3 Tips for People With Disabilities Entering Entrepreneurship

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3 Tips for People With Disabilities Entering Entrepreneurship

Are you thinking of becoming a small business owner? If you live with a disability and are considering making the leap, the right ideas and tools can make all the difference. Read on for what you need to know. 

1. Consider a Specialty Retail Shop or Restaurant

 Small businesses thrive when they build on the identity within their locale. By being unique yet drawing on the local flavor, your community can support your business and your idea. Aim for something that engages an area vibe. Perhaps your town offers a weekly Farmers Market and other weekly and annual events, such as Food Truck Fridays, sidewalk sales, and so forth, that are part of what makes the business district tick.

To fit into the business and local landscape, you could consider taking advantage of community diversity and open a business with a special retail focus or a restaurant that celebrates a particular culture or specialty food. Maybe you can partner with a local farmer or bakery to highlight their products in your menu, or connect with a beekeeper for honey-oriented skincare products. 

Another idea is to partner with a service. Specifically, new businesses that offer outdoor cafés or gardening and cooking classes in conjunction with the Farmer’s Market is a good fit for many communities, as are local-source restaurants, fitness centers with child and senior health specialties, sporting goods stores, and art supply stores. A boutique offering area crafts and handmade products, for instance, could fit in nearly anywhere and offer workshops — the key is in determining proper marketing and reaching your niche audience.

Audience can play a big role in any type of new business. As an example, two types of restaurants are potential money makers in pretty much any area: neighborhood or destination. Locals are looking for neighborhood spots, while visitors from outside the region may look for destination restaurants to celebrate special occasions or to grab a bite when passing through. You might decide to open a franchise, or you might prefer to be the mom-and-pop cafe on the outskirts of town or the farm-to-table gourmet bar in the arts district. Think about your identity and your audience to find the right solution.

2. Understand Basic Requirements for Starting a Business

Just as you need to familiarize yourself with the area and business landscape, you need to educate yourself on the basic requirements for starting a new business in your location. While it is best to consult an attorney, accountant, or business consultant, begin by reading online resources from your particular state. It will also help to have an understanding of the fundamental aspects of operating a business, such as staying on top of your taxes and handling payroll for employees.

Tech tools can come in handy here. There are mobile payroll options to help you issue paychecks and handle taxes, for instance. One that facilitates things like direct deposit, reviewing employee data and reminding you about deadlines and pay dates can really be a boon when you’re conducting business on the fly. Thanks to the portability, you can remain efficient and effective from wherever you happen to be working.

3. Take Advantage of Funding Opportunities for New Business Owners with Disabilities

The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) offers resources to help disabled people take the plunge into new business ownership and then grow and manage their business. Two especially helpful resources for people with disabilities who want to start a business are the links to low-interest loan programs designed to help people with disabilities gain startup financing and the Small Business and Self-Employment Service resource from the Department of Labor. USA Grant Application notes there are many grants available that are worth exploring as well.

Starting a new business is an exciting, yet stressful venture for anyone, and it can be particularly taxing for people with disabilities. Start with a great idea that fits your location, then make sure you use the various tools and resources at your disposal. You’ll be on the road to success in no time!


Jillian Day


disABLEDperson, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to reduce the high unemployment rate of individuals with disabilities. For help with your resume, building a career or for more information, call (760) 420-1269.