Here at Velocity Agency, we believe in careers for the disabled. We know that many people with disabilities face ableism and discrimination every day. We believe that if you dream big enough, you can achieve it! We are so lucky to have a special person on our team: Chase Treadway. Chase has faced many obstacles and still produces amazing results for us as our web designer. Learn more about his story and how his disability launched him into his digital marketing career here. This week, we would like to share an article from Patrick Young, the founder of AbleUSA. We appreciate his work towards enabling those who are disabled to work. Read more below.
Being a parent can leave us with little time, and having disabilities can complicate things even more. One of the benefits of starting your own business is the ability to control your schedule. If you’re looking to start working for yourself, here is what you need to know to be successful.
If you need some extra funding to help you start, don’t overlook government grants that may be available to you. Make sure that any grants you apply for are specific to your needs. Some cover the social aspects of business, such as training, while others are focused on technology. Check with your local small business association to see what they may have available. You may be able to get a grant to help further your education through a university or other school. If nothing else, there are loans you might qualify for, so don’t overlook those options as well. Check out the US Small Business Administration’s (SBA) website, as they have a comprehensive guide for people with disabilities.
If you want to be a successful business person, you need to be honest with yourself. This sort of career is not for everyone, and it isn’t going to make everyone happy. Do you have the characteristics of someone who was born to run a business? Are you self-motivated? Can you give 100 percent of your free time, every day, to this new business? How are you at solving problems quickly? You need to have high amounts of energy and always be ready to work. One of the benefits of being a parent is you’ll most likely have more patience than the average adult. You’ll need plenty, and a positive outlook, to stay afloat as a small business owner. You also need to be able to budget well and have passion for whichever field you choose.
Do Your Research
Start by making a business plan. What do others do well, and how can you do it better or in a new way? Figure out what you’ll need to at least break even over a period of time. Remember, what you don’t make initially will need to be made up as your business progresses. Get as much advice from others who have had success as you can. SCORE, a nonprofit, can help you find others in your field with experience who will act as mentors. You’ll also need to decide what sort of online presence will be best. Depending on your direction, you may want a website. You’ll need some sort of social media account, and you’ll be better served if you have several accounts across multiple platforms.
How to Attract Customers
The first way to attract clients is to figure out just whom you’re trying to attract. What sort of client will use your business? Why will they use it? What can you offer them that they cannot get elsewhere, or what will be pulling them in from others who offer a similar product or service? You’ll need a good marketing approach. Will you advertise through email, on websites with banners as pay-per-click ads, or will you do direct mail? As a disabled parent, finding time to make fliers and send out envelopes can be difficult. Starting online may be the best way to get word out for your business initially. You can bring in customers (and build a competitive advantage) by creating an attractive logo for your business. You can use an online business logo generator to come up with some ideas.
Once you have customers, ensure that they are happy clients who will want to rave about your business. If you meet your customers in person, be sure you always arrive at least a few minutes early to wherever you’ve agreed to meet; if you have a home office where you’ll host customers, give it a professional feel by having a designated entrance that doesn’t require them to walk through your home to have a sit-down with you. Give incentives to leave reviews on your various social media platforms, which will be especially important early on as you establish yourself. Not only can happy clients be used as references for others, but they may become repeat consumers who are loyal to your new company.
It takes a good deal of courage to start a business, especially when your time is already stretched thin. Being a disabled parent can be difficult, but being in control of your own schedule can be the best way to get everything done. With the right research and investment opportunities, you can fulfill your business ambitions.