If you’re a parent with a disability, you may be facing more obstacles than others as you work to establish a small business. Thankfully, there are plenty of exclusive opportunities to help you get a leg up. Today, our guest writer, Ed Carter from https://ablefutures.org/about-us/ is here to cover some of the basics of small business planning, as well as provide a few helpful links.
Before you invest time and money into a venture, it’s important that you first understand the market landscape. This means researching competitors and identifying reasonable demand (and who/where these potential customers are). Take the time to learn about methods of researching and see how these can be applied to your business – the right methods involve adaptation depending on your customers’ needs.
Part of your market research should involve a competitor analysis. By taking a closer look at the incumbent brands in your sector, you can often identify new opportunities, gauge the correct pricing and strategize to subvert the market by taking your operations in a new, undiscovered direction. To help you with this aspect of research, there are plenty of templates available that streamline the process and ensure no stone is unturned.
Once you have a firm grasp of the market itself, it’s time to begin planning. A business plan typically includes a description of the company itself, selling & marketing strategies, as well as a clear financial overview that delineates costs and expectations.
Writing a business budget requires some dedication, so you’ll need to accurately forecast the amounts you expect to earn, outline how that money will feed back into the company in order to facilitate growth, and detail any additional expenses or overheads. After you’ve taken into consideration any capital that you are investing personally, you’ll be left with the required amount to get operations off the ground. There are plenty of guides that can help you through this important stage of the process.
At this early stage, you should also take into consideration simple administrative tasks. Identifying a business structure, for example, can help you to save on taxes and reduce personal liabilities. This could mean forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC), which offers certain legal protections and tax benefits. An online formation service can help you get started, but there are several to choose from, so take a moment to read the reviews here.
Grants & Funding
Often, disabilities carry their own financial and logistical constraints that can make running a business more challenging. Fortunately, there are programs and grants available to level the playing field.
- The Federal Government injects money into special interest groups, including business owners with disabilities, on a yearly basis. You can apply directly on their website.
- Check in with the Small Business Administration (SBA), which regularly lists private foundations/organizations’ grants that sometimes pertain to differently-abled entrepreneurs.
- Accion Opportunity Fund regularly provides startup loans to disabled business owners. You can apply via their website here.
- There are also exclusively written guides and resources to help those with disabilities achieve self-sufficiency on their entrepreneurial journey.
Getting a small business up and running may be challenging for those of us with disabilities, even more so when you have kids to contend with, but given the right support and a smart, cautious approach, there’s no reason why you can’t subvert expectations and succeed in your wildest endeavors.
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