When you started your business, you filled out the requisite paperwork (type of business, tax forms, etc), and opened accounts (bank, credit cards, shipping, etc.).
You followed the rules for setting everything up.
But did you think about whether or not your website was ADA-compliant? Was it accessible for people with disabilities who wouldn’t be able to view your site or hear any audio?
For many small business owners, the answer is no. Because those laws either weren’t in effect or weren’t enforced.
Times have changed. So have the laws. And with it, the odds of being sued.
What is your small business at risk for?
Probably lots of things, but today we’re just talking about websites.
You may not think about the possibility of being sued until it happens. And then you’ve got a mess on your hands and legal fees.
Is your website accessible?
The Americans with Disabilities Act 1990 (ADA) was made a public law in 1990 and amended in 2008.
Is it required to be on your website? Interestingly enough, no. But you can still be sued. And digital lawsuits are on the rise.
Best practices say that you should have an accessibility statement on your private business website AND an accessibility tool in place.
An Accessible Website Says “We Care”
An accessibility statement says to the public that you give a damn about inclusivity. You want people with disabilities to be able to get the same information any other visitor can get on your site.
Good for Business
Including an accessibility statement is also good for business. 20% of the population has a disability. If they can’t access information on your website, they can’t purchase your products or services.
We are now offering accessibility protection for ADA-compliance.
Contact us today to learn how to make your website accessible.
Learn more about accessibility in this thorough and informative article in Search Engine Journal by author Kim Berg who writes: “Even though there are accessibility standards and guidelines to follow for websites and web applications, in the U.S. there are no formal laws to enforce them.”
What other issues keep small business owners up at night?
We thought it would be fun to compare responses written by humans with something generated with AI.
We googled “What keeps small business owners awake at night in 2023?” and found this from customer service success firm, SmartKarrot.
- Lack of employee engagement
- Losing key skilled people and trust issues
- Building a community
- Diversity and social pressure
- Facing big changes
Then we asked the same question of Bard, Google’s new AI platform which they describe as “a complementary experience to Google Search”, and we got this:
Here are the top 5 things that keep small business owners up at night:
- Making money.
This is the number one concern for small business owners, and for good reason. After all, without money, you can’t pay your bills, your employees, or yourself. There are a number of things you can do to increase your chances of making money, such as:
- Making money.
- Conducting market research to identify your target market and what they need:
- Developing a strong marketing plan to reach your target market
- Offering competitive prices and high-quality products or services
- Providing excellent customer service
2. Attracting and retaining customers.
Once you’ve got customers, you need to keep them coming back. This can be a challenge, especially in a competitive marketplace.
There are a number of things you can do to attract and retain customers, such as:
- Offering loyalty programs
- Providing excellent customer service
- Keeping your products or services fresh and innovative
- Building relationships with your customers
3. Managing cash flow.
Cash flow is the lifeblood of any business. If you don’t have enough cash coming in to cover your expenses, your business will eventually fail.
There are a number of things you can do to manage your cash flow, such as:
- Create a budget and track your expenses
- Set up a system for collecting payments from customers
- Get a line of credit or other financing
4. Dealing with taxes.
Taxes can be a complex and time-consuming hassle for small business owners. There are a number of things you can do to make tax time easier, such as:
- Hiring a qualified accountant
- Keeping good records
- Filing your taxes on time
5. Juggling responsibilities.
Small business owners often wear many hats. They may be responsible for marketing, sales, customer service, accounting, and more. This can be a lot of work, and it can be difficult to balance all of your responsibilities.
There are a number of things you can do to make it easier to juggle your responsibilities, such as:
- Delegating tasks to employees or contractors
- Learning to say no to new commitments
- Taking breaks when you need them
AI Search Summary
The results were interesting. They were focused on different factors. And neither mentioned work-life balance in the top five.
The customer service success firm listed issues with employee engagement, an inability to retain skilled workers and trust issues as the top two concerns.
Bard cited making money and attracting and retaining customers as the two most important.
We interpret this as pretty logical.
But we found Bard’s use of the line “There are a number of things you can do to” in each numbered item annoying repetitive.
A company that helps people grow their businesses will focus on employee-related issues and procedures. Because that’s what they do.
Bard, on the other hand, has nothing to gain from its response. Making money and retaining customers is definitely top of mind for most small business owners.
How to interpret these results.
If we were writing an article on what keeps small business owners up at night, much more research would be required. We’d also want to interview small business owners who are in the trenches every day.
Which is why at the moment, we’re seeing AI (and Bard) as great basic research tools that can save us time. And what’s wrong with that!
Read related articles: