Friday, 12 November 2010
Are you losing business from over10 million potential customers?
Do you run a business? If so do you know about the Disability Discrimination Act 1995? Have you taken steps to ensure that disabled people can buy your products and services as easily as non-disabled people can? Every disabled person and their families may be unable to buy from you because you haven't made provision for them.
There are over 10 million disabled people in the UK and each of them is a potential customer for you. Add to that their families and the number of potential customers is huge.
The number of suppliers I have met recently who think that having a website will allow disabled people to buy from them and that's all they need to do. WRONG! You can't have a meal over the internet. Many people won't buy clothes over the internet because they want to try clothes on.
Think about the customer service you offer. Do you find actually talking to possible customers encourages them to buy from you? Do you train your staff to sell? Isn't it all about making a connection with people and helping them make a buying decision? Yes! Of course it is. Yes I know that Argos sell from a catalogue so you can't feel and touch the products but you can take them back over a very generous returns guarantee. But isn't it true that they have cultivated this as a way of saving money. You assume that the prices are competitive . . . but if you compare you'll possible find really competitive prices elswhere
1. There are over 6.9 million disabled people of working age which represents 19% of the working population.
2. There are over 10 million disabled people in Britain, of whom 5 million are over state pension age.
3. There are two million people with sight problems in the UK.
Families with disabled children
1. There are 770,00 disabled children under the age of 16 in the UK. That equates to 1 child in 20.
2. Only 8% of families get services from their local social services.
3. It costs up to three times as much to raise a disabled child as it does to raise a child without disabilities.
Disability and employment
1. There are currently 1.3 million disabled people in the UK who are available for and want to work.
2. Only half of disabled people of working age are in work (50%), compared with 80% of non disabled people.
3. 23% of disabled people have no qualifications compared to 9% of non disabled people.
4. Nearly one in five people of working age (7 million, or 18.6%) in Great Britain have a disability.
The ageing population
1. Over the last 25 years the percentage of the population aged 65 and over increased from 15 per cent in 1983 to 16 per cent in 2008, an increase of 1.5 million people in this age group. Over the same period, the percentage of the population aged 16 and under decreased from 21 per cent to 19 per cent. This trend is projected to continue. By 2033, 23 per cent of the population will be aged 65 and over compared to 18 per cent aged 16 or younger.
2. The fastest population increase has been in the number of those aged 85 and over, the ’oldest old‘. In 1983, there were just over 600,000 people in the UK aged 85 and over. Since then the numbers have more than doubled reaching 1.3 million in 2008. By 2033 the number of people aged 85 and over is projected to more than double again to reach 3.2 million, and to account for 5 per cent of the total population.