Building a Creative Small Business When You Have a Disability
So, you're creative and want to start a business but aren’t sure where to start. That’s OK—most new entrepreneurs get overwhelmed when they begin learning about all the responsibilities that launching and running a business requires. And when you have a disability, you may face even more challenges.
However, if you prepare diligently and make good decisions along the way, there’s no reason you can’t start your dream business and set it up for long-term success. These pointers from Gaudy Language can help you get going in the right direction!
Choose your path.
If you’re a creative person who also happens to have a disability, you have no shortage of options when it comes to business ideas. The key is to write down any interests, skills, and knowledge that you have that can be translated into a career. For example, do you love music and have an ear for mixing, writing, or arranging? You can start a business in music production, engineering, songwriting, composing, or a number of other musical fields.
If you’re skilled at writing, a little bit of research will show that there’s a demand for well-written blogs. Businesses of all sizes and industries are looking to fill their websites with articles that help them stake their claim as experts in their field. And if you love design, then you might consider becoming a web designer or graphic designer.
Go back to school.
If you have a passion to start a particular type of business but lack the skills or knowledge necessary to thrive in that field, consider going back to school. For example, by getting a business degree, you can learn management, leadership, and marketing skills that could benefit you in any industry. If you do an online program, you’ll have the flexibility you need to capture a healthy work-life balance.
Write a business plan.
Once you have a viable idea in place, put it into a plan. Create a business plan that outlines your mission statement, core values, target audience, offerings, marketing strategies, financial needs, and other factors involved in your company. This will help you make decisions going forward and can also come in handy when it’s time to get funding.
Explore funding opportunities.
If you live with a disability, you may be eligible for a number of different funding opportunities. For instance, the federal government offers several grants for disabled persons, which means they don’t need to be paid back. The National Endowment for the Arts provides grants for artists. And you can find a lot of private grant-giving organizations by going through the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Additionally, there are many government-backed and private small business loans geared toward startups and entrepreneurs. And you might find it worth your time to research investment and crowdfunding opportunities.
Build a stellar team.
Even if you primarily work alone, you’ll need to work with other people at some point on your entrepreneurial journey. Whether that means hiring employees or hiring freelancers, you want to ensure that anyone you work with believes in your vision and has the expertise necessary to spur growth. Look to online job boards and local staffing organizations to find qualified candidates.
Promote like crazy.
Whatever type of business you choose to start, it’s essential to promote it well. Ideally, you’ll start executing a marketing strategy months before your company launches. Begin by creating a logo and website that accurately reflects your brand in a fresh, unique way. And use any marketing channels that have proven successful in your industry, whether it’s social media, email marketing, word of mouth, or anything else.
There’s no limit to what you can do as a creative entrepreneur—with or without a disability. Take time to determine what type of career to pursue, and consider online college if you need a degree. Put together a thorough business plan, take care of any legal necessities, and research your funding options. Lastly, start promoting your brand hard well before your company is set to launch. There are other steps required to starting a business, but following these tips will help you lay a strong foundation!