Get motivated to take enthusiastic action that will help you turn that dream into reality. One step at a time and you will surely achieve anything.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

December here in a week

What are you doing to prepare your campaign to bring in sales during January and February,historically the lowest sales months of the year?
And this year the hike in VAT plus British Gas gas and electricity up by 7% and other increases it's going to leave many householders looking to cut back dramatically. This will have an adverse effect on practically every type of business.
So now is the time to sit down, brainstorm and come up with some simple practical ideas that wioll give you the edge over your competitors.
New Year resolutions usually kick in on New Years Day and kickout before mid March. So why don't you start now. It's often really just a question of  of changing your habits.
So . . . 
Don't spend hours writing Business Plans and Marketing Plans. 
Write down on an A4 Sheet your BIG GOALS - just bullet points.
Then write down the small stages you need to take to reach those goals. Those small steps are solutions. Think about it.
By tackling say 4-5 small; goals each week you will reach your Big Goals.


Have an Access Audit carried out and bring customers in

"There is so much to do here to make the building accessible that we can't afford it!"  "We are on rhe first floor so we can't get disabled people in here"
Both these statements are wrong. Both are said be people who are either mis-guided or don't want the trouble that they imagine disabled people would be. And when you speak about disabled people most think of just wheelchair users.Wheelchair users make up a tiny number. Many have impairments you wouldn't even know about. Look around you now. How many people can you see who have a heart condition, bad ashma, can't walk far or up steps, have poor eyesight or can't hear very well. The list goes on. A bit like an iceberg. We only see the tip.
So you should be thinking about an access audit if you haven't done so already. It's not too late.
Up til now most cases that have been brought against businesses in relation to disability discrimination have been settled out of court and so you don't know about them but it is happening. I think that this is going to change. On the whole disabled people have been patient and understanding. Well! In many cases they don't know their rights and often they don't feel they can make a difference.
An access audit is completed with a report laying out the steps you need to take to make your business accessible to all. Many are written by surveyors and architects and give exact specifications and are couched in technical terms. This is great if being read by some-one with the knowledge. But often the facilities manager or person responsible doesn't undestand and just passes the list onto a builder. When the work is complete they have to rely on the builder that the work is technically correct.
Mike Leahy writes script reports in layman's language that are easily understood and include the reason for the adjustment too. He takes a pragmatic apprioach and often knows of a quick fix or low cost adjustment. He'll also grade recommendations so you can deal with the priorities first and perhaps leave the "best practice" items til last.
If you haven't assessed what is necessary or taken any action do so now. It will ensure you comply with the legisltaion but equally important will broaden your customer base.

Friday, November 12, 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.[1]
   2. There are over 10 million disabled people in Britain, of whom 5 million are over state pension age.[2]
   3. There are two million people with sight problems in the UK.[3]

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.[4]
   2. Only 8% of families get services from their local social services.[5]
   3. It costs up to three times as much to raise a disabled child as it does to raise a child without disabilities.[6]

Disability and employment

   1. There are currently 1.3 million disabled people in the UK who are available for and want to work.[7]
   2. Only half of disabled people of working age are in work (50%), compared with 80% of non disabled people.[8]
   3. 23% of disabled people have no qualifications compared to 9% of non disabled people.[9]
   4. Nearly one in five people of working age (7 million, or 18.6%) in Great Britain have a disability.[10]

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.[11]
   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.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Christmas Campaigns are getting earlier each year

Many years ago one of my daughters went to Australia at the beginning of October so we had an early Chrismas. We decked the house, even putting up a Xmas tree with lights. We had lights at the windows and outside. Was she surprised when she arrived for what she thought would just be a going-away meal. We had a great family occasion. Next day we drove her to the airport. On our return we took everything down.

Our neighbours, however, were also busy and that evening as dusk dropped we found they'd put up their Chrisrmas decorations!1 I guess we had just taken them unawares. It's impossible to know what went through their minds when they saw we'd taken everything down again!!

Have you ever had a similar experience?

But now is time to get cracking if you haven't already done so. With Christmas just a few short weeks away people are beginning tio think about gifts and presents. And of course with many looking to tighten their belts spending could go either way. It could be austere or there could be a build-up as people might think "Lets have a good one this  year and it's going to be harder next" 

Do you like the Xmas photo of the hand and bauble? I've found a great website with thousands of images you can use free so long as you include a bye-line or link. Go to This photo is by Salvatore Vuono. These images will brighten up any text.

Want more ideas? You can have a free Hidden Marketing Asset Review. Click here