The key to a successful and thriving business is to attract and retain customers, and this is not all about the products you sell. Making your store accessible and inclusive is equally as vital. There are currently over 11 million people in the UK living with disabilities, long term illnesses or impairments, with a buying power of £200bn.
Yet thousands of business premises across the country are still failing to make adequate provisions, losing out on thousands of potential customers. Make sure your business isn’t one of them. Here are several reasons why being disability friendly is vital to business success.
Your store will appeal to more customers
Making your premises disability friendly will ensure that you are not limiting the number of potential customers in your store. It is in a business owner’s control to increase accessibility at very low cost. By implementing ramps, hand rails, and a wheelchair or scooter friendly layout, you will allow access to customers who may otherwise not be able to enter your store. And if you provide an easy to use environment, they will come back too. Appealing to a wider customer base and retaining them will inevitably boost your turnover and give you a greater chance of retail success.
You will avoid losing out to competitors
If you don’t take measures to make your store disability friendly, but your competitor down the road does, then where will the customer choose to go? To your competitor. Stop this from happening by catering for disabled customers so you remain competitive and successful in your area.
You will minimise potential safety risks and hazards
Making your store fully inclusive and accessible will also reduce the amount of potential health and safety incidents. Stores that rely solely on entrance steps will have a much higher risk of potential accidents than stores with ramps.
Where do I start?
There are many steps you can take to make your store disability friendly, such as installing ramps, providing railings and disabled toilets. If you’re unsure where to start, do some research. For example, if you need to adapt your stores layout to improve accessibility for wheelchair and scooter users, you need to fully understand the average size and shape so you can plan accordingly. Looking at companies such as Mobility Solutions will give you a good idea of the sizes of mobility equipment. From there, you can ensure your aisles are the correct width and position your products at appropriate heights for customers.
There are many ways to create a more accessible and inclusive environment, and it really is vital in retail to ensure you cater for all your customers’ needs. Adapting your premises to be disability friendly will massively increase your customer reach and ensure you remain competitive in your local area.