Everyone has at least one business idea at some point in their lives. Some people have them all the time. But relatively few people ever act on their idea and even fewer manage to make a success of it. Perhaps that’s just as well, as not all business ideas are good ones. However, if you’re a disabled person who has an idea for a business that you’re sure could work, you shouldn’t let your disability hold you back. A bad business idea could stop you going ahead, but having to take your disability into account shouldn’t. In fact, starting a business could be an ideal way for many disabled people to make money.
Take Advantage of the Ability to Be Self-employed
Finding suitable employment can be tough when you have a disability. Many disabled people want to work but struggle to find a role that’s suitable for them, even with the legal requirement for reasonable adjustments. If you’re looking for an alternative, being self-employed could work out for you. There can still be a lot of work involved, but you get to choose your hours much of the time. You might sometimes need to be available during usual working hours so you can communicate with others, but you can take breaks when you need to and find your own ways of working.
Find an Idea You’re Passionate About
If you’re thinking of starting a business, there’s one thing you should make sure you do. You need to start a business that you feel passionate about so that you’re enthusiastic about dedicating your time to it. Starting a business is tough for anyone and requires a lot of your time and energy. If you have a disability that makes it even slightly more complicated, it’s even more important that you’re determined to make a success of your business and that you enjoy what you’re doing. Your business doesn’t have to relate to your disability in any way, but it should be about something you love.
Don’t Be Scared to Ask for Adjustments
Even when you’re self-employed, you often need to work with and around other people. Often, you can set up the perfect working environment for yourself because you have control. However, when you visit other people in their offices or perhaps work for someone else on contract for a while, you might not have as much control. If you need to leave your home or usual working environment, it’s important that you’re assertive about asking for adjustments. If you need to take regular breaks or you require a full-time assistant, or perhaps need to take your service dog with you, you should make it clear as soon as possible, so others are aware.
Use Automation to Make Your Job Easier
There are many ways to make your job easier when you’re trying to build and run a business as a disabled person. Your disability could mean it takes you longer to do some things, so being able to save time in some areas should help you out. Automation can help to make a huge variety of jobs easier and help to improve accuracy too. Data Serv makes it easier to handle financial documents, including accounts payable and accounts receivable, as well as managing human resources. There are many different types of software that can help you, and SaaS (software as a service) makes it even easier to get day-to-day jobs done.
Plan Around Your Needs
One of the excellent things about being self-employed is that you can manage your own time. If you know there are some things you find difficult, it’s easier to plan your day around them. For example, if you know that you’ll feel exhausted after more than a few hours work, you can plan to work in shorter bursts, with regular breaks to recover. If it’s difficult for you to spend a lot of time working on the phone, you might consider outsourcing your phone calls or requesting that people use another method of communication. It’s up to you to decide how you want to do things to fit around your life and your needs.
Take Advantage of Your Most Energetic Moments
Not all disabilities will affect your energy or your mood. However, many people with chronic illnesses or disabilities can find they have days or periods when they feel low or lack energy, and others when they feel more upbeat. If you know that it’s harder for you to work on some days than others, try to take advantage of the times when you have more energy to get things done. You don’t have to be full of pep or willing to work until you’re exhausted, but it’s worth taking advantaging of the times when you have both the physical and mental energy to work.
Look for Funding and Support for Disabled Entrepreneurs
Many disabled people who want to start a business can find that it’s a struggle to find the funding and support they need. Banks might not be in a hurry to give a loan to someone who might not have worked for a while or who faces additional hurdles in setting up a business. One thing that might help is to look for any support or funding that exists purely for disabled entrepreneurs. There could be local organizations that might help or national schemes or awards you could benefit from.
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Connect with Other Disabled Entrepreneurs
Networking with other business people is always useful when you run a company. However, it can be frustrating when others don’t understand the challenges you can face as a disabled entrepreneur. Getting in touch with other entrepreneurs who are disabled can help you feel like you’re less alone. You can share advice and support, and perhaps even created a network of disabled entrepreneurs that can help each other out, hold events and stay up to date with the latest issues that might affect you.
Don’t let your disability hold you back if you want to make it in business. Find something you’re passionate about and make it work.