The world has been growing and changing rapidly over the last couple of decades, which has generated more opportunities for almost everyone. The global marketplace is now incredibly diverse, and entrepreneurs with disabilities are setting up successful businesses all around the world.
If you’re looking to launch a business from home, or even a start-up or franchise, you may be wondering where to begin. The great news is that there are now more business opportunities than ever before for the disabled, and it may be easier to find one than you think.
In this post, you’ll learn about some of the best small business ideas for people with disabilities and how you can get started in one of them.
STARTING A BUSINESS OFFERS MANY BENEFITS
As someone with a disability, starting your own business may seem a bit daunting. Still, there are several benefits to doing so. One of the major advantages of becoming self-employed is that you’re much more likely to be able to choose your own work hours. When you have a disability, you may have issues you need to work around, which can make the typical 9-to-5 lifestyle problematic.
Working from home is often an attractive prospect, depending on the type of disability. Owning your own business can offer flexibility and a substantial income. It’s also an opportunity to immerse yourself in rewarding work.
HELP IS AT HAND
Another thing to note for those with disabilities is that a lot of support is likely available to you. Governments have set up many programs to incentivize those with disabilities to venture out into the business world.
You may be eligible for a disability grant, giving you the freedom to leave any current employment sooner rather than later. [source] It’s also possible to get assistance from your local chamber of commerce, or branch of the SBA (Small Business Administration). You may also benefit from doing a course with the Open University on a subject of your choice for specialized training to get ahead.
Moreover, there are seminars all around the world for people with disabilities, as well as plenty of networking events and forums. All these examples are aimed at helping disabled entrepreneurs to start their own businesses.
BEST SMALL BUSINESS IDEAS FOR THE DISABLED
The internet has opened up countless opportunities, and many of them are perfect for people with disabilities. You can now work from the comfort of your own home with a home-based business, provided you have the right technology and a good internet connection. It may also be possible for you to work from a retail store or franchise, depending on your circumstances. Here are six of the best small business ideas for people with disabilities:
1. Online Marketing
The majority of marketing is done online these days; after all, it’s the easiest way to reach people. We spend more time online than ever, connected even while on the move, thanks to the popularity of mobile devices.
This means that as a person with a disability, you can start up a business relatively quickly and easily without even having to leave your home. For example, you could consider becoming a network marketer selling products you love, or an affiliate marketer.
The latter entails selling products and services without actually having to handle any products or even customer inquiries. By learning how to set up websites using WordPress, for example, you’ll be able to build multiple websites marketing products by other businesses for a percentage of the profit. As website hosting packages generally cost less than $10 per month, this can be a viable option even without financial assistance.
Taking surveys is another option. While not a big money earner, they can be a good way to make some extra income while pursuing more lucrative online opportunities.
As most freelancing jobs are done from home, it’s entirely possible to become a professional freelancer without much upfront cost. Depending on your skillset, one of the following jobs may be worth taking a closer look:
- Web design
- Content creation
- Virtual assistance
- Language teacher
- Desktop publishing
- Data entry
The list goes on. As you’re rarely (if ever) required to work in an office or attend meetings in person, this can be a great option for those who are less mobile. If you have a marketable skill, you can sign up with a freelance platform like Upwork, which allows you to create a profile and bid on jobs.
Consulting, like freelancing, is another good option for disabled people. You can use your knowledge to assist others right from home. Do you know a lot about careers? Marketing? Design? Leadership? There are plenty of areas you can consult on. [source]
Consultancy often brings in a relatively decent income, so if you have the knowledge and skills, it could be a great business idea. You may want to work from an office, if possible, or start a partnership with someone. Some people prefer having regular contact with others that working from home doesn’t offer.
4. Caring for Pets or Children
Depending on your level of mobility, caring for children or animals may be an option. Some people don’t want to work on a computer all day, understandably. If you prefer personal contact with others to screen time, pet or child care may be a good option.
Plenty of people are in need of this service, and it’s not always easy to come by. You may have to deal with a certain level of bureaucracy or undertake some qualifications first. But once you get these out of the way, looking after children and animals can be very rewarding!
5. A Small Retail Business
Sometimes opening a small retail business can be very rewarding for those with disabilities. Renting a small store on a high street allows you to get out of the house more and meet new people. While you may need the assistance of staff members to assist with the physical aspects, you and others could take care of the rest.
There are many directions to take this business idea. For example, you could set up an art shop showcasing the work of local artists. These kinds of business ventures need fewer start-up costs as you don’t have to buy the products you’re selling beforehand.
6. Launch a Start-up or Franchise
If you can find a niche in the local (or even global) markets, it may be possible to launch a start-up. You could even start something that helps others with disabilities like yours by offering your services or through employment.
Another option would be to buy a franchise of a well-established company, which can give your business a definite head start. A coffee shop could be one idea, as could a health food store or café. [source] Ask yourself what really interests you as that’s the best place to start.
DEVELOP A BUSINESS PLAN
Now, once you’ve decided on a business idea, it’s time to get planning. A great place to start is by mapping out a business plan. Not only can such a document serve as your mission statement and strategy, it can also help you acquire grants or other types of financial assistance. Note that a business plan may be required by lenders to decide on a fund.
Your plan should contain projections, goals, and start-up costs. It should also include an analysis of the competition, and forecasts relating to marketing, growth, and your customer base. Fortunately, there are free resources online to help you to this end. [source]
Your new business could be underway before you know it…
With all the resources, assistance, and funding available to those with disabilities, you may find it difficult to choose a business that best suits you. Obviously, it makes sense to pick a business that matches your strengths and interests. If you have a particular skill or hobby, there may be a way to translate your expertise into a business opportunity. While it could take a course or a few seminars to get the ball rolling, whatever you choose, your chances of success are higher than ever. Good luck!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Daniel Ross is part of the marketing team at Roubler — an employee scheduling app founded in Australia. Their mission is to change the way the world manages its workforces.