- Disabilities & the Disabled
The Benefits of Owning A Small Business for the Disabled, and Keep Your Benefits!
The Pro's Of Starting A Business
IF you start a business, versus being hired by someone, you are in control of the hours you work, the effort you put in, and the flow of money. The government standards are harder to track your trial work period if you are self-employed as you can do your tax return at the end of the year before you have to report earnings. You just need to be careful that you are not working more than 80 hours a month in order to keep your benefits. The money you make can be summarized as you finish your tax return. So then they take that tax return and may ask for bank records, but probably with just take the net profit and divide by the 12 calendar months. So you have more time to be using your trial work period. You need to keep up with your monthly hours, and make sure that you know when you go over $769. Once you go over that, you use a trial work period month, which you get 9. If you stay below $1,069, you can still get your check. Be careful about your hours, and your money. The best thing about a business is that you can reflect expense you have and that decreases your monthly income. So by the end of the year, if you have made less than $769 a month and worked less than 80 hours, you can have your checks from social security continue! Unlike employment, this review is done once a year, not every month. So you can prolong your trial work periods as long as you are honest and upfront with the hours and money you make. So make sure you get a good friend who is a bookkeeper, or keep your records yourself. This self-employment is harder to have social security track you, but they will track you on your Schedule C of the current year. Make sure that you are recording both hours and money made as well as expenses. So in short, you take your gross monthly income, less the expenses (see a Schedule C from the IRS) and then that is the money you make. Where with a job you are counted on gross wages before taxes.
Home Base Business Video
Con's of Self Employment
The problem with self-employment is it is hard to determine what would be the best possible work for you to do as a disabled person. So here is where you need to look at your personality and do some research on business ideas that excite you. You also can go to the Small Business Administration to do some research. Older Americans volunteer with a program called SCORE. These volunteers help you research and come up with a business plan. I have found that the vocational rehabilitation offices around the country offer very little help with starting a business and getting a business going. They won't invest in your business with any capital. So finding capital may be hard. You can try a site like www.kickstarter.com and get your business idea on there, and find people that will invest in your idea for no reward. You may be able to find other help by calling around to organizations, such as your church, civic organizations, and friends. Use every available source to help you. The main con of self-employment for a disabled person is the start-up costs. If you have a service product, like catering, then you have to have money up-front to pay for the food. You have advertising and other expenses, like a business license. That is way you can go to the Internet and search for ways to assist you in the start-up costs. Also if you are not feeling well, you may not be able to actually do the job as pain and prevent your work. It is best to find something that will be fun to do, and you know you can do it. So ask friends, "What is my best talent?" Ask you family, non-profits, or even vocational rehab or other disability firms in your area if they can assist you. I have not had much luck with these, but you may depending upon the counselor. Make sure this does not hurt your health. Balancing a disability with a part-time job, is a full-time job! Be sure you are not hurting yourself. Take it slow, write a business plan, and most importantly, use all the resources of friends that can help you decide what to do and how. Try to limit your hours and monthly income as you gradually become more self-reliant.
Coming Up With A Good Plan
A good business plan is a summary of all the factors of your business. It is essential to have a good business plan in place. Some people will try to sell you software packages or Internet business coaching, and other ways to take your money. Most of these people do not help you make money. Beware of scams where they ask you to pay money without a time for you to learn if their product is good. I have seen many scams out there, and I have been a victim of even the vocational rehab office not fulfilling their role to assist me in a business. I tried in Texas, North Carolina and Utah. All offices had counselors and even specialists that were not good for me.
You can find the help you need on a business plan with the Small Business Administration and from local Google searches on disability non-profits that serve disable people. The business plan of a lot of companies can be accessed through the Internet. So your local vocational rehab office may actually lend you a laptop, software, or even a desktop computer to get on the Internet so you can get your business plan together, but the counselor at VR normally doesn't do a good job on helping you write one. Seek out any free services you can to get your business plan together. If possible, get your expenses lowered by looking for very inexpensive business cards, save money by asking the vocational rehab or other disability agencies for assistance with the start-up costs, and most importantly, do not get in over your head. The business plan of a service product is easier to do and cheaper than having a product. Go to the library and look for books on different good businesses to start, look for books on how to raise money for business, and also use the library's computer center to do your research on businesses. You can actually write your own business plan with the help of books. You can look up with a Google search, ways disabled people are making money working from home. Beware of scams! There are very good-looking, professional sounding companies offering educational products at home, and in the end, you spend thousands of dollars, and you do not make money. I worked for one of these companies. I tried to report them to the Better Business Bureau, FBI, Federal Trade Commission, and the Attorney General of my state, with no significant success. So be careful, and do not get in debt over any training program.
Hot Industries and The Internet
The Internet is a wonderful way for a disabled person to make money. If you learn through a local community college certain programs, you can become employed just for knowing how to program. You can arrange to get clients through a website. There are free websites. You get a "domain name" which is a way to access the Internet to get to your business. You can also get free or very low cost websites that you can build yourself to market your business. Just search free websites and free hosting on Google. Through Google you can find the best free websites. They have templates that you can use to set up your website and pay very little money for them. I don't want to advocate one service over another so use your best business skills to getting a free website up and running without paying someone to do it. They have what they call "template" which are easy to fill in with your business. You can go to the Internet and pay for a website to be built, and this is just too expensive.
To have your own website, and build it from a template, rather than paying someone may take awhile. First, go to the Internet and search "the best free website builders." Then you will go get a domain name. A domain name is where you buy a name that can be type in the search bar of any browser. A browser is like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. The domain name is like www.ebay.com. This is an example. So you would have your company name in the middle. For example, www.deliveryforpennies.com. This would be an example of a service industry where you delivered things for your clients. For example, you could deliver food to offices, deliver interoffice mail from one location to another, or groceries for those who cannot drive. Then have an email address setup in your domain name. For example, you could have Tom@deliveryforpennies.com. Have the website up and running. You can accept PayPal or credit cards. There are many services through apps on a smart phone to collect money on the spot. Just note that most credit card processing costs money so include in your analysis the cost of running a credit card.
Service Versus Product
The easiest low cost way to start a business is a service-based business. You can get start doing a service-based business with any well researched, service industry. You can start a business where you get people to work as contractors, which get paid when the service is completed, and all you have to do is make sure they have a license to work in that field, and that they have worker's compensation documentation on file with you. So say you wanted to start a business where people fix people's homes after a flood. You can get a EIN number going to IRS government website (see link below) and sign up for one. This is free. Never pay a company for an EIN number!
You should also probably get a LLC, which is a limited liability corporation. The filing fee and setup fee is under $100, but this LLC will protect your private assets as the company would be sued, not you. An LLC has many benefits. Talk to a tax professional about an LLC. Once you have your business license, which you get through local city government, you are ready to go. So you can do business cards off the internet for the shipping cost. You can have services where they set up the business for you, but you can get into major debt by listening to these sales people. My advice is go to the library and get books on how to start a business. They will tell you every thing you need. I will provide a link for a free LLC. These people look up to see if the name of your business is being used. Then they let you download the paperwork to do the LLC. You will only pay for the state fee and postage.
You can do a business without an LLC. If you don't have the money for the state filing fee, start out as using your name and maybe put "doing business as", which is shortened to d/b/a. This costs nothing. You use your social security number. This is fine as most people will not sue you, but if you want to protect your personal assets, then a limited liability corporation, an LLC, is the way to go.
An EIN number is necessary only if you want to seem more professional and needed if you have employees. An EIN is easy to do. See the link below. I want you to understand that you can be protected against law suits by having an LLC, but I worked for five years under my name and then a d/b/a without an LLC.
You can also set up a business where you only have products. You can do what they call drop shipping. So you find a drop shipper, which has the product you want to sell. You don't have to buy the product, you just have to have it on your website. The drop shipper will take the order from you, package it, ship it to your customer, and all you do is collect the money from the customer. You also follow up with the customer to make sure they are happy with your product. Drop shipping companies are easy to Google, but don't pay money for these companies to do business with you. This is a little difficult to instruct you on in this post, but I wanted you to understand the concept.
You can have your own product that you produce. It could be videos on how to do certain types of things. You can make these videos from experts in your local community. YouTube has many how-to videos. Contact the YouTube presenter and ask if you can sell his/her video on your website. You can negotiate how much you make off each sale.
"The Secret" a Movie to Motivate You
You Can Do This and Still Keep Your Disability Checks!
If you work less than 80 hours a month, and make less than $769 a month, no one will penalize you for having your own little business. If you make more see my article on "Going Back to Work After Being Disabled...Scary!". The bottom line is that you can earn money, make your life more fulfilled, and have more fun than just concentrating all your energy on your health. If you have your own business, you may determine that you can rejoin the work force. You can determine if you cannot. This advantages is that if you want positive things to happen to you, you must attract positive things to come into your life. Avoid being negative. Start with a grateful heart. As you become more in control of your life, people that are positive will want to be in your life. Soon you will no longer been seen as being disabled, but the person that can do anything. What better legacy can you leave this world, but one that is positive, uplifting and noble despite the physical limitations you may have. I have tried working twice this year, as a disabled person, having my own business, is going to give me the ability to continue to work.
Please watch the movie above. Read positive books on starting and maintaining and growing a business. Do the work and then the work will become a positive thing in your life, no longer will you be held back by money. Money is not the root of all evil if you use the money to make the community a better place. So you becoming more self-reliant will cause people to want to be around you. You will have more friends and more loved ones. Your life will fill up with positive things. You will be able to travel, go on a cruise! Have vacations because you have money! You can be in control of a body that does want to work right. Soon you will achieve things you never thought were possible. Try this and see if you can bring the right people, with the right product at the right time, and see if this law of attraction can change your disability into the best thing that could have ever happened to you. For if the disability is overcome, you are the one in control, not your body!
If You Succeed or Not, You Tried!
Unfortunately, positive thinking and overcoming pain may be unrealistic. I tried working two job this year. The first, my environment at work as hostile. I could not work fast enough for my boss. I, on the other hand, found that the company was making too many errors and not following the law. This job was part-time, however, it seemed full-time as I worried about it while I was not working. I have no positive comments, and my boss seemed to want to emphasize the fact I was disabled, not that I was an accurate, good employee. They were refusing to pay for my taxes. I had to quit.
The second was a full-time job, but more like four jobs! I was so disappointed the day I got fired. The company is doing fraud to their customers by not releasing the name of the company on each call by the coaches. I actually should have quit the second day as they made me lie who I was working for, but they had only 7 women out of 60 coaches. I could not take the pressure. I was working full-time answering phone calls about the product they had. The training I was very poor. In the end, they found a call that they could fire me over, and they smiled as they were telling me your fired.
Former Job With Guidance Interactive, Beware of Fraud and Deception
Summary of Self-Employment Versus Payroll
The problem I had was that I worked for two different companies within the last year. The first company was a real estate company where I was an accountant. I was upfront about my disability and was used because of it. I was told I was not fast enough, but at no time was I told, "You are accurate." I felt that it was more important to do my job right, because financial statements with errors are unacceptable. I made the mistake of taking the part-time job and telling them when I was feeling well. They used this against me.
The second job with Guidance Interactive was in my opinion a fraud as they never told the student that they were Guidance. They told us to say the name of another company. Some of those companies were the following, not all are included, as I cannot remember them all:
1. Discover Education
2. PM Advantage
3. Focus Education
4. PLI Members
5. eComm Enterprise
6. 1st Income Class
7. Brookwater Ventures
Beware of these companies, as Guidance is never mentioned. I found that there were a lot of people that were disabled that had maxed out their credit card to pay to learn how to make money from home, and these people were not making money. There cancellation period was up after three days. Maybe some people were, but being a disabled person, going back to work, and hearing how the elderly on social security, the unemployed, and the disabled were taken advantage of, and only had three days to cancel the contract. I felt horrible for these people. They also had problems dealing with their self-esteem as they suffered from the fact they were not making money.
Be aware there are scams out there that play on your disability. They will do whatever, say whatever to make you think you can make lots of money. If these programs do not have a 30, 60 or 90 day cancellation period, do not invest your money.
Local universities are a better bet. However, you need to be aware of your limitations in learning. You may not be able to sit through a class. An online program may be better for you. For me, I have decided to complete an online course for a realtor's license. This is also in addition to me starting a product-based business.
I would be more inclined to say that self-employment is the only way I can work. I cannot have my boss knowing when I hurt. I cannot take being on a schedule as I do not know when I will feel good. So the pro's of self-employment are much higher for me because of these bad experiences.
Yes, being on payroll would be nice because you can afford more credit. People do not count self-employment income for purposes of buying a car or home until you have two years under the company making money, but I want to keep my benefits as I need them. I am not well enough to work. So I have votes yes to self-employment for myself. This has changed since first writing this article. I cannot take people looking at me as if I were less than they are just because I happened to have a disability. I would never treat anyone the way I was treated. I would never recommend getting a program where you will make money at home without a long period of time to determine if the program is right for you.
Be careful and safe. Never put yourself in debt. Try to start a business where there is very little outflow of cash. Build up your company by reinvesting the earnings into the company. I would never want someone to read this articled and start a business with a credit card. It is too dangerous as you do not know if you can work, if the business will work, or if you can maintain a business. So take it slow and easy and avoid debt.
I think it is best for those trying to work with a handicap, whether seen or unseen, to start slow and test their bodies and their ideas. Have people who love you or care about you bounce ideas off of, but don't let someone ever convince you that you are worthy to work. You have a right to make your own destiny. Surround yourself with those voices that promote you doing what you feel you can do. You are the only one who knows how your body works and feels. Use your own inter voice to help you on this important decision.