As a business owner, your customers are the priority and even the customers that you don’t have yet, are a priority – because you want to turn them into customers. But did you know that there is a potential 18% of your market that you are not serving. That 18% are people with disabilities.
“More than 50 million Americans—18% of our population—have disabilities, and each is a potential customer.” ADA Primer for Small Business
And it’s estimated that by the year 2030, approximately 71.5 million baby boomers will be over the age of 65 and will have physical limitations that we’ll need to special services.
Individuals with disabilities – as well as their friends and family – shop, do business, participate in the community, go to school, and attend events, just like all of us.
“Studies show that once people with disabilities find a business where they can shop or get services in an accessible manner, they become repeat customers.” ADA Primer for Small Business
So, why is it that so many small businesses are ignoring a potential 18% of their market? First, we all think of accessibility in regards to our buildings but we don’t think beyond our spaces. Second most likely, is that many business owners just don't know how to make their business more accessible.
There are many aspects of your business that should consider accessibility (beyond your building) including: signage, phone communication, email communication, personal service within your business, and (close to my heart) your website.
As a marketer and designer, one of the services that I provide are accessible websites. From a business standpoint, it makes sense to me to service all of your market. Personally, though, it just feels like the responsible thing to do.
There are a number of things that you can do to your website (and your Constant Contact emails) that will make it accessible to individuals with any disability. Next month on this blog, I’m going to outline what you can do to make your website more accessible.
In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more, the ADA Primer for Small Business is a great resource. And also the place that I got all of the statistics for this article.
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