Your self-directed employment assistant
Today it is getting more and more popular to start a business. More and more people are starting a business and especially those of us with a disability it is easy for us to think that if we can't hold down a job why not start a business, but where do we start. If you have a hobby or a specific skill set why not start there. Take out a piece of paper and pen and start brainstorming what skills you can make into a business. You may have the next great idea that could turn into a business. There are many resources out there to start a business. You must search research and network though for opportunities that will help you to start and elevate your businesses.
I currently hold three businesses to my name. The one that took me the longest to build I have owned since 2012 is called Renew Hope LLC. It is an inspirational speaking, authoring, and mentoring business. My degree lies in elementary education, so for me to be in business is something foreign and took much research. Here are some tips I learned along the way:
1. Go to networking events. There are many entrepreneurial groups, BNI groups, business networking groups. Some of these groups have a yearly or per event cost, but there are free events as well. Check out your local alumni office as well at your college or university. For women check out wemn.org.
2. Create business cards. Tell people you are doing whatever your doing in your business. Share with people your vision and ask for help.
3. Take a business class. DCTC has a great start up classes for intro to small business and a small business program. www.dctc.edu
4. Get on social media. Create a Facebook page for your business. Generate followers and by creating a blog.
5. SCORE mentorship-SCORE is a program designed to help small businesses. They are located all around the MN area and are all local small businesses owners themselves dedicated to helping small businesses grow. You can call them up and they will match you up with a mentor for free. It has been a huge gift to me. I have had several in the past several years and they provide free advice whether it is financial, how to start up, social media, marketing, anything. You can meet via phone or in person. www.score.org
6. Work force center-Check out your local work force center. They are more than likely able to help you find a job and keep your job. This includes a business. They were able to help me with finding mentors, providing me with classes, and providing some financial aid to start my business.
Entrepreneurship has helped me to do things on my time when I am feeling at my best rather than when an employer wants me to come to work. It may be hard to get the money, but it has given me the freedom and flexibility I need. It takes time, energy, and networking to build up the clients however if you do some networking and use your resources there are many good resources out there to help you.