Being a parent is hard enough but being a parent to a child with special needs can be even more difficult. There are challenges that are unique to you and your family, but excellent resources exist online and, in your community, if you need added support. Because children with disabilities or special needs children have medical conditions or may require extensive hospital stay, being a working parent outside of the home can prove quite difficult. Here are some ideas if you want to start your own business that may allow you flexibility along with income.
Business Ideas for Busy Parents
One of the benefits of having your own business is that you have control over your own schedule. While being a parent to a child with a disability and starting a new business can feel intimidating, we’ll get to that in a minute, there are several small business ideas that might work for you and your family. While searching for the perfect work identify your natural skill set or skills or licenses that can be easily attained. Are you a fitness buff? Consider becoming a personal trainer or yoga instructor. Teacher-training classes are readily available in most cities, and once you complete your classroom hours you’re free to create your own in-home studio and take on clients.
Love dogs? Consider starting up a dog boarding business or a dog walking business. You can manage your calendars around the needs of your child and any doctor or therapy visits. Have you always had a knack for creating stunning hand-dyed scarves? Sell them online! Almost every type of art or creation can be sold online through Ebay, Etsy or your own personal website. You can also create a business teaching people how to make scarves, painted art, jewelry, etc. You are only limited by your imagination.
Consider your Resources
Now that your wheels are turning on ways to create a viable small business, you’ll need to consider creative ways to help get your business up and running, and more importantly, funded. Grants and scholarships are often available to working moms or women reentering the workforce. Nerdwallet offers a list of 10 go-to spots for small business grants for women, including government resources and state and local small-business grants.
“No single source of funding is necessarily easier to come by than another,” Forbes offers, “Whether you are a start-up seeking initial seed capital or an operating small business looking for money to grow, you have to be flexible, remain positive and stay vigilant in your efforts.” No matter which method you use to fund your small business, keeping a laser focus on what you’re doing and why will ensure success.
Go For It!
As you’re thinking about starting a business from your home, you’ll want to have a clear understanding of what rules and regulations might apply to your idea. Does your home’s location exclude it from any particular type of work? For example, many food-related businesses require a government-inspected kitchen that is not possible in many homes. If you’re running a manufacture-type home business, you’ll also want to consider zoning, location and suitability of your neighborhood, your family and your style. There are other things to consider, including legalities and your own personal preference for meaningful work. Knowing the limitations of your home and neighborhood aren’t a bad thing, as this is knowledge that will help steer you in the right direction.
Starting a business when you’re a busy parent can be a challenge. Those difficulties can be more intense when you’re caring for a special needs child or a child with a disability. But, starting your own small business can be a rewarding endeavor to control your own destiny, income and schedule.
About the Guest Author
Patrick Young is an educator and activist. He believes people with disabilities must live within a unique set of circumstances--the outside world often either underestimates them or ignores their needs altogether. He created AbleUSA to offer helpful resources to people with disabilities and to provide advice on navigating various aspects of life as a person with disabilities.
About the Author
Steve Smith is President and Founder of GrowthSource Coaching headquartered in Lake Forest, CA. He is an accomplished leadership, management and organizational enhancement coach who brings over 40 years of business building experience to every client relationship.