The world is always ready to tell certain groups of people they can’t achieve. And in a world that’s not made with certain demographics in mind, it can start to feel true. In a very real way, employment models have not been designed to make room for people with disabilities, or parents and caregivers. It definitely wasn’t designed for both.
However, parents with disabilities can put themselves at a distinct advantage by starting their own business. You can create a company that supports your needs and the needs of people like you from the ground up. Who better to take a radical approach to schedule flexibility, workplace accessibility, and parental support than the very people who need it most? Behavioral Perspective is dedicated to showing kids with disabilities that they can thrive in the real world. In that spirit, we’ve created this guide to how you can make your mark in the business world, find the support you need to succeed, and redefine the standards we’ve all taken for granted:
The Planning Stage
Your first step should be an analysis of your strengths, and how they fit a missing niche in the market. This is a short, simple description of a long and complicated process, so don’t pressure yourself to try and knock this out right away. In fact, the more time you can put into nurturing and fleshing out your concept, the better. This will put you on the best track for success, and make your business more attractive to backers.
Once you have a solid idea, you should look toward securing funding. There are tons of funding options out there, and you should take advantage of as many as you can. Look into local small business loans and grants, as well as funding specifically for business owners with disabilities. Moreover, consider pitching your business to investors, who can help cover start-up costs for a portion of your profits.
Finally, you should take some time to consider whether or not you should register your company as an Illinois LLC. There are a lot of benefits to this designation, most notably a simplified tax process and a layer of protection between your private and professional assets. If you’re not sure where to start, there are services online that can help you secure this designation, taking some work off your plate so you can focus on bigger things.
Questioning Business Assumptions
Starting your own business means you get to make decisions about how that business is run, and there’s a good chance some of those decisions will fly in the face of conventional business wisdom. For example, you might decide to make your company fully remote in order to ensure workers can get the job done in the environment that’s safest for them. You may opt to let all workers set their own schedule, or decide for a four-day work week rather than five.
Think about what would allow you to thrive in the workplace, and bring that to the table for your own employees. Try to establish these things from the start. For example, you might offer a child care stipend or Dependent Care FSA as part of your benefits package. These can help parents like you mitigate the costs of keeping kids safe and occupied during work, empowering them to bring their best while they’re on the clock.
The business world may have written you (and people like you) off as a non-starter, but that doesn’t make them right. Craft a company of your own, one that recognizes the myriad talents overlooked and underserved populations have to offer. In doing so, you might just build the foundation for a future full of accessible companies that truly put workers first.
Want to give your kids a strong start so they can take the world by storm, too? Turn to Behavioral Perspective for therapies, resources, and more!
Photo Credit: Pexels
Written By: Patrick Young