Looking Back, Looking Forward

I wanted to reflect on my first year as an Independent businesswoman and look forward to my plans and goals for next year.  It has been a learning journey, challenging and rewarding, and indeed a reconfirmation of my passion- helping individuals and their teams incorporate Assistive Technology into their lives, so they can reach their goals. 

Black poster-board display with text and pictures on it  highlighting my business, sitting on a table outside at a resource fair.

I started the year not really knowing anything about running a small business, but having a vision of what I wanted to do.  I was fortunate to find the Silicon Valley SBDC (https://www.svsbdc.org/ ) and applied for a Dream Fund grant to help me learn, and get started.  They were a fantastic resource, helping me figure out the business side of doing business, and hooking me up with fabulous, intelligent advisors to guide me on my way.  I don’t think I would have had a successful first year without them!

This last year, I also got established as a vendor for the Regional Center locally, which was quite a process, but now provides me with an available funding source for those who qualify.  With this, I am able to work with teams and individuals with developmental disabilities and provide AT Evaluations, Training, and Early Inclusion facilitation.  

This leads me to my other great accomplishment this year- obtaining my Early Inclusion Facilitator certificate from West Ed’s Beginning Together program (https://cainclusion.org/bt/ )  I was able to learn from experts state-wide, share my AT knowledge in the Early Intervention space, and network with many groups and school districts.  

Finally, I was able to participate and learn from the ElderTech Advisor national group (https://innovativespeech.com/eldertech-cohort/ ).  I had a particular interest in this area due to my mother, and the struggles she experienced with technology as she developed dementia, and was still living independently.  I reaffirmed my interest in helping individuals with AT solutions as they aged.

Looking forward, I want to focus on creating an actual business plan, including a marketing plan.  I want to focus more on Early Inclusion Facilitation, and AAC Implementation training and coaching.  These are two areas that I feel I have particular expertise in and would love to share!  Additionally, I want to explore the idea of working with different groups as an Elder Tech Advisor, helping families and individuals learn about and implement the different technology tools that can help them stay safe and independent in their homes.  I want to do all this while continuing to provide AT Evaluations and Training to school districts, private individuals, and businesses. There is nothing more satisfying for me than to watch an individual discover and start using the tools they need, and realize, that yes, they CAN do it!  Watching them and their teams realize the possibilities of having the right tools is truly the highlight and the reason I do what I do. I have big dreams and plans and am excited about what the new year will bring.