Tips for Launching a Successful Business When You Have a Disability
Entrepreneurship can be a rewarding path for everyone, and people with disabilities are no exception. In fact, many people with disabilities have launched successful businesses using their unique perspectives and experiences to their advantage. Whether you have autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, Angelman syndrome, Rett syndrome, or another disability, we’re here to help you find resources, support, and strategies to make entrepreneurship more accessible to you!
Use Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) refers to a range of tools and strategies that can be used to support communication for people with disabilities that affect speech and language, such as autism and cerebral palsy. Communication is a critical aspect of entrepreneurship, and AAC can provide a way for individuals with communication difficulties to express their ideas and collaborate effectively with others. Look for high-tech AAC tools that generate speech through computer software solutions.
Form an LLC to Reduce Your Personal Risk
When starting a business, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is how to structure your new company. For individuals with disabilities, forming a limited liability company (LLC) can be a wise choice, as it can help limit personal liability. An LLC provides personal liability protection for its owners and establishes the business as a separate legal entity. This can provide valuable peace of mind and remove some of the risks involved in running your own business. To get started, consider using an online formation service instead of hiring a lawyer. This will help you save some money!
Use Online Tools for Easy Business Management
As you launch and grow your business, other online tools will come in handy as well. For example, take advantage of digital document management tools to help keep all your important business information organized. Maintaining digital documents can be particularly useful if you have limited mobility and prefer to work on the computer instead of managing piles of paper documents. If you need to digitize any existing business documents, you can use a PDF merging tool to keep related documents together in a single file. Once you upload your files for merging, you’ll be able to rearrange them so your PDFs are in the right order. Click to learn more about merging PDFs.
Seek Out Helpful Resources
Starting a business can be challenging, but there are many resources available to help individuals with disabilities get started. For example, the Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a variety of resources that can help you navigate the startup process, access funding, find a mentor, and comply with business laws and regulations. Respectability.org lists several other disability entrepreneurship resources provided by the federal government, including SCORE and the Job Accommodation Network (JAN). Your state may also provide entrepreneurship resources, so be sure to do your research!
Take Advantage of Funding Opportunities
When it comes to funding your new business, take advantage of business loans and grants set aside for entrepreneurs with disabilities. Some of the best business loans for disabled entrepreneurs with strong credit scores include SBA 7(a) loans and USDA loans. If you have poor credit, look into assistive technology business loans that provide capital for investing in business-related assistive technology like wheelchair-compatible vehicles or braille-compatible computer software. You may also qualify for grants provided by the federal government and private organizations.
Anyone can start a business! If you’re looking for disability-friendly solutions to help get your business off the ground, check out AAC software, digital document management tools like PDFs, and online business formation services. Also be sure to take advantage of all the funding options and resources available to you. With perseverance and hard work, you can build a successful business and make a positive impact in your community and beyond.
Become a member of the Whittier Area Chamber of Commerce for great resources to help you build your business here in California and beyond!
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