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  • Entrepreneurship as a Parent with Disabilities
    Wisconsin Buys Local      8/30/2018 12:45:11 PM

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    Starting a business can be one of the greatest joys of modern life.  With how the Internet has connected people across the world, in all kinds of different situations, it is now possible for people who would formerly have been unable to operate a business to get a fulfilling, successful small business up and running.  If you’re a parent with disabilities who would like to start a business of your own, here are some ways you can get started.

    Getting started as an entrepreneur at home

    Traditionally, one of the biggest roadblocks on the path to getting a job for people with disabilities has been the issue of transportation.  This is one of the reasons why people with disabilities are among the most underrepresented groups of people in the overall workforce.  However, with the advent of the information age and its accompanying laptops and smartphones, it is easier than ever to work from any location.

    Being able to work from home means that you are no longer limited by your ability to acquire regular transportation and, if you are a parent, you can spend more time with your children throughout the day.  If you are trained in marketing, business management, or another similar skill set, you can work as a consultant for various businesses.  Similarly, you could also utilize your existing knowledge of programs including Photoshop, InDesign and Final Cut to work as a freelance graphic designer, marketer, or editor.  (The best part is that if you need a quick refresher, lessons and tutorials are only several clicks away.)  If you enjoy spending time with animals, you could start a dog walking business, or, if you have enough room in your house, you could become a dog boarder.

    Navigating the complicated world of business ownership

    One of the more difficult things about becoming a business owner is the first step - getting started.  Particularly when you are first making the jump into entrepreneurship, the need to acquire clients can seem like a massive, looming pressure point.  Thankfully, many sites exist that can help you navigate the sometimes complicated world of business ownership.  Some government websites offer advice, tips, and strategies specifically for disabled business owners; others like SCORE provide you with a personally invested business mentor to help you build your business from the ground up.  You can also do a great deal of initial marketing on your own; it’s easy to create a website through different user-friendly sites that offer pre-constructed templates, while social media websites including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can help you get the word out about your business.  

    How to deal with the expenses of owning a business

    When you are first starting a business, as when you are running it each day, expenses will arise.  These can be range from the cost of a DBA or the monthly payment on a website or domain to the time cost of developing your own logo.  To help with the monetary side, you may wish to research grants and funding opportunities.  The federal government offers a number of grants to organizations at the state level that help people with disabilities.  Ticket to Work, for instance, works with the Social Security Administration to provide assistance to disabled entrepreneurs.  There are also numerous grants available for disabled women, veterans and professionals in various fields of work. 

    Starting your own business means you are no longer letting your disability control your life.  Not only can working for yourself give you more time with your children and family, it can also help you develop a positive outlook on life, thanks to your renewed sense of self sufficiency.  Overcoming your disability and becoming successful at a career you’re passionate about helps to keep you determined, which is a critical trait in an entrepreneur.

    Photo Credit: pexels.com


    Guest Blogger
    Patrick Young
    Founder of ableusa.info

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