your dreams.
[Image via Pixabay]