Making your business accessible to all customers online and in-person should be part of your planning process for you new small business
No matter what kind of small business you have, you want to reach as many people as you can. In order to achieve this, you need to be accessible. If you don’t consider accessibility as part of your business plan, then many potential customers won’t be able to take advantage of the services you offer. If you’re unsure how to make your new small business more accessible, here are some ways to get you started.
Build Accessibility Into Your Shop
If you have a physical location, you need to make sure that everybody can access it. If somebody has a physical disability that prevents them from easily moving through your shop and being able to buy from you, they won’t have a good experience at your business. Consider all the ways that your shop is inaccessible, then plan out how you could fix these problems.
For instance, if you have multiple floor levels, you’ll need to have ways to reach higher floors without using the stairs. This is where elevators and escalators come in. In an office building, an elevator makes an average of 400,000 trips each year. In these buildings, elevators and escalators run about 2,600 hours per year. This takes into account an average of 10 hours a day, five days a week, and 260 days a year. While your shop may have less traffic than that, it is still important that an elevator be available for those who need it.
Sell Online and In Person
If you sell your products and services in an online shop, you’ll be accessible to anyone who can’t come to your store. Not only will this make your shop easy to access from anywhere, but it will also expand your potential audience significantly. If you don’t have an online shop, then many people can’t buy from you. In the US, about 1.7 million people use mobility scooters or wheelchairs. Those who are in these mobility aids may not be able to comfortably navigate your store. If they can order from their homes and have it delivered, your business will be accessible to them.
Consider Your Digital Advertising Strategies
Signage is an essential part of your business. It works as both an advertisement and a way to help people find what they need once they’re in your shop. However, it’s important to market to people before they come into your business. If someone is on the fence about taking the time to check out your place, sending them a promotion or deal in the mail can be a great way to entice them. This can make it worthwhile for those who do not leave the house often. Although it may seem like email campaigns are the best option in the digital age, consumers recall direct mail marketing 70% more than digital marketing. Make sure that you use large print, plenty of images, and contrasting colors. That way, your business will be more accessible to people with vision issues or those who can’t read in your language. Consider sending something unique that customers will remember you by.
Make Your Social Media More Accessible
If your business uses social media, you should also think about accessibility there. There are many disabled people on social media. If they can’t interact with your posts, they are less likely to shop at your business. Make sure that you’re using image descriptions and video subtitles whenever you post. That way, more people can enjoy your content. While this might take a few extra minutes to do, that time is well-spent. It also gets easier once you’ve done it for a while. Make sure that you’re incorporating accessible practices into your social media routine from the beginning. Then you’ll remain well-organized and capable of providing the type of interaction that will bring more people to your business.
If your business isn’t accessible to people, they simply won’t shop there. This will cause you to lose out on potential sales because of something you could easily fix. Take steps to make your new small business more accessible. If you do this from the start, it will become a natural part of your business practices.
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