Going Into Business For Yourself: How To Start When You Have A Disability

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Submitted by: Erica Francis 

Going into business for yourself may seem like a daunting task, but for many people, it’s the answer to the question of what the most suitable job is for someone who is living with a disability. Starting your own business can offer you the ability to set your own hours, work from home, and do something you genuinely love every day. And while it’s a lot of hard work, it can also be extremely rewarding.

The next question is, What sort of business should I go into? Depending on where you live, what sort of skill set or hobbies you have, and how you want to get funding, that could be a question you’ll need to think about for a while. Do some research based on the area you live in to see whether there are other businesses in the same field you’re interested in. If so, what’s their business model like? You can learn a lot from other small businesses, so get friendly with the owners.

Read on for some of the best tips on how to get started with your small business.

Work from home

Running a business from home comes with many benefits, especially for someone who is living with a disability. You can likely set your own hours, you’ll be working from the comfort of your own home, and you can make time to take care of outside responsibilities when you need to. However, it can be more difficult than working from an office because you have to manage your time effectively. There are more distractions, plus working from home means you never get a “break” from it. Weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.

Think about what you want to do

Depending on your abilities and what you feel comfortable with, there are many different options when it comes to career choices. According to Forbes, some of the most popular involve helping other people with disabilities find the right job.

“Once people with disabilities get to a point in their work life where they feel comfortable with their disability and feel comfortable talking about their disability with their employers, they really want to help others with disabilities,” says Tony Lee of CareerCast.

Look for funding

Funding is one of the first things you should secure when you’re thinking of starting a business. It’s almost always a good idea to start by looking for investors or loans rather than paying for startup costs out of your own pocket, in part because you’ll want to ensure you have enough money to sustain your lifestyle for at least the first year. Starting a business is hard work, and once it gets up off the ground it will take a little while to make a profit. Cover yourself by getting funding early on in the game. Start by looking for grants here.

Keep everything separate

Once you’ve got your business started, be sure to keep everything separate. Business and personal finances should be completely separate entities, and you’ll want to make sure you keep receipts and invoices for every single business transaction. Open up a business credit card or checking account, and keep all paperwork from personal expenses–especially those related to medical services–together in one file. This will ensure you’re covered in the event that your business is ever audited.

There’s a lot to think about when it comes to being an entrepreneur, and the planning stages need to be well thought-out so you’ll have peace of mind. However, once you get organized, you might find that starting your own business was exactly the right move for you. Reach out for help from friends and family and get their support during this busy time.

*Erica writes for ReadyJob and thrives on helping young people prepare for the working world. 

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