Ready to take the plunge into business ownership? If you’re one of the nearly 2 million people in the US living with a missing limb disorder, you’ve already conquered more difficult challenges. This and other disabilities are not a hindrance to living your dreams.
Use Your Gifts
While an amputated limb may impact your ability to perform certain physical tasks, advances in medical technology have diminished this considerably. Today, prosthetic — and even robotic — arms and legs mean many amputees can function just as well as those with flesh and blood fingers and toes. But, as Amplitude points out, it’s not your limb difference that matters; it’s what’s inside you that can drive you straight towards entrepreneurial success.
Jennifer Latham Robinson, writer and illustrator, was born with a femoral deficiency that resulted in an amputation at 18 months old. While she was growing up, physical education classes weren’t inclusive so she spent her time on the bench honing her artistic skills. Erica Cole experienced an amputation following a vehicular accident in 2018, and noticed afterwards that people would often stare at her prosthetic limb. She responded by crafting a work of art resembling stained glass to cover her prosthetic, and now designs and creates similar pieces for other amputees.
Choose Your Location
Most big cities and their outlying areas are exceptional places to open a business. New Orleans, for example, is an entrepreneur-friendly city. The town’s post-Katrina reinvention has attracted an influx of energetic young people that want to get in on the ground floor of a new empire. New Orleans, like many southern cities, is less expensive than the West Coast or New York and offers advanced tax credits for business owners. Easy access to the world’s best beignets is another perk worth mentioning.
Of course, working from home is a popular option these days, and FlexJobs points out it’s loaded with benefits like zero commute and improved work-life balance. Plus it provides the opportunity to arrange your workstation and day to suit your personal preferences. There are any number of businesses you can start successfully from home — marketing, consulting and ecommerce are just a few suggestions.
Firm Up Details
Once you decide the wheres and whats, you need to hone on some important details to get your business off the ground. First off, think of a great name for your business. It should be both catchy and unique so you stand out from the crowd, but easy to spell and remember for prospective clients.
Then determine what business structure suits you best. For the sake of simplicity and security, many new entrepreneurs prefer an LLC (limited liability company). Just as the name suggests, an LLC protects personal assets. It can also flex as your business expands, and it offers some tax perks.
With your name and structure selected, register your business with your state. You might wonder, “How do I register my llc?” You can hire an attorney or tackle the red tape yourself, or you can hire an online service to walk you through the steps in a couple of hours. Once completed, you’ll be ready to take your first customer.
Don’t Be Tricked By Taxes
Independent contractors and business owners can set up a quarterly payment plan to the Internal Revenue Service’s website to take care of estimated taxes. Federal income tax is calculated separately and will still be payable in April of each year. It’s a good idea to consult a professional accountant or tax preparation service during your first years as an entrepreneur.
Get the Word Out
Word-of-mouth business can only take you so far when you’re first starting out. Don’t be afraid to seek out unusual advertising opportunities. One of the least expensive and most visible ways to get your business name out there is to wrap your vehicle in graphic vinyl. Consider hosting a grand opening or, depending on your type of company, participate in local events, such as health fairs or back-to-school bashes.
Are you ready to become an entrepreneur? If you’re ready to reach for the sky, know there is no limit to all you can accomplish. Look to your gifts and passions to steer your decisions, sort details carefully, and get the word out about your new endeavor. Success can be yours when you set yourself up thoughtfully and lean into your capabilities.
The Amputee Website is dedicated to encouraging and empowering amputees. Connect today for more ideas, inspiration and information.