Autism Spectrum Parents Guide to Starting a Business
Starting a business of your own takes a lot of time and hard work, and when you’re a parent who is living with an autism spectrum disorder, it may feel like you’re facing even more challenges. The key to getting your business up and running is to get organized so you can feel more in control of the process, from writing out a great business plan to creating a marketing strategy that works. You can also look for resources that will help you along the way, from business-specific tools to support systems such as Jaden’s Voice, which advocates for families and provides a community for individuals who are living with autism.
Here are a few tips on how to get organized as you’re starting a business:
Write out a plan and look for funding
Before you can get your business up and running, you’ll need to create a detailed business plan that includes your plan for hiring employees, selling products or services, and funding the business. Will you be scouting out investors? Going into business with a partner? Using crowdfunding to raise money? All of these details are important aspects of a successful plan, and investors or lenders will be looking at them closely. For individuals who are living with an autism spectrum disorder, there may be other options when it comes to funding, such as grants or special loans; look online to get an idea of what’s available, and take note of the application deadlines.
Choose the right business structure
As you’re writing out a solid business plan, it’s important to include your chosen structure, but which one is best for your business? There are several options, but for many entrepreneurs, forming an LLC is one of the easiest and most beneficial. Not only does it protect your personal assets in the event of litigation, but it also provides tax advantages and requires less paperwork than other structures do, which will make it easier for you to stay organized and maintain control. Every state has its own regulations surrounding structure formation, so read up on the steps involved and utilize a formation service to take care of the paperwork. This will both ensure that everything is filed correctly and save you money on attorney’s fees.
Market your business with a free banner
Marketing a business requires some careful planning, but fortunately, you don’t have to spend a ton of money. Once the details are worked out in your business plan, you can start thinking about how to spread the word and get your name out there using free or low-cost online tools. Social media is a great place to start since there are several opportunities for advertising and connecting with potential customers, but it’s important to have resources for creating a brand identity as well. The good news is that you can easily design banners online that will tell a story on your website, YouTube channel, or Twitter feed using text, animation, or even video. This is a great way to begin your marketing campaign since it will save you money while making a big impact.
Once you’ve written out a business plan, found funding, and started the marketing process, it’s important to practice self-care to prevent stress or anxiety from overwhelming you. Starting a business can be a major life change for busy parents, and while there are many benefits that come with it, there are also quite a few stressors involved. Take breaks often throughout the day, ask for help when you need it, get enough quality sleep, and make time to ensure that you’re eating well, fitting in activity, and staying hydrated.
While you’re getting your business up and running, it’s important to look for support from other business owners, whether locally or online. With a great business plan and the right marketing tools, you can turn your idea into a success in no time.
Written by Suzanne Tanner
Photo via Pexels