In my experience the fear of failure is the number one reason why disabled people do not embark on self employment. Breaking this down further, they are worried about the business not making enough money to pay their bills, how will they manage with the accounts? Will they be able to cope with there disability and if they can afford to start up in business?
But what is the real cost of failing in business? Does it really matter? Will people laugh and mock me for the rest of my days? Well speaking from experience the answer is no!
When I was 22 I started my own business, well I had my own business thrusted upon me. I was working for a company which suddenly closed. I was left with no job and no finance to start up my self. Left with the prospect of being unemployed, I went to the Prince’s Trust and got a loan and grant for £2000 and started my own clothing shop.
After 3 years of working 6 days a week I realised that it was not going to buy me the house and car I wanted and decide to call it a day. I tried to sell the business and get out of my lease, but it ended up costing me £3000 to leave.
The loss of money did not really bother me at the time my major concern was the dent in my ego. Coming from a small town, I dreaded bumping into old aquatances and customers and being mocked for failing. As I said, this did not happen, in fact the opposite happened. People would say “Hey, didn’t you have that shop. I wish I had the bottle to start my own business” or “I’m thinking of starting my own business, can you give me some advice”
Running my own business tort me skills in, negotiations, finances, penny pinching, DIY, travel, importing, advertising, security, time management, I.T., project management, networking, creative accountancy, point of sale and a whole load more.
Failing in business has made me realise that I could have done all these skills a whole load better. But, where could I have learned all these skills and put them into practical use in such a short period of time? Not from being employed, that’s one thing I am sure of.
I feel running my own business has made me a better person and failing in business made me a better adviser. I can understand people’s worries about financial pressures and the day to day running of the business, especially with a disability. These worries should be tackled head on and addressed before you start up in business, ignore them at your peril.
If you are worried about if your business will be successful enough to pay the bills, Test Trade, go on Permitted Work or Working Tax Credits. If you are worried about the accounts, do a free course. If you are worried about, if you will be able to manage because of your disability, contact Access to Work. If you are worried about failing, join the club, but from my experience it’s not such a bad thing.