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March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.

5 Tips to Starting A Business
Posted at 11:27 AM, Mar 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-30 12:27:24-04

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. Many people with disabilities are hesitant about starting a business, but with so much turnover in the workforce recently, there’s never been a better time and you shouldn’t be afraid to try. How do you get started down the right path?

Tom Jenkins was born with cerebral palsy, but he hasn’t let that stop him. In fact, he’s been a successful business owner for more than 10 years writing marketing content and copy that helps companies double their website traffic and rank at the top of the Google search results. He’s also an advocate for others with developmental disabilities who want to start a business. []

Today Tom will join us to offer 5 tips for those with developmental disabilities who want to become business owners:

  1. Don’t hide behind your disability. Be open and honest about your disability. It’s very much a part of who you are. In fact, embrace it. The key is to show potential clients that despite the challenges you have, they don’t stop you from achieving results. This starts with your attitude. Projecting a positive attitude will make your drive and determination crystal clear and people will be excited to work with you.
  1. Figure out where to start: You know you want to be an entrepreneur, but you have to find the right path for you. Answer these three questions: What am I good at? What do I enjoy doing? What can I get paid for? Make a list and the items that overlap are potential business opportunities you should focus on.
  1. Tap into resources: Don’t try to do it alone. Visit your local chapter of SCORE and similar organizations for help creating a business plan, getting over initial hurdles and even finding a mentor. You will save so much time and avoid so many mistakes following the guidance of people who have already been where you are.
  1. Develop a business plan: Creating a solid business plan is important to any new business. As someone with a disability, this is perhaps extra important because right or wrong, people might want extra assurance that you can deliver what you say you will. After you have a framework developed for your business, go to local trade or industry events and start building connections.
  1. Start spreading the news: Create an elevator pitch that grabs people’s attention and then get in front of as many people as possible. Visit local chamber of commerce events, co-working spaces, business accelerator programs and industry events. Make a list of 100 people. Reach out to each of them and let them know about your new business. Ask them for referrals. Once you get a few satisfied customers, ask them for referrals as well.