Being a self-employed disabled entrepreneur comes with many challenges. One first needs to walk before you can run so starting up as a sole trader and expanding is the most sensible strategy to take. When expanding a business it can be a huge psychological boost to be able to share some of the pressures and the risks with someone else.
Mastering the art of coping under pressure is very important and is a required attribute for any entrepreneur, but for someone who is disabled and has impairment issues that are continuous, or indeed sporadic and unpredictable can affect their health long term. Not being able to manage those pressures and can affect your business and can cause challenges in relation to workflow, planning, and client relationships.
Being disabled can affect your emotions and psychological feelings of confidence and motivation.
Finding strategies to overcome obstacles specific to each individual disabled entrepreneur is vital to sustaining your business. Some disabilities are invisible to most people but require heavy medication and constant management, this can make a person lethargic and react slowly.
When starting out as a sole trader and finding you have too much work to cope with single handily you have to put your health first and offset the workload either by outsourcing or employing people that can help you. Trying to do everything yourself will eventually affect your health even more. Rather than turn away business, decided to expand instead.
Whilst being in demand is flattering, clients who want you one on one as an individual working on their project can pose problems for a disabled entrepreneur. You have to have a critical time path (CTP) and plan your hours carefully. Be transparent from the start and make your clients aware of your disabilities. CEOs are human after all and they all started out from somewhere once so they should be able to compromise meetings face to face. With working from home being the norm because of ‘Coronvirus Lockdowns’ having virtual meetings via ‘Zoom’ is becoming very popular nowadays.
Depending on your circumstances and what type of job you do will depend if you need a public office/shop or not. Most businesses are now transitioning online saving them money in renting office space and business rates.
Some disabilities are unpredictable, one day you may be feeling fine and the next day you are not. Knowing how to work under pressure and to deadlines can be challenging but if for whatever reason you were not feeling up to it one day you can always re-schedule. CEOs are not Ogre’s, they do understand. Furthermore, if you have someone that can help you out and step in can also be beneficial to running a successful business. There are positives as well as negatives to being a self-employed disabled entrepreneur.
Having a disability is hugely varied, and so are entrepreneurs’ ambitions. Some might simply want to work for themselves as a one-man-band offering a service that makes use of their particular skill and managing their work hours to accommodate their impairment.
Even with modest goals, the challenges facing a person with a learning disability who wants to set up in business can feel insurmountable without support, there are “too many” barriers that are “distressing and challenging to get the right support needed.”
Getting financial help can be difficult especially if you are a startup and want to get a loan to buy equipment. Most loan companies including banks need to see a business plan and will also need you to show your previous earnings. Some disabled people may have very low or no previous earned income and simply want to be off the unemployed scale. In these cases, there are Tax Credits you can claim as well as Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction (Visit your Local Council Website For Help). By setting up a budget for your expenditure you can relatively easily get overdrafts and pay for things using credit cards. Do avoid loan sharks. Also, look at grants on the Government website to see if your eligible for a financial scheme.
It is fundamental you have access to a computer and the internet to get the relevant help you need in running a business. In order to succeed, having the right information and support, at the right time, is critical for any disabled entrepreneur.
Transportation – Having transport if you have to deliver goods or meet clients is essential. There are private hire cars and logistic companies available including concierge services. There are plenty of options available that can meet your budget.
By learning how to be confident and brushing up with your communication skills will give your clients and customers a reason to trust you and the product or service you are selling.
If you’re a disabled person running a business, you probably need that extra bit of empowerment and motivation. There is nothing stopping you from following your dreams and your dreams will stay dreams unless you find the strength to make your dreams into reality.
***Workplace guidance. Return to work safely. Guidance for employers in Wales.
***Check if you can claim for your employees’ wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
***Calculate how much you can claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
Personal Independance Payments.