How Parents with Disabilities Can Launch a Small Business This Year
If you’re living with a disability, you’re not alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that as many as one in four Americans are currently living with a disability.
Despite the social stigma and misconceptions surrounding disabilities, those who are living with a disability often possess desirable qualities that can make them excellent business owners. Just like any other entrepreneur, if you’re juggling parenthood with being a business owner, you might feel completely overwhelmed at times. Here are some steps you can take to get your small business off the ground while still being there for your family.
Start an E-commerce Business
One of the most hassle-free ways to test those metaphorical waters of entrepreneurship is through launching an e-commerce business. Online stores allow you to harness the power of the internet to sell products around the world. If you decide to give e-commerce a try, start by reviewing online resources and help guides to strengthen your understanding of the business world. Learn about the basics of customer service and branding, as well as more advanced concepts like search engine optimization (SEO) and growth hacking. By doing your research up front, you’ll empower yourself to launch and grow a successful business in the long-term.
While doing your research can help you launch your business, sometimes you’ll need the help of experienced professionals. The OAK Interactive team can leverage their expertise and experience to help small businesses achieve success whether you need brand strategy, SEO, or marketing support.
Find Grants and Funding
Many aspiring entrepreneurs hesitate to launch their business because they’re uncertain how to secure funding. Luckily, there are government programs to assist you, some of which are free or low-cost. For starters, the US Small Business Administration (SBA) provides a free service called SCORE, which offers mentorship and assistance with getting loans or funding. As a person living with a disability, you might qualify for special grants and funding opportunities. To find grants, start by searching SBA.gov or GrantsNet. Additionally, there are COVID-related government programs like SBA bridge loans and The Main Street Business Lending Program to help you stay on your feet if you’ve already started your business.
Networking is key to growing a business. By taking advantage of the resources available to you, you can launch a thriving, successful company. As someone with a disability, you might also reach out to organizations specializing in helping entrepreneurs who are living with disabilities. For starters, if you have a wheelchair-accessible business, consider listing it in this directory.
If you’re a social media user, consider joining the Facebook group Entrepreneurs with Disabilities United, a supportive network of individuals who are defying the odds and overcoming obstacles to achieve their dreams. In addition to meeting other entrepreneurs, you’ll network with nonprofits and find resources to help take your business to the next level.
Know What You Bring to the Table
Don’t let a disability stop you from living the life of your dreams. People of all abilities and ages have started thriving businesses, redefining what it means to be an entrepreneur. According to Virgin UK, individuals with disabilities are just as ambitious as their able-bodied peers — and perhaps even more solutions-focused. Additionally, they possess desirable traits, such as being “highly skilled” problem-solvers who are capable of making a “positive impact on [a] company’s bottom line.” As you might imagine, these traits are beneficial in any business setting.
Thanks to the rise of technology, it’s possible to work from home and to launch a business that serves customers anywhere in the world. By harnessing the power of videoconferencing, e-commerce, search engine optimization, and business grants, your disability doesn’t have to inhibit you from running a successful business. With some determination, hard work, and a willingness to learn new things, it’s possible to balance parenthood and entrepreneurship, even if you are differently-abled.
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