Disability and You (and You and You, Too)
Do you have a disability, neurodiversity, or other condition that has affected your work life for six months or more? It’s not unusual. Many entrepreneurs don’t fit into corporate cultures that assume everyone should be tireless and interchangeable.
The Bliss Team works with disabled business owners — and we experience disability ourselves. We understand how that can affect your business systems.
If you’re a member of the temporarily abled, keep reading. Most people sooner or later will experience a health problem that can have serious long-term effects on their professional life (that’s why retirement is a thing!) so it’s a good idea to plan ahead to make sure your business will continue to function when you’re not at your peak.
Let’s talk about what your disability-friendly business plan will look like.
Review your business branding & offerings
Are your offerings useful for people who share your disability? Can some or all of them be tailored to the needs of people who experience the same kinds of difficulties that you do?
Many people prefer to work with or buy from someone who understands them, and you might find deep satisfaction in helping clients who share your experiences.
If there are enough people with your disability who would benefit from your product or service, your marketing plan could focus primarily on how it empowers members of the community. Alternately, you can market to more than one customer avatar, to include both abled and disabled folks.
Diversify your income streams…
Your disability may mean that you have difficulty using your time efficiently, or that you have to take frequent days off because of chronic pain flare-ups. One of the reasons to diversify is to figure out how to make enough money in a way that doesn’t eat all of your time. Once that happens, you can retire the other income streams that don’t fit well with your combination of needs and strengths.
I’m seeing a lot of articles lately about side hustlers getting 5 figures a month from 8 very different income streams — they write articles for magazines and they drive a rideshare and they have an AirBnB, and so on.
The hustlers in these articles usually have a story about how they tried to make money in a bunch of different ways and kept going with the more profitable ones. They also usually say they didn’t make a lot of money at first. It’s spaghetti hustling — throw everything at the wall and see what sticks. This is fine for some people, I guess, if you have enough to live on while you wait for your income streams to build up!
…Diversify in the right direction
You’re not spaghetti hustling. You’re a business owner, and you already have efficiencies in place around that, such as a unified branding and marketing plan. If you’re going to develop new offerings, they need to fit under your existing brand.
For example, if you have a service business where you work with clients one-on-one, your next offering could be a class or mastermind group that provides the service in a group setting.
There are at least two different types of groups you could work with, maybe more: groups of people who want to offer the same service to others, and groups of people who want to learn about it for themselves. Your group members will pay you a lower hourly rate, but because you’re dealing with them as a group, you get more money for your time.
As you move from one-to-one services to working with groups, you can take the opportunity to develop content that you can later remake into a book or an asynchronous online class. And now you have passive income!
This puts you in a much better position to take time away from your business, hire staff, or try other business ideas.
You aren’t alone — everyone needs support
Scaling up your business so that you have at least a few employees can really make a difference in your quality of life as a business owner. Imagine a team that is strong in the skills that aren’t your best, who can follow through when you need to rest for a day, a week, or more.
How can your organization be more resilient and a happier place to work? Plan with the expectation your employees may have disabilities, too. This goes for policies about cross-training, paid time off, preferring disability-friendly technologies, meeting styles, and so on.
Planning how to use time & money
Your time and that of your employees is a limited resource. In the typical small business, money is limited, too.
Are you struggling to set up processes to use resources effectively? Do you know how to budget so that your business can save some profits and use them to pay yourself as well as covering the initial costs of the next push for company growth?
Bliss Your Money can help. In addition to bookkeeping, we consult on budgeting and profitability, organizational and operational planning, and payroll setup. We would love to help you make your relationship with your business more sustainable. Get support with Bliss!