Starting a small business always carries some stress. But starting a small business when you are a parent of a child with a disability can be downright hectic. Juggling your family and work life takes practice, but with a few basic business tips you can make sure you get off to the right start:
Find Work That Really Works for Your Life
When you are caring for a child with a disability, you need a job that provides a lot of flexibility. So try to figure out a line of work that will allow your business to thrive without taking away from family time. You may even be able to start a business that doesn’t require you to leave your home. With a little extra room and a love of dogs, you can easily set up your own dog boarding business. Just be sure to teach your kids how to interact safely with new pups if you go this route. Feel like getting out, or not enough room in your home? You can still make extra income as a dog walker.
Fund Your Business Without Creating More Stress
Before you start up your business, you need to make sure you have some extra funds to get things started. Funding your venture yourself is the easiest startup money option, but if the needs of your family have stretched your budget, you may need to find some alternatives. Small business loans can be a great funding source for parents looking to set up their own businesses. You can check out rates and loan offers online, to make getting started even more convenient. Many federal and state agencies offer small business grants, too, and these are funds you don’t have to worry about paying back.
Make Sure You Get Paid On Time
Breaking out on your own can be freeing for busy parents. But owning your business means you are solely responsible for your schedule, your workflow and paycheck. Getting paid in a timely manner takes some effort on your part.So, if you want to make working for yourself work for your finances, you need a solid invoicing system. One of the first steps in setting up an effective process is to make your invoices clear and easy for your customers to read. Try to avoid complicated terminology and stick to the basics so your clients fully understand what they are paying for and how they can pay you. To better serve your customers, you can even think about setting up mobile-friendly invoices, so your clients can pay you from anywhere.
Set Up a Functional Home Office Space
Whether you set up a doggy daycare or decide to craft goods to sell on Etsy, you will need a place to focus on your work. Begin by choosing an area in your house that is away from any foot traffic or windows. People or cars passing by can be a big distraction. If you need to keep an eye on your child, you can set up a small space near your office to allow quick, easy access. Back in your workspace, select a budget-friendly desk to work from (or go with a standing desk), and don’t forget to pick up a supportive chair to preserve your back.
Balance Your Work and Family Duties With Diligence
This is the last tip on our list but it may be one of the most important ones. When you are a parent of a child with disabilities, it is imperative to find practices that help you put your family first without putting yourself out of business. Fortunately, it can be fairly simple to carve out extra hours for work during the week without taking away from your family. Set aside a few hours on Sundays to plan out some meals, grocery shop, and do a little meal prep. You can get all you need done by lunchtime and save yourself countless hours and stress during the week.
Being a busy parent doesn’t have to keep your small business from being a success. Just use some basic business know-how to help your new career thrive.