Self-Employment

Introduction

There are different ways in which PWD can attain economic independence. Self-employment is one of them and it may be the only practicable option as jobs in the open labor market become more and more scarce and biased towards able-bodied persons.

There are several strong reasons for PWD to choose self-employment as an option to gain economic independence and a few of them are listed below:

  • Self-Employment can revolve around PWD's area of interest (Interior Design, Hair Saloon)
  • Flexible allocation of time and resources by PWD
  • Opportunity to provide employment for fellow PWD
  • No limit on Income

However, it is important to stress from the outset that self-employment is not a panacea through which every disabled person can gain economic independence. Rather, self-employment requires tremendous amount of self-motivation, persistence, initiative and commitment from the PWD.

Pity and overprotection are completely inadequate to prepare disabled people for self-employment. Hence, this section of the web portal is intended to serve as an information roadmap for PWD on starting a small business enterprise. MIND will also provide business advice electronically through its panel of consultants.

Stages of business

Every business goes through different stages in its life cycle and it is important for PWD to understand these stages in terms of the critical activities/decisions that need to be taken in each of the stages. The various stages of business are diagrammatically depicted below:

Stage of Business Flow Chart

Planning

It is needless to say that this is the most critical step in the entire business cycle. This is the stage where an idea is converted into a business concept. The critical activities in this stage of business are listed below:

  • Idea Generation
  • Idea Validation
  • Business Plan Preparation

Idea Generation

Idea Generation is a creative phase where the PWD lists down various options which have potential business opportunities that can be pursued. At this stage, care is taken to not eliminate any of the ideas because of preconceived notions. Some examples of business opportunities are listed below:

  • Website Translation from English to Bahasa Malaysia
  • Appliance Repair
  • Massage
  • Confectionery Making
  • Transport Service
  • oy Shop
  • Library Operation
  • Restaurant
  • Hair Saloon

Idea Validation

This is the process stage where the business idea is matched with the capabilities of the PWD and the business potential of the idea. By capabilities of PWD, we mean physical and mental ability, previous knowledge and area of interest.

Business Potential Validation
First and foremost the idea needs to be evaluated in terms of business potential. This would entail some amount of research in terms of market place needs, competition and resources requirement (capital and manpower).

Skill Requirement Validation
Another important angle is to validate the skills possessed by the PWD and the requirements of the business. For example, the Business might require extensive use of computers and internet which means that knowledge on computer usage is a necessity for the PWD to carry out his or her business. (However, if the idea possesses a strong business potential and if the PWD is interested in upgrading his skills that are required for the managing the business, the PWD can undergo special training on usage of computers)

Business Plan Preparation

Once the business idea passes the Idea Validation test, the next step is to prepare a Business Plan. A Business Plan defines in precise terms your business, identifies your goals, and serves as your firm's resume. The basic components include pro forma balance sheet, an income statement and a cash flow analysis. It helps you allocate resources properly, handle unforeseen complications and make good business decisions. Because it provides specific and organised information about your company and how you will repay borrowed money, a good business plan is a crucial part of any loan application. 

Financing

Some businesses might need additional support in terms of capital. In such scenarios, PWD can approach financial institutions for assistance. (The list of institutions that provide financial assistance for PWD is available in the Resources section of the web portal)

Another important process is the registration of business entity. 

A total of RM22 million has been set aside under the Ninth Malaysia Plan for the purpose of providing financial grants for disabled entrepreneurs who want to expand their businesses. Interested individuals can get more information from the following attached PowerPoint document. An application form to apply for this grant is also included below:

Skim Bantuan Galakan Perniagaan Orang Kurang Upaya (PowerPoint document 256KB)
Application form (Word document 117KB)

Sales & Marketing (Business Specific)

Once the perquisites of the business startups have been completed, the next phase is to identify and create demand for your product and services (in simple terms “identifying your customer”). The market segment (group of customers) identified in the business plan needs to be fine-tuned so that specified sales and marketing strategies are deployed. Please note that for a business to be successful there needs to be a unique selling proposition (USP). USP is a thing that the customer wants and which the competitors cannot provide (USP needs to be identified during the early part of the planning stage). In this stage we need to identify potential customers and communicate the USP to them. Depending on the specific product and/or service, specific processes such as customer lead generation, identification and qualification of customer are carried out. Please note that the self-employed PWD are free to use the Advertising section of MIND. For more details please contact the MIND management.

Managing

Once the business operations starts, specific processes need to be planned and finalised. These processes will involve Customer Order taking, Delivery of Product or Services, Registration of Invoices and collection of money. Each of the transactions needs to be recorded properly so that Financial Statement and Business Performance will be tracked.