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Thinking of setting up a business as a visually impaired person? These six top tips for doing just that should help to get you started…
There’s no denying that blindness and partial sightedness can have a huge impact on your daily life. Considering 66 percent of the UK blind population are unemployed, it’s clear to see that the job sector needs an overhaul. So, why not set up your own business?
Of course, it won’t be easy, and there are plenty of things to consider before jumping right in. From seeking advice on accessible commercial conveyancing transactions to finding the right technologies that work for you, there’s plenty to think about.
That said, it’s certainly not impossible, and who knows – you may even make a real mark on the employment scene for those with VI. In this article, we’re going to explore six tips for setting up a business when you’re visually impaired, so take a look…
1. Think of a Business Idea that Works
First and foremost, it’s important that you form a concrete business idea that will work in practice. The truth is that someone who is visually impaired may not be able to carry out certain tasks as efficiently as the average person. This can make it tricky to realistically compete with other businesses.
Because of this, it’s really important that the business idea is feasible, and will be able to compete with others out there. Bizfluent has a range of business ideas for those who are blind. From arts and crafts through to phone sales, there are plenty of potential ideas.
Simply ensure the idea is something you’re passionate about and can be achieved in reality, and you’ll be off to a flying start.
2. Consider Partnering with a Friend or Family Member
There’s nothing to say that a visually impaired person can’t forge a business plan and start a business alone. That said, for many of the more practical aspects of a business, like finding a commercial property that works for your ideas, you may need a pair of eyes to assist.
Of course, if you’re the brains of the business, a partner can simply work alongside you to make sure nothing goes amiss. Otherwise, you could simply seek the advice of a business advisor to help with ensuring nothing is missed.
3. Make Sure Your Office Building is Accessible
When choosing a commercial space for your office or business needs, making sure the building is accessible is paramount. This is important not only for yourself but for any future employees you may decide to hire. It will also help to ensure your clientele can access your building, whatever their physical abilities.
In order to help you pick out a building that has exactly what you need, perhaps you could take a trusted family member or friend with you to the commercial property viewing. Otherwise, if this isn’t possible, be sure to get the landlord or estate agent to show you everything before you leave.
So you don’t forget a thing, you should come prepared with a checklist of accessibility features to look out for or ask about. Some of the key aspects you should ensure the building has includes:
- Braille/raised lettering signage
- Large lettering on signs
- Stair lifts
- Spacious gangways and hallways
- Large doorways
- Buttons for door opening
- Disabled parking spaces
- An evacuation plan for emergencies
- Accessible public transport links
- Unobstructed routes throughout the building
- Seats that are designed for all use
- Disabled toilets
- Even lighting
- Visual contrast throughout the building
Don’t forget to rely on your commercial conveyancer to help you with finding a building that works for all your needs.
4. Consider Taking Out a Disability Grant
Setting up a business with a disability, like a visual impairment, means that things are likely to take longer and require more equipment and advice than usual. This is where finding a government grant that works for you could come in handy, as this can help fund these additional necessities.
The Disability Grants website has all the information you need to help you find the financial support that works for you. From the Disabled Person’s Tax Credit and Access to Work grants, there’s lots of support out there. So, don’t hesitate to make use of this support so you can get your business up and running smoothly and efficiently.
5. Invest in Adaptive Technology
The grants we discussed above are perfect for helping blind people with prepping the business with the works to ensure business is carried out efficiently. This includes accessible technology, in particular.
These days, there is plenty of technology to help disabled entrepreneurs carry out their business. For the visually impaired, some of the key accessibility tools you may require include:
- Larger screens
- High-definition or brighter screens
- Various apps
- Functional keyboards
- Accessible Microsoft Office features
- Voice recognition software
6. Connect with Likeminded Individuals
There’s no denying that starting a business when you’re blind or partially sighted is going to be a pretty tough and gruelling process. So, finding a local network of likeminded people who are going through a similar process might be a great help. This way, you can share experiences and networks, as well as make new friends along the way.
The Federation of Small Businesses, Disabled Entrepreneurs or Blind in Business might be a good place to start.
Ready to Start Your Business?
As you can see, starting a business with a visual impairment isn’t impossible. Of course, you are likely to meet more barriers than the average person, but that’s not to say that it can’t be done. There are plenty of people out there who have done it already, so why not join their ranks?
Have you started a business as someone with VI, and have some tips to add? Or, perhaps you have more questions or stories to add below. Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments.
Thank you to Milly Arthur, Freelance Copywriter for this post.