Starting a Business with a Learning Difficulty: Tips for Parents with Dyslexia

When you have a specific learning difficulty like dyslexia, the idea of starting your own business might seem a little overwhelming. How do you find the time and space to give your new business the focus it needs? Fortunately, people with dyslexia tend to possess unique skills that give them a leg up when it comes to entrepreneurship. In this article, Dyslexia Centre North West explores how you can leverage these skills as you navigate the steps involved in starting a business.

Lean Into Your Creative Side

Because people with dyslexia tend to use non-conventional learning methods, they’re adept at using creativity to solve problems. Lean into this! Use your creative thinking skills to come up with new solutions that you can sell to consumers. A great place to start is by looking at your own experiences and struggles. What services or products do you wish existed to make your life easier? Whether it’s to do with parenting, your specific learning difficulty, or something else entirely, looking at your experiences through a creative lens is a great way to come up with a unique business idea.

Tap Into Grant Opportunities

Once you have your business idea, write out a business plan to determine how much funding you’ll need. You may be able to get help funding your business through government and/or private grant opportunities. Remember to also look for funding specific to your specific learning difficulty. For example, My Kind of Thinking lists several supports available to people with dyslexia, including funding to help with the cost of assistive technology and coping strategies training.

Use Social Media to Connect with Customers

Social media is a fantastic tool for connecting with your audience and promoting your business. And it’s free! For example, Facebook is great for sharing information about your business with your customers. You can share business reports, details about your prices, menus, product availability information, and more. PDFs are ideal for sharing this type of information online. While you can upload a PDF to Facebook in some cases, you will not be able to post PDFs to a personal Facebook page. You must create a business page first!

Get Out and Network

People with dyslexia can be excellent oral communicators. Use this to your advantage! Get out of the house and attend networking events in your industry. This is a great way to connect with potential partners, clients, employees, mentors, and investors! Grenke suggests starting with small, casual networking events that you feel comfortable with before branching out into more formal settings.

Take advantage of your support network and have someone watch your kids for an evening while you go out and make new business connections. Don’t be afraid to take someone up on their offer to help! As your business grows, you’ll find yourself relying on your support network more often, so get in the habit of accepting help now.

Get Comfortable Delegating Work

Speaking of accepting help, get used to delegating work within your business as well. Do what you do best and delegate the rest! You just won’t have time to handle everything yourself, especially if you’ve got young kids running around. Hire some remote freelancers or in-house employees and hand off some of your work to them. This can be difficult at first, but you’ll get used to it. Just be sure to establish a clear communication channel with your workers and provide the resources they need to achieve your desired outcome.

If you want to be a business owner, don’t let anything stop you. People with dyslexia make fantastic business owners! Get started by marketing your business on social media, looking for available grants, and learning how to accept help with your childcare tasks. You might be surprised by what you can accomplish!

For more dyslexia resources, check out Dyslexia Centre North West. We offer workshops, training programs, and more!