There are so many perks to owning your own business, especially if you are a busy parent. Starting a small business means blazing your own career path and really believing in yourself, but you need to have the right tools to get yourself off to a positive start. If you are parent living with a disability, here’s what you need to know to make those dreams of being your own boss a reality.
Put Together a Productive Home Workspace
When you are a parent and a small business owner, you may be tempted to use your kitchen or living room as your home office but being able to really focus on making your new business a success means working in an area free from distractions. Use this guide from Angie’s List to organize your own home office and give yourself a space where you can really thrive.
Pick a spot in your home that is free from distractions (including your little ones), like a spare room or even a small corner out of the way. Pay attention to the lighting in your new office and be sure to pick up some ergonomic furniture that provides the support you need on those long work days. If you use a wheelchair, you may find a corner style desk fits your needs and gives you enough space to really spread out. Sitting, however, can be difficult for those who live with severe or chronic pain, so a standing desk would be a better option. Most models are easily adjustable (especially the electric versions), so a standing desk can work for those who use wheelchairs as well. As far as tech, you may want to start with a quality laptop so you can take your work on the go. Choose one that’s lightweight for maximum portability.
Find Funding That Supports Your Business Needs
All small businesses need a bit of initial funding. Your own financial needs will depend a lot on the size and type of business you would like to start, but know that there are numerous funding options available to you.
One of the less risky ways you can set up your business is to provide the initial funding yourself, but as a parent, you may want to avoid draining your savings. That’s where small business grants can come in handy. Research grants that are available to people with disabilities to help make your business dreams come true. Unlike credit cards and loans, most grants provide financial support you will not have to pay back. That can be a huge relief when you are saving for other needs, like an emergency fund or your child’s education. If you are a disabled veteran, you may be eligible to apply for other grants geared toward helping former service members achieve their small business goals.
Learn How to Network and Promote Your New Business
Once you’ve got your funding and your workspace all squared away, you’ll want to check the other items on your business plan off. Any comprehensive business plan should include multiple parts, like a summary of your business and a financial outline, but you will also need a marketing strategy to help your venture succeed.
Networking can play a critical role in building your reputation and promoting your business, so put some thought behind how you will network with other small businesses and community members. You can look for opportunities to mingle in person with other business owners but try to be strategic with your time. Find meetups for people in your industry or related areas, and maybe even look for business groups geared toward those living with a disability. A good social media marketing plan can be essential for any new business too, especially when you are mainly working from home. Research what you should know when it comes to social media so you can make good use of this free marketing tool.
A small business can provide so much flexibility, satisfaction and empowerment to your life as a parent. Put together your plan, find some solid funding, and start making your dreams come true!
Photo Credit: Unsplash
About the author: Ashley Taylor is a freelance writer, photographer, and advocate for people with disabilities. She created DisabledParents.org to provide information and resources to other parents with disabilities. When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.