Accessibility: Know your competitive advantage

Q. How do I develop an accessibility plan?
Friday, August 24, 2012

A. Accessibility isn’t a linear subject; rather, you have to think about all aspects around your customers’ needs and how they define accessibility. Once you commit to becoming an accessibility provider, it’s simply a matter of identifying what your competitive advantage is. Former CEO of GE, Jack Welch says it best, “If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete.”

With the growth of this market over the next decade, it’s imperative to distinguish your business from the rest. Your accessibility plan will look different depending on the demographics of your surrounding area, as you should be positioning your company according to your targeted customers.

How do you begin to develop your accessibility plan? Start with creating a positioning statement. It must illustrate a clear message of value for your target audience. Here’s a very simple example to help you get warmed up: “To our neighbors in need of accessibility solutions (target market and need) Whole Home (company/brand) is a social enterprise of industry experts (who you are) who are excited to help outfit and provide complete home accessibility solutions (point of difference).” 

A key takeaway is that it’s up to you to do your research on what brands and product lines need to be in your store. It’s not about you and what you want; it has to be about your customer and the experience they will have with you and your staff. Offer the best products that support your positioning statement, and don’t miss the biggest advantage of allowing your customers the chance to interact with the products you recommend.

Megan Schmit is a marketing associate with EZ-Access. She can be reached at or 253-249-1108 ext. 2430.