Owning a small business can be a great choice for many people. Finally doing something you enjoy, making your own hours, and having an unlimited earning potential are all enticing aspects to become a business owner. There are also financial risks involved in addition to the commitment of initial time to get the business going and off the ground. If you are an adult affected by disabilities, you have some additional advantages and disadvantages. Let’s discuss some practical tips for starting a small business.
Make a Business Plan
Assuming that you already have an idea for your business, you need to write a business plan. Entrepreneur explains that a good business plan helps you map out the direction for your business and helps others understand what you are undertaking. Since you are starting from the ground up, it may be a good idea to continue with your current job while you are beginning this new career. Even if you have already saved up a decent nest egg to get you going, you will likely need the insurance benefits until you are able to turn a profit. This is especially important if you are affected by disabilities, as out-of-pocket medical bills may be costly.
Funding: Grants and Loans
Even if you have a large amount of money to start your business out of pocket, there is an opportunity to utilize financial assistance through grants and loans. There are numerous federal and state grant options, as well as an opportunity to receive assistance through an already established large business. There are also specific categories of small business grants awarded, such as women-owned or minority owners. Applying for a loan is another option you can explore. Specific loans, like the Abilities Fund, specialize in helping provide financial funding to small business owners affected by disability. With some research and well-written proposals, you will be able to find the funds to get your business off the ground.
Set Up a Home Office
With a plan in place and the money lined up, you will also need an office to base your operations out of. Your home is an easy place to start, but you need to ensure that you have a designated office area set up in order to minimize distraction and maximize productivity. Your home is likely full of tempting distractions, so position your desk to face a window to help keep you focused. According to Angie’s List, the type of lighting in your office matters. Natural lighting tends to result in the best productivity and mood, so try to have as many windows in your space as possible to flood the room with daylight. Purchase a comfortable chair, or even consider a standing desk, to eliminate neck and back pain. If you have a physical disability, consider the layout of your office to ensure that you can get around the room easily.
Market Your Business
Lastly, you need to market your business. Marketing is not the same thing as advertising, though they both have similar goals. Networking is a crucial component of marketing your business. Attend local networking events, host a seminar, or sponsor a local charity. Though markets may be competitive, you may even want to consider creating mutually beneficial alliances with other companies. If marketing is not your strong suit, hire a marketing specialist to help you. Make a plan and promote your business!
Follow these practical tips to help you get your small business from concept to operational. Make a business plan that’s easy to follow, apply for funding if necessary, set up your home office, and market your business. Starting your new business is an exciting time, and with the right steps, you’ll find purpose-driven success.
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